Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert which will discuss the recent opinion of the Supreme Court of Florida which approved proposed changes to Florida Bar rules mandating three hours of continuing legal education in technology related areas/courses. Florida will become the first state to mandate technology CLE. The opinion is In Re: Amendments to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 4-1.1 and 6-10.3, No. SC16-574 (September 29, 2016) and is here: http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2016/sc16-574.pdf. The rule amendments will become effective on January 1, 2017.
The opinion adopted the recommendations of the The Florida Bar’s Vision 2016 Commission’s Technology Subcommittee. The revision to rule 6-10.3 increases the CLE requirements for Florida lawyers from 30 to 33 hours of credit every three years and three hours must be in technology related areas/courses.
The opinion also amended the comment to rule 4-1.1 (Competence) “to add language providing that competent representation may involve a lawyer’s association with, or retention of, a non-lawyer advisor with established technological competence in the relevant field. Competent representation may also entail safeguarding confidential information related to the representation, including electronic transmissions and communications. Additionally, we add language to the comment providing that, in order to maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should engage in continuing study and education, including an understanding of the risks and benefits associated with the use of technology.”
Bottom line: Beginning in January 2017, lawyers will be required to obtain 33 hours of CLE every 3 years (up from 30) with a minimum of three hours in technology related areas/courses.
Be careful out there.
Disclaimer: this e-mail is not an advertisement, does not contain any legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship and the comments herein should not be relied upon by anyone who reads it.
Joseph A. Corsmeier, Esquire
Law Office of Joseph A. Corsmeier, P.A.
29605 U.S. Highway 19 N. Suite 150
Clearwater, Florida 33761
Office (727) 799-1688
Fax (727) 799-1670