As mentioned in my previous post, “A Discussion on the Rules and Regulations with New Jersey – Getting to Know Wendy Weiss (Part I)”, Wendy was incredibly generous with her time, answering many of the questions I had after reading the rules, regulations, and administrative determinations. The FAQs posted to the New Jersey website were also helpful in answering questions I’d encountered. Below are some of the questions I had, and Wendy’s explanation of the answers under the New Jersey regulations.
The rules state that attorneys will be able to take “in-house” programs – those courses provided by their law firms. Is there a limit on the number of credits attorneys can get through in-house?
Attorneys will be able to get all of their credits through in-house providers. The limits established under the rules are currently only based upon format, not the content provider. New Jersey attorneys can only claim credit for 12 credits each compliance period with alternative formats – live webcasts, on demand online, webinars, teleseminars, etc. There is no limit from a provider perspective.
Currently live webcasts or synchronous programs are part of the alternative format limit in New Jersey. Other states often treat these programs as “live” and do not limit the number of credits an attorney can receive. Have you received any feedback regarding this limit?
The Board has implemented the rules with the specific limits included. They will continue to gather feedback from attorneys throughout the compliance year and with the reporting process. While they don’t currently plan to make any immediate changes, they welcome comments.
What is the proper method for determining how credits are calculated?
The credit hour is based upon a 50 minute hour, with credits rounded down to the nearest 1/10th.
Some states allow credit for other “types” of activities in which attorneys engage. Are any of the following available for credit? Writing or publishing? Public service? Reading? Research? Pro Bono work?
Currently none of these activities is available for credit in New Jersey.
The carryover rules state that up to 12 credits may be carried forward into the next compliance period. Are there any limits on these 12 credits?
There are no limits on the type of credit that may be carried forward. Ethics credits qualify for carryover, as do alternative format credits. One note, however, is that only 12 alternative format credits may be claimed in any compliance period. If an attorney carries forward alternative format credits, the number of this type of credit which may be claimed in the next period will be reduced. For example, if an attorney carries forward 6 alternative format credits, he or she may only earn 6 additional alternative format credits.
How many credits must an attorney earn if he or she has an exemption for part of a compliance period? New York, for example, prorates the number of credits which must be earned. Is New Jersey doing the same thing?
No, if an attorney is active at any time during the compliance period, he or she is required to meet the whole requirement.