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In re Amendments To Appendix C To Part IV

Supreme Court of South Carolina

July 30, 2013

Amendments to Appendix C to Part IV, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules

          ORDER

          Jean H. Toal, C.J.

         The Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization has proposed amending Appendix C to Part IV of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules to specifically permit programs focusing on the elimination of bias in the legal profession to qualify for legal ethics/professional responsibility credit. We grant the Commission's request to amend Appendix C as set forth in the attachment to this Order. Additionally, Appendix C has been further amended to reflect a number of prior amendments to several

         South Carolina Appellate Court rules, which took effect January 1, 2013. These amendments altered the nomenclature used to identify attorneys and foreign legal consultants, and Appendix C has been amended to accurately reflect these changes.

          Costa M. Pleicones J., Donald W. Beatty J., John W. Kittredge J., Kaye G. Hearn J.

         APPENDIX C

         REGULATIONS FOR MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION

         FOR JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA BAR

         I. Purpose

         These Regulations implement Rules 408, 419, and 504, SCACR.

         II. Requirements

         A. Members of the South Carolina Bar.

         1. Except as otherwise provided in Regulation III, each member of the South Carolina Bar, as defined in Rule 410, SCACR, 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. LEPR may also include, but not be limited to, instruction focusing on the elimination of bias in the legal profession. Elimination of bias instruction includes programming designed to educate lawyers on the recognition, identification, prevention, and elimination of bias in the legal setting as well as programming on diversity in the legal profession.

         3. As part of the 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. A 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.

         2. Mandatory Attendance at Designated Educational Activities.

         Without regard to any JCLE credit accumulated pursuant to the requirements of Regulation II(B)(1), judicial members shall attend any educational activity designated as mandatory by the Supreme Court of South Carolina or the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization (Commission). "Educational activity" means any seminar, program, conference, roundtable, or other activity which has been accredited for JCLE purposes and which has been designated mandatory for judicial members. Attendance at an educational activity may be designated as mandatory for all judicial members or only for certain specified categories of judicial members (for example: mandatory for probate judges only).

         III. Exemptions

         The following shall be exempt from the requirements of Regulation II:

         A. Specialists certified pursuant to Rule 408, SCACR, who satisfy the CLE requirements of their specialty; provided, however, that at least two (2) hours of the CLE credits completed by certified specialists shall be devoted to LEPR. At least once every three (3) reporting years, the member must complete one (1) hour of LEPR devoted exclusively to instruction in substance abuse or mental health issues and the legal profession.

         B. Members who are at least sixty (60) years old and have been admitted to practice law for thirty (30) or more years, and who apply to the Commission for this exemption. Further, any exemptions granted prior to June 23, 1994, shall remain in effect. Provided, however, that if a member who receives an exemption or is entitled to an exemption under this provision is suspended for a definite period of more than six (6) months under Rule 413, SCACR, this exemption shall not apply or be granted during the suspension period.

         C. Inactive members, military members, and retired members.

         D. Newly admitted lawyers in the year in which they are licensed.

         E. For JCLE requirements imposed by Regulation II(B), judicial members in the year in which they are sworn into office, provided they have satisfied the CLE requirements for members of the South Carolina Bar.

         F. Members who are federal judges or federal administrative law judges.

         G. Limited members licensed under Rule 415, SCACR (Limited Certificate of Admission for Retired and Inactive Attorney Pro Bono Participation Program).

         IV. Hours ...


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