WSR 15-23-044
[November 4, 2015]
NO. 25700-A-1130
The Superior Court Judges' Association, having recommended the Proposed Amendments to APR 11Continuing Legal Education, and the Court having considered the amendments and comments submitted thereto;
Now, therefore, it is hereby
(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(g), the proposed amendments as shown below are to be published for comment in the Washington Reports, Washington Register, Washington State Bar Association and Administrative Office of the Court's websites expeditiously.
(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(e), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.
(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by no later than April 30, 2016. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.
DATED at Olympia, Washington this 4th day of November, 2015.
For the Court
Madsen, C.J.
Suggested Amendments APR 11
Submitted by the Superior Court Judges' Association
A. Name of Proponent: Superior Court Judges' Association
B. Spokesperson: Honorable Sam Cozza, Spokane County Superior Court, 1116 W Broadway Ave., Spokane, WA 99260-0350, 509-477-4795,
C. Purpose: Historically judges re-entering the private or governmental practice of law after leaving the Bench have had some challenges getting their judicial education credits quickly and cost-reasonably converted to CLE credits. The suggested amendment to APR 11 permits this transition to occur smoothly and without cost to the former judicial officer. The amendments will:
Give full carryover credit to judges who have excess Continuing Judicial Education Credits (up to 15).
Exempt former judges from having to comply with specific category CLE credits for the first year of Active Practice.
Assure that WSBA will not be able to charge a fee to former judges for the transfer of their carryover CJE credits.
D. Hearing: A hearing is not requested.
E. Expedited Consideration: Expedited consideration is requested. APR 11 is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2016.
F. Supporting Material: None.
APR 11
(a) Purpose. Mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) is intended to enhance lawyers' legal services to their clients and protect the public by assisting lawyers in maintaining and developing their competence as defined in RPC 1.1, fitness to practice as defined in APR 22, and character as defined in APR 21. These rules set forth the minimum continuing legal education requirements for lawyers to accomplish this purpose.
(b) Definitions.
(1) "Activity" means any method by which a lawyer may earn MCLE credits.
(2) "Association" means the Washington State Bar Association.
(3) "Attending" means participating in an approved activity or course.
(4) "Calendar year" means a time period beginning January 1 and ending December 31.
(5) "Identical activity" means any prior course or other activity that has not undergone any substantial or substantive changes since last offered, provided, or undertaken.
(6) "Lawyer" means an active member of the Association, a judicial member of the Association classified as an administrative law judge, and any other lawyer admitted to the limited practice of law in Washington who is required by the Admission and Practice Rules (APR) to comply with this rule.
(7) "Reporting period" means a three-year time period as assigned by the Association in which a lawyer must meet the education requirements of this rule.
(8) "Sponsor" means a provider of continuing legal education activities.
(c) Education Requirements.
(1) Minimum Requirement. Each lawyer must complete 45 credits of approved continuing legal education by December 31 of the last year of the reporting period with the following requirements:
(i) at least 15 credits must be from attending approved courses in the subject of law and legal procedure, as defined in section (f)(1); and
(ii) at least six credits must be in ethics and professional responsibility, as defined in section (f)(2).
(2) Earning Credits. A lawyer earns one credit for each 60 minutes of attending an approved activity. Credits are rounded to the nearest quarter hour. A lawyer may earn no more than eight credits per calendar day. A lawyer cannot receive credit more than once for an identical activity within the same reporting period.
(3) New Lawyers. Newly admitted lawyers are exempt for the calendar year of admission.
(4) Military Personnel. Military personnel in the United States Armed Forces may be granted an exemption, waiver or modification upon proof of undue hardship, which includes deployment outside the United States. A petition shall be filed in accordance with subsection (i)(5) of these rules.
(5) Exemptions. The following are exempt from the requirements of this rule for the reporting period(s) during which the exemption applies:
(i) Judicial Exemption. Judicial members of the Association, except for administrative law judges;
(ii) Supreme Court Clerks. The Washington State Supreme Court clerk and assistant clerk(s) who are prohibited by court rule from practicing law;
(iii) Legislative Exemption. Members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation or the Washington State Legislature; and
(iv) Gubernatorial Exemption. The Governor of Washington State.
(6) Comity. The education requirements in Oregon, Idaho and Utah substantially meet Washington's education requirements. These states are designated as comity states. A lawyer may certify compliance with these rules in lieu of meeting the education requirement by paying a comity fee and filing a Comity Certificate of MCLE Compliance from a comity state certifying to the lawyer's subjection to and compliance with that state's MCLE requirements during the lawyer's most recent reporting period.
(7) Carryover Credits. If a member completes more than the required number of credits for any one reporting period, up to 15 of the excess credits, 2 of which may be ethics and professional responsibility credits, may be carried forward to the next reporting period.
(8) Former Judges. Persons who have served as Judges as defined by GR 26 and who are becoming active members of the Association are to be given full credit for carryover Continuing Judicial Education Credits. Former judges in this category shall not be charged a fee related to the transfer of carryover credits. A former judge who is in compliance with GR 26 shall not be required to comply with APR (c)(1)(i) for the first year in which he or she serves as an active member of the Association.
Sections (d)-(k). No change.
Reviser's note: RCW 34.05.395 requires the use of underlining and deletion marks to indicate amendments to existing rules. The rule published above varies from its predecessor in certain respects not indicated by the use of these markings.