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A pop quiz: How many States have amended their Rules of Professional Conduct to include some mandatory minimum of what might be considered to be continuing inner development ("CID")?

The good news is that 9 States (by my count) have amended their rules-- the bad news is that the other 41 States (plus the U. S. Virgin Islands) have done nothing. One could say that change has been rather S-L-O-W.

In February of 2017 (more that 6 years ago) the American Bar Association ("ABA") House of Delegates approved Resolution 106, amending the Model Rules to include at least 1 hour of mental health or substance use disorder programming, every 3 years. You read that correctly-- 1 hour, every 3 years! 

Section 1 of Resolution 106 consists of a series of definitions, and sub-section J states: "Mental health and Substance Use Disorders Programming" means CLE Programming that addresses the prevention, detection and/or treatment of mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders which affect a lawyer's ability to perform competent legal services (my emphasis).

I guess 41 States (and the U. S. Virgin Islands) aren't concerned about lawyer competence-- their failure to adopt the ABA's Model Rule amendment sure doesn't suggest any pressing concern. WTF-- why would a state legislator or supreme court justice be concerned about the competence of the State's lawyers?

The legal profession needs a Howard Beale moment (news anchor in the iconic movie, Network): "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!". The movie was supposed to be humorous-- even though the humor was incredibly raw. It seems the ABA House of Delegates may have injected a bit of that same kind of humor in some of its Resolutions.

And so, lawyers continue whistling past the proverbial graveyard-- who needs CID complicating our already-burdensome CLE?


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