Saturday, December 19, 2009

Supreme Court Adopts New Court Rule New Jersey Supreme Court Requires Lawyers to Continue Legal Education Throughout Their Careers

The New Jersey Supreme Court has adopted Court Rule 1:42, which sets forth requirements for mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) for New Jersey attorneys, today announced Mark Neary, clerk of the Supreme Court. The new requirements are effective immediately.

In conjunction with the new court rule, the Court has amended its Administrative Determination regarding the continuing legal education requirement. Both the court rule and the administrative determination are the result of recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Continuing Legal Education. Retired Associate Justice Peter G. Verniero served as chair of the committee, and retired Assignment Judge Arthur N. D’Italia served as vice chair.

Under the new rule, all New Jersey attorneys are required to take 24 hours of continuing legal education every two years, including at least four hours on topics related to ethics or professionalism. MCLE is required for all New Jersey attorneys, including judges, law clerks and in-house counsel. Attorneys will be responsible for verifying that they have met the requirements and a random audit system will help ensure compliance. This is a change from the prior system, where only new attorneys and those seeking designation as certified attorneys in specific areas of practice were required to take coursework beyond law school.

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