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2008-08-22-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In re: Amendments to the Regulations for the Standards and Procedures for
Certification, Recertification, and Decertification
in Specialty Fields


ORDER


The Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has proposed amending Appendix E to Part IV, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. The Commission seeks amendments to the portion of regulations in Appendix E which govern the standards and procedures for certification, recertification, and decertification of specialists in three fields: (1) Employment and Labor Law; (2) Estate Planning and Probate Law; and (3) Taxation Law.

Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, we hereby amend Appendix E to Part IV, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, in accordance with the Commission's request, as reflected in the attachment to this Order. The amendments: (1) allow an applicant seeking to become a specialist in Employment and Labor Law to submit as references the names of hearing officers, arbitrators, and mediators, in addition to federal judges, federal magistrates, and federal administrative law judges; (2) increase the portion of practice an Employment and Labor Law specialist must devote to employment and labor law issues; and (3) increase the number of specialty continuing legal education hours specialists in Employment and Labor Law, Estate Planning and Probate Law, and Taxation Law must complete during each annual reporting period to apply for certification and/or recertification. The Court has made several formatting changes to the Commission's proposal. Additionally, the Court has changed the word "year" to "annual reporting period," where relevant, in order to be consistent with the current reporting period for continuing legal education hours, which runs from March 1 through the last day in February.

The amendments are effective immediately.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/John H. Waller, Jr.                           J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

Columbia, South Carolina
August 22, 2008


APPENDIX E
REGULATIONS FOR SPECIALTY FIELDS

.     .     .

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW SPECIALIZATION ADVISORY BOARD

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR CERTIFICATION, RECERTIFICATION, AND DECERTIFICATION

.     .     .

I. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS AND DEFINITIONS

.     .     .

K. Applicants shall submit the names and addresses of two (2) or more federal judges or federal administrative law judges, hearing officers, arbitrators, or mediators before whom they have appeared or practiced.  At least one (1) reference from a federal judge or U.S. District Court magistrate judge is preferred; however, the other references listed will be acceptable. Additionally, applicants must submit the names and addresses of five (5) lawyers engaged in the "practice of law," as defined in § II A, who are familiar with the applicant’s practice and who are not partners, associates, or members of this Board or the Commission, to be contacted as references to attest to the applicant’s experience, involvement, and competency in the practice of employment and labor law.  At least one (1) of the five (5) lawyers must be an employment and labor law specialist currently certified by the Supreme Court of South Carolina.  The Board may, in its discretion and without notice to an applicant, secure information concerning an applicant’s practice, involvement, experience, and competency in the specialty area from lawyers and judges other than those whose names are submitted by an applicant.

.     .     .

II. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION

.     .     .

B. Substantial Involvement

Applicants must show substantial involvement and special competency in employment and labor law practice during the five (5) years immediately preceding application by providing such information as may be required by the Board.  During each of the five (5) years immediately preceding application, applicants must show:

1. that their time devoted to the practice of employment and labor law as defined herein (see § I G) was not less than 40% of a normal full-time practice of law, and

.     .     .

III. REQUIREMENTS FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION

A. During each annual reporting period, all certified specialists in employment and labor law shall complete not less than twelve (12) hours of approved specialty continuing legal education.  "Approved specialty continuing legal education" means educational activities accredited by the Board for the specialty (see § IV C which requires seventy-five (75) hours of approved CLE for recertification).  Provided, however, that for reporting period 2008-2009, a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of approved specialty credit shall be required and at least nine (9) hours of specialty credit must be completed without regard to carry forward credit from the prior reporting period.

.     .     .     .


APPENDIX E
REGULATIONS FOR SPECIALTY FIELDS

.     .     .

ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE LAW SPECIALIZATION ADVISORY BOARD

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR CERTIFICATION, RECERTIFICATION, AND DECERTIFICATION

.     .     .

III. REQUIREMENTS FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION

A. During each annual reporting period all certified specialists in estate planning and probate law shall complete not less than fifteen (15) hours of approved specialty continuing legal education.  "Approved specialty continuing legal education" means educational activities accredited by the Board for the specialty (see § IV C which requires one hundred (100) hours of CLE credit for recertification).  Provided, however, that for reporting period 2008-2009, a minimum of twelve (12) hours of approved specialty continuing legal education shall be required.

.     .     .

IV. RECERTIFICATION

.    .    .

C. To qualify for recertification, applicants must demonstrate the completion of a minimum of one hundred (100) hours of approved specialty continuing legal education in the five (5) years since their original or latest certification.  Provided, however, that for applications for recertification received prior to January 1, 2011, only ninety (90) hours of approved specialty continuing legal education shall be required.

.     .     .     .    


APPENDIX E
REGULATIONS FOR SPECIALTY FIELDS

.     .     .

TAXATION LAW SPECIALIZATION ADVISORY BOARD

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR CERTIFICATION, RECERTIFICATION, AND DECERTIFICATION

.     .     .

II. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR CERTIFICATION

.     .     .

C. Continuing Legal Education – Minimum Requirements

During each of the five (5) annual reporting periods preceding application for initial certification (or appropriate lesser period if any of the practice or substantial involvement requirements of § II A & B are waived), applicants must have completed not less than fifteen (15) hours of continuing legal education in approved courses or programs dealing with taxation law.  For this purpose "approved courses or programs" shall mean courses/programs accredited by the Board for the taxation law specialty or courses/programs that would qualify for such accreditation.  Provided, however, that for applications for initial certification received prior to January 1, 2010, in the five (5) years preceding application, applicants must have completed at least seventy-five (75) hours of continuing legal education in approved courses or programs dealing with taxation law.

.     .     .     .