Friday, November 19, 2010

False CLE Certification Charged

The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging that an attorney falsely certified that he had completed online CLE courses (including several on ethics topics). According to the complaint:

Each online course set forth above, required the user to respond to prompts during the course, at approximately ten minute intervals, to insure that the user was actively participating in the course.

On various occasions between July 27, 2009 and July 30, 2009, Respondent did not watch the online courses set forth...above, and Respondent directed a secretary in his office to watch the courses on a laptop computer and respond to the prompts as if he were watching the courses.

At all times alleged in this complaint, Supreme Court Rule 796(a)(2), required that every Illinois attorney subject to the MCLE requirement, certify his or her compliance with the required hours of CLE activity.

...Respondent reported to the MCLE Board that he had completed 20 hours of CLE credit (including 4 hours of professional responsibility credit) during the 2007 to 2009 reporting period. Respondent made the report on the MCLE Board's online reporting system and certified each statement set forth below:

I am the attorney identified at the top of this form.

I certify that the information contained in this certification to the MCLE Board is true and correct.

I have read MCLE Rule 796 of the Supreme Court of Illinois which lists the penalties for submitting an inaccurate or a false certification to the MCLE Board.

Respondent's submission of information and certification to the MCLE Board was false. Respondent knew that the information and certification he submitted to the MCLE Board were false because he did not complete 20 hours of CLE classes during the reporting period and he directed a secretary to complete some of the CLE classes for him.

Irony alert: One of the courses was subtitled "10 Ways to Reduce Your Chances of Being Sued or Disciplined." Another was "At the Crossroads of Compliance: Which Way to Turn?" (Mike Frisch)

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