Section of Litigation Guidelines for Regional CLE Programs
(Full Day/Half Day/60 Minutes)
- The committee proposing the Regional CLE Program must request approval at least fourteen (14) weeks prior to the proposed date of the meeting. The application will be reviewed by the Regional CLE Programs Committee (Staff Contact: Corey Irion at Corey.Irion@americanbar.org). Applicants will receive notification of disposition within five business days of receipt of their fully completed ABA Section of Litigation Regional CLE Program Application.
- Regional CLE Programs may be held no less than one week prior to or after the Section Annual Conference, ABA Annual Meeting, and Leadership Meetings. Regional CLE Programs cannot be held in the same week as another Regional CLE Program unless otherwise approved by the Regional CLE Programs Committee via the Program Associate. To confirm your program date, you must submit a completed application and receive approval from ABA staff.
- Regional CLE Programs may be no more than one day in length, unless preapproved by the Regional CLE Programs Committee and/or staff.
- To keep expenses to a minimum, it is recommended that space for Regional CLE Programs be provided in-kind from law firms, corporate law offices, courts or law schools.
- Regional CLE Program fees may be no more than $195 for Section members. Section member pricing must be within these ranges: $125-195 for full day; $75-175 for half day; $55-$85 for 60 minutes. ABA member fees must be at least $70 more than Section member fees ($5 more than the cost of Section membership). Non-ABA member fees must be $30 more than the ABA member fee.
- A program cannot be cancelled less than two weeks before the program date by the program chair, but the Section reserves the right to cancel a program if the program is not expected to break even two weeks before the program date.
- The Regional CLE Programs Committee will appoint a liaison for each Regional CLE Program. The liaison will serve as a resource to the program organizers for the duration of the planning process. Organizers should involve the liaison in all communication regarding the program and keep them updated as the program develops.
- Each Regional CLE Program is to be planned by a Regional CLE Program Chair, with oversight and day-to-day involvement by the committee co-chair(s) with responsibility for:
• completing the Regional CLE Program Application and seeking approval to host the program
• identifying and securing a host firm/location
• promoting attendance
• submitting CLE written materials and obtaining author agreements
• managing onsite duties including registration and CLE sign in
• managing speakers and ensuring submission of all speaker release forms
• effective wrap up of each program including submitting a final registration list and returning CLE sign-in sheets and meeting materials to the ABA within 7 days of the program (late submission of these materials will put CLE accreditation at risk)
• obtaining approvals for funding, including sponsorships and in-kind contributions, from the Revenue Officer
• submitting all checks, reimbursement requests, and allowable expenses to the staff with the completed post-program evaluation form within 30 days following the program.
- Per the Section of Litigation speaker policies, only one speaker per firm is allowed per panel, and a speaker may only speak on one panel per program. Speakers are required to register for the Regional CLE Program and complete a brief online Speaker Release Form prior to the program. Vendors may not serve in a moderator role on a panel.
- All attendees, including guests, speakers and sponsors must register for the program. No reimbursement will be authorized for travel expenses. Depending on the program’s budget, speaker registration fees can be waived. While we prefer everyone pays for registration, please indicate in your application if you wish to waive registration fees for speakers. In compliance with Section policy, all speakers must be registered to receive CLE credit. Registration waivers will be considered on a case by case basis in the event where a speaker is only attending the program for their panel and leaving.
- The Section benefits from annual contract sponsorships with Ankura, LexisNexis and Trial Behavior Consulting. While we encourage committees to enlist experts and speakers from these sponsors for Regional CLE Programs, individuals from these entities should not serve in a moderator role.
- Non-sponsoring corporate entities (i.e. vendors) may also serve in speaking capacities for CLE programs, they should not be listed as moderators or program chairs. Additionally, sponsoring entities will have first-right of refusal in representing their sector/practice area for all programs.
- The ABA expects all CLE programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the ABA to meet the ABA’s CLE Diversity Policy by having the faculty include members of diverse groups (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability). This policy applies to individual CLE programs whose faculty consists of three or more panel participants, including the moderator. Individual programs with faculty of three or four panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 1 diverse member; individual programs with faculty of five to eight panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 2 diverse members; and individual programs with faculty of nine or more panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 3 diverse members. The ABA will not sponsor, co-sponsor, or seek CLE accreditation for any program failing to comply with this policy unless an exception or appeal is granted.
- The Section of Litigation staff will help to market your upcoming Regional CLE Program with two email messages sent to those in the sponsoring committee(s) and those who have selected areas of interest related to your programming in the Regional CLE Program’s state and surrounding states. Additionally, Section staff will create an electronic brochure for use in your email marketing and for posting on your Regional Program’s website. Last, Section staff will promote your Regional CLE Program with two social media posts on two of the Section’s main social media platforms.
- Marketing responsibilities fall heavily on the program planning committee. The Regional CLE Programs Committee expects program organizers to market the program in committee listservs, on social media, and with their personal networks.
- All Regional CLE Programs budgets must at least break even. Any losses will not be absorbed by the Section. The Section will not reimburse the program organizer(s) or host firm unless and until all expenses and all revenues are collected. All expenses and anticipated requests for reimbursement must be outlined in the original budget that is submitted with the application. An itemized receipt will be required for all expenses. Any requests for reimbursement that are not pre-approved may be declined. Reimbursement requests will not be processed until sponsorship invoices are sent and processed. Nothing can be billed directly to the Section or the American Bar Association.
- Sponsored event components (i.e. receptions, luncheons, breaks, dinners, etc.) at Regional CLE Programs are expressly reserved for corporate Section sponsors (i.e. Ankura, LexisNexis, Trial Behavior Consulting) at the direction of the Section Revenue Officer. These naming rights are not determined by committees. Other companies or firms cannot sponsor any networking events.
NOTE: This includes any event or extracurricular activity during the meeting date. While the Section understands that groups may want to host additional networking, these events are not publicized in Section materials or communications. Additionally, the sharing of registration/membership lists for invitation to non-sanctioned events is strictly prohibited.
- Because registration fees rarely cover all expenses of a program, sponsorship contributions are often critical to a program’s success. These contributions can be monetary or in-kind (such as donating meeting space or providing a meal or reception or on-site staff support). Before your committee seeks in-kind or financial support from law firms, corporations or other sponsors, you must submit your sponsor prospects and have them approved before any solicitation of sponsors can occur. No proposed sponsor may be contacted until approval is granted. The Program Associate, Corey Irion, will notify you of sponsorship approval. Please see the Section’s Sponsorship Guidelines (pages 7-8) for full policies and best practices.
- All sponsor signage (if any) for all Regional CLE Programs must be submitted to Corey Irion (Corey.Irion@americanbar.org). The Section of Litigation will provide one (1) foamcore sign recognizing Gold and Corporate sponsors.
- Regional CLE Programs may be sponsored by the Section of Litigation, its committees and, if appropriate, co-sponsored with other ABA entities. Local bar associations or universities may be co-sponsors in name only, with no sharing of profit or loss and must be approved by the ABA Board of Governors. Please contact Corey Irion for the co- sponsorship application.
- ABA Open Meeting Policy: Please note, the ABA has “Open Meeting Policy” which states in part “all ABA programs are open to the media unless they are to conduct business sessions of a confidential nature.” “Media” may include print, radio, TV, internet or other journalists as credentialed by the Division for Media Relations and Communication Services, including ABA journalists. All speakers will be required to submit a speaker release form which acknowledges that media may record, photograph, or make fair use of portions of the presentation.