AMA: Florida's Rule Changes

April 29, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-07 at 10.14.19 AMMeredith Cohen is Lawline’s Director of Customer Experience. She manages relationships with state regulating agencies nationwide to bring the best and most relevant content to attorneys who need it. In this monthly column, she answers customers’ most pressing CLE questions.



Dear Meredith,

My Florida CLE deadline is this year, but over the past three years, Florida has changed their CLE requirements. What do I need to complete this year, and what is the new requirement?


Signed,

Frazzled in Florida


***


Dear Frazzled in Florida,


Great questions! Florida did make a few rule changes over the past few years. The first one, which added 3 hours of Technology credits to the total requirement, went into effect on 1/1/17. However, because you were in the middle of your 3-year compliance cycle, you haven’t had to fulfill this technology component yet. Attorneys whose compliance period was beginning again in 2017 had to start taking the Tech courses, but anyone whose cycle was ending sometime in 2017, 2018, or 2019 didn’t have to worry about it until their next compliance period (the one ending in 2020, 2021, or 2022). In other words, this really only impacts your next compliance cycle after the 1/1/17 effective date.


Then, in 2019, Florida made an additional change to the Legal Ethics, Professionalism, Bias Elimination, Substance Abuse, or Mental Illness Awareness requirement. Instead of being able to complete these five credits in any combination of those areas, at least one must now be Professionalism. This is effective the first reporting cycle starting on or after 3/5/2019.


This means that if your compliance period is ending in 2019, your requirement is still 30 total credits, including five credits of Legal Ethics, Professionalism, Bias Elimination, Substance Abuse, or Mental Illness awareness,  until your deadline.


When you start your next cycle, you’ll need to complete 33 total credits every three years. Of those 33, at least three will need to be in Technology, at least four will need to be in any combination of the above-mentioned topics, and at least one will need to be Professionalism (Hint: Lawline already has several courses approved to fulfill this requirement!)


Compliance Period Ending in 2019:


30 Total Credits

  • At least 5 Legal Ethics, Professionalism, Bias Elimination, Substance Abuse, or Mental Illness

Compliance Periods Ending in 2020 and 2021:


33 Total Credits

  • At least 3 Technology
  • At least 5  Legal Ethics, Professionalism, Bias Elimination, Substance Abuse, or Mental Illness

Compliance Periods Ending in 2022 and beyond:

33 Total Credits

  • At least 3 Technology
  • At least 4  Legal Ethics, Professionalism, Bias Elimination, Substance Abuse, or Mental Illness
  • At least 1 Professionalism

For even more info on the new Technology requirement (including some suggestions for courses to take!), check out my previous blog post. If you’re still confused about your own specific requirement for 2019, you can contact the Florida Bar directly.


Happy watching!


Meredith Cohen, MBA

Director of Customer Experience

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Author Bio

Written by Meredith Cohen

Meredith is the Director of Customer Experience at Lawline but has taken on a number of diverse roles within the company over the years, and has handled just about everything from managing customer databases to doing post-production work on courses. Since joining the Lawline team in 2012, she has gotten her MBA online, done some world traveling, and hand-fed an ostrich. She loves singing off-key in the car, shouting out the questions on ‘Jeopardy!’ and eating dessert first.

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