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Year-end rush for CLE set to begin

Jenny Montgomery
November 23, 2011
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After Thanksgiving, an annual tradition begins for Indiana attorneys. It’s what some people call the “mad rush” to finish continuing legal education requirements by year’s end.

A rule adopted by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1986 has required lawyers – beginning in January 1987 – to complete 36 hours of CLE credit per three-year cycle. That means that for many lawyers in the state, the three-year cycle ended in 2010. Even so, 2011 will see its share of last-minute efforts to finish CLE.

Scott King, program director for the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, said around the end of October calls increase from firms and bar associations requesting to host ICLEF video replays.

“It’s human nature. People have a lot of priorities in their lives, and CLE is not always at the top of that list until the fourth quarter of the year,” he said.

Video replays

For those who have been too busy to attend CLE sessions in-person, video replays offer a second chance – or a last chance – to complete requirements.

Maribeth Leininger, executive director of the Allen County Bar Association, said the bar offers five days of “last-chance” video CLE sessions, which are repeat performances of its summer brown bag lunch offerings.

“We have multiple opportunities for attorneys to fulfill CLE requirements, and for those attorneys who call us the first week of December needing their hours, we can accommodate them,” she said.

The Indianapolis Bar Association offers “11th Hour Video Replays” Dec. 27-29, which are also repeats of live CLE sessions it offered throughout the year.

CLECorydon attorney Harold Dillman said his three-attorney law office has been hosting video replays for at least six years. Dillman is hosting a two-day replay of the 2011 Elder Law Institute on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and a daylong probate litigation replay on Dec. 29.

“It keeps me from having to drive to Indianapolis,” he said. And Dillman, who is licensed to practice in Indiana and Kentucky, is able to earn CLE credits for both states by hosting one video replay. Occasionally, attorneys from outside the firm will sign up for the CLE replays.

“You never know – it’s not unusual that there just isn’t anybody, but some years, I’ve had a dozen,” he said.

Online options

Since 1996, the Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education has allowed attorneys to earn CLE credit by watching programming online, and ICLEF generally offers between 40 and 55 online programs, King said.

“There’s always something for somebody that’s relevant to watch – and we have people who log into those programs right up until midnight on Dec. 31,” King said.

Anyone who purchases an online CLE through ICLEF can access the presentation for 30 days, which means it can be watched in segments, as time allows. But be warned: if you nod off during an online CLE, ICLEF will know.

“We have what’s called a random verifier encoded in our webcasting programming, and it will at random times check your attendance at the program,” King said. “Two attorneys watching the same program will not get the same verifier popping up on their screen. If you do not respond to it, the program will shut down.”

Meeting the need

ICLEF offers an all-day, in-person CLE on Dec. 31, but most bar associations stop offering CLE before that date. The Evansville Bar Association, for example, will offer no CLE between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5 – a point that was communicated to members in giant red type in the bar’s November newsletter.

Sometimes, people can’t find exactly what they’re looking for at a time or place that works for them. That’s why Leininger sometimes sees lawyers from all over the state – including Evansville – attending last-minute CLE in Fort Wayne. She also sees people registering for CLE programs who may be in town visiting relatives but are trying to make the most of their time.

Many late-year CLE programs will offer some ethics component, as the three-year cycle must include three hours of ethics CLE.

“Ethics seems to be probably the most requested subject matter, but second to that it’s really across the board … estate planning, family law, things of that nature,” King said.

Financial help

Attorneys who need help covering the cost of CLE may apply for a grant from Indiana Bar Foundation’s ICLEF Scholarship Fund. Lawyers must apply at least two weeks in advance of the CLE they wish to attend, and the award covers only six hours of CLE.•

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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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