4.(A) The Board shall be the exclusive authority for accreditation of continuing legal education sponsors or programs. However, the Board may delegate to a subcommittee, in accord with Rule 1.(E)(3), the authority to review submissions by new sponsors. Further, the Board may delegate to its Secretary the authority to approve or deny programs submitted by previously accredited sponsors, or by sponsors who have previously had individual program(s) approved by the Board. The Board, through its Secretary, shall provide an annual report to the Arkansas Supreme Court which shall reflect summary information with regard to program approvals or denials, attorney suspension information, and such other matters as the Board may direct.
4.(B) Approval of Accredited Sponsors:
An organization, or entity, may seek Board designation as an accredited sponsor;
In order to receive such a designation the organization or entity must establish to the satisfaction of the Board that it is regularly engaged in offering continuing legal education and is recognized as a provider of continuing legal education on a national basis;
Subsequent to designation as an accredited sponsor, programs offered by that sponsor outside this State shall be approved provided such courses meet the requirements of Rule 4.(C);
Programs conducted by sponsors accredited in another state or by a national continuing legal education accrediting body may be approved, provided the Secretary is satisfied that the sponsor meets the requirements of this Rule; and,
Accredited sponsors must abide by all reasonable requests for information or course materials from the Board, or its Secretary, and the Board reserves the right to withdraw accredited sponsor designation for failure to meet the requirements of these rules.
4.(C) Individual course or activity approval:
The Board may, upon application, approve continuing legal education courses or activities provided such courses meet the following standards:
The course must contribute directly to professional competence of attorneys and judges, or to their education with respect to professional or ethical obligations;
Course presenters must have the necessary experience or academic skills to conduct the course effectively;
Prior to, during, or after the course, each attendee must be provided with written course materials of a quality and quantity which indicate that adequate time has been devoted to the speaker's preparation and that the written
materials will be of value to the attendees in the course of their practice. In the event written materials are not provided before, or during the program, the program will not be subject to pre-approval by the Board. In the event materials are submitted after the program, the Board will make a determination as to what, if any, credit shall be
given for the course;
The course must be presented in a suitable setting, which provides attendees with adequate writing surfaces, provided that the Secretary is satisfied that the course substantially complies with the requirements of Rule 4.(C);
During activities presented by means of videotape, audiotape, or other such systems, there must be an opportunity to ask questions of course faculty or a qualified commentator;
The sponsor must encourage participation by attorneys as planners, authors, panelists, or lecturers;
The sponsor must make available to the Board, or its Secretary, upon request, information concerning the course, which might include a list of attendees or individual affidavits signed by attendees, the course brochure, a description of the method or manner of presentation, and a set of all written materials pertinent to the course; and
The course must be subject to evaluation before, during, and after presentation.
4.(D) The Board is authorized and encouraged to grant approval to all sources of continuing legal education which meet the relevant standards of Rule 4.(C), including: publication of law related articles in legal journals; preparation of bar examination materials; preparation for, and conduct of, approved continuing legal education courses; participation in regularly scheduled courses conducted by American Bar Association accredited law schools; and "In House" educational programs conducted by law firms or other law related entities. The Board shall also be authorized to determine the amount of approved hours such activities are worth and may limit the number of such hours that may be applied to the minimum requirement.
4.(E) It is presumed that sponsor accreditation, or individual program accreditation, will be sought well in advance of the event. However, the Board may accredit a sponsor or individual program after the event.
4.(F) In the event the Secretary denies approval of an individual course or sponsor, the aggrieved sponsor may, in writing, request that the Board review such denial.