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CHICAGO — The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has taken the unusual step of removing about 30 attorneys from its registration rolls over the past year and a half because they failed to complete new continuing education requirements. The attorneys, who were admitted to practice since the beginning of 2006, were subject to “administrative removal” because they didn’t meet the state’s new rule requiring that they complete a 15-hour “basic skills” course within a year of being admitted to practice in Illinois, said Jim Grogan, a spokesman for the commission. The course was a part of new rules issued by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2005 requiring continuing legal education for all attorneys. With 3,000 new attorneys admitted to practice in 2006, the removals last year were a relatively small 1 percent, he said. “This is a whole new animal in Illinois so we’re all looking around and seeing how it’s going to work,” Grogan said. It was the first time that the state had to take such action on the basis of attorneys failing to comply with the new education rules. Many of the attorneys on a list of the removals appear not to be practicing in the state. Those that were removed and continue to practice could be subject to investigation and disciplinary action if they were reported to the commission. The attorneys got prior notification that they were subject to the removals and all attorneys have received reminders about the need to comply with the new training rules. While new attorneys must take the “basic skills” course, all other veteran attorneys must now complete other continuing education courses to renew their registrations. The renewal requires 20 hours of courses in a two-year period with the first deadlines coming at the end of June this year and next year. The number of education hours that attorneys must complete will rise over time with deadlines in 2010 and 2011 requiring 30 hours over a two-year period.

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