Attorneys - FAQs
Transcript And Reporting
Answer: You can get this information at the DE Supreme Court's Lawyer Management System ( www.desclms.org ). The Commission does not have the resources to mail updates but will discuss credits earned over the telephone or via e-mail.
Answer: Provisions for make-up plans are built into the Rules. You have two options:
Complete the credits in January and February and add them in on the Transcript before you verify it to the Commission on or before March 31. We consider this a completed make-up plan.
Verify the Transcript showing the credits you have completed (if any) on or before March 31, and include a make-up plan. A make-up plan is entered on the verification page. Make-up plans must inform the Commission of the specific courses you plan to complete by April 30 and are subject to approval by the Commission. If there are any changes to the submitted plan, you must amend the make-up plan (you can revise the existing entries under the make-up plan at www.desclms.org ) When you have completed the plan, you must report completion by May 15 by marking each entry on the plan as completed (at the make-up plan tab).
Answer: Yes! You are not considered in compliance until you have reported completion of the make-up coursework. Just as you must verify the information on the Transcript by March 31, you must report completion by May 15. If the provider has agreed to report your credits to the Commission, the report can only be used to verify your information, not to replace your verification to the Commission that you earned the credits.
Answer: The Commission will not waive the $300.00 late fee for verification after March 31. This fee is imposed by the CLE Rules and is assessed regardless of the reason for the delay, including health problems and mail delays. The Commission encourages attorneys to verify the Transcript early. The subsequent fees assessed by the CLE Rules for verifying a Transcript after April 30 and for late completion of a make-up plan may be waived, in part or in whole, by the Commission, for good cause shown. If you have been assessed late fees under these Rules, you may request consideration of fee waiver or reduction.
Answer: Monitored video replay is still allowed by the Rules, however, please remember that half of the minimum requirement must be earned by traditional live attendance. Monitored video replay is available through the Delaware State Bar Association, the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association, and the National Law Foundation. Other providers may present programs by video replay, but only these three schedule videos on an on-demand basis.
Answer: No. The mid-period review is only to remind you of your status halfway through your compliance period. If you have earned ample credits for your upcoming deadline, you need not take courses unless they are of particular interest to you. If you have earned no credits, it serves as a reminder to make CLE course scheduling a priority in the upcoming year.
Answer: All that are required. While your total credits must include half in live attendance, these ratio limits do not apply specifically to your Enhanced Ethics requirement. Therefore, if you have a requirement of 24 credits, including 4 Enhanced Ethics credits, you may earn all 4 of your required Enhanced Ethics credits through any approved format.
Answer: Not as Enhanced Ethics credits. The 4 Enhanced Ethics credits must be earned during each two-year period and do not carry over as Enhanced Ethics. However, you are not penalized by earning more than 4 hours in Enhanced Ethics - they do also count as part of your total credits, which carry over to the following two-year period.
Answer: If you have a requirement of 24 credits, you can carry over up to 20 credits to the following period (the Enhanced Ethics credits must be new each period). If you are a senior attorney and have a requirement of 12 credits, the most you can carry over is 10. If you are a newly admitted attorney or an attorney resuming active practice, your requirements are one-time-only and you may carry over 20 to the following period (unless you are resuming practice and will be considered a senior attorney after that requirement is satisfied; then the most you can carry forward is 10).
Courses and Activities
Answer: We approve both sponsors and individual programs. We will approve the program as long as it meets our Rules requirements. Please refer to the program catalog at www.desclms.org for approved courses. If a program of interest is not listed in the catalog, you may contact the Commission to inquire as to credit eiligibility (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Answer: Indicate when you register, or at least when you attend, that you want Delaware credit. If the provider does not want to apply for Delaware credit, you will still have to do so in order to receive credit. Complete the Form 4 application so that the Commission can review the program and assign credits. Form 4 should be completed after the seminar so you can attach a final agenda and attendance certificate and properly answer all questions about the format of the seminar. However, if you have questions about CLE eligibility of a program, you can contact the Commission in advance of the program. Be sure to apply for credit as soon as possible after you have completed the activity so that your Transcript will always reflect the most accurate information. Since the compliance period ends before the Transcript is finalized, if you do not apply for credit for activities on a timely basis, it will affect your compliance status.
Answer: Follow the instructions of the program provider at each seminar. This will usually require signing in at the program so they can track your attendance. However, some providers, particularly those of larger seminars with many concurrent sessions, have obtained approval of other attendance maintenance records, so if you do not see a sign-in sheet, be sure to ask. You may be required to turn in a program evaluation at the end of each session, or complete and submit a two-part form verified by the provider. Always supply your Delaware Supreme Court identification number on all paperwork, and for out-of-state seminars, be sure to request Delaware credit so they know to send us the records.
Answer: Contact the program sponsor so that they can amend their records. According to the sponsor's policy, you may not receive full credit. If you do not write down your ID number or write down the wrong number, you will not receive credit; your name may not be legible, or it may be the same as someone else's, so the Commission will not be able to ensure credit. If you write down the wrong number, someone else may receive your credit by accident.
Answer: The Commission approves a number of forms of non-attendance credit. All work must be unpaid. You may receive credit for teaching or moderating a CLE course or teaching to law students; for authoring works of scholarly writing circulated to at least 300 lawyers; for participating on certain approved Boards/Comissions; and for performing uncompensated legal work assigned by specific Delaware agencies or courts. See our forms page to complete and submit the appropriate application for review, or, preferably, submit forms through online process.
Answer: eCLE is any activity where the provider is not physically present with the attorney as the educational activity is underway. This includes telephone and online courses. eCLE programs must be organized programs of learning. Reading books or viewing dvds/tapes at home for credit will not qualify. Providers must be able to provide independent verification of the attorney's identification and participation, so tests or electronic monitoring may be involved.
Answer: We do approve closed, in-house programs for credit. The seminar must be approved by the Commission, and the firm must agree to abide by all the rules for providers, but there are no other restrictions for in-house programs. The firm should apply following the instructions on the providers' page, or the attorney may apply for approval of individual credit using the Form 4 application. For the provider to receive credit, they must maintain attendance records in accordance with our requirements.
Answer: If you primarily practice in another MCLE jurisdiction, and if you are licensed to practice in that jurisdiction and required to complete CLE, you need only verify on the Delaware Transcript that you are compliant in that jurisdiction and need not worry about Delaware's specific credit requirements. "Primary Practice" refers to the address you maintain on record with the Supreme Court through filing of your annual registration statements. This does not exempt you from the Fundamentals requirement, only from the general credit requirement. If you primarily practice in Maryland, Washington, D. C., or another jurisdiction where CLE is not mandatory, you must still satisfy Delaware requirements. If your Transcript is randomly selected for audit and you have verified that you are compliant with the requirements in your primary jurisdiction, you may be required to submit proof of compliance to the Commission. If, however, you primarily practice in Delaware, then you still have to meet Delaware requirements, regardless of the other states in which you may be admitted. Please note: for this exemption to be claimed, it must apply during the entire two-year reporting period. During that time, the attorney must not have changed addresses outside the state in which the exemption is claimed, the attorney may not have been admitted to that state at some time during that two-year period, etc. The intent of the exemption rule is merely to save the attorney the burden of filing the paperwork to seek Delaware approval for all the out-of-state courses as most states' MCLE requirements are nearly the same. Therefore, the attorney who does not qualify for the exemption may still not have to do any CLE specifically for Delaware if the attorney files the paperwork to seek approval for each individual course attended.
Answer: You are exempt from CLE during your time of inactivity. If you come back to active practice, your compliance requirement will be 24 credits including 4 ethics (or 12/2 per senior attorneys). Your compliance period begins January 1 of the year after which you resume active status. If inactive for 10 years or more, you must complete the Fundamentals of Lawyer-Client Relations as part of your compliance requirement. In addition, if you owed late fees to the Commission at the time you opted for inactive status, you must pay these fees in order to resume active practice. If you are near a reporting deadline and have ample credits to meet the compliance requirement for that deadline, you should report compliance before changing to inactive.*
* You should notify the Commission when you resume active status.
Answer: The Fundamentals requirement is a series of courses in basic legal skills required of all Newly Admitted Attorneys admitted in Delaware 2015 or after. The attorney must take all seven of the courses within four years of admission, which are Fundamentals of Lawyer-Client Relations, Fundamentals of Civil Litigation, Fundamentals of Will Drafting and Estate Administration, Fundamentals of Family Law, Fundamentals of Real Estate, Fundamentals of Law Practice Management and Technology, and Fundamentals of Criminal Law and Procedure. At this time the Delaware State Bar Association is the only provider of these courses. Attorneys admitted prior to December 2015 are not required to complete these courses.
Answer: The Fundamentals requirement must be satisfied by all Newly Admitted Attorneys. No exemptions are allowed.
Answer: No. The Fundamentals programs must be those approved by the Commission to deal with Delaware law. Courses you take to satisfy your Basic Legal Skills requirements in New Jersey or other states may be approved (via Form 4 ) towards your biannual requirement, but cannot be applied to your Fundamentals requirement.
Answer: At this time, the Delaware State Bar Association is the only provider of Fundamentals courses. Be sure that you are on their mailing list for upcoming program advertisements. The Commission does not advertise any programs for providers, including the Fundamentals programs. At this time, Fundamentals courses may not be completed by eCLE. Since there is no provision within the Rules for completing the courses via a make-up plan after the four-year deadline, attorneys may attend monitored video replays at the DSBA's office in order to complete the credits before the deadline. This method of attendance is strongly discouraged, as the interaction of a live seminar is a more valuable learning experience than monitored video replay.
Answer: No. There is no extension allowed by the Rules. If completion of the Fundamentals requirement within the four-year period is not reported, you will receive a notice from the Commission to request the date(s) on which you completed the courses. If this notice is not returned by the response deadline, you will receive a Notice of Noncompliance pursuant to the CLE Rules, giving you 20 days to respond. If you do not rectify the situation by completing the courses via monitored video replay at the DSBA's offices by that final deadline, the matter of noncompliance will be referred to Disciplinary Counsel for review.
Commission on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of Delaware
The Renaissance Centre
405 North King Street, Suite 420
Wilmington, DE 19801