November 8, 2017  Past Issues

Share your thoughts on gender bias in the legal profession

The ISBA’s Federal Practice Committee is seeking to learn more about the impact of gender bias in the legal profession, and invites Iowa attorneys to share their thoughts by taking this online survey.

This survey has been retooled from a previous version you may have seen in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly in August. Even if you already completed the previous similar survey, please retake this improved version. The Federal Practice Committee plans to use the results during a Federal Practice Seminar panel discussion on this topic in December.

Even if you have not personally experienced an instance of bias, please include any stories you have heard from a close friend or relative. This information will remain completely anonymous.

Please respond to the survey before Monday, Nov. 20.

Judges needed for 2017 Middle School Mock Trial competitions

ISBA’s Center for Law & Civic Education Director, John Wheeler, needs volunteers to judge several of this year’s Middle School Mock Trial regional tournaments later this week and next, as well as the state tournament at the end of the month.

Specifically, judges are needed this Friday, Nov. 10, at the Polk County Courthouse for trials starting at 8:30 and 11:15 a.m., and at 2 p.m. Judges are also needed on Monday, Nov. 13, for trials beginning at 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, and on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Burlington for trials that start at 8:30 and 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.

Judges are also needed for the state tournament, which begins at 4:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 27, at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines, and continues the next day with trials at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Middle School Mock Trial web page provides numerous resources to help with judging, including case materials for the competition, a judges’ handbook, scoring/evaluation criteria and a copy of the competition time sheet. A link to register as a judge is included on the page, or can be accessed directly at this link.

Students and their teacher- and attorney-coaches spend hours preparing for competition. They really appreciate real attorneys and judges evaluating their efforts during the trials, Wheeler says.

Resources available to help fulfill Rule 39.18 succession planning requirements

Effective on Christmas Day this year, all Iowa attorneys in private practice -- those in solo practices as well as those practicing in a firm with other attorneys – are required to meet at least the first-tier planning requirements of Iowa Court Rule 39.18. The information must be provided on the annual client security questionnaire all Iowa-licensed attorneys complete each March.

A paper entitled “Attorney Death and Disability Planning” on the ISBA’s website contains guidance on complying with Rule 39.18 requirements. Another paper entitled “Expecting the Unexpected: Succession Planning for Lawyers” provided by CNA through Lockton Affinity, the ISBA-endorsed broker of professional liability insurance, also contains practical suggestions for creating a succession plan. Among some of the suggestions are creating an office manual, executing a succession agreement that outlines the duties expected from the “designated attorney” and determining the circumstances under which the “planning attorney” is considered incapacitated and the designated attorney takes over. (Contact Michael Schrandt at for more information.)

Even though the second-tier requirements of Rule 39.18 are optional, the planning document on the ISBA website recommends that attorneys create a written plan that grants the designated attorney further guidance and authority to “perform law firm management and administrative tasks.” Those tasks may include collecting fees, paying law firm expenses and client costs, compensating staff, terminating leases and selling the practice. (A four-part series on the benefits of creating a more detailed succession plan is being published in the Iowa Lawyer; the first installment was featured in the September issue.)

The Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Council has prepared forms to assist in creating the optional succession plan. Those forms are available as Appendices C, D and E in the “Attorney Death and Disability Planning” document on the ISBA website. These additional resources can help meet the succession planning requirements of Iowa Court Rule 39.18 due in December.

ABA Legal Ed council rejects proposal to add young lawyers as voting members

The council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar decided to reject a Young Lawyers Division recommendation to add two younger lawyers—who are either under the age of 36, or have no more than five years in practice—to the council as voting members.

The proposal was initially spearheaded by Tom Hillers, the president of The Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, in an effort to get more representation from recent law school graduates on the body that oversees issues such as law school accreditation.

The ABA Legal Ed council, which met last Friday in Boston, expressed concern that creating a special category for young lawyers could reduce flexibility to find the best candidates available and willing to do the work.

You can read more about this and the other issues the ABA Legal Ed council decided during their most recent meeting in this article in the ABA Journal.



The Iowa Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission is holding a free Iowa Outreach Summit on Nov. 28 at the DMACC Campus in Ankeny for all agencies who serve and support individuals who may have legal issues. The commission wants to help these entities become better informed as to the nature of the issues their clients may face and provide resources to refer them to. The commission is also inviting anyone in the legal community to attend. You can learn more at

If you have any questions, please contact Nicolle Schippers.

November Iowa Lawyer now available online

The November issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. In this issue, you will learn about Iowa Legal Aid’s long-time director, who is stepping down, as well as read a “lament for the disappearance of civil jury trials.” Part three of the series about implementing a succession plan under Iowa Court Rule 39.18 is also included in the November issue, along with a story about ensuring equal justice for Limited English Proficient (LEP) persons in Iowa’s courts.

Those who elect to receive the print version of the magazine should see it in mailboxes this week. Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.

LawPAC auction offers six-day stay in luxury Colorado townhome

ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney has once again offered up his townhome in Edwards, Colorado, as a way to raise money for Iowa LawPAC. The fundraiser will be a silent auction for a six-day, six-night stay in the four-bedroom, four-bath townhome.

The winner can choose to use this townhome during either the summer or winter months, with only July 4 and Christmas unavailable. The townhome comes fully furnished, including everything needed except food, and can easily accommodate up to eight people.

Photos of the condo can be found here. Details on the auction, including how to submit a bid, are available on the ISBA website.

e-Commerce and IP sections' annual CLE kicks off December

Jonathan Kennedy, IP Section Chair
The e-Commerce and Intellectual Property Sections are pleased to offer their annual joint CLE again this year on Friday, Dec. 1. The CLE will be available for live attendance at the ISBA Office or via live webinar.

This year there will be 6.25 hours of CLE credit, including 2 hours of ethics provided by Michael McCabe. McCabe represents attorneys before the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) Office of Enrollment and Discipline. His expertise in the area is extensive and he is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker. His two one-hour CLEs will focus on 1) “hot” issues and trends at the USPTO Office of Enrollment and Discipline as well as 2) recent developments in IP-related malpractice and best practices for limiting such exposure.

The CLE program also features various hot-button topics including data security and privacy laws, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, an update on the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, a review of lessons learned in electronic contract implementation from John Deere Financial, and an update on trademark law, which is certain to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on disparaging trademarks and the first amendment. The CLE will be followed by a complimentary reception, including food and drinks, for those who attend live.

The sections are working on obtaining Federal CLE credit for the programs as well, and expect most, if not all, the sessions to qualify for Federal CLE. We look forward to seeing you there on Dec. 1!


University of Iowa announces committee to select new law dean
University of Iowa Interim Provost Sue Curry has named Dan Clay, dean of the College of Education, and Ann Estin, law professor and Aliber Family Chair in Law, to serve as co-chairs of the search committee to replace Gail Agrawal, dean of the College of Law.

AmeriHealth's exit should curtail disabled residents' suit against Iowa, state lawyers say
The departure of a controversial Medicaid management company should block a federal lawsuit against Iowa’s human-services director, state lawyers say.
Des Moines Register

Parents confront school about seclusion room
A local couple is at odds with Ottumwa Community School District about its use of a seclusion room to isolate their autistic son when he becomes agitated.
Ottumwa Courier

'Ban the box' may hurt some applying for jobs
Advocates for criminal justice reforms have sought laws that prevent an employer from asking, on job applications, whether an applicant has a criminal record.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

USPTO launches two year diversion pilot program
The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating a two-year Diversion Pilot Program for patent and trademark practitioners. Implemented by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), the program aligns USPTO with the practices of more than 30 state attorney discipline systems.



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Attorney I - Scott County, Davenport, IA

Associate Attorney - Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Trial Attorney - Confidential Employer, Des Moines, IA

Attorney - Hartung & Schroeder, L.L.P., Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Confidential employer, Boone, IA

Product Liability & Environmental Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA

Associate Director, Procurement - Cambridge, Fairfield, IA

Associate Attorney - McEnroe, Gotsdiner, Brewer, Steinbach & Rothman, P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Business Litigation Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA

Corporate Counsel/Licensing - DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA

Corporate/Transactional Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Litigation Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Health Law Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA


The following individual applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

Jonathan C. Marquet, Bassford Remele, Minneapolis, MN

Anyone with questions or comments on the above should contact: Tre Critelli at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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