Justices permanently lift distance education limits for CLE, CJE

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Following changes made to accommodate social distancing beginning in 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court has permanently amended continuing education rules to lift limits on distance education.

In an order signed June 6, the high court amended Admission and Discipline Rules 28 and 29 to strike language limiting the number of distance education hours that can count toward attorneys’ and judges’ continuing legal and judicial education requirements.

The rules have been amended to remove the 12-hour distance education limit of the Judicial Officer Educational Period in Rule 28, Section 3(a); the 18-hour distance education limit of the judicial Educational Period in Rule 28, Section 3(b); and the 18-hour distance education limit of the attorney Educational Period in Rule 29, Section 3(a).

The order vacates two COVID-related orders entered by the court at the start of the pandemic. The first, issued March 31, 2020, waived and amended certain distance-education limits, while the second, issued Sept. 23, 2020, provided that any CLE courses taken until further notice would not count toward the credit-hour limits on distance education.

Additionally, the high court’s order now allows attorneys and judges to receive professional responsibility credit for wellness courses.

Under amendments to Rule 29, Sections 3(b)(2) and 3(b)(3), professional responsibility credit can be earned when the main focus of a topic is “wellness or diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and when at least half an hour of the course focuses on those issues.

The June 6 order was effective immediately.

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