RULES OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA

PART H. RULES FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

 

RULE XXX. RULES FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

RULE 3. CLE REQUIREMENT

(a) Each Member shall attend, or complete an approved substitute for attendance, a minimum of twelve and one half (12.5) hours of approved CLE each calendar year. [Amended effective January 1, 2003]

(b) Any newly admitted active Member shall, during the year of his or her admission through the next calendar year, attend twelve and one half (12.5) hours of approved CLE and not less than eight (8) of such hours shall concern legal ethics, professionalism, or law office management. A newly admitted active member is not required to comply with subsections (a) or (c).

Law office management concerns knowledge and skill of office practice including courses on how to:

a. Open and operate a client trust account;

b. Establish a calendar (tickler) system;

c. Communicate with clients;

d. Set fee arrangements, send engagement letters, and establish billing procedures;

e. Avoid and/or obtain help for substance abuse problems;

f. Supervise staff;

g. Organize files;

h. Utilize a conflicts check system;

i. Handle a disciplinary complaint;

j. Terminate representation; and

k. Return files.
[Amended effective January 1, 2003]

(c) Of the twelve and one half (12.5) hours of CLE required annually, not less than one (1) of such hours shall concern legal ethics, and not less than one (1) of such hours shall concern professionalism.

Legal ethics concerns the standard of professional conduct and responsibility required of a lawyer. It includes courses on professional responsibility and malpractice. It does not include such topics as attorneys' fees, client development, law office economics, and practice systems, except to the extent that professional responsibility is discussed in connection with these topics.

Professionalism concerns the knowledge and skill of the law faithfully employed in the service of client and public good, and entails what is more broadly expected of attorneys. It includes courses on the duties of attorneys to the judicial system, courts, public, clients, and other attorneys; attorney competency; and pro bono obligations.

Legal ethics sets forth the standards of conduct required of a lawyer; professionalism includes what is more broadly expected. The professionalism CLE requirement is distinct from, and in addition to, the legal ethics CLE requirement. [Amended effective January 1, 2003]

(d) Self-study credits shall be offered as an approved substitute to in-person attendance at CLE activities. Credit for self-study shall consist of participation in technological transmissions, including live or prerecorded audio and/or audiovisual presentations and activities or other appropriate technology as approved by the MCLE Committee. Credit for attendance at such self-study courses shall be limited to four (4) hours annually. [Amended effective June 5, 2003]

(e) Except for CLE activities for which attendance cards are completed and forwarded by sponsors in accordance with Regulation 5.2.2 through 5.3.1, all Members shall submit to the Committee records pertaining to their compliance no later than January 31 of the following calendar year, pursuant to the conditions set forth in these Rules and Regulations. [Added and effective June 5, 2003]


(f) Louisiana state court judges shall be required to earn a minimum of 5 of the 12.5 hours of CLE required annually from programs sponsored by the Louisiana Judicial College, starting on January 1 of the year following their election to judicial office. [Enacted effective January 1, 2013]

REGULATIONS/RULE 3

Regulation 3.1. To meet the minimum requirements of Rule 3, each Member must obtain credit for not less than twelve and one half (12.5) hours of CLE per calendar year. [Amended effective January 1, 2003]

Regulation 3.2. An instructional hour must contain at least sixty (60) minutes, with no credit given for introduction of the speaker, meal breaks, or business meetings. [Amended effective January 1, 2003]

Regulation 3.2(a). For self-study credit as defined in Rule 3(d), the assignment of credit hours for such activities will include consideration of estimates of average completion time, volume of material, opportunities for interaction, duration of program and other factors as deemed appropriate by the Committee. [Added and effective June 5, 2003]

Regulation 3.3. Members who have a permanent physical disability that makes attending CLE programs inordinately difficult may file a request with the Committee for approval of a permanent substitute program in lieu of attendance and shall therein set out CLE plans tailored to their specific interests and physical abilities. The Committee shall review and approve or disapprove such requests on an individual basis and without delay. Rejection of any requested substitute for attendance shall be reviewed as provided in Rule 6 prior to any sanction being imposed.

Regulation 3.4. Other requests for substituted compliance, partial waivers, or other exemptions for hardship or extenuating circumstances may be granted by the Committee upon written application of the member and shall likewise be reviewed as provided in Rule 6.

Regulation 3.5. As provided in Rule 5(b), hours of credit in excess of the minimum annual requirement may be carried forward for credit in the succeeding calendar year. Such hours, however, must be reported in the Annual Report of compliance for the year in which they were earned and must be designated as hours to be carried forward.

Regulation 3.6. Credit will be given only for approved CLE activities. Under exceptional circumstances, approval by the Committee may be given retroactively.

Regulation 3.7. Credit may also be earned through teaching in an approved CLE activity. Presentations accompanied by thorough, high quality, readable, and carefully prepared written materials will qualify for CLE credit on the basis of six (6) hours of credit for each instructional hour of presentation. Presentations accompanied by one or two page outlines or not accompanied by written materials will qualify for CLE credit on the basis of three (3) hours of credit per hour of presentation. Repeat presentations qualify for one half of the credits available for the initial presentation. To receive credit, the member shall submit MCLE Form 4.

Regulation 3.8. Credit may also be earned through teaching a course in an American Bar Association accredited law school. The Committee will award six (6) hours of CLE credit for each hour of academic credit awarded by the law school for the course. Similar credit may be earned through teaching an undergraduate course on law in an accredited college or university. To receive credit, the member shall submit MCLE Form 4.

Regulation 3.9. Credit may also be earned through authorship of a law review article on matters of law published by an American Bar Association accredited law school, or through authorship of a book on matters of law published by a recognized publishing company. The Committee will award six (6) hours of CLE credit for each such article or book published. Any attorney may petition the Committee for credit for authorship of articles on matters of law published in other publications. The article must comply with the provisions of Regulation 4.1(a) and (b). To receive credit, the member shall submit MCLE Form 5.

Regulation 3.10. Credit may also be earned through service as a bar examiner or assistant bar examiner in Louisiana. The Committee will award eight (8) hours of CLE credit annually for service as a member of the Committee on Bar Admissions and six (6) hours of CLE credit annually for service as an assistant bar examiner to a member of the Committee on Bar Admissions, but credit shall not be allowed for both activities.

Regulation 3.11. Credit may also be earned through formal enrollment and education in an American Bar Association accredited law school. The Committee will award six (6) hours of CLE credit for each hour of academic credit awarded by the law school. [Amended effective December 10, 2001]

Regulation 3.12. Credit may also be earned through attendance at meetings of the Council of the Louisiana Law Institute or committee meetings of the Institute on the basis of one hour of CLE credit for two hours of such participation, not to exceed ten (10) hours of CLE credit per year.

Regulation 3.13. Activities providing self-study credit hours through participation in technological transmissions must be pre-approved by the MCLE Committee for self-study credits. [Amended effective June 5, 2003]

Regulation 3.14. No credit will be given for activities sponsored by law firms and corporate law departments for the sole or principal benefit of their own members or employees. Credit may be awarded, however, for activities presented by public entities for the sole or principal benefit of their own employees.


COMMENT

The MCLE Committee considers the following four (4) factors when evaluating whether or not an activity is “for the sole or principal benefit” of a law firm or corporation’s members or employees:


(1) The course focus must be of sufficiently broad interest so as to ensure that attendance will extend to substantially more than the members of the law firms and corporate law departments;


(2) The venue must be appropriate to the audience and cannot simply be a place with extremely limited space that could effectively block outside attendance;


(3) The marketing of the course must also be appropriate, must provide for attendance by lawyers not working for the sponsoring entities and be disclosed on the official MCLE calendar in accordance with the procedures governing that calendar; and


(4) Any fee charged for attendance must be reasonable.

[amended effective October 14, 2009]

 

Regulation 3.15. Eight (8) hours of CLE credit per year will be given to a Member who is a member of the Louisiana Legislature, or who serves as Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives of the Louisiana Legislature.

Regulation 3.16. Four (4) hours of CLE credit per year, with one (1) hour deemed to be in satisfaction of the Ethics requirement, shall be given to each member of the Disciplinary Board of the Louisiana State Bar Association, its hearing committees, and its counsel, for service in the disciplinary system, and two (2) hours of CLE credit per year, with one (1) hour to be deemed to be in satisfaction of the Ethics requirement, shall be given to each alternate member.

Regulation 3.17. Four (4) hours of CLE credit per year, with one (1) hour deemed to be in satisfaction of the Ethics requirement, shall be given to each member of the Judiciary Commission for service in the judicial disciplinary system.

Regulation 3.18. One (1) hour of CLE credit per year, with that one (1) hour deemed to be in satisfaction of the Ethics requirement, shall be given to each member of the Ethics Advisory Committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Regulation 3.19. Six (6)  hours of CLE credit per year shall be given to examiners of the Family Law, Tax, and Estate Planning legal specialties. [Amended effective June 14, 2002]

Regulation 3.20. One hour of CLE credit, with that one (1) hour deemed to be in satisfaction of the professionalism requirement, shall be given to a member who arbitrates a fee dispute in the LSBA Legal Fee Dispute Resolution Program. [Added and effective February 15, 2001]

[Amended effective October 8, 2013]