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Orzeske: How to stay in good standing with your CLE requirements

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Indiana Lawyer Focus

By Julia Orzeske, John D. Ulmer and Shontrai Irving

Indiana’s attorneys are subject to a mandatory continuing legal education requirement. Each attorney, in order to stay active and in good standing on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys, must complete a minimum of six hours of CLE per calendar year and a minimum of 36 hours by Dec. 31 of the third year of repeating three-year education periods. Newly admitted attorneys must complete six hours of an Applied Professionalism Course that counts toward both their annual and three-year requirement. These newly admitted attorneys who successfully complete a three-year education period are then considered veteran attorneys: the applied professionalism requirement is replaced by a three-hour ethics requirement which must be completed at any time in repeating three-year education periods.

Every year, before Sept. 1, attorneys are sent a transcript showing their continuing legal education activities for the current year and three-year education period. Once this is received, the attorneys are responsible for correcting any errors and completing any unfulfilled requirements before Dec. 31 of the current year.

The transcript is sent to the attorneys at the address designated by the attorney on the Roll of Attorneys’ portal. It is wise to check information early in the summer (now) because the annual attorney registration fee process will soon begin. If an attorney’s contact information is not kept current, there is a possibility the registration fee information will be sent to the wrong email address for the attorney and that the CLE transcript will be sent to the wrong home or work address. It is important to note that it is solely the attorney’s responsibility to enter, verify and monitor this contact information, and “a failure to do so is a waiver of notice involving licenses as attorneys and/or disciplinary matters.” Admission and Discipline Rule 2, Sec. (a). Please take the time now to review your contact information on the Roll of Attorneys portal at https://courtapps.in.gov/rollofattorneys.

The Commission for Continuing Legal Education has a searchable database on www.in.gov/judiciary/cle/ to help attorneys choose courses that have already been approved by the commission. If there is a course an attorney is interested in attending that is not listed, the attorney should complete an application for accreditation to the commission to receive an approval decision before spending substantial time and resources on the course. The commission currently has about a 30-day turn around on course applications.

There are also FAQs on the website. The commission deals with questions that arise in its areas of responsibility addressed by Admission and Discipline Rule 28 (Continuing Judicial Education), Admission and Discipline Rule 29 (Continuing Legal Education), Admission and Discipline Rule 30 (Attorney Specialization) and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules (Mediation training and registry). Please contact the commission with any questions at 317-232-1943 or cle@courts.in.gov.•

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Julia Orzeske has been executive director of the Commission for Continuing Legal Education since 1994. John D. Ulmer is chair of the commission and of counsel with Yoder Ainlay Ulmer & Buckingham LLP in Goshen. Shontrai Irving is a commission member and an attorney with State Farm. The opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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