Changes noted in recent audit and recent past. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but highlights recent changes.
British Columbia: Beginning January 1, 2009, lawyers must complete at least 12 hours of continuing professional development in accredited educational activities each calendar year. No less than two of the 12 hours must pertain to any combination of professional responsibility and ethics, client care and relations, and practice management. Overview: http://tinyurl.com/9pk8hp
Hawaii: On July 15, 2009, the Hawaii Supreme Court revised Rule 17, implementing MCLE requirements for active members of the bar, effective January 1, 2010. Each attorney must complete at least three hours of professionalism credit (legal ethics and related topics, law office management, client trust administration, bias awareness and prevention, access to justice, case and client management, and malpractice insurance and prevention) each year. Attorneys are also encouraged to complete at least nine credits of voluntary continuing legal education each year. Attorneys may begin earning credits on January 1, 2010. Rule: http://tinyurl.com/yb8jryt
Nebraska: Beginning on January 1, 2010, all active attorneys in Nebraska must earn 10 credit hours per calendar year. 2 of the 10 hours shall be earned in the area of professional responsibility. Professional Responsibility includes instruction in the following areas: legal ethics; professionalism; diversity in the legal profession; malpractice prevention; recognizing and addressing substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal profession; Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Relating to Discipline of Attorneys; ethical standards as they relate directly to law firm management; and duties of attorneys to the judicial system, public, clients, and other attorneys. Attorneys may begin earning credits on October 1, 2009 which may count toward their first compliance period. Rule: http://tinyurl.com/y9cchsh
New Jersey: On August 13, 2009, the Supreme Court posted notice to the bar that any new MCLE program which may be adopted will grant credit for CLE courses taken after January 1, 2009. The notice defines the minimum categories of course which shall be awarded credit:
- Courses taken in satisfaction of the requirements for NJ certified attorneys pursuant to Rule 1:39-2(d);
- Courses that satisfy the skills and methods requirements of Rule 1:26; and
- Courses that are taken in satisfaction of another State’s CLE program.
Quebec: Beginning on April 1, 2009, each attorney must complete at least 30 hours of training related to the legal practice and approved by the Comité d’orientation sur la stratégie de formation des avocats et avocates and the Comité exécutif du Barreau, during a compliance period of 2 years. No specific training content is set by the Comité. However, the content must be related to the legal practice. Overview: http://tinyurl.com/yem7j6r
Tennessee: The TN Commission had considered changing the definition of “interactivity”, requiring more than just an emailed response by a subject matter expert for distance learning accreditation. After much feedback from providers in both Tennessee and across the country, the Commission has chosen not to make any changes to the requirements surrounding this aspect of the rules at this time.
Changes that have been implemented include a broader definition of Ethics/Professionalism under Regulation 5H. Subsection 2 now provides credit for programs:
- aimed at increasing attorney well-being, optimism, resilience, relationship skills, and energy and engagement in their practices
- designed to help lawyers re-connect with, strengthen, and apply their values, strengths of character, and sense of purpose toward achieving outstanding professionalism
- designed to protect lawyers or help them recover from the deleterious effects on professionalism of stress, substance abuse, and poor staff, financial, or time management, or
- designed to support the development of organizational cultures within firms, law departments, and legal agencies that recognize, support, and encourage outstanding professionalism.
Utah: Beginning January 1, 2009, at least one hour must be in the topics of professionalism and civility. Also effective after the period starting on 1/1/2009 for even year renewals and 1/1/2010 for odd year renewals, the start dates will switch to July 1. There will be a transitional period for lawyers to switch over from the current January to December cycles into the new July to June cycles.
- For those attorneys who report in even numbered years, their period will begin on 1/1/2009 and end on 6/30/2010. As there will be a shortened period, the attorney will only need to complete a total of 18 credit hours, 2 of which must be in Ethics or Professional Responsibility and one of those credits must be in Professionalism and Civility.
- For those attorneys who report in odd numbered years, their period will begin on 1/1/2010 and end on 6/30/2011. As there will be a shortened period, the attorney will only need to complete a total of 18 credit hours, 2 of which much be in Ethics or Professional Responsibility and one of those credits must be in Professionalism and Civility.
Vermont: As of August 18, 2008, two hours of professionalism credit has been added to Vermont attorneys' continuing legal education requirement. Courses meeting the professionalism requirement must be preapproved by the Board of Continuing Legal Education and must be live, face-to-face and participatory and may not be self-study. Professionalism is the higher standard to which all lawyers should aspire. It embodies tenets such as honesty, civility, integrity, character, physical and emotional fitness, fairness, competence, ethical conduct, public service and respect for the rule of law, the courts, clients, other lawyers, witnesses, and unrepresented parties. Rule: http://tinyurl.com/yakzrh3