Desperately searching for COVID-safe CLE hours?  The North Carolina Court of Appeals is offering appellate continuing legal education courses until the end of February 2021.   According to the Court’s press release, the on-demand video courses are available for free to licensed North Carolina attorneys seeking CLE credit, North Carolina paralegals seeking CPE credit, and the general public.  The courses are divided into six one-hour videos that cover various topics including emerging appellate issues, appellate practice and procedure, ethics, and technology.  Five course videos are available now, and the sixth (covering advanced appellate topics) will be posted later this month.

I have not had time to review all of the courses, but you may remember my jealousy a few months ago about not being invited to the Court of Appeals Summer Appellate Seminar put on by Judge Dietz and Justice-Elect Berger.   Well, I covertly watched those programs this summer.  And I am happy to report that the courses I found most interesting  have now been approved for CLE and specialization credit.  (For example, the emerging issues course talks about simplifying records on appeal rules, hyperlinked briefs, and the difference between jurisdictional and claims-processing deadlines . . . be still my heart.)

On a personal note, I have been spinning my wheels for the past few months searching for appellate-related online programs–and then going through the process of getting courses approved for State Bar credit.   Why?  Board-Certified Appellate Practice Specialists need at least six credits of appellate-related CLEs every calendar year.   But both within North Carolina and nationwide, most appellate CLE courses were cancelled or postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19.  These new, appellate-focused CLEs have really taken the pressure off specialists like myself.

So join me in extending a big thanks to Judge Dietz and the Court of Appeals for this early CLE Christmas present!

–Beth Scherer