The Supreme Court issued an order dated August 28, 2015, that amends Article XII of the State Bar Rules to remove the MCLE exemption for emeritus attorneys. Beginning June 1, 2016, emeritus members (members who are 70 years of age or older) must comply with MCLE requirements. How will you be affected? Continue reading to find out about compliance years, why the rule changed, and what to do if you are retired. For more information regarding emeritus exemption status, go to texasbar.com/mcle/emeritus. Why was the MCLE exemption for emeritus attorneys removed? The recommendation to remove the MCLE emeritus exemption came from the State Bar Task Force on Aging Lawyer Issues. The MCLE emeritus exemption was removed to ensure that all active practicing attorneys remain current in the law. The recommendation was approved by the State Bar MCLE Committee and then by the State Bar Board of Directors and the Supreme Court of Texas. When does the MCLE requirement for emeritus attorneys become effective? The MCLE requirement applies to compliance years starting on or after June 1, 2016. Previously exempt attorneys may claim credit for CLE completed within 12 months immediately preceding the first compliance year beginning on or after June 1, 2016, provided that these CLE hours have not been used for compliance in a prior year (see chart below). What if I am retired and no longer practice law, or I practice only for family? Attorneys who no longer practice law may claim MCLE Non-Practicing Status or Inactive Membership Status. To be eligible for either status as an option for MCLE compliance, an attorney must be non-practicing or inactive during the entire MCLE compliance year. Members who practice law at the beginning of a compliance year and later change to inactive status are not eligible for an exemption but may defer their MCLE requirements. Members who practice law only for family members may claim the MCLE Non-Practicing Status, but must remain on an Active Membership status. To request Inactive Membership Status, contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 204-2222, ext. 1383. To request MCLE Non-Practicing Status, contact the MCLE Department at email@example.com or (800) 204-2222, ext. 1806. Please refer to the chart below to determine your first MCLE compliance year. CLE credit hours completed between these dates may be used toward your first MCLE requirement of 15 hours, including 3 hours of ethics/professional responsibility.
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