(a) Purpose. This rule sets forth the continuing education requirements for all judges in the state judicial system.
(b) Education Requirements.
(1) Applicability. All Florida county, circuit, and appellate judges and Florida supreme court justices shall comply with these judicial education requirements. Retired judges who have been approved by the supreme court to be assigned to temporary active duty as authorized by section 25.073, Florida Statutes (1991), shall also comply with the judicial education requirements.
(2) Minimum Requirements. Each judge and justice shall complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved judicial education programs every 3 years. Beginning January 1, 2012, 4 hours must be in the area of judicial ethics; prior to that date, 2 hours in the area of judicial ethics are required. The portions of approved courses which pertain to judicial professionalism, opinions of the Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, and the Code of Judicial Conduct can be used to fulfill the judicial ethics requirement. Every judge new to a level of trial court must complete the Florida Judicial College program in that judge’s first year of judicial service following selection to that level of court; every new appellate court judge or justice must, within 2 years following selection to that level of court, complete an approved appellate- judge program. Every new appellate judge who has never been a trial judge or who has never attended Phase I of the Florida Judicial College as a magistrate must also attend Phase I of the Florida Judicial College in that judge’s first year of judicial service following the judge’s appointment. Judges and justices will receive credit for attending these programs. Credit for teaching a course for which mandatory judicial education credit is available will be allowed on the basis of 2 1/2 hours’ credit for each instructional hour taught, up to a maximum of 5 hours per year.
(3) Mediation Training. Prior to conducting any mediation, a senior judge shall have completed a minimum of one judicial education course offered by the Florida Court Education Council. The course shall specifically focus on the areas where the Code of Judicial Conduct or the Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators could be violated.
(c) Course Approval. The Florida Court Education Council, in consultation with the judicial conferences, shall develop approved courses for each state court jurisdiction. Judges may receive credit for courses offered by other judicial and legal education entities subject to course approval by the Florida Court Education Council or the Office of Court Education within the Office of the State Court Administrator.
(d) Waiver. The Florida Court Education Council is responsible for establishing a procedure for considering and acting upon waiver and extension requests on an individual basis.
(e) Reporting Requirements and Sanctions. The Florida Court Education Council shall establish a procedure for reporting annually to the chief justice on compliance with this rule. The Office of Court Education within the Office of the State Courts Administrator shall monitor compliance with this rule. Failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will be reported to the chief justice of the Florida supreme court for such administrative action as deemed necessary. The chief justice may consider a judge’s or justice’s failure to comply as neglect of duty and report the matter to the Judicial Qualifications Commission.