Good Cause Modification
Individual good cause must be shown for all requests for modification of the MCLE requirement, including an extension of time to report compliance.
The most typical modifications given are:
- A modification to complete all 25 hours via the self-study option of the requirement; or
- an extension of time (see caveats below).
Modifications typically are granted because:
- The attorney has mobility or other physical problems that make it difficult to attend participatory education activities; or
- The attorney has a personal or family emergency.
The State Bar takes seriously its charge under California Rule of Court 9.31 and Section 6070 of the Business and Professions Code to insure that all of its members on active status and not specifically exempted fulfill the MCLE requirement.
To request modification of the MCLE requirement, you must submit an application and pay a non-refundable processing fee. The application for a good cause modification is not available online. You must contact the MCLE Program. We also suggest that you read the caveats below, to avoid submitting an application that is rejected for failure to show "good cause."
Non-Refundable Processing Fee:
- $75 payable to The State Bar of California.
- $25 If bar dues "scaled" for current year.
- Free If bar dues waived for current year.
- You also can request waiver or reduction of the fee for other reasons.
Extensions of Time
If you can comply by June 30, there is no need to request an extension of time, although a late fee of $75 will be assessed if you have not reported your compliance by Feb. 1.
Note: In and of itself, practice constraints, such as a big trial, does not constitute "good cause" for an extension of time
Limited Practice, "Retired," Fees Scaled or Waived
Both the MCLE education and reporting requirement are tolled for those members on voluntary inactive status. Conversely, if your membership status is listed as active on the State Bar's website you are entitled to practice law and are expected to comply with the MCLE education requirement.
The following circumstances, in and of themselves do not constitute good cause for modification of the requirement:
- You are not actually practicing law.
- You are practicing for a limited amount of time or for a limited client base.
- Waiver or Scaling of your active membership fee.
Other reasons determined not to be Good Cause
- You practice in a narrow substantive area and believe that CLE would not be helpful.
- You believe that you do not need education in the special requirement areas of detection/prevention of substance abuse or of elimination of bias in the legal profession.
- Compliance is inconvenient for you.
- Your situation of employment is similar to one of the categories that are exempt pursuant to Rule 2.54 of the MCLE Rules and Regulations.
It is extremely unlikely that you will be granted an exemption if you are on active status. A request for modification of the requirement is more likely to be granted (i.e., request an extension of time to complete the requirement or request that you be allowed to fulfill the entire 25-hour requirement using the self-study options listed under Rule 2.83 of the MCLE Rules and Regulations).
If you are not practicing law, consider transferring to inactive status. (Go to Transfer to Inactive Status for more information.)