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Bar News - April 15, 2015

Supreme Court Rule 53 and ART Update: NH Minimum Continuing Legal Education Deadline: June 30, 2015

Mark the calendar: The 2015 NHMCLE year ends June 30, 2015.

New Hampshire Bar Association members must schedule, attend and enter CLEs attended into their newly activated Attorney Reporting Tool (ART) accounts.

It’s important to know the NH Minimum Continuing Legal Education (NHMCLE) requirements:

  • A minimum of 12 hours/720 minutes of instruction time, of which:
    • A minimum of two hours/120 minutes must be ethics and/or professionalism and
    • A minimum of six hours/360 minutes must be “live” programming.

The NHMCLE Board no longer approves course providers or courses, so members must evaluate and decide for themselves whether courses qualify for credit and, if so, how many minutes.

Step 1: Attend a Rule 53-qualified course (See “How to Qualify a Course” on NHMCLE webpage)

Step 2: Enter a qualified course online in the new ART system.

Members must create and activate their ART accounts. First-time users must go to the login tab and register by clicking on the “!SignUP!” link to create a username and password.

The NHMCLE webpage provides guidance concerning Rule 53 and ART. Three short videos demonstrate how to:

Firefox or Chrome browsers should be used for an optimal ART experience. Internet Explorer (WC3 level 10+) does not perform as well.

The NHMCLE webpage provides links to ART, Rule 53, notices and a Rule 53 course evaluation checklist.

Principal changes for the 2015 NHMCLE year

1. The NHMCLE Board no longer approves course providers or courses. Members must evaluate whether a course qualifies for Rule 53 credits.

2. ART requires that courses be entered in minutes of actual instruction time (omit introductions, breaks and lunch). Measurements in credits or hours can be deceiving and vary state by state. Measuring minutes of actual instruction is a common denominator. Review certificates of attendance and agendas to assess the minutes of actual instruction time for ART entry.

Members will use two primary tabs in ART: “My Record” and “New Entry.”

The My Record page is a member’s official NHMCLE record. It eliminates mailing annual paper certificates. The page shows three key data points about the member’s record in the top, middle and bottom sections.

The top section states the ending balance in minutes from the prior 2014 NHMCLE year. Shortages show as negative minutes; carryover credits are shown as minutes in positive numbers. Carryover credits from 2014 can only apply to the 2015 year, not future years.

The middle section lists courses attended and entered in the current 2015 NHMCLE year: July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Courses entered are first applied to resolve any 2014 shortages in the top section, then applied to the current 2015 year requirements.

The bottom section shows totals resulting from adding the top and middle sections. Negative minutes shown as totals indicate that 2014 shortages have not been resolved. Positive minutes listed accrue towards the June 30, 2015 deadline. ART shows the minimum minutes required for each total category.

The New Entry page enables members to enter a non-NH Bar course that meets Rule 53 requirements into their official record. Prompts indicate the data fields to be entered. Question marks (“?”) provide clarifications when clicked. Members enter minutes (not hours or credits) of actual instruction. The minimum entry allowed is 30 minutes; lower numbers will be rejected.

Separate entries are made for ethics and for non-ethics (general) minutes. Members select the applicable course setting: i.e. “Classroom (live);” “Webcast (live);” ”In-office (non-live);” “Non-Interactive (non-live),” etc. Click on the question mark for additional guidance or view the ART FAQ tab.

When applicable data is entered, carefully review the page for accuracy, then click the “submit” button. By clicking “submit,” members attest to the entry’s correctness and the course is listed on the My Record tab.

Accountable for Accuracy

Members are responsible for Rule 53 compliance and ART entries and remain responsible for accuracy, even when ART entries are delegated to a staff member.

If members elect to attend a NH Bar CLE, the NH Bar CLE Department will enter the course directly into ART accounts within 30 days of attendance. Members should monitor ART account entries and, if a member left a CLE early, the number of minutes should be decreased accordingly.

Contact the NHMCLE office if entry errors occur and provide specifics concerning the errors.

Members can view NHMCLE status and progress on ART at any time. Members no longer have to await a course provider’s course attendance data. Members can control course attendance, reporting and monitoring, to assure Rule 53 compliance by the June 30, 2015 deadline.

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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