Registration and CLE Policies
Annual License Fee Waiver/CLE Exemption Policy
In cases of financial hardship, an attorney may request that the Board waive the license fee obligation provided for in Maine Bar Rule 4 by submitting a written request, in the form of a sworn affidavit, to the Executive Director. The affidavit shall contain a full explanation of the circumstances necessitating such a waiver. Upon review of the affidavit and any supporting documents, the Executive Director may grant a license fee waiver. If the Executive Director denies the waiver, the attorney shall have 30 days from the date of denial to submit a request to the Executive Director for reconsideration by the Board at its next scheduled meeting. Waivers may be granted only for one licensing period at a time and shall be granted sparingly.
Upon a showing of undue hardship, the Executive Director may grant an attorney an exemption from complying with all or part of the requirements of Rule 5 of the Maine Bar Rules. An attorney seeking such an exemption must submit a written request, in the form of a sworn affidavit, to the Executive Director. The affidavit shall contain a full explanation of the circumstances necessitating the CLE exemption. In cases where an attorney alleges medical or other disability, the attorney must also submit a statement from their medical provider. Upon review of the affidavit and any supporting documents, the Executive Director may grant or modify the attorney's continuing legal education requirement. If the Executive Director denies the exemption request, the attorney shall have 30 days from the date of denial to submit a request to the Executive Director for reconsideration by the Board at its next scheduled meeting. Exemptions may be granted only for one licensing period at a time and shall be granted sparingly.
Approved Sponsor/Application Fees
In addition to the requirements of M. Bar R. 5(d)(1), all approved sponsors shall submit to the Board a course brochure together with a non-refundable fee of $35.00. Non-approved sponsors shall submit an application issued by the Board and course brochure together with a non-refundable fee of $45.00. Courses presented at no cost to participants are exempt from the application fee. Self-study activities are exempt from fees.
Structured educational activities presented as part of a meeting or "brown-bag lunch" offered by a state, county, or municipal bar association will automatically be eligible for thirty (30) minutes of CLE credit for each attorney who completes the session. The Board may grant additional credit upon receipt of a completed application form with attachments from the sponsoring entity.
Ethics Credits for Participation on Volunteer Committees
Attorneys may be awarded up to three (3) hours of ethics credit each calendar year for documented participation as volunteer members of commissions and committees which are appointed by the Court or the Board or that serve the Court and the profession at the state or national level and are primarily concerned with ethics or professional responsibility. Credits under this rule may also be awarded to attorneys appointed by the Court to monitor the practice of another attorney.
Expiration Date of Self-Study Materials
All self-study materials must be current (released within the past two years) to qualify for self-study credit.
Reciprocal Course Approval
Credit hours for courses or activities approved by another mandatory continuing legal education state and certified by that state's CLE regulatory authority will be accepted for identical credit by the Board upon the receipt of evidence of such certification, and payment of the requisite fee, in accordance with M. Bar. R. 5(d)(i)(2).
Lawyers may seek reciprocal admission to the Maine Bar by motion (see full text of Maine Bar Admission Rule 11A) upon completion of at least fifteen (15) hours of continuing legal education on Maine practice and procedure. Such CLE credit hours must be completed within one year immediately preceding the date upon which the motion for reciprocal admission is filed. The fifteen-hour requirement includes at least two credit hours primarily concerned with issues of ethics or professional responsibility and may be earned by attending live courses, in-office courses, self-study, or a combination thereof. Of the remaining thirteen hours, no more than seven credit hours may be earned through in-office or self-study courses.
The Board shall retain Annual Report Statements, course approvals, certificates of attendance, and attendance rosters for a minimum of two years. At the end of the retention period, these documents will be disposed of in a confidential manner.
Self-Study Credit for Published Law Articles
The composition and submission of law related articles for publication will not be automatically approved for CLE credit. Authors requesting such credit must submit a copy of the published article for evaluation by the Board. Approved CLE credits will be applied toward the self-study portion of the attorney's annual CLE obligation.
Teleconferences, Video Conferences, and Webcasts
Approved courses presented via teleconference, video conference, or webcast qualify for self-study credit. If the provider can demonstrate that a course features an interactive component allowing attendees to participate in real time, live credit may be granted.
Attendance at a video replay of a live CLE presentation entitles attendees to the same number of credits as the initial live presentation. Private use of audio or videotaped presentations shall entitle the viewer/listener to the same number of CLE credits as the initial live presentation, but those credits shall be self-study credits.