Indiana judges and magistrates will have to take more judicial education classes to improve their legal skills next year.
Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall T. Shepard today signed the order amending the Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and Discipline of Attorneys that requires enhanced
continuing education for judicial officers.
Now, they will need to take at least 54 hours of Continuing Judicial Education credits and 5 ethics credit hours every three years, 15 hours of CJE each year, and no more than 18 hours of non-legal subjects. Distance education is also capped at nine hours. The order applies to all Indiana appellate judges, trial judges, magistrates, and full-time commissioners and referees. The new requirements begin Jan. 1, 2011.
The requirements for senior judges, part-time commissioners and referees, Marion County small claims judges, and city/town court judges weren’t changed under the order. They will continue to need at least 36 hours of CJE every 3 years, 6 hours each year, no more than 12 hours of non-legal subjects, and 3 ethics hours every three years.
The Board of Directors of the Judicial Conference of Indiana voted unanimously in April in favor of the enhanced education requirements. The increase in credit hours is part of a larger plan to improve the judicial branch.