Court Changes Mandatory CLE Exemption Age to 70

Lawyers turning 65 in 2015 will continue to have to meet CLE requirements under a set of more than 20 CLE rule changes adopted today by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The changes, driven by the CLE Commission chaired by Columbia lawyer Ed Lancaster, came after more than a year of consideration and hundreds of comments.

Among other changes the new rules:

  • Require five “live classroom hours” among the 15 hours annually required
  • Remove the requirement for high-quality, thorough and readable written materials to accompany CLE activities
  • Exempt full time law professors from CLE requirements
  • Permit credit for teaching law-related courses in community colleges
  • Limit CLE credit for writing published articles
  • Gradually raise, beginning in 2015, the CLE age exemption to age 70
  • Shorten the compliance periods for late compliance with the CLE rule beginning in 2016

In addition, in a move widely criticized by every provider who commented on the proposal, the court requires the commission to begin publishing proprietary data regarding the number of people attending each individual CLE program.

In a related development, the rule puts an end to a Tennessee program for certification of specialization administration by the commission – leaving accreditation of certifying organizations and lawyers claiming specialization to the American Bar Association.

Among other issues, the TBA comments on the proposal opposed the change in the exemption age, argued against the live classroom hours provision and urged the court to retain the quality written materials requirement.

Download the court's order

 

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cle_rule_change_121614.pdf2.08 MB
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