eDiscovery Daily Blog

A Second State Now Has Approved a Technology CLE Requirement for its Lawyers: eDiscovery Trends

In 2016, Florida became the first state to mandate technology training for lawyers, when it adopted a rule requiring lawyers to complete three hours of CLE every three years “in approved technology programs.”  Then, back in May, we reported that another state was getting close to requiring technology training for part of their yearly CLE requirement.  Now, that state has formally approved that requirement.

According to Robert Ambrogi and his Law Sites blog (North Carolina Becomes Second State to Mandate Technology Training for Lawyers), North Carolina (my new home away from home because of this) has become the second state to mandate continuing education for lawyers in technology. Beginning in 2019, all lawyers will be required to complete one hour per year of CLE devoted to technology training.

The North Carolina Supreme Court approved the requirement at a conference on Sept. 20, according to the State Bar’s website.

As proposed by the State Bar, the new rule read:

“Technology training” shall mean a program, or a segment of a program, devoted to education on information technology (IT) or cybersecurity (see N.C. Gen. Stat. §143B-1320(a)(11), or successor statutory provision, for a definition of “information technology”), including education on an information technology product, device, platform, application, or other tool, process, or methodology. To be eligible for CLE accreditation as a technology training program, the program must satisfy the accreditation standards in Rule .1519 of this subchapter: specifically, the primary objective of the program must be to increase the participant’s professional competence and proficiency as a lawyer. Such programs include, but are not limited to, education on the following: a) an IT tool, process, or methodology designed to perform tasks that are specific or uniquely suited to the practice of law; b) using a generic IT tool process or methodology to increase the efficiency of performing tasks necessary to the practice of law; c) the investigation, collection, and introduction of social media evidence; d) e-discovery; e) electronic filing of legal documents; f) digital forensics for legal investigation or litigation; and g) practice management software. See Rule .1602 of this subchapter for additional information on accreditation of technology training programs.

Here is the full text of the new rule amendments.

Next up, Pennsylvania?  Earlier this year, the ABA Journal reported that the Pennsylvania Bar has also recommended that the state supreme court adopt a one-hour, every two-years technology CLE requirement.  No word on that approval – yet.

So, what do you think?  Will we see more states require technology CLE?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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