For immediate release: Oct. 8, 2009
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
Supreme Court Seeks Comment on Proposed Change to Continuing Legal Education Requirements for New Jersey Attorneys
The New Jersey Supreme Court is seeking public comment on proposed Court Rule 1:42, which sets forth the requirements for continuing legal education for New Jersey attorneys, Mark Neary, clerk of the Supreme Court, announced today.
In conjunction with the proposed court rule, the Court has issued an Administrative Determination regarding the continuing legal education requirement. Both the proposed court rule and the determination are the result of recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Continuing Legal Education. Retired Associate Justice Peter G. Verniero served as chair of the committee, and retired Assignment Judge Arthur N. D’Italia served as vice chair.
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said, “We are grateful to the members of the committee for their thorough and thoughtful work on this topic. We also want to express our appreciation to Justice Verniero, whose leadership and dedication were critical to the success of the committee’s efforts. Our goal is to implement a meaningful system of continuing legal education that will enable attorneys to learn about developments in the law, in order to help maintain the high quality of the legal profession in our state.”
Under the proposed plan, as of Jan. 1, 2010, all New Jersey attorneys would be required to take 24 hours of continuing legal education every two years, including at least four hours on topics related to ethics or professionalism. The requirement could be satisfied by attending classes or using other media such as videorecording, videoconferencing or online programs. New Jersey attorneys would receive reciprocal credit for meeting equivalent legal education requirements in other states.
Continuing legal education would be required for all New Jersey attorneys, including judges, law clerks and in-house counsel. Currently, only new attorneys and those seeking designation as certified attorneys in specific areas of practice are required to take coursework beyond law school.
Attorneys would be responsible for verifying that they have met the requirements for continuing their legal education. A random audit system will help ensure compliance.
Those seeking to comment must do so, in writing, by Monday, Nov. 9, to the following address:
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Comments on Proposed New CLE Rule
Hughes Justice Complex
P.O. Box 037
Trenton, NJ 08625-0037
As an alternative, comments also can be submitted via e-mail to Comments.Mailbox@njcourts.gov.
The Supreme Court will not consider comments submitted anonymously. Comments will be publicly available after the court has acted on the proposed court rule.
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