If you’re an attorney, you’re probably dreading your upcoming CLE deadline. But what if you could complete your MCLE requirement and actually enhance your practice at the same time? You might not realize it, but you have a lot of discretion in how to approach your state’s legal education requirement. Here are five factors to consider when choosing your CLE programs.
1. Determine Your Credit Type. The first thing to assess is the type of credit you need. Once you determine which part of your requirement you need to complete, you can decide the best way to fulfill it. For example, have you fulfilled all your general credits but just need ethics? If so, consider choosing an ethics program that fits your individual practice. For example, if you’re a solo practitioner, choose an ethics program tailored to solo or small firms. If you’re an in-house counsel, consider an ethics program that is tailored to your daily practice.
Alternatively, look for ethics programs geared towards your practice area like Ethics for the Entertainment Law Practitioner or Ethics for Environmental Lawyers. Lastly, consider an ethics program in evolving and sometimes murky areas of the law like Social Media Ethics for Attorneys. With more and more ethics programs out there, you’re bound to find something that addresses your needs.
2. Narrow by Practice Area. Narrowing down CLE programs by practice area is one of the easiest ways to determine the best CLE program to watch. When focusing on a practice area, you have a few options:
3. Identify a Program’s Scope. Are you a litigation attorney or real estate attorney whose practice is very regionally based? Or maybe a criminal attorney practicing in local courts? If so, look for local and state-specific programming. You’d be surprised at what you can find. For example, these programs are specifically tailored to attorneys from California, Illinois, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.
If your practice is centered around federal law rather than state, there are even more options for you. Alternatively, if your practice is internationally focused, look for programs with an international scope like International Commercial Arbitration, FCPA Enforcement Trends & Predictions, or UAS Export Control Regulation: A Practical Guide.
4. Price Your Options. Are you looking for the most cost-effective approach to fulfilling your CLE requirement? In many cases, purchasing individual programs can be more expensive in the long run than other options. For example, many providers allow attorneys to save money through a CLE subscription which gives you the option of choosing any CLE program you want, usually at a discounted cost.
If you don’t want to sort through thousands of CLE programs, CLE providers generally provide a way to cut to the chase by purchasing a compliance bundle. Compliance bundles are a set of high quality programs specifically designed to meet your state’s specific MCLE requirements. Many times, you can also choose bundles by practice area!
5. Refine Your Skills. Are you a seasoned trial court litigator looking to learn more about best practices in mediation or arbitration? Do you want to improve your negotiation strategy or up your legal writing game? Choose your programs based on what your work entails, and what skills you’d like to further develop or newly acquire.
By: Michael Singer
Edited by: Sigalle Barness
For lawyers with the proper temperament and outlook on dispute resolution, mediation practice can be a tremendously fulfilling career enhancer, no matter what practice area you hail from. Stephen A. Hochman started out in transactional work and then shifted into mediation. Now a leading proponent of alternative dispute resolution, he recently sat in with Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.’s Simeon Baum for 10 Mistakes Even Good Mediators Make, the sixth part of Baum’s eight-part Lawline series on Commercial Mediation.
By: Michael Singer
Edited by: Sigalle Barness
With the FAA’s recent streamlining of its commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) exemption process, along with the February 2015 issuance of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Small UAS, it probably won’t be too long before Amazon and a host of other companies unleash UAS technology on our everyday lives. If ever there was a time for lawyers to step up and really be lawyers, this is it. We’re talking seriously unchartered territory here – Wild West. Hogan Lovells’ UAS group offered Lawline the most up-to-date skinny on UAS regulatory and commercial development. Its suite of presentations leaves lawyers with the sense that this is not only an area in flux, but one of the most exciting practice areas to come down the pike in a great long while. Why?
By: Amy Goldsmith
In my May 12, 2015 Lawline presentation regarding Rights of Publicity, we discussed the litigation between actor Cindy Lee Garcia and Google/YouTube involving the film Innocence of Muslims. The dispute arose several years ago, when Cindy Lee Garcia was hired (absent the typical written assignment of copyright) to appear in a film called “Desert Warrior.” Five seconds of her performance was converted into a diatribe against the Prophet Mohammed and uploaded by the producer to YouTube. The producer even dubbed over her words: “Is George crazy? Our daughter is but a child?” turned into “Is your Mohammed a child molester?” Millions of view ensued, and Ms. Garcia received death threats. She asked Google to take down the film, citing violations of her right to control her likeness and her right to privacy. Google refused.
Trade Dress: A Bite Taken Out of the Apple by Amy Goldsmith
Apple has been battling Samsung since 2012, asserting claims of utility and design patent infringement and trademark and trade dress infringement. The California jury handed Apple over a billion dollars in damages (later reduced by the lower court to $930 million), agreeing with the allegations of infringement. Samsung appealed, and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rendered its decision on May 18, 2015, reversing the jury’s verdict on the trademark and trade dress component but affirming the rest (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Case: 14-1335, May 18, 2015).
In my Lawline presentation on May 12, 2015, I stressed the importance of defining the trade dress and in understanding the differences between functional and non-functional features, especially when trade dress is claimed in a product configuration. The functionality of certain features of the iPhone 3G/3GS was the question before the Federal Circuit.
Recently, Lawline faculty Amy Goldsmith updated us on the status of gene patents, including the litigation about the patentability of the breast cancer genes and the ability of Myriad competitors to test for breast cancer biomarkers, which continues in Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., v. Ambry Genetics Corporation, Case 14-1361 (Fed. Cir. 2014).
Below is a fantastic article written by Amy illuminating the recent US Court of Appeals decision.
Whose genes are they, anyway? Myriad Cannot Block Competitors from Selling Breast Cancer Tests
Amy Goldsmith, Tarter, Krinsky & Drogin LLP
Every attorney by virtue of their profession is a target of a legal malpractice claim whether or not they are real or frivolous. If you are interested in learning more about how legal malpractice claims are prosecuted click here.
As 2014 comes to a close we want to share with you the most recent updates to the NY Ethics Rules. If you are interested in learning about the changes and why they are so important click here. This topic is meant for ALL NY attorneys.
In 2014 there were many important class action cases including Halliburton & Dudenhoeffer which were both seen in the Supreme Court. These decisions dealt with data breach, securities & ERISA, If you are interested in learning more about what the rules are today, and what they will most likely be in 2o15 click here.