Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Court Seeks Public Comment on Proposed CLE Changes

The Supreme Court of Ohio will accept public comment until April 21 on proposed amendments to Rule X of the Rules of the Government of the Bar of Ohio regarding continuing legal education (CLE) regulations.

The recommended changes address technological advances with CLE and aim to resolve certain procedural conflicts since the last major revisions to this rule in 2014.

The proposals from the Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Services and the Commission on Continuing Legal Education include two major revisions – remove the CLE self-study limit for attorneys and allowing CLE credit for training and service as a poll worker in Ohio.

Under current rules, attorneys are required to take 24 hours of CLE every two years, to stay abreast of the latest legal issues. There is a limit on how much is allowed to be self-study. That limit has been waived for three consecutive CLE compliance periods due to limited in-person programming as result of the pandemic.

To help fill that gap, more than 20,000 self-study programs have been developed and approved annually by the CLE commission since 2020. The technology has advanced and become accepted in the legal community that allows participation and verification without in-person attendance. A commission survey about the self-study limit received responses from more than 10,000 active Ohio attorneys who overwhelmingly preferred no self-study cap.

The Court has issued temporary orders for attorneys who serve as poll workers for four consecutive elections to help offset the loss of long-time precinct worker shortfalls because of the pandemic. In 2020, 1,110 attorneys received CLE for their service during the November general election.

Judges and magistrates are exempted from both recommendations. Rule 3.4 in the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct does not allow judicial officers to participate as precinct election officials. And the Court’s Judicial College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to keep the self-study cap for judges and magistrates, stressing the value of in-person education which allows formal and informal learning from peers in other courts.

Among the other proposed rule changes are authorizing the CLE commission to issue sanctions against new judges and magistrates for failure to complete orientation requirements, and exempting lawyers suspended for attorney registration issues from CLE requirements while under an administrative suspension.

Public comments should be submitted in writing or via email by April 21 to:
Gina Palmer
Attorney Services Director
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 S. Front St., Fifth Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3431