RULES OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA
PART H. RULES FOR CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION
Credit will be given for
attending CLE activities approved by the Committee.
Regulation 4.1. The following standards will govern the approval of CLE activities by the Committee:
(a) The activity must have significant intellectual or practical content and its primary objective must be to maintain or increase the participant's professional competence as an attorney.
(b) The activity must deal primarily with matters related to the practice of law, ethical obligations, or professionalism by attorneys.
(i) Credit shall be given for programs designed to increase a lawyer's practice skill and efficiency, thereby reducing the potential for malpractice claims or ethical violations and encouraging delivery of timely and cost-effective client service. Additionally, credit shall be given for programs concerning the use of automation, computerization, data processing or other applications of technology; case or information tracking or management systems; calendar or docket control procedures; settlement and accounting to clients for trust funds or accounts; time billing or other law firm management systems; and effective client communications and recordkeeping and retention procedures.
(ii) Though parts of a program may meet accreditation requirements, credit shall not be given for those parts of programs which consist of marketing or client cultivation, efficient use of time, speed-reading, and motivational type presentations. No credit shall be given for vendor sponsored activities for the choosing of law office automation products. [amended effective March 14, 2012]
(iii) Topics eligible for CLE credit in satisfaction of the Ethics requirement include the independence of the lawyer in the context of the lawyer-client relationship; conflict between duty to client and duty to the system of justice; conflict in the duty to the client versus the duty to the other lawyer; the responsibility of the lawyer to employ effective client communication and relation skills to increase service to the client and foster understanding of expectations of the representation; and other programs involving disciplinary rules, rules of professional conduct, and malpractice avoidance.
(iv) Topics eligible for CLE credit in satisfaction of the Professionalism requirement include the lawyer's responsibility as an officer of the court; the lawyer's responsibility to treat fellow lawyers, members of the bench, and clients with respect and dignity; misuse and abuse of discovery and litigation; the lawyer's responsibility to protect the image of the profession; the lawyer's responsibility generally to the public service; the lawyer's duty to be informed about methods of dispute resolution and to counsel clients accordingly.
(c) The activity must be offered by a Sponsor having substantial, recent experience in offering CLE or demonstrated ability to organize and present CLE effectively. Demonstrated ability arises partly from the extent to which individuals with legal training or educational experience are involved in the planning, supervision and presentation of the activity.
(d) The activity itself must be conducted by an individual or group qualified by practical or academic experience. The program, including participation of the announced faculty members, must be conducted substantially as planned, subject to bona fide emergency withdrawals and alterations.
(e) Thorough, high quality, readable, and carefully prepared written materials must be made available to all participants at no additional charge at or before the time the course is presented, unless the absence of such materials is recognized as reasonable and approved by the Committee; mere outlines without citations or explanatory notations will not be sufficient.
(f) The activity must be conducted in a physical setting conducive to learning at a time and place free of interruptions, or by technological transmission in self-study, as defined in Rule 3(d). [Amended effective June 5, 2003]
(g) Approval may be given for activities in which electronically recorded or reproduced material is used. Time spent viewing videotapes as part of a CLE activity approved for conventional continuing legal education credit by the MCLE Committee counts as conventional continuing legal education and is not subject to the self-study limitation. [Amended effective June 5, 2003]
(h) Approval may be given for activities that cross academic lines (e.g., an accounting-tax seminar).
(i) At the conclusion of an approved program or activity, each attending Member must be given the opportunity to complete an evaluation questionnaire addressing the quality, effectiveness and usefulness of the particular activity. Within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the activity, a summary of the results of the questionnaires must be forwarded to the Committee. If requested, copies of the questionnaires must also be forwarded to the Committee. Sponsors must maintain the questionnaires for a period of 90 days following a program, pending a Committee request for their submission.
(j) The costs of the program itself to the attending member, apart from optional meals, lodging, travel, etc., must be reasonable considering the subject matter, instructional level, supporting documentation and educational material, and the necessary costs of the Committee.
(k) No examination or testing shall be required at any CLE activity unless for the purpose of attendance verification at technologically transmitted self-study courses. [Amended effective June 5, 2003]
(l) Approval shall not be given for any activity conducted in whole or part for the purpose of raising campaign funds for an elected official or any candidate for public office.
(m) Approval of CLE credit may be withheld from any Member by the MCLE Committee in the event of nonpayment of course fees for any program which offers CLE credit hours. After any event that offers CLE credit, the provider shall notify the MCLE Department by certified mail of an attorney's failure to pay, including supporting documentation of attempts to collect. The MCLE Department shall notify the Member by certified mail, giving notice of revocation of credits unless full payment or a satisfactory substitute is received by the provider within seven days. If satisfactory compensation is not received within seven days, provider will notify the MCLE Department, who will then revoke credits for that program.
Credit will not be restored without full payment of the course and a $50 processing fee. If credits are revoked and a member does not satisfy the annual requirement by the January 31st compliance reporting deadline, then a late compliance fee of $150 will also be assessed. [amended effective January 1, 2007]
In such cases where payment conditions
are reasonably disputed by the Member, then such cases will not be accepted
for revocation of credit. [ Added effective December 10, 2001]
Regulation 4.2. Approved Sponsors
(a) All sponsors who seek approval
for in-state CLE programming must first be approved as a provider of continuing
legal education in Louisiana. An application for sponsor accreditation must
be submitted with an annual $100 nonrefundable application fee to the MCLE Committee.
Upon approval of this application, the provider is conditionally approved for
continuing legal education for one year. If the provider is approved for three
consecutive years by the Committee, then the provider may apply for permanent
approved provider status pursuant to Regulations/Rule 7.1.
(b) Eligibility for approved provider
status shall be extended to local, district and state bar associations, ABA
accredited law schools, and other organizations that consistently provide CLE
to the legal community. Governmental agencies offering programming to their
employees and non-profit organizations who offer programs for the public benefit
may be exempted from the sponsor application fee through petition to the Committee.
(c) The Committee retains the right to
refuse approval to providers who do not comply with the requirements of these
Rules pertaining to program sponsors.
(d) The Committee may waive the $100
sponsor application fee for an out-of-state provider who can demonstrate its
qualifications to offer CLE on a one time only basis.
Regulation 4.3. Approved
activities may be advertised in informational brochures, program materials and
advertisement via the web, as provided by the Sponsors. [Amended effective
June 5, 2003]
Regulation 4.4. The Committee may at
any time evaluate an activity and revoke approval of it. The Committee may at
any time evaluate a sponsor and revoke its status as a presumptively approved
Regulation 4.5. A CLE activity may be accredited on an individual program basis upon written application by an approved sponsor. An application for such CLE activity approval shall:
(a) be submitted at least forty-five (45) days in advance of the activity, although the Committee may in its discretion, upon showing of good cause, grant retroactive approval;
(b) Be submitted on a form provided by the Committee or transferred electronically via a format approved by the Committee; [Amended effective June 5, 2003]
(c) contain all information requested on the form; and
(d) be accompanied by a sample brochure or course outline that describes the course content, identifies the instructors and their credentials, lists the time devoted to each topic, and shows each date and location at which the program will be offered.
Regulation 4.5.1. A
member may request approval of an out-of-state CLE activity if the Sponsor does
not apply for approval. That activity may qualify as self-study. [Amended
effective June 5, 2003]
Regulation 4.6. The Sponsor of an approved
CLE activity may announce or indicate as follows:
"This course or a portion thereof has
been approved by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Louisiana
Supreme Court for a maximum of ____ hours credit."
Regulation 4.7. The Bar shall provide CLE courses and seminars at reasonable times and places, not less frequently than once a year, at which coverage of the following subjects shall be made.
(a) Appellate court decisions of general interest.
(b) Recent developments in the law of general interest.
(c) Federal and state legislation of general interest.
(d) Legal ethics and professionalism and opinions thereon, including a summary of the most numerous violations of the disciplinary rules for the past twelve (12) months.
(e) Others as approved or directed by the Committee.