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2010-08-05-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

In re: Amendments to the Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Legal
Education for Judges and Active Members of the South Carolina Bar


ORDER


The South Carolina Bar has proposed amending the Regulations for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education in Appendix C to Part IV, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, to provide that lawyers and judges be required to complete continuing legal education courses dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues.  The Bar notes members of the legal profession tend to suffer from higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide than other professions, and the Bar believes such instruction may help lower those rates.

Pursuant to Article V, § 4, of the South Carolina Constitution, we hereby amend Regulation II of Appendix C to Part IV, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, to require that, at least once every three annual reporting periods, attorneys and judges complete one hour of instruction devoted exclusively to substance abuse or mental health issues and the legal profession.

The amendments, which are attached, are effective March 1, 2011, the start of the next annual reporting period.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
August 5, 2010


APPENDIX C

REGULATIONS FOR MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL
EDUCATION FOR JUDGES AND ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE
SOUTH CAROLINA BAR

.     .     .

II. Requirements

A. Active Members of the South Carolina Bar.

1. Except as otherwise provided in Regulation III, each active member of the South Carolina Bar, as defined in the By-Laws of the South Carolina Bar, shall complete a minimum of 14 hours of accredited continuing legal education (CLE) each annual reporting period.

2. At least 2 of the 14 hours shall be devoted to legal ethics/professional responsibility (LEPR). LEPR shall include, but not be limited to, instruction focusing on the Rules of Professional Conduct as they relate to law firm management, malpractice avoidance, lawyer fees, legal ethics, and the duties of lawyers to the judicial system, the public, clients and other lawyers.

3. As part of the legal ethics/professional responsibility (LEPR) requirement set forth in paragraph 2, at least once every three annual reporting periods, each lawyer must complete one hour of LEPR devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse or mental health issues and the legal profession.

4. An active member who accumulates in excess of 14 hours credit in an annual reporting period may carry a maximum of 14 hours forward to the next annual reporting period, of which a maximum of 2 hours may be LEPR credit (earned LEPR credit in excess of the required 2 hours may be applied to CLE requirements and/or carried forward not to exceed the maximum of 14 hours).

B. Judicial Members.

1. Minimum Requirements.

Judicial members specified in Rule 504(a), SCACR, shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited judicial continuing legal education (JCLE) each annual reporting period. JCLE credit accumulated in any annual reporting period in excess of 15 hours may be carried forward to the next annual reporting period; provided, however, that not more than 30 hours credit may be carried forward to the next annual reporting period.  At least once every three annual reporting periods, each judicial member must complete one hour of JCLE devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse or mental health issues and the legal profession.

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