MCLE Opinion 11

RULINGS AND OPINIONS OF THE VIRGINIA MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION BOARD

MCLE OPINION 11 -- ADVERTISEMENTS BY SPONSORS

Opinion #10 provides that when an application for course approval is submitted by a sponsoring organization, the course is judged by an objective standard and will not be approved unless it obviously pertains to a recognized legal subject, or other subject matter which integrally relates to the practice of law or to the professional responsibility or ethical obligations of the participants.

Opinion #10 further provides that when an application for course approval is submitted by a Virginia State Bar member, and the course does not pertain to a recognized legal subject, the board will give great weight to the obvious subjective determination of the member that the subject matter enhances his or legal responsibilities. In such cases, the decision by the board will be made on a case by case basis.

Regulation 104 permits either an active member or a sponsor to request approval of a course. When an application by a sponsor for course approval has been approved any active member who attends the course and otherwise complies with the MCLE regulations is entitled to receive credit. Accordingly, Regulation 104 permits the sponsor of an approved course to advertise course approval. However, when an application by a member for course approval has been approved, it does not mean that every member who takes the course will receive credit because the board must review each application and make its determination in accordance with the principles of the regulations and Opinion #10. Therefore, it would be misleading to other active members to permit a sponsoring organization to advertise that a course has been approved for MCLE credit when the approval has been given to an application submitted by an active members. For these reasons a sponsoring organization may only advertise that a particular course has been approved when it has submitted an application for that course which has been approved.

3/13/89

Updated: Jul 27, 2006