Blue Ribbon Committee report garners media attention
recommendations of the ISBA’s Blue Ribbon Committee have spawned an interest by the media and government leaders. President
Guy Cook has addressed the proposal on radio talk shows, television newscasts and
various print media, including the
Wall Street Journal, ABA Journal’s Law News Now, and newspapers across the state.
The recommendations move away from the
multi-state bar exam in use for the past five years and adopt the Uniform Bar
Exam (UBE) that is portable in 14 states. The recommendations also allow
students who successfully complete three years of specified law school course
work at Drake University Law School or the University of Iowa College of Law to
be admitted to the Iowa Bar without being required to take a bar exam.
"While perhaps counterintuitive at first, the
Blue Ribbon Committee found the diploma privilege to be a sensible alternative
to the bar exam with many positive consequences,” President Cook says. "It
reduces student debt, stops the brain drain, and increases access to justice, to
name just a few.
"We can and must do better for the next generation of lawyers and
citizens of our state,” he adds.
bar website has
a link to the complete report, talking points about it, an audio clip of
President Cook’s interview on WHO Radio with Simon Conway, a law review article
entitled "Wisconsin Diploma Privilege: Try It, You’ll Like It” (Wisconsin has
had diploma privilege for many years and is currently the only state to offer
it), another law review article entitled "Tulsa Law Review: Use of the Diploma
Privilege in the United States,” and a video from the Des Moines Register
featuring President Cook and Drake University Law School Dean Allan Vestal
discussing the proposal.
proposal has been submitted to the supreme court. The court likely will
consider the report at its administrative session next summer.
Another scam targeted at
attorneys involves phony court cases
that appear to come from federal and state courts
aware of this newest scam whereby you receive an email supposedly from a
federal court asking you to report to a hearing on a specified day and time.
The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for
detailed case information. The attachment contains a computer virus.
should never receive notice in a case you aren't in. When in doubt, call the
federal court which supposedly sent the email, and don't open the attachment.
YLD sponsoring information session on
becoming a lawyer-legislator Jan. 29
Young Lawyers Division is holding its second information session on becoming a
lawyer-legislator at 3 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the bar headquarters building. YLD
members held a similar information session several years ago.
to be covered include ethical issues in campaigns led by Megan Tooker, director
and legal counsel for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board;
understanding the districts, voter/voting issues and executive office versus
legislative offices led by Secretary of State Matt Schultz; and the nuts and
bolts of a campaign led by a panel of legislators and would-be legislators.
hour of CLE credit, including an hour of ethics, is pending.
National Association of Women Judges unveils
civics education project
National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) unveiled its civics education
project yesterday (Jan. 15).
"Informed Voters, Fair Judges,” the campaign addresses what organizers see as a growing gap in civic literacy
in the nation. The non-partisan voter education
project was developed to increase public awareness about the judicial system,
to inform voters that politics and special interest attacks have no place in
the courts, and to give voters the tools they need to exercise an informed vote
in favor of fair and impartial courts.
NAWJ is the
nation’s primary professional organization for female jurists in state, federal
and appellate courts in all 50 states. Founded in 1979, the NAWJ counts more
than 12,000 members.
View campaign materials
and receive more information at the NAWJ website.
Deadline to apply for loan repayment
assistance extended to Friday, Jan. 24
in charge of the ISBA’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (ISBA LRAP) have
extended the deadline by a week to Friday (Jan. 24).
repayment assistance is available to attorneys who choose to work in a public
interest field and who make less than
$50,000 per year. The goal is to assist these attorneys with their student loan
debt so they are able to choose public interest law and remain employed in it
while still being able to repay their loans.
persons should apply by downloading an application form from the ISBA’s website
(www.iowabar.org). Click on the "Now
Accepting Applications” button at the bottom of the homepage. Remember the
deadline for applying is Jan. 24.
Still need ethics hours?
have been coming into the ISBA office from attorneys looking for ethics hours
to meet the required three hours of ethics every two years.
ISBA offers two opportunities for obtaining those ethics hours. One is a
telephone CLE this Friday (Jan. 17) from noon to 1 p.m. Entitled "A District
Court Judge’s Perspective on Conduct in the Courtroom” and sponsored by the
ISBA’s Government Practice Section. It will be presented by Judge Douglas Staskal, and qualifies
for one hour of state CLE, which includes one hour of ethics. Click here
for more information and to register.
other opportunity is an "On Demand” video entitled "Ethics Law for New Iowa
Lawyers” presented by Paul Wieck II with the supreme court’s Office of
Professional Regulation. Because it is "on demand,” it can be viewed at any
time. Click here
for information and to access this course.
the Dec. 31 deadline for acquiring all CLE credits is past, attorneys who still
need to fulfill their ethics requirement will need to file a request for a
deadline extension of their annual CLE report. Go to the court’s CLE Commissions web page and click on "Apply for Extension to Complete CLE" under the "Lawyers" tab in the menu at the top of the page to file
Frederic Matthias celebrates 75 years as an attorney!
Matthias celebrates a major and fairly rare-for-most-professions milestone this
month. Seventy five years ago Tueday (Jan. 14), he was admitted to the Iowa Bar
while a third-year law student at the University of Iowa College of Law.
returning from military service in World War II, Fred began practicing law in
Muscatine, and then moved to Newton to practice with Marion Hammer in July
1947. Law partners who joined the practice over the years were James L. Tyler,
Jack Levin, Bruce Nuzum, and John Matthias. In 1994 he went "of counsel” and,
later, attorneys Carol Greta, Terry Rickers and Tim Campbell, Jr., joined the
firm. The firm has recently morphed into Caldwell, Brierly, Chalupa &
Nuzum, PLLC. Bruce Nuzum is his longest surviving and still practicing partner
Matthias said Fred told me on his 98th birthday, Oct. 31, 2013, that
he is officially retired. He has done legal work for Habitat for Humanity in
recent years, among other things, but did not plan to attend the Tax School
this year for the first time in decades.
more complete profile is planned for an upcoming issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine.
update webinar to be held Monday
ISBA, along with the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and
Taxation (CALT), will sponsor a 2014 Taxation Update webinar from noon to 1:45
p.m. this Monday (Jan. 20). Attendance can be in-person or via computer.
will be Roger McEowen from CALT, Kristy Maitre from the IRS and Joe Kristan from
Roth & Company. The webinar is good for 1.5 hours of state CLE credit.
see a detailed list of topics covered and to register, click here.
Did You Know...
the ISBA staff is just a click away? You can find contact information for all ISBA staff members by visiting the Staff List on the bar's website.
Benefit of the Week
2013 Fiduciary Tax Manual
new edition of the Fiduciary Tax Manual is now available to ISBA members at a discounted member price.
To order your copy, please click here. Members, please make sure to sign in to get the reduced member rate.
Iowa Supreme Court Decisions
January 10, 2014
OSMIC vs. NATIONWIDE AGRIBUSINESS INSURANCE COMPANY
from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David F. Staudt, Judge.
insurer seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the
denial of the insurer’s motion for summary judgment based upon the statute of
limitations in an insurance policy. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED;
JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.
THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF ARNOLD MELBY, Deceased IOWA
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monona
County, Steven J. Andreasen, Judge.
Iowa Department of Human Services appeals a district court ruling on the
department’s claim in probate for recovery of Medicaid payments made for
services provided to an elderly married couple. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
DAVID OSTREM, SR. vs. PRIDECO SECURE LOAN FUND, LP
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Arthur E. Gamble, Judge.
an Iowa resident, appeals from a district court decision which granted PrideCo’s
motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. REVERSED AND REMANDED.