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NH Minimum Continuing Legal Education
Precedent Decisions

Applications for Course Credit: (Rule 53.5)

Committees will act on applications in the name of the NHMCLE Board. If there are any questions about particular applications, those applications will be presented to the Board for a ruling. Otherwise, applicants will be notified of decisions made by the committees and a report will be made to the next NHMCLE Board meeting. The Attorney Compliance Committee considers requests from NHBA members. The Sponsor Compliance Committee reviews applications for credit from CLE providers.

Application forms and materials will be kept only until the sponsor has attained approval. If application has been denied, the materials will be kept for 1 year.

Audit Procedure (Nov 30, 1994, May 10, 1995): (Reg. 53.6)

Audits will be conducted by the Regulations/Certificate Audit Committee. Audited members will be required to provide a letter of explanation of questionable entries within 30 days. If inadequate, the Committee may refer the member to a Board hearing.

Course Types:

Bar Exam Preparation Courses: May be accredited depending on their presentation and written materials if members are admitted to another Bar.

Mediation Courses: Credit may be granted for mediation training courses provided they meet the requirements of Rule 53.5.

Non-legal Courses: In related professional areas such as taxation, estate planning, medicine, programs may receive CLE credit depending on their presentation, written materials and the applicant's explanation of the course's contribution to his/her practice of law. (Reg. 53.3)

Ethics/Professionalism Credit (April 20, 1994 definition):

Courses must be structured specifically for lawyers to meet the requirements of Rule 53. Law office management courses must be viewed on a case by case basis.

Ex Officio Board Members: (Rule 53.8)

Ex Officio members do have voting privileges. (June 17, 1992)

Fines: (Rule and Reg 53.7)

Fines will be assessed for noncompliance as long as the Certificate of Compliance is not filed as complete and correct. Once a correct form has been received, the amount of the fine is frozen although compliance is not achieved until the fine has been paid.

Hardship Cases:

Members who have professed financial obstacles to CLE course attendance have been referred to the NHBA CLE Program for reduced cost or gratis attendance at NHBA programs. The NHBA CLE Program will not be asked to provide free or reduced cost CLE beyond the annual credit requirement.

Membership Status Change From Active to Inactive at End of Program Year: Rule 53.2 (B)(1)

Members who change their status after April 1 are still required to comply with Rule 53. Exemptions may be granted upon application to the Board. If members make application for exemption after the October 1st deadline, they may be granted an exemption provided they remain inactive and pay the $50 late fee. No exemptions are granted once names of delinquent lawyers are sent to the Supreme Court. Exemption requests are considered by the Attorney Compliance Committee.

Letters sent to members granted exemptions will include a phrase indicating that the NHMCLE Board may impose conditions on the reactivation of their NHBA membership. (May 13, 1997)

New Admittees: (Reg 53.3)

CLE credits may count towards Rule 53 requirements once a new lawyer is admitted to the Bar. If a NH attorney was previously admitted in another state, CLE credits completed in that state may be counted toward the requirements of Rule 53 before admittance to NH Bar.

Requests for Consideration of Individual Circumstances: Reg 53.2 (B)(5)

If member or close relative (parent, spouse, child) is subject to long term ill health or disability, the Attorney Compliance Committee has granted full exemptions, waived the live requirement, or extended the deadline, whatever seems most suitable to the situation.

Members who live out of the country, are pursuing non-legal work (government service) and are unable to attend CLE programs have been exempted from the requirement until they return to the USA. They still must file an annual COC** asserting that their circumstances remain in effect.

Members who have unusual legal responsibilities may receive approval for attending a non legal course which they show has major impact on their employment and meets the other requirements of Rule 53.5.

Suspended Members Responsiblities Until Reinstatement:

Members under suspension for not complying with Rule 53 are not considered active NHBA members. They do not incur additional fines and penalties while suspended nor do they need to complete Rule 53 requirements until they are reinstated. (March 15, 1995)

Teaching Credit: Reg 53.3 (B)(2)

The Attorney Compliance Committee may grant credit for programs presented to non-lawyer audience provided the written materials are submitted with the application and meet the same substantive qualifications as CLE materials.

Moot court judging, law school or paralegal teaching is not accredited as CLE activity.

**COC = Certificate of Compliance

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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