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The Board of Governors of The Florida Bar gives notice of filing with the Supreme Court of Florida, on or about July 1, 2024, a petition to amend the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. The full text of the proposed amendments are below and may be requested by contacting Kelly N. Smith at [email protected]. Members who desire to comment on these proposed amendments may do so within 30 days of the filing of the Bar’s petition. Comments must be filed directly with the clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, and a copy must be served on the executive director of The Florida Bar. Rule 1-12.1, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, governs these proceedings.

RULES REGULATING THE FLORIDA BAR

CHAPTER 6 LEGAL SPECIALIZATION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS

RULE 6-10.3 MINIMUM CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION STANDARDS

(a)  Applicability.  Every member must comply and report compliance with the continuing legal education requirement except those exempt under subdivision (c) of this rule.  Members must apply for and receive approval by the bar of an exemption from compliance and reporting of continuing legal education under subdivisions (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this rule.  Members described in subdivisions (c)(4) through (c)(6) of this rule are automatically exempt from compliance and reporting of continuing legal education.

(b)  Minimum Hourly Continuing Legal Education Requirements.  Every member must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved continuing legal education activity every 3 years.  At least 3 of the 30 credit hours must be in approved technology programscourses.  At least 5 of the 30 credit hours must be in approved legal ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental health and wellness programscourses; as part of the 5 credit hours, each member must complete, during each reporting cycle, the 2-credit hour Florida Legal Professionalism course produced by The Florida Bar and approved by the Supreme Court of Florida. If a member completes more than 30 credit hours during any reporting cycle, the excess credits cannot be carried over to the next reporting cycle.

(c)  Exemptions.  Eligibility for an exemption, under policies adopted under this rule, is available for:

(1) Automatic Exemption.  The following are automatically exempt from continuing legal education requirements without application:

(A)  members of the full-time federal judiciary who are prohibited from engaging in the private practice of law;

(B)  justices of the Supreme Court of Florida; judges of the district courts of appeal, circuit courts, and county courts; and other judicial officers and employees as designated by the Supreme Court of Florida; and

(C)  inactive Florida Bar members.

(2) Application for Exemption.  A Florida Bar member may apply for and be granted an exemption from compliance and reporting of continuing legal education for:

(1A)  active military service;

(2B)  undue hardship; or

(3Cnonresident membersresiding outside the state of Florida and not delivering legal services or advice on matters or issues governed by Florida law while a nonresident;

(4)  members of the full-time federal judiciary who are prohibited from engaging in the private practice of law;

(5)  justices of the Supreme Court of Florida and judges of the district courts of appeal, circuit courts, and county courts, and other judicial officers and employees as designated by the Supreme Court of Florida; and,

(6)  inactive members of The Florida Bar.

(d)  Course Approval.  Course approval is set forth in policies adopted under this rule.  Courses sponsored by governmental agencies for employee lawyers are exempt from any course approval fee and may exempt these courses from other requirements under policies adopted by the board of legal specialization and education. The board of legal specialization and education may not approve any course submitted by a sponsor, including a section of The Florida Bar, that uses quotas based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation in the selection of course faculty or participants.

(e)  Accreditation of Hours.  Accreditation standards are set forth in the policies adopted under this rule.  Any course presented, sponsored, or approved for credit by an organized integrated or voluntary state bar is deemed an approved course for purposes of this rule if the course meets the criteria for accreditation established by policies adopted under this rule.

(f)  Full-time Government Employees.  Credit hours will be given to full-time government employees for courses presented by governmental agencies.  Application for credit approval may be submitted by the full-time government lawyer before or after attendance without charge.

(g)  Skills Training Preadmission.  The board of legal specialization and education may approve for CLER credit a basicskills or entrylevel training programcourse developed and presented by a governmental entity for continuing legal education requirement credit.  Credit earned through attendance at an approved course developed and presented by a governmental entity is applicable under subdivision (b) of this rule if taken within 12 months prior tobefore admission to The Florida Bar.

(h) Pro Bono Service Credit. A member may receive 1 general credit hour for every 4 hours of pro bono service as defined in these rules, not to exceed 5 credit hours during a 3-year reporting cycle.  Credit will not be awarded for monetary donations.

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