Maximizing the new ISBA website: Using
you haven’t logged in to the new ISBA website yet, you’re missing out. One of
the beauties of the new website is that it lets you create connections with
other members, much the same as with Facebook or LinkedIn.
connections are restricted to other members of the bar – no spouses, children,
other family members and non-lawyer friends – unless they are ISBA members.
This gives you the opportunity to talk business with other members individually
or as a group that you might not be comfortable doing if you knew non-lawyers could
see the correspondence.
connections is easy. Just follow the step-by-step instructions, including
screenshots of the steps involved, at the "Help Desk” on the ISBA website
homepage. Clicking on
"Help Desk” will bring up a list of topics for which you can receive help.
Click on "Connections” to see how to add people to your list.
information about how to maximize use of the new website will be offered in
upcoming issues of this newsletter and in the Help Desk on the homepage.
Polk County courthouse referendum
group of lawyers and concerned citizens are working to convince voters in Polk
County to approve a bond issue that will improve access to, and administration
of, justice in the county. The bond issue will be voted on Nov. 5.
the Public Safety for Polk County Committee is asking voters to approve an $81
million bond to refurbish the historic courthouse, remodel what most recently
was the Wellmark building, formerly the J.C. Penney building, and repurpose the
old jail into a new justice complex. Under the plan, the old courthouse will be
used for probate, family and civil court matters. The Wellmark building would
be remodeled to create a justice center annex that houses juvenile court and
juvenile court services, as well as small claims and traffic court, the county
attorney’s office and record storage for the clerk of court’s office. The old
jail would be renovated to handle criminal cases.
County has the busiest courthouse in the state because of its location in the
capitol city.The overcrowded conditions (28 courtrooms have been squeezed into
a space that was designed for four, as an example) present numerous security
and safety risks. It has been said that more arrests are made inside the
courthouse than in any other single spot in the county.
"I'm excited about this effort,”
says ISBA President Guy Cook, who is on the steering committee for the project.”
I'm hopeful the measure will succeed and solve the longstanding deficiencies at
the Polk County Courthouse."
information is available on the committee’s website.
Family Law seminar has room for more
year’s Family Law seminar is filled with great programming, and as of this
writing (Oct. 16), there are still openings for more participants. The seminar
is being held at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel in West Des Moines starting
at 8 a.m. on Thursday (Oct. 24) and ending at 5 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 25).
examples of the presentations you’ll hear include.
Business valuation: what is
hiding behind the curtain – tips to guide you through the haunted forest
(Alan Ryerson and James Nalley, BCC Advisors)
In this presentation, Al and
Jim will explain the differences in valuation credentials, discuss some of the
common mistakes made in valuation analyses and highlight the divorce-specific
issues that should be considered in preparing or reviewing a business valuation
Family Law update (Jim Meade)
Get the latest Iowa family
law news and developments from Jim. He will update and discuss his
100-page outline reference to Iowa Family Law. New this year, the outline
Unraveling the mysteries of Social
Security, Medicaid and SSI which family lawyers need to know (Joe Basque and
Joe and Elizabeth will
provide an explanation of the sometimes illogical and often confusing world of
Social Security, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
For the complete list of
topics and speakers, and to register, click on Family
Attend free CLE and free lunch to
learn what information internet companies are gathering
Enjoy a free lunch and pick up a
couple of hours of state CLE at a free seminar sponsored by the ISBA next
Wednesday (Oct 23) from noon to 2 p.m. at the bar headquarters building.
Marc Hirschfield, a senior vice
president of computer forensics and E-discovery at the Morningside Group of
Companies in New York City, will discuss the information major internet
companies are quietly collecting about you and your clients and what
information can be useful in the commercial litigation context. As an example, he
says if you have ever used Google's navigation on your phone, Google stores
your historical GPS information for as long as you have used the service.
He will discuss how to obtain
this and other surprising information about your clients’ online presence and
whether the information can be authenticated as evidence in litigation. While
you may think about Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin as the major Social Media
players, the really big internet companies gathering critical data about you
and your clients are Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, he says.
more details and register at Social
Media and Offensive and Defensive Strategies.
Tis that time of year when judges
are needed for mock trial
Middle School Mock Trial season starts this Saturday (Oct. 19) and John
Wheeler, director of the ISBA’s Center for Law & Civic Education, is
looking for judges and attorneys who are willing to judge regional and state
year there are nine regional competitions scattered around the state. (See the list
of locations and dates.). Approximately 400-450 judges are needed for the nine
regional contests, and another 100 or so for the state tournament. The state tournament, which is held in Des
Moines, begins in the late afternoon on Nov. 18 and continues all day on Nov.
19, with the semi-finals and finals held on Nov. 20.
do not have to be a trial lawyer to participate as a mock trial judge, John
says. Your role as a judge will be to assess students' performances as they take
on the roles of attorneys and witnesses.
sign up as a judge, click on Middle
School Mock Trial Judges Signup, then click on "Register for this event.”
You will see the list of regional competitions as well as a place to sign up
for the state tournament.
than 600 ISBA members assisted as judges and coaches last year. Your
participation as a licensed attorney or judge means a lot to the students who
have worked hard to prepare their cases for the competitions.
Special note: The Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court Tournament is being held at Loras
College in Dubuque on Friday and Saturday (Nov. 8-9). Attorney Deone Merkel
needs judges for the tournament, which is the qualifying tournament for the
national competition. Contact her at Loras College, 563-564-5096, if you can
seeks applicants for district judge; deadline is Nov. 8
being accepted for a district court judgeship in Judicial Election District 5C.
The vacancy is a
result of Judge Christopher McDonald’s
More information on
how to obtain application forms and where to submit them is contained in Chief
Judge Arthur Gamble’s letter.
The deadline for submitting applications is 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8.
Interviews will be
held on Monday, Nov. 18. The chairperson of the District 5C Judicial Nominating
Commission will notify selected applicants with the times of their interviews.
ABA Task Force
on the Future of Legal Education releases draft report, seeks comments by Oct.
ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education recently released a draft
report on the future of legal education and is now seeking comments from
members of the legal profession by the end of October.
the conclusions reached in the report are:
- A need to re-engineer the pricing
and funding of legal education
- Repeal or dramatically liberalize
- Encourage use of a "variance”
system to foster experimentation and innovation by law schools
- Increase experiential learning
- License persons other than
holders of a J.D. to deliver limited legal services, and authorize bar
admission for individuals whose preparation may be other than the
traditional four years of college plus three years of classroom-based law
the full draft report here.
Submit your comments to Center for
Professional Responsibility Director, Art Garwin, Art.Garwin@americanbar.org by Oct. 28.
Be sure to read
the annual pro bono services list in the October Iowa Lawyer
October Iowa Lawyer contains a list of all attorneys in the state who have
reported time spent providing pro bono services to individuals who couldn’t
afford an attorney.
list is divided by county and is compiled from data provided by the Iowa Legal
Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project, the Legal Aid Society of Story County, the Polk
County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Pro Bono Project of
Scott County. It is based on information attorneys reported to these
organizations from July 2012 through June 2013.
cases that were closed during Fiscal Year 2012-2013 are counted. A case is
closed when all work on the case is completed and the final disposition of the
case is reported to the volunteer lawyers project.
attorneys who participate in a volunteer lawyers project report cases through
their firms, and these firms are included on the list. Other Iowa
attorneys worked on volunteer lawyers project cases in 2012-2013, but are not
listed as the case was not closed during this period.