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Frequently Asked Questions by the Public
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• How can the ISBA help me find an attorney?
• How do I go about selecting an attorney?
• How can I file a complaint against an attorney?
• What does the ISBA do for the public?
• How can I be exempted or deferred from jury service?
• Can I represent myself in court?
• How do I pay my fines?
• Does The Iowa State Bar Association offer legal forms?


How can the ISBA help me find an attorney?
ISBA Find-A-Lawyer service is a directory provided by The Iowa State Bar Association to assist its members and the public in locating an attorney. All lawyers listed in FIND-A-LAWYER are members of The Iowa State Bar Association.

Visit www.iowafindalawyer.com to start your search. For a list of other Iowa legal assistance organizations, please visit our Legal Assistance page.


How do I go about selecting an attorney?
It is important to select an attorney who can help with the specific legal problem. Most lawyers practice in certain areas, and only take cases in their practice areas. An attorney who cannot help you may still be able to refer you to an attorney or law firm that does handle your type of legal matter. If you call a law office and learn they do not practice the type of law you need help with, ask them if they can recommend another firm. More information, including important questions to ask an attorney, can be found at this link.


How can I file a complaint against an attorney?
If you ultimately believe that an attorney may have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, you can call the Iowa Board of Professional Ethics at (515) 725-8017. They will help you work out a solution with your lawyer. In addition, the Iowa Judicial Branch attorney discipline page will give you further information if wanting to file a complaint against an attorney.


How can I find out more about what the ISBA does for the public?
The Iowa State Bar provides a variety of information and services for the public -- from consumer legal information to information about the attorney grievance process. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve this page, please send an e-mail to webmaster@iowabar.org.

Visit the ISBA's public information page to learn more about the ISBA's public outreach activities.


How can I be exempted or deferred from jury service?

State law limits the circumstances for which the court may excuse a person from jury duty. A person has the right to be excused from service if the person submits written documentation to the court's satisfaction that:


· the person is solely responsible for the daily care of a person with a permanent disability living in the person's home and that performance of jury service would cause substantial risk of injury to the health of the disabled person; or

· the person is breast feeding her child and is not employed outside the home.

Also, the court has discretion to excuse someone from jury service upon a finding of hardship, inconvenience, or public necessity.

If you want to be excused from jury service, you should file a written request with the clerk of court as soon as possible after you receive the summons to serve.

Jury service is an important responsibility. A person who makes a false claim for the purpose of getting excused or helping someone else get excused may be found in contempt of court and could be punished by the court.

For more information on jury duty, please visit the Iowa Judicial Branch's webpage. To view a overview video of the jury process, please click here to watch "A Jury of Our Peers."


Can I represent myself in court?
Yes you can represent yourself in court. However, The Iowa State Bar Association always recommends Iowans seek legal counsel to represent them in legal settings.

If you do decide to represent yourself, visit our How to Represent Yourself webpage for basic, but important, information you should know before you go to court.


How do I pay my fines?
Payment of fines is handled through the Iowa Judicial Branch.


Does The Iowa State Bar Association offer legal forms?
The ISBA does offer some legal forms. Please note that The Iowa State Bar Association always recommends seeking assistance from an attorney for help with your legal issues and that some of the forms, which can be located here, are located on third-party website and are not property of the ISBA. Use of these forms is not substitute for legal advice. Iowa's laws and court rules are complex and it is always advisable to talk to a lawyer before proceeding on your own.

 

 

 


The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
Ph. (515) 243-3179 • Fax (515) 243-2511
Email: isba@iowabar.org