Want to get out of your CLE requirement? Become a judge!
Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald Castille recently shot down a proposal that would require state judges to undergo judicial training. Chief Justice Castille argued that it doesn't take much training "to know not to commit a crime."
While knowing the difference between right and wrong may not take much training, putting that knowledge into practice does. Numerous experiments have shown that people behave more ethically and honestly when reminded that they're supposed to. Our egos don't enjoy feeling like we're bad people or hypocrites. So, when our ethical obligations are out of sight and out of mind, it's easy to let ourselves slip.
Judge Castille also noted the practical limitations of requiring judicial training:
"The proposed training would have been a four day program.
"You would lose a judge for four days. There's 1,000 judges, by the way, so that'd be 4,000 days of lost judicial time."
That's four days every year, not a one-shot deal, and we agree that may be a bit excessive. Four day training the first time, and some continuing legal education however, that's a bit more manageable.
The state's attorneys are of course required to do continuing legal education training, as are the state's magisterial judges and traffic court judges.
Let's assume that each state requires 12 hours of CLE training by attorneys, and there are about 1 million attorneys in the United States, that's 12 million hours a year, 2 million days of lost legal services, hundreds of millions in lost revenue, tens of millions in lost taxes, and exactly 11.995 million hours spent in abject boredom.
[Legal Intelligencer via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]