IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
STATE OF OREGON
|In the matter of||)||ORDER NO. 00-082|
|Amendments to the||)|
|Legal Education (MCLE)||)||TO MCLE RULES|
|Rules||)||1 THROUGH 9|
Pursuant to ORS 9.112 and MCLE Rule 2.1, the Board of Governors of the Oregon State Bar submitted for the court's review and approval proposed amendments to the MCLE Rules. At its public meeting on December 5, 2000, the court reviewed and approved, without modification, each of the proposed amendments, except the proposed amendment to Rule 3.3 (education in legal ethics). The court referred the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.3 to the Board of Governors for further discussion.
At its December 19, 2000, public meeting, the court reconsidered its decision to approve the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.2(b) (requirements for reinstated and new members). The amendment to MCLE Rule 3.2(b) would have conformed the wording of that rule to the wording of the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.3. In light of the court's prior decision not to approve the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.3, on reconsideration, the court declined to approve the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.2(b).
IT HEREBY IS ORDERED that the MCLE Rules are amended, as set out below, effective January 1, 2001 (new material in boldface; deleted material in brackets and italics), the proposed amendments to MCLE Rules 3.2(b) and 3.3 are not approved, and the proposed amendment to MCLE Rule 3.3 is referred to the Board of Governors for further discussion.
Terms and Definitions
1.1 Active Member: An active member of the Oregon State Bar, as defined in Article 3 of the Bylaws of the Oregon State Bar.
1.2 Accreditation: The formal process of accreditation of sponsors or activities by the MCLE Administrator.
1.3 Accredited Sponsor: A sponsor [which] that has been accredited by the MCLE Administrator.
1.4 BOG: The Board of Governors of the Oregon State Bar.
1.5 CLE Activity: An activity [which] that provides legal or professional education to attorneys in accordance with MCLE Rule 5.
1.6 Executive Director: The executive director of the Oregon State Bar.
1.7 Hour or Credit Hour: Sixty minutes of accredited group CLE activity or other CLE activity.
1.8 MCLE Committee: The Minimum Continuing Legal Education Committee appointed by the BOG to assist in the administration of these Rules.
1.9 New Admittee: A person is a new admittee from the date of initial admission as an active member of the Oregon State Bar through the end of his or her first reporting period.
1.10 Regulations: Any regulation adopted by the BOG to implement these Rules.
1.11 Reporting Period: The period during which an active member must satisfy the MCLE requirement.
1.12 Retired Member: An active member who is over 65 years old and is fully retired from the practice of law.
1.13 Sponsor: An individual or organization providing a CLE activity.
1.14 Supreme Court: The Supreme Court of the State of Oregon.
Minimum Continuing Legal Education
2.1 Duties and Responsibilities of the Board of Governors. The Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules shall be administered by the BOG. The BOG may modify and amend these Rules and adopt new rules subject to the approval of the Supreme Court. The BOG may adopt, modify and amend regulations to implement these Rules. The BOG may appoint an MCLE Committee to assist in the administration of these rules. There shall be an MCLE Administrator who shall be an employee of the Oregon State Bar [, and a program advisory committee which shall be a standing committee of the BOG (the MCLE Committee), which shall consist of six active members and one public member appointed by the BOG].
[2.2 Duties and Responsibilities of the MCLE Committee.
(a) Review, analyze and recommend to the MCLE Administrator and the BOG changes to the MCLE Rules and Regulations as appropriate to meet program goals.
(b) Recommend filing, accreditation, or reinstatement fees as deemed necessary to assist in the administration of these MCLE Rules, for approval by the BOG.
(c) Identify and recommend for BOG approval appropriate reciprocity agreements with other CLE accreditation bodies.
(d) Prepare an annual report of MCLE activities.]
2.2 Duties of the MCLE Administrator. The MCLE Administrator shall:
(a) Oversee the day-to-day operation of the program as specified in these Rules.
(b) Approve applications for accreditation and requests for exemption, and make compliance determinations.
(c) Develop the preliminary annual budget for MCLE operations.
([d]e) Perform [O]other duties identified by the BOG or as required to implement these Rules.
[(a) Staff and Budget.] The executive director shall allocate and shall pay the expenses of the program including, but not limited to staff salaries, out of the bar's general fund.
[(b) Committee Members. The committee shall not incur or become liable for any expense including travel unless a request has been addressed to the president of the BOG, through the office of the executive director, and authorization for such expense has been granted by either the president or the executive director prior to the time liability for the expense is actually incurred. Special consideration will be given to advance requests for meeting room charges if bar meeting rooms, or other "no charge" meetings rooms, are not available.]
Minimum Continuing Legal Education
3.1 Effective Date. These Rules, or any amendments thereto, shall take effect upon their approval by the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon.
(a) In General. Except as provided in Rule 3.2(b), (c), [and] (d) and (e), all active members shall complete 45 credit hours of accredited CLE activity every three years as provided in these Rules.
(b) Reinstatements and New Admittees. An active member whose reporting period is established in Rule 3.5(b), 3.5(c)(2) or 3.5(d) shall complete 15 credit hours of accredited CLE activity, 2 credit hours of which shall be devoted to legal ethics, in the first reporting period after reinstatement, admission as an active member, or resumption of the practice of law. Thereafter the requirement in Rule 3.2(a) shall apply.
(c) Retired Members. A [R]retired member[s] shall be exempt from compliance with these Rules, provided the member files a compliance report for [the] any reporting period during which the exemption is [first] claimed certifying that the member was or became retired during the reporting period. [No subsequent compliance report shall be required so long as such member is retired. Such retired member's compliance report in which exemption is claimed shall certify such member was or became retired during the reporting period. No] A retired member shall not resume the practice of law, either on a full or part-time basis, without prior written notice to the MCLE Administrator.
(d) Out-of-State Compliance. An active member whose principal office for the practice of law is not in the State of Oregon may comply with these rules by filing a compliance report as required by MCLE Rule 7.1 in which the member certifies that the member is subject to MCLE requirements in another jurisdiction and that the member has complied with the MCLE requirement of that jurisdiction during the member's reporting period, provided the MCLE Administrator has determined that the requirements established by these rules are substantially met by the requirements of the other jurisdiction.
(e) Active Retired and Active Emeritus Members. Members who are in Active Retired or Active Emeritus status pursuant to BOG Policy 15.700 are exempt from compliance with these Rules.
3.3 Ethics. At least six of the 45 credit hour requirement shall be devoted to accredited CLE activities in legal ethics. This requirement shall be prorated for any active members who have a reporting period of less than three years. For reporting periods ending December 31, 2000 and thereafter, one ethics credit hour in each reporting period shall be on the subject of a lawyer's statutory child abuse reporting obligation.
3.4 Practical Skills. Except as provided herein, all new admittees shall [participate in an accredited practical skills program] complete at least 10 hours of practical skills credits in accredited programs by the end of their first reporting period. [MCLE credit shall be allowed for participation in such a program.] 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.
3.5 Reporting Period.
(a) In General. All active members shall have three-year reporting periods, except as provided in Rule 3.5(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 [one year after the start of the next reporting period following admission] on December 31 of the next calendar year. All subsequent reporting periods shall be three years.
(1) A[n] [attorney] member who [is voluntarily or involuntarily transferred from active status or is] transfers to inactive status, is suspended [, disbarred] or has resigned and who is [becomes] reinstated before the end of the reporting period in effect at the time of the [transfer, suspension, disbarment or resignation] status change shall retain [his or her] the member's original reporting period and these Rules shall be applied as though the transfer, suspension [, disbarment] or resignation had not occurred.
(2) Except as provided in Rule 3.5(c)(1), the first reporting period for [an attorney] a member who is reinstated as an active member following a [voluntary or involuntary] transfer [from active] to inactive status or a suspension, disbarment or resignation shall start on the date of reinstatement and shall end [one year after the start of the next reporting period following reinstatement] 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 [such] the member's retirement shall retain [his or her] 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 3.5(d)(1), the first reporting period for a retired member who resumes the practice of law [following retirement] shall start on the date [of such resumption] the member resumes the practice of law and shall end [one year after the start of the next reporting period following resumption] on December 31 of the next calendar year. All subsequent reporting periods shall be three years.
4.1 In General.
(a) In order to qualify as an accredited CLE activity, the activity:
(1) Must be given activity accreditation by the MCLE Administrator, or
(2) Must be an activity that would qualify as an accredited CLE activity and that is presented or co-presented by an accredited sponsor, or
(3) Must be accredited pursuant to MCLE Rule 4.6 or pursuant to a reciprocity agreement to which the Oregon State Bar is a party. An accredited CLE activity may take place outside Oregon.
(b) The MCLE Administrator shall periodically publish a list of accredited sponsors and accredited programs.
(c) All sponsors shall permit the MCLE Administrator or a member of the MCLE Committee to audit the sponsors' CLE activities without charge for purposes of monitoring compliance with MCLE requirements. Monitoring may include attending CLE activities, conducting surveys of participants and verifying attendance of registrants.
4.2 Sponsor Accreditation.
(a) Subject to the provisions of Rule 4.2(c), CLE activities presented by accredited sponsors are automatically accredited. Accredited sponsors are exempt from the activity accreditation application requirements in Rule 4.3(d).
(b) A sponsor wishing to qualify as an accredited sponsor shall submit an application to the MCLE Administrator containing the information required by these Rules. In determining whether to grant accreditation, the MCLE Administrator shall consider the sponsor's past and present ability and willingness to present CLE activities in compliance with the accreditation standards listed in these Rules.
(c) Accredited sponsors shall:
(1) Assign the number of credit hours to be allowed for participation in each of their CLE activities, in compliance with these Rules and any Regulations adopted by the BOG.
(2) Pay to the bar [a] the program sponsor fee [of $35.00] required by MCLE Regulation 4.350 for each of its CLE activities, which must [to] be paid prior to each CLE activity. An additional program sponsor fee [paid to the bar] is required prior to any repeat live, video or audio presentation of a CLE activity [is required].
(3) Submit reports and information that may be required by these Rules.
(4) Comply with all of the accreditation standards contained in these Rules.
(d) The MCLE Administrator [shall monitor the CLE activities and reports of accredited sponsors and] may revoke the accredited status of any sponsor that fails to comply with the requirements and accreditation standards of these Rules and any Regulations adopted by the BOG. The MCLE Administrator shall give 28 days' notice of such revocation. Following the expiration of the notice period, that sponsor shall be required to apply for accreditation of each of its CLE activities as provided in Rule 4.3 of these Rules. Review of the MCLE Administrator's revocation shall be pursuant to Rule 8.1 and Regulation 8.100.
(e) The automatic accreditation given to CLE activities presented or co-presented by accredited sponsors applies only to activities that comply with the accreditation standards contained in these Rules and any Regulations adopted by the BOG.
4.3 Group Activity Accreditation.
(a) CLE activities not presented by accredited sponsors shall be considered for accreditation on a case-by-case basis and shall satisfy the accreditation standards listed in these Rules for the particular type of activity for which accreditation is being requested.
(b) A sponsor or individual active member may apply for accreditation of a CLE activity by filing a written application for accreditation with the MCLE Administrator. The application shall be made on the form required by the MCLE Administrator for the particular type of CLE activity for which accreditation is being requested and shall demonstrate compliance with the accreditation standards contained in these Rules.
(c) A written application for accreditation of a group CLE activity submitted by or on behalf of the sponsor of the CLE activity shall be accompanied by [a] the program sponsor fee [of $35.00] required by MCLE Regulation 4.350. An additional program sponsor fee is required for a repeat live, video or audio presentation of a CLE activity. [No program sponsor fee is required when an individual active member submits on the member's own behalf a written application for accreditation of a CLE activity.]
(d) A written application for accreditation of a group CLE activity [submitted by or on behalf of the sponsor of the CLE activity shall] must be filed either before or no later than  30 days after the completion of the activity. An application received more than 30 days after the completion of the activity is subject to a late processing fee as provided in Regulation 4.350. [An application that is filed after the expiration of this time limit may be rejected by the MCLE Administrator.]
(e) Applications for accreditation shall be deemed approved unless the MCLE Administrator, within 14 days after receipt of the application, sends a notice that the application is questioned. The [sponsor] applicant shall have 14 days to respond to the MCLE Administrator's questions and the MCLE Administrator shall make a determination as to the accreditation within 21 days after receiving the sponsor's response.
(f) The MCLE Administrator may revoke the accreditation of an activity at any time if it determines that the accreditation standards were not met for the activity. Notice of revocation shall be sent to the sponsor of the activity.
(g) Accreditation of a CLE activity obtained by a sponsor or an active member shall apply for all active members participating in the activity.
4.4 Credit Hours. Credit hours, whether determined by an accredited sponsor or by the MCLE Administrator, shall be assigned in multiples of [one-half] one-quarter of an [credit] hour. The BOG shall adopt regulations to assist sponsors in determining the appropriate number of credit hours to be assigned.
4.5 Sponsor Advertising.
(a) Only sponsors of accredited CLE activities may include in their advertising the accredited status of the activity and the credit hours assigned.
(b) Specific language and other advertising requirements may be established in regulations adopted by the BOG.
4.6 Reciprocal Accreditation.
(a) Group CLE activities taking place outside of Oregon may be accredited in Oregon provided:
(1) The jurisdiction in which the activity takes place has a MCLE program and MCLE accreditation standards substantially similar to those established by these Rules; and
(2) The activity has been accredited by the body administering the MCLE program in the jurisdiction in which the activity takes place.
(b) For the purposes of accreditation in Oregon, the MCLE Administrator may assign a number of credits attributable to the activity taking place outside Oregon in an amount different from the original amount attributed to the activity by the jurisdiction in which the activity takes place.
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 professional responsibility; 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 [use in a group setting] presentation to multiple participants, including but not limited to live programs, [and] 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[; and]
[(6) The activity must be conducted in a comfortable physical setting, conducive to learning].
5.2 Other CLE Activities.
(a) Teaching CLE Activities.
(1) Teaching CLE activities may be accredited at a ratio of one credit hour for each sixty minutes of actual instruction.
(2) Repeat presentations shall not be accredited. However, accreditation may be given for presentations involving a substantial update of previously presented material, as determined by the MCLE Administrator. Updated presentations satisfying this requirement may be accredited at a ratio of one credit hour for each sixty minutes of actual instruction.
(b) Teaching Law School Courses.
(1) Teaching a course in an ABA or AALS accredited law school may be accredited at a ratio of one credit hour for each sixty minutes of actual instruction. Accreditation shall not be given [for] to an active member whose primary employment is as a full-time or part-time law teacher, but may be given [for] active members who are teaching on a part-time basis in addition to their primary employment.
(2) Repeats of previously accredited courses shall not be accredited. However, credit may be allowed for teaching a course involving a substantial update of previously presented material, as determined by the MCLE Administrator. Updated courses satisfying this requirement may be accredited at a ratio of one credit hour for each sixty minutes of actual instruction.
(c) Service as a Bar Examiner. Service as a bar examiner for Oregon may be accredited, provided that the service includes personally writing [and] or grading a question for the Oregon bar exam during the reporting period. [Such service may be accredited for six (6) credit hours per question.] Up to six (6) credit hours may be earned for writing and grading a question, and up to three (3) credit hours may be earned for grading a question.
(d) Legal Research and Writing.
(1) Legal research and writing activities may be accredited provided the activity satisfies the following criteria:
(i) It has [produced] been published [findings]] in the form of articles, CLE course materials, chapters, or books, or issued as a final product of the Legal Ethics Committee, personally authored or edited in whole or in substantial part, by the applicant; and
(ii) It contributes substantially to the legal education of the applicant and other attorneys; and
(iii) It is not done in the regular course of the active member's primary employment.
(2) The number of credit hours shall be determined by the MCLE Administrator, [and shall be] based on [the limitation set forth in Rule 6.2, the hours of preparation and] the contribution of the written materials to the professional competency of the applicant and other attorneys. One hour of credit will be granted for each sixty minutes of research and writing, but no credit shall be granted for time spent on editing.
(e) Legal Ethics Service. [Two legal ethics credit hours per year for each twelve months of service toward meeting the legal ethics requirement shall be given for service] A member serving on the Oregon State Bar Legal Ethics Committee, Client Security Fund Committee, Commission on Judicial Fitness & Disability, Local Professional Responsibility Committees, State Professional Responsibility Board, and Disciplinary Board, [and for active participation] or serving as volunteer bar counsel in Oregon disciplinary proceedings may earn two legal ethics credits for each twelve months of service.
(f) Legislative Service. Two general credit hours per month shall be given for each full month of service as a member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly while it is in session.
(g) A member seeking credit for any of the activities described in Rule 5.2 must submit a written application on the form designated by the MCLE Administrator for Other CLE Activities.
5.3 Other Professionals. Notwithstanding the requirements of Rule 5.1(b) and (c), participation in an educational activity offered primarily to or by other professionals may be accredited as a CLE activity. However, the MCLE Administrator shall evaluate carefully the content of the activity for compliance with other MCLE accreditation standards. The MCLE Administrator may accredit the activity for less than the total classroom hours being presented if the MCLE Administrator determines that the subject matter is not sufficient to justify full accreditation.
5.4 Attending Law School Classes. Attending a class at an ABA or AALS accredited law school may be accredited as a CLE activity.
5.5 Legal Ethics.
(a) In order to be accredited as a legal ethics activity, an activity shall be devoted to the study [area] of judicial or legal ethics and professional responsibility or professionalism, and shall include discussion of applicable judicial conduct codes, disciplinary rules, or statements of professionalism.
(b) Portions of activities also may be accredited for purposes of satisfying the legal ethics requirement, if the ethics content of the activity is clearly defined.
5.6 Personal Management Assistance. Activities that deal with personal self-improvement may be accredited, provided the MCLE Administrator determines the self-improvement relates to professional competence as a lawyer.
5. 7 Unaccredited Activities. The following activities shall not be accredited:
(a) Activities that would be characterized as dealing primarily with personal self-improvement unrelated to professional competence as a lawyer; and
(b) Activities designed primarily to sell services or equipment [, to enhance law office profits or to generate revenue for the lawyer]; and
(c) Video or audio presentations of a CLE activity originally conducted more than five years prior to the date viewed or heard by the member seeking credit, unless it can be shown by the member that the activity has current educational value.
(d) Repeat live, video or audio presentations of a CLE activity for which the active member has already obtained MCLE credit in the same reporting period.
6.1 In General.
(a) Credit shall be allowed only for CLE activities that are accredited as provided in these Rules, and substantial participation by the active member is required. The MCLE Administrator may allow partial credit for completion of designated portions of a CLE activity.
[(b) Credit shall be allocated in multiples of one-half of a credit hour.]
([c] b) Except as provided in Rule 6.1(d), credit for a particular reporting period shall be allowed only for activities participated in during that reporting period.
([d] c) An active member may carry forward 15 or fewer unused credit hours from the reporting period during which the credit hours were earned to the next reporting period.
6.2 Legal Research and Writing Limitation. No more than 15 credit hours shall be allowed for each legal research activity for which credit is sought under MCLE Rule 5.2(d) and no more than 20 hours of legal research and writing credit may be claimed in one three-year reporting period. Not more than 10 hours may be claimed in any shorter reporting period.
6.3 Personal Management Assistance Limitation. No more than 6 credit hours may be claimed in one three-year reporting period and not more than 3 hours may be claimed in a shorter reporting period for personal management assistance activities.
7.1 Reports. Every active member shall file a completed compliance report [with the bar] certifying completion of the member's MCLE requirement, on a form provided by the MCLE Administrator, [not later than 28 days after the end of] on or before 5:00 p.m. on January 31 of the year immediately following the active member's reporting period. [A compliance report shall be deemed completed only if all of the requested information is provided on the report and if that information is accurate.]
(a) Every active member shall maintain records of participation in CLE activities for use in completing a compliance report and shall retain these records for a period of twelve months after the end of the member's reporting period.
(b) The MCLE Administrator is not required to maintain records of active members' participation in CLE activities, except as necessary to verify compliance with the MCLE requirement.
(a) The MCLE Administrator may [conduct routine] audit[s of] compliance reports [filed pursuant to Rule 7.1] selected because of facial defects or by random selection or other appropriate method.
(b) For the purpose of conducting audits, [T]the MCLE Administrator may request and review records of participation in CLE activities reported by active members.
(c) Failure to substantiate participation in CLE activities in accordance with applicable rules and regulations after request by the MCLE Administrator shall result in disallowance of credits for the reported activity and assessment of the late filing fee specified in 7.5(f).
(d) The MCLE Administrator shall refer active members to the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Counsel for further action where questions of dishonesty in reporting occur.
(a) Grounds. The following are considered grounds for a finding of non-compliance with these Rules:
(1) Failure to complete the MCLE requirement for the applicable reporting period.
(2) Failure to file a completed compliance report on time.
(3) Failure to provide sufficient records of participation in CLE activities to substantiate credits reported, after request by the MCLE Administrator.
(b) Notice. In the event of a finding of noncompliance, the MCLE Administrator shall serve, by certified mail, a written notice of noncompliance on the affected active member. The notice shall state the nature of the noncompliance and shall summarize the applicable rules regarding noncompliance and its consequences.
(a) Noncompliance for failure to file a completed compliance report by the due date can be cured by filing the completed report demonstrating completion of the MCLE requirement during the applicable reporting period, together with the late [filing] fee specified in [Rule 7.5(f) of these Rules] MCLE Regulation 7.200, within 63 days following mailing of the notice of noncompliance.
(b) Noncompliance for failure to complete the MCLE requirement during the applicable reporting period can be cured by doing the following within 63 days following mailing of the notice of noncompliance:
(1) Completing the credit hours necessary to satisfy the MCLE requirement for the applicable reporting period;
(2) Filing the completed compliance report; and
(3) Paying the late filing fee specified in [Rule 7.5(f)] MCLE Regulation 7.200.
(c) Noncompliance for failure to provide the MCLE Administrator with sufficient records of participation in CLE activities to substantiate credits reported can be cured by providing the MCLE Administrator with sufficient records within the time established by the MCLE Administrator and paying the late [filing] fee specified in [Rule 7.5(f)] MCLE Regulation 7.200.
(d) Credit hours applied to a previous reporting period for the purpose of curing noncompliance as provided in Rule 7.5(b) may only be used for that purpose and may not be used to satisfy the MCLE requirement for any other reporting period.
(e) When it is determined that the noncompliance has been cured, the MCLE Administrator shall notify the affected active member that he or she has complied with the MCLE requirement for the applicable reporting period.
[(f) The late filing fee referred to in these Rules is $150. A member in noncompliance for a second consecutive reporting period shall be assessed a late filing fee of $300.]
7.6 Suspension. If the noncompliance is not cured within the deadline specified in Rule 7.5, the MCLE Administrator shall recommend to the Supreme Court that the affected active member be suspended from membership in the bar.
Review and Enforcement
(a) Decisions of the MCLE Administrator. A decision, other than a suspension recommended pursuant to Rule 7.6, affecting any active member or sponsor is final unless a request for review [by the MCLE Committee] is filed with the MCLE Administrator within 21 days after notice of the decision is mailed. The request for review may be by letter and requires no special form, but it shall state the decision to be reviewed and give the reasons for review. The matter shall be reviewed by the BOG or, if one has been appointed, the MCLE Committee, at its next regular meeting. An active member or sponsor shall have the right, upon request, to be heard, and any such hearing request shall be made in the initial letter. The hearing shall be informal. On review, the BOG or the MCLE Committee shall have authority to take whatever action consistent with these rules is deemed proper. [Upon review, the] The MCLE [Committee] Administrator shall [issue a written] notify the member or sponsor in writing of the decision on review and the reasons therefor. [have authority to take whatever action consistent with these rules it deems proper.]
(b) Decisions of the MCLE Committee. If a decision of the MCLE Administrator is initially reviewed by the MCLE Committee, [A] the decision of the MCLE Committee may be reviewed by the BOG on written request of the affected active member or sponsor made within 21 days of the issuance of the MCLE Committee's decision. The decision of the BOG shall be final.
(c) Suspension Recommendation of the MCLE Administrator. A recommendation for suspension pursuant to Rule 7.6 shall be subject to the following procedures:
(1) [Within 14 days after] A copy of the MCLE Administrator's recommendation to the Supreme Court that a member be suspended from membership in the bar [is mailed to the Supreme Court and served by certified mail upon] shall be sent by certified mail to the member. Within 14 days of the date of the mailing, [a] the member recommended for suspension may file with the State Court Administrator and the MCLE Administrator a petition for review of the recommended suspension. The petition shall set forth a concise statement of each reason asserted for review of the MCLE Administrator's recommendation and may be accompanied by one or more supporting affidavits.
(2) Within 14 days after a petition for review is filed by a member recommended for suspension, the MCLE Administrator shall file with the State Court Administrator a response and may submit one or more supporting affidavits. Further submissions by the parties shall not be allowed unless the court so requests.
(3) The court may review the MCLE Administrator's recommendation, petition for review and response without further briefing or oral argument. The court may, however, request either further briefing or oral argument, or both. Thereafter, the court shall enter its order. If the court approves the recommendation of the MCLE Administrator, an effective date for the member's suspension shall be stated therein.
8.2 Reinstatement. An active member suspended for noncompliance with the MCLE requirement shall be reinstated only upon completion of the MCLE requirement, submission of a completed compliance report to the bar, payment of the late filing and reinstatement fees, and compliance with the applicable provisions of the Rules of Procedure.
[Hardship] Waivers and Exemptions
[Active members or sponsors who have a hardship or other extenuating circumstance that makes compliance with any of the requirements of these Rules, including fees, impossible or inordinately difficult may file a written request for substituted compliance, partial waiver, or other exemption, which may be granted by the MCLE Administrator.] Upon written request of a member or sponsor, the MCLE Administrator may waive in full or part, grant exemption from or permit substitute compliance with any requirement of these Rules upon a finding that hardship or other special circumstances makes compliance impossible or inordinately difficult, or upon a finding that the requested waiver, exemption or substitute compliance is not inconsistent with the purposes of these Rules. The [application] request shall state the reason for the [request] waiver or exemption and shall [set out] describe a continuing legal education plan[s] tailored to the particular circumstances of the [applicant] requestor.
DATED THIS 28th day of December, 2000.
Wallace P. Carson, Jr.