No resolution presented herein reflects the policy of the Minnesota State Bar Association until approved by the Assembly. Informational reports, comments, and supporting data are not approved by their acceptance for filing and do not become part of the policy of the Minnesota State Bar Association unless specifically approved by the Assembly.
Report and Recommendation to the Minnesota State Bar Association
April 22, 2013
RESOLVED: That the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) and Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) oppose, in its present form, the Petition of the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education.
The Supreme Court’s current rule has produced a premier CLE program that benefits judges, lawyers and their clients. In order to maintain the highest level of continuing education for Minnesota lawyers and judges, and to meet the Board’s stated wish “to proceed slowly in permitting on-demand programming”, the MSBA and MCLE strongly recommend the following modifications.
· The petition’s recommendation for 15 hours of approved on-demand credit conflicts with the state board’s stated concern “to proceed slowly in permitting on-demand programming.” The MSBA and MCLE strongly recommend a maximum of nine hours on-demand credit.
· This specific change to the rule should require a test period to formally evaluate its impact on the existing educational opportunities available to all Minnesota lawyers and judges.
· Notwithstanding the petition language discussing program quality, no provision or plan exists to preview archived programs or otherwise ensure the “quality” requirements in the petition.
· Eliminate the proposed change to the moderator requirement. The petition’s requirement that a moderator must be present for the entire video replay (rather than be available to answer questions) effectively eliminates most, if not all, video replays. Three hundred and fifty times each year attorneys gather in 17 locations throughout Minnesota to participate in video replays and to network with colleagues. Eliminating these gathering opportunities would a serious blow to the interests of the MSBA. It is inconsistent to propose credit for courses with no live speakers or moderators, yet now requires a higher and impractical standard for video replays.