Mixed signals from the South Carolina bar

Posted Friday, February 24th, 2012 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Continuing Legal Education, Law and Culture, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Specific

A few days after posting this, I learned that the “M” in “MCLE” did not mean that this CLE qualifies for ethics hours.  -GF

Recently our State Supreme Court ordered that “at least once every three annual reporting periods, attorneys and judges complete one hour of instruction devoted exclusively to substance abuse or mental health issues and the legal profession.”  Their rationale was that “[t]he Bar notes members of the legal profession tend to suffer from higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide than other professions.”

Today I received notice that this same bar is sponsoring continuing legal education–moreover ethics credits–for a “Concealed Weapons Permit and CLE Training Course.” At the end of this eight hour class (1.5 MCLE credit hours), the participant will qualify for a concealed weapons permit.

Google “depression and suicide” and “depression and homicide” and one will find numerous medical studies finding correlations between depression and suicide or homicide.  Whose idea was it to encourage giving depressed lawyers ethics credit for obtaining a concealed weapons permit? Just dandy!

7 thoughts on Mixed signals from the South Carolina bar

  1. Anne Frances Bleecker says:

    Bravo Greg! I just saw that email and did a triple take! it makes no sense to me, either.

  2. Linda says:

    Bahahaha! I have numerous comments about this gem of Bar wisdom but am afraid to post them for fear it may violate a civility oath which I waited until the last day possible to take :) I wouldn’t want to shoot myself in the foot. . .

  3. Sally King-Gilreath says:

    Strange indeed!

  4. I previously expressed my views to Terry Burnett on this and seminar with golf, dove hunting, kayaking, rafting, and maturbating. I like to plan my recreation and my professional development. If I want to mix the two, that is my choice, but I prefer choices for pure CLE from the bar. I can find my own entertainment.

  5. Nicholas Clekis says:

    For those that don’t practice in General Sessions Court it may be hard to fathom the sub-culture that comes before the court each and every day charged w/ possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. More times than not, the defendants are less than 20 years old. This, along with many other valid reasons is why the SC BAR has in the last 8 months, sanctioned and approved Concealed Weapon CLEs and has held approx 5 in Columbia and 1 in Greenville. In April, Circuit Court and Family Court judges each will have a class; 1 in N. Charleston, 1 in Greenville (Columbia and Greenville were sell-outs). While any profession has its share of depressed and suicidal members, that alone is not a reason to deny our members of proper training and use of a handgun. That analogy is tantamount to saying ; “If we train them to use a gun, maybe they will shoot themselves …” IF you are depressed or suicidal, this is not the course for you. ON the other hand, please don’t ruin it for the rest of the healthy BAR that wish to learn and legally become licensed by SLED to protect ourselves and our families.

    1. Nick:

      This blog was intended to be slightly tongue-in-cheek. I still don’t understand why this CLE should qualify for ethics credit.

  6. A few days after posting this, I learned that the “M” in “MCLE” did not mean that this CLE qualifies for ethics hours. My bad.

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