Saturday, February 27, 2010

Maryland Court of Appeals to Consider Mandatory CLE

Stepping outside our usual precincts of judicial opinions, this posting reports on two related developments: the proposal by the Professionalism Commission set up by the Court of Appeals to establish rules for mandatory continuing legal education and the demise of The Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers, Inc. (MICPEL).

The press release by the Court of Appeals on the proposed rule change states that:
The Professionalism Commission, which was set up by the Court of Appeals, is asking the Court to set a minimum annual requirement of 10 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys practicing in the state. The Commission, headed by Court of Appeals Judge Lynne A. Battaglia, also proposes that a Commission on Mandatory Continuing Legal Education be set up to oversee the requirement.
Both of these developments have been the subject of a great deal of discussion on the various MSBA listserves. However, the discussions have been taking place in isolation from one another. That is, there's a business law section discussion, a small and solo section discussion, a litigation section discussion, and so on.

We have posted the news about both the proposed rule change and the demise of MICPEL with the hope that the discussions on the various listserves will be conducted through the comment section of this posting. In other words, the comment section will become a venue for an integrated discussion among lawyers in every practice area.

Update: Paul Carlin, executive director of the MSBA, has released a memorandum on rebuilding the CLE function. In the memorandum, he reports that the MSBA Board of Governors "wants the MSBA to facilitate the provision of quality, cost effective CLE through its Sections." The memorandum also states that the MSBA is attempting to place many MICPEL publications online with free access.

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