Courts Seek Public Comment on Mandatory CLE Rules to Include New Credit on Cybersecurity

By Brandon Vogel

Courts Seek Public Comment on Mandatory CLE Rules to Include New Credit on Cybersecurity

12.15.2021

By Brandon Vogel

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The Continuing Legal Education Board of the Unified Court System is seeking public comment on a proposed amendment to the mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) rules (22 NYCRR §1500) that would require newly admitted and experienced attorneys to complete one CLE credit in a new category – Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Data Protection.

If adopted by the Continuing Legal Education Board, New York State would become the first state to implement a cybersecurity requirement for lawyers.

This cybersecurity category is divided into two sections: ethics and general. Ethics topics would include ethical obligations and professional responsibilities relating to the protection of electronic data and communication. General topics would include technological aspects of protecting client and law office electronic data and communication, and applicable laws relating to cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection. This credit would be included within, and would not add to, the current credit requirement in the attorney’s biennial reporting cycle.

In June 2020, NYSBA approved a report from the NYSBA Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession that recommends amending the mandatory continuing legal education rule to require one credit in cybersecurity.

Former committee co-chair Mark A. Berman (Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer) explained that now most lawyers are working from home and more likely to use a mobile device. “With a mobile phone, you do not necessarily have the infrastructure of law firms or the protection of a firm’s network. You might also use home Wifi which may or not be secure,” he said.

Those wishing to comment on the proposal should e-mail their submissions to [email protected] or write to: Eileen D. Millett, Esq., Counsel, Office of Court Administration, 25 Beaver Street, 11th Fl., New York, New York, 10004. Comments must be received no later than Feb. 15.

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