IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON
|In the Matter of the Amendment of the
MINIMUM CONTINUING LEGAL
| ) |
ORDER AMENDING STATEMENT
OF PURPOSE AND RULES
3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.8, 5.1, AND 5.5
The Oregon State Bar Board of Governors submitted to the court proposed amendments to Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules 3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.8, 5.1, 5.5 and the statement of Purpose. The court considered the proposed amendments at its public meeting on March 18, 2008, at which time the court voted to approve the proposed amendments.
IT HEREBY IS ORDERED that MCLE Rules 3.2, 3.3, 3.7, 3.8, 5.1, 5.5 and the statement of Purpose are amended as set out below, effective the date of this order (deleted text in brackets and italics; new text in boldface).
It is of primary importance to the members of the bar and to the public that attorneys continue their legal education after admission to the bar. Continuing legal education [is necessary to] assists Oregon lawyers in maintaining and improving their competence and skills [of Oregon lawyers] and in meeting their obligations to the profession. These Rules establish the minimum requirements for continuing legal education for members of the Oregon State Bar.
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3.2 Active Members.
(a) Minimum Hours. Except as provided in Rules 3.3 and 3.4, all active members shall complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of accredited CLE activity every three years as provided in these Rules.
(b) [Professional Responsibility] Ethics. At least [nine] six of the required hours shall be in subjects relating to ethics [professional responsibility. Six (of the nine) hours must be] in programs accredited [for ethics] pursuant to Rule 5.5(a), including [. One]one hour [(of the six ethics hours) must be] on the subject of a lawyer’s statutory duty to report child abuse (see ORS 9.114). [In addition to the six legal ethics hours, three hours (of the nine) must be in programs accredited for elimination of bias pursuant to Rule 5.5(b).]
(c) Access to Justice. In alternate reporting periods, at least three of the required hours must be in programs accredited for access to justice pursuant to Rule 5.5(b). For purposes of this rule, the first reporting period that may be skipped will be the one ending on December 31, 2009.
3.3 Reinstatements, Resumption of Practice After Retirement and New Admittees.
(a) An active member whose reporting period is established in Rule 3.7(c)(2) or (d)(2) shall complete 15 credit hours of accredited CLE activity in the first reporting period after reinstatement, [admission as an active member,]or resumption of the practice of law in accordance with Rule 3.4. Two of the 15 credit hours shall be devoted to ethics (including one in child abuse reporting) [and one shall be devoted to elimination of bias].
(b) New admittees shall complete 15 credit hours of accredited CLE activity in the first reporting period after admission as an active member, including two credit hours in ethics (including one in child abuse reporting), and ten credit hours in practical skills. New admittees admitted prior to December 31, 2008 must also complete one access to justice credit in their first reporting period. New admittees admitted on or after January 1, 2009 must also complete a three credit hour OSB-approved introductory course in access to justice. The MCLE Administrator may waive the practical skills requirement for a new admittee who has practiced law in another jurisdiction for three consecutive years immediately prior to the member’s admission in Oregon, in which event the new admittee must complete ten hours in other areas. [must also comply with Rule 3.7. Thereafter] After a new admittee’s first reporting period, the requirement in Rule 3.2(a) shall apply.
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[3.7 Practical Skills. New admittees shall complete at least 10 hours of accredited practical skills activities by the end of their first reporting period. A new admittee who has practiced law in another jurisdiction for three consecutive years immediately prior to the member’s admission in Oregon may be exempt from the practical skills requirement, provided the exemption is approved by the MCLE Administrator.]
3.7 Reporting Period.
(a) In General. All active members shall have three-year reporting periods, except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d).
(b) New Admittees. The first reporting period for a new admittee shall start on the date of admission as an active member and shall end on December 31 of the next calendar year. All subsequent reporting periods shall be three years.
(1) A member who transfers to inactive status, is suspended, or has resigned and who is reinstated before the end of the reporting period in effect at the time of the status change shall retain the member’s original reporting period and these Rules shall be applied as though the transfer, suspension, or resignation had not occurred.
(2) Except as provided in Rule 3.7(c)(1), the first reporting period for a member who is reinstated as an active member following a transfer to inactive status or a suspension, disbarment or resignation shall start on the date of reinstatement and shall end on December 31 of the next calendar year. All subsequent reporting periods shall be three years.
(d) Retired Members.
(1) A retired member who resumes the practice of law before the end of the reporting period in effect at the time of the member’s retirement shall retain the member’s original reporting period and these Rules shall be applied as though the retirement had not occurred.
(2) Except as provided in Rule 3.7(d)(1), the first reporting period for a retired member who resumes the practice of law shall start on the date the member resumes the practice of law and shall end on December 31 of the next calendar year. All subsequent reporting periods shall be three years.
5.1 Group CLE Activities. Group CLE activities shall satisfy the following:
(a) The activity must have significant intellectual or practical content with the primary objective of increasing the participant’s professional competence as a lawyer; and
(b) The activity must deal primarily with substantive legal issues, legal skills, practice issues, or legal ethics and professionalism [responsibility], or access to justice; and
(c) The activity must be offered by a sponsor having substantial, recent experience in offering continuing legal education or by a sponsor that can demonstrate ability to organize and effectively present continuing legal education. Demonstrated ability arises partly from the extent to which individuals with legal training or educational experience are involved in the planning, instruction, and supervision of the activity; and
(d) The activity must be primarily intended for presentation to multiple participants, including but not limited to live programs, video and audio presentations (including original programming and replays of accredited programs), satellite broadcasts and on-line programs; and
(e) The activity must include the use of thorough, high-quality written materials, unless the MCLE Administrator determines that the activity has substantial educational value without written materials.
(f) The activity must have no attendance restrictions based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, geographic location, age, handicap or disability, marital, parental or military status or other classification protected by law, except as may be permitted upon application from a provider or member, where attendance is restricted due to applicable state or federal law.
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5.5 Ethics and [Elimination of Bias] Access to Justice.
(a) In order to be accredited as an activity in legal ethics for purposes of Rule 3.2(b), an activity shall be devoted to the study of judicial or legal ethics or professionalism, and shall include discussion of applicable judicial conduct codes, disciplinary rules, or statements of professionalism. Of the six hours of ethics credit required by Rule 3.2(b), one hour must be on the subject of a lawyer’s statutory duty to report child abuse (see ORS 9.114).
(b) In order to be accredited as an activity pertaining to [the elimination of bias] access to justice for purposes of Rule 3.2 (b c), an activity shall be directly related to the practice of law and designed to educate attorneys to identify and eliminate from the legal profession and from the practice of law barriers to access to justice arising from [,] biases against persons because of race, gender, economic status, creed, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation.
(c) Portions of activities may be accredited for purposes of satisfying the ethics and [elimination of bias] access to justice requirements of Rule 3.2, if the applicable content of the activity is clearly defined.
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DATED this 20th day of March, 2008.
Paul J. De Muniz