I do a lot of CLE speaking. People say I’m funny and I try to scare people into the realities of patent practice and malpractice. I’ve seen folks who read newspapers, play on their computers, and work during CLEs, and of course there’s a zone of reasonableness about what is required before someone can say they “attended” a CLE.
I’ve also observed folks leave CLEs before I speak — often they sponsors put the ethics guy last to keep people present — and wondered if they claimed to have attended my hour of ethics. That seems… unethical.
This case doesn’t get me that precedent, but it’s close. A lawyer was snoring at a CLE and had to be woken up, and also he apparently had been drinking at it, and eventually had been led out of the room by someone to stop disruption. Both DC and Virginia gave the fellow a six month suspension — not for sleeping, it seems, but for denying it. In re Hartke, (D.C. Ct. App. No. 15-BG-984, May 12, 2016).