Florida Bar’s Board of Governors approves increase in CLE hours and revision to the comment to Rule 4-1.1 to require technology competence
Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert which will discuss the recentapproval by The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors of amendments to the rules related to technology and increasing the required CLE from 30 to 33 hours, with 3 hours of technology.
The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors (BOG) met on July 24, 2015 and approved a proposed amendment to the Bar Rule 6-10.3, minimum continuing legal education standards, which would increase the minimum CLE requirements from 30 to 33 hours and also require 3 CLE hours in, inter alia, technology related education for each three year cycle. The proposed amendment would maintain the 5 hour minimum requirement for legal ethics, professionalism, bias elimination, substance abuse, or mental illness. The BOG also approved an amendment to the Comment to Bar Rule 4-1.1 of the Florida Bar rules to emphasize that a lawyer must be competent in the use of technology (or hire someone who is), and understand of the risks and benefits associated with the use of technology.
The approved rule amendments will be submitted in an omnibus petition to amend The Florida Bar Rules, which will be filed with the Florida Supreme Court in the fall of 2016. Florida lawyers will be solicited to comment on the revisions and those comments will be sent to the Florida Supreme Court with the proposed rule amendments.
Bottom line: If the rule amendment is approved by the Supreme Court, the minimum CLE hours required of Florida lawyers will increase from 30 to 33 hours every three (3) years, with 3 hours of technology related CLE. The comment to Rule 4-1.1 will also put lawyers on notice that they must be competent in the use of technology (or hire someone who is).
Be careful out there.
As always, if you have any questions about this Ethics Alert or need assistance, analysis, and guidance regarding these or any other ethics, risk management, or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
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