Frequently Asked Questions for Part-Time, Full-Time, and New Magistrates
To serve the public interest that mandates the competent performance of the duties of judicial office in Ohio.
Full-time and part-time magistrates appointed by a court pursuant to App.R. 34, Crim.R. 19. Civ.R. 53, or Traf.R. 14 must comply with the continuing legal education requirements pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X, Sec. 10 (C). Effective September 1, 2023, the magistrate continuing legal education requirements will be governed by Gov.Jud. R. IV.
Magistrates are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years. As part of the 10-hour Judicial College education requirement, three hours of instruction must be designated as “judicial conduct,” which may include courses on topics such as judicial ethics, judicial professionalism, and access to justice.
Yes. Part-time magistrates are required to earn 40 hours of continuing legal education, including 10 hours of instruction through courses offered by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College, every two years. Further, as part of the 10-hour Judicial College education requirement three hours of instruction must be designated as “judicial conduct,” which may include courses on topics such as judicial ethics, judicial professionalism, and access to justice.
- Publication Credit. Magistrates may apply for CLE accreditation for publishing a legal article or book. A maximum of 12 hours of publication credit may be earned each compliance period.
- Teaching Credit. Magistrates may teach at an approved CLE activity and earn a maximum of 20 hours of teaching credit each biennial compliance period.
Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the self-study caps for magistrates will increase to 20 hours per compliance period and eliminate the separate cap for live webinars in future compliance periods. The first biennium that magistrates will be subject to the new cap will be the 2023-2024 compliance period. The following clarifies the amendments and the self-study caps for magistrates by compliance period:
- Magistrates with last names ending with M-Z who have a CLE requirement for the 2021-2022 compliance period ending December 31, 2022: the self-study caps have been waived pursuant to the Administrative Order issued on September 22, 2021.
- Magistrates with last names ending with A-L who have a CLE requirement for the 2022-2023 compliance period ending December 31, 2023, are subject to the current self-study caps of 12 hours of self-study credit and 24 hours of live interactive webinar credit.
- Magistrates with last names ending with M-Z who have a CLE requirement for the 2023-2024 compliance period ending December 31, 2024, will be subject to the 20 hour self-study cap.
Magistrates are encouraged to confirm that self-study courses have been accredited in Ohio prior to attending. Pursuant to CCLE Reg. 409, only Sponsors can apply for accreditation of self-study activities.
A magistrate who completes more than the 40-hour CLE requirement in a compliance period, may carry over a maximum of 20 hours of CLE credit to the next compliance period. Any carryover, including any Judicial College hours, will count as general credit only. Therefore, a minimum of 10 Judicial College hours, including 3.0 hours of Judicial Conduct, must be completed each compliance period.
No. Attorney Professional Conduct hours cannot be applied towards the three-hour Judicial Conduct Requirement. A magistrate must complete 3.0 hours of Judicial Conduct credit each biennium. If a magistrate completes any attorney professional conduct hours, those hours will only apply towards the total hour requirement for the biennium.
All attorneys have been permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups depending on their last name at the time of their admission to the practice of law in Ohio. Magistrates with last names beginning with the letters A through L will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each odd-numbered year. Magistrates with last names beginning with the letters M through Z will be required to earn all education hours by the end of each even-numbered year.
As part of your 40-hour requirement as a new magistrate, you will be required to complete the Magistrate Orientation Program, which is conducted by the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College. The orientation program must be completed within 12 months of your date of appointment as a magistrate. This orientation is also required for those magistrates who have changed court jurisdictions. Please check the Judicial College course calendar for the dates of this program. Questions should be directed to the Judicial College at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the orientation program is approved for Judicial College credit hours.
As part of the orientation, new magistrates are required to participate in the Judicial College Mentor Program. An experienced mentor will be assigned to each new magistrate for a 12-month period. Additional information and questions should be directed to the Judicial College at email@example.com. While the Judicial College Mentor Program is required, it is not approved for any continuing legal education credit.
No. If your name changes at any time after you have been admitted to the practice of law, you remain in the same alphabetical grouping for CLE purposes.
Thirty minutes of actual instruction equals one-half credit hour. Hours are calculated in quarter hours and rounded to the nearest quarter hour.
Yes. Pursuant to Gov.Bar R. X, Sec. 12 (D), United States judges appointed to office for life pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution; United States bankruptcy judges; and United States magistrate judges, are exempt from the CLE requirements while in office.
Yes. You should maintain records to establish compliance with CLE requirements in the event of an error in your record.
If you fail to comply with the educational requirements of Gov.Bar R. X, the Commission will send you a notice of apparent noncompliance. The notice will specify the nature of the noncompliance and state that unless you come into compliance or file evidence of compliance that is satisfactory to the Commission by the date set forth in the notice, the Commission will issue an order imposing a sanction against you. As a condition of acceptance of late compliance, you will be required to pay a late compliance fee that accompanies your report of compliance.
If you submit evidence by the date set forth in the notice that establishes timely compliance or late compliance, the Commission will withdraw the notice of apparent noncompliance and advise you of this action.
If you do not come into compliance or file satisfactory evidence of compliance, the Commission will issue a sanction order against you, consistent with Commission regulation.
There is no provision for extensions of time to comply with your CLE/Judicial College requirements. However, you will be provided with an opportunity to make-up the deficient hours as described above.
The Commission may grant a temporary exemption from the continuing legal education requirements of Gov. Bar Rule X, under the following circumstances:
- A magistrate suffering from severe, prolonged illness or disability preventing participation in accredited programs and activities for the duration of the illness or disability;
- A magistrate, for a period not to exceed one year, upon a finding by the Commission that those special circumstances unique to that magistrate constitutes good cause for exemption. The Commission may adjust credit hour requirements on a pro rata basis;
- A magistrate who, because of a permanent physical disability or other compelling reason, has difficulty attending programs and activities, may request, and the Commission may grant, approval of a substitute program.
Visit the CLE website to download the appropriate Application for Exemption form. The application should be submitted, along with appropriate supporting documentation, to the Office of Attorney Services.