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(A) Except as noted elsewhere in Rule 2, these rules shall apply to every member of the Bar of Arkansas, including all levels of the State and Federal Judiciary, and all attorneys who may be suspended during any reporting period due to nonpayment of license fee or action by the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct. When used in the course of these rules, the word attorney shall include judges.

(B) Exemptions: Any attorney or Judge who attains age 70 or completes 40 years of licensure as an Arkansas lawyer, during any given reporting period, is exempt from all requirements of the Arkansas Rules for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (hereinafter referred to as CLE) for that reporting period as well as all subsequent reporting periods.

(C) Non Resident Attorneys:

(1) Attorneys who are members of the Bar of Arkansas, but reside outside this State, are required to meet the minimum continuing legal education requirements of their resident state. Such attorneys shall complete annual certification forms to that effect. These forms will be filed with the Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board on or before the October 31 which succeeds the reporting period in question. Such certifications shall be subject to verification through the agency which administers the continuing legal education program for such resident state. In the event an attorney is a member of the Bar of Arkansas, yet resides in a state or foreign jurisdiction where there is no continuing legal education requirement, such attorneys shall be annually required to file with the Arkansas Continuing Legal Education Board a certification form confirming that fact. This form shall be filed on or before the October 31 which succeeds the reporting period in question. Further, in the event an attorney returns to the practice of law in the State of Arkansas from a state where there has been no continuing legal education requirement that attorney shall be required, by the end of the first reporting period after the attorney's return, to acquire thirty-six (36) hours of accredited continuing legal education.

(2) Nonetheless, an Arkansas licensed attorney or judge who resides: in a state which does not require continuing legal education; in a foreign jurisdiction; or, in a state which requires continuing legal education but is not licensed in that state and is therefore prohibited from participating in the continuing legal education program of that state, may remain current as regards Arkansas CLE requirements. Such attorneys may do so by meeting the twelve (12) hour requirement as set out in Rule 3.(A). The Secretary shall obtain from such attorneys appropriate documentation to confirm compliance with the Arkansas CLE program. In the event attorneys are in compliance with Rule 3(A) during the reporting period preceding their return to the practice of law in Arkansas, they shall not be subject to the thirty-six (36) hour requirement mentioned in paragraph 2.(C)(1) above. In the event an attorney has elected to remain current, yet fails to acquire 12 hours of approved CLE during any reporting period, that attorney shall be subject to the sanctions of Rule 6. 2.(D)

(D) Inactive Status:

(1) At anytime during a reporting period, an attorney on active status, with the exception of sitting judges, may take inactive status for the purpose of those rules. Such status may be secured by filing a petition in accord with Section 25 A.(7) of the Procedures of the Arkansas Supreme Court Regulating Professional Conduct of Attorneys at Law (Procedures) or its successor provision. By taking inactive status, the attorney shall be exempt from the minimum educational requirements of rule 3 for that reporting period and subsequent reporting periods.

(2) An attorney may return to active practice by petition filed as set forth in Section 23 of the Procedures or its successor provision.

(3) Such attorneys shall be required to obtain thirty-six (36) hours of qualified continuing legal education between the date of return to active status (which is the date the reinstatement fee is received by the Board) and the end of the next succeeding reporting period.

(E) Readmission/Reinstatement

(1) An attorney who is re-admitted to the Bar of Arkansas following voluntary resignation, voluntary surrender in lieu of discipline, or order of disbarment shall be required by the end of the next year's reporting period following the attorney's readmission to acquire thirty-six (36) hours of accredited continuing legal education, with at least three (3) of the required hours being in ethics.

(2) This thirty-six (36) hour requirement shall also apply to any attorney who is reinstated by the Board of Law Examiners following non-payment of license fees for a period of more than three (3) years and to attorneys whose license has been suspended by the Committee on Professional Conduct for a period of at least three (3) years.

History Text: 

History: Amended and substituted July 9, 1990; amended January 13, 1992, effective March 1, 1992; amended June 27, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; amended June 27, 2002; amended November 30, 2006, effective January 1, 2007; amended and effective October 10, 2013.

Associated Court Rules: 
Rules for Minimum Continuing Legal Education