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Attorneys who remain noncompliant for 2022 must complete the requirements by August 10, 2023 to avoid suspension of their Tennessee law license.
To be compliant, attorneys must have:
Attorneys who are noncompliant after August 10 will be assessed a $500 fee and their law license will be placed on suspension until the requirements are complete.
The Tennessee Supreme Court filed an Order December 12, 2022, appointing two new members to the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education, extending the terms of two members, and reappointing David Veile to another one-year term as chair of the Commission.
New to the Commission are Dr. LaDonna Tatum Williams, an assistant principal at Westmeade Elementary School in Nashville, and Shannon Hoffert, regulatory counsel at Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis. They are appointed to three-year terms starting January 1, 2023.
Commissioners Julie Bennett of Bristol and Mitchell Panter of Knoxville each were appointed to a second three-year term.
The Court also thanked commissioners Christopher S. Campbell of Memphis and Concetta Smith of Nashville, whose terms expire at the end of 2022. Mr. Campbell served six years on the Commission and Ms. Smith served three years.
The Tennessee Supreme Court has amended the Rule for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education to remove limitations on distance-learning continuing legal education (“CLE”) credits. The Order was filed and effective on November 1, 2022.
The change to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 21 deletes the previous requirement that Tennessee-licensed attorneys with a CLE obligation earn at least seven CLE credit hours through in-person courses each year and no more than eight hours through distance-learning courses. The Court has waived the in-person requirement since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing attorneys to earn all of their CLE credits through distance learning. The November 1 Order makes that change permanent.
In June, the Court solicited comments on eliminating the limitations on distance-learning credit hours. More than 80 attorneys and legal organizations filed comments, which were overwhelmingly in favor of eliminating the limitations.
“The comments we received from attorneys across the State made clear that distance-learning courses make it easier, both logistically and financially, for attorneys to satisfy their CLE requirements and to access courses that are relevant to their areas of practice,” said Justice Sarah Campbell, who serves as liaison to the CLE Commission. “By eliminating the limitations on distance-learning credits, attorneys will have flexibility to choose the learning method they prefer. In-person CLE continues to be an important part of our profession and that will not change.”
In light of the amendment, the CLE Commission will update all attorney records to reflect the new provisions and distribute progress reports in the coming weeks. Lawyers can check the status of their 2022 CLE compliance by logging into their attorney account at CLETN.com. All compliance is established after December 31.