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    December 21, 2016
Past Issues  



Editor’s Note: There will not be an issue of the Iowa Lawyer Weekly next week. The Iowa State Bar Association would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday!

Legislative discussions dominate Dec. BOG meeting

The ISBA Board of Governors met Wednesday, Dec. 14, for their winter meeting, and the most pressing item up for discussion was the continued development of the 2017 legislative lobbying agenda.

The ISBA’s lead Legislative Counsel Jim Carney discussed anticipated issues, which include an expected fight over judicial branch and indigent defense funding. The ISBA supports full funding of both entities.

Sixteen pieces of legislation were voted on by the governors. Some of these include:

  • Legislation to address inequities in the way clerks of court calculate probate costs
  • Legislation to allow legally-appointed fiduciaries to access a person’s digital assets
  • Opposition to a bill allowing non-lawyers to fill out small claims forms

The first day of the session is Jan. 9.


Other business from Dec. BOG meeting

ISBA Strategic Planning Committee Chair Bill Boyd reported on the recent survey sent out to member and non-member attorneys in Iowa. The committee is currently compiling survey results and will use these in determining which future initiatives should be the focus of the board of governors.

Executive Director Dwight Dinkla and Assistant Executive Director Harry Shipley showed off the new version of the ISBA’s “Find-A-Lawyer” website. Attorney members should expect to be contacted soon regarding how to sign up for this free member service.

The Young Lawyers Division of the ISBA reported on the creation of a new Student Debt Task Force, which will be focused on the issue of reducing the student loan burden for many new attorneys.

The next board of governors meeting is Wednesday, March 22 in the CLE Center of ISBA headquarters. The officers and governors will be hosting a breakfast for all state legislators that morning, for the purpose of advocating for increased funding for court-appointed attorneys and court funding, as well as other legislation on the bar association’s affirmative legislative program.

To see pictures from the Dec. board of governors meeting, please visit the ISBA Facebook page. A full recap of the meeting will appear in the next issue of The Iowa Lawyer, which comes out the first week of January.

Supreme Court adopts amendments altering temporary practice requirements

The Iowa Supreme Court adopted several amendments to rule 31.14 on Dec. 16. The new rules on pro hac vice, temporary practice and their administration by staff will take effect Jan. 1.

Beginning next year, applicants for pro hac vice status will now be required to register with the court's Office of Professional Regulation and pay a fee. The order also adopts conforming amendments to forms in rule 31.25, "Registration Statement for Lawyer Engaging in Temporary Practice Following Determination of Major Disaster."

The final change from Friday's order amends a February statement and allows clerks of court and administrative agency staff the option to confirm that applicants have registered and paid the fee by checking the OPR database.

The full order, as well as the new forms required, are available on the Supreme Court's webpage.


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ISBA staff donates gifts to local families for Christmas

The Iowa State Bar Association staff played Santa this year, filling the sleigh in the ISBA lobby with gifts to go to three needy families in Iowa. The staff participated in the Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa “Adopt-a-Family” program and was paired with two families that are recent refugees from Burma, as well as a young teen mother and her baby. The staff generously donated approximately $1,400 worth of household items, clothing and toys, which were delivered Tuesday afternoon to these families.

Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa is a non-profit organization which provides medical and social services in communities across Iowa through home visits. The ISBA staff was pleased to be involved with a program that helps make the holiday season a little brighter for Iowa families.

Considering retiring? Read this first…

An attorney, like anyone else, looks toward retirement with mixed emotions. Retirement means bidding farewell to angry client phone calls and late night brief writing, but it also means stepping away from your life’s work. Although the decision of whether to retire can be a difficult one, the decision of how to retire need not be. You can get helpful advice from the latest whitepaper created by CNA, which provides risk management and loss prevention services to attorneys insured by the ISBA’s endorsed professional liability insurance provider, Lockton Affinity, LLC.

For more information, contact Mike Schrandt, senior account manager at Lockton Affinity, LLC.
Phone: 800-679-7154
Email: MSchrandt@locktonaffinity.com


On-Demand CLE catalog offers great end-of-year credits

Attorneys looking to gather a few more CLE credits before the end of the year can access the ISBA's on-demand catalog anywhere and at any time.

The catalog includes seven stand-alone videos and a three-part juvenile law training series. The videos cover a variety of topics including family law, civil case law and mediation in probate. All videos are mobile-ready as well, allowing for easy access no matter where it is needed. The catalog has also been made available to members of the YLD's 1-5 year division at no cost.

The Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education allows for on-demand CLE activity to be credited toward the CLE requirement of 15 hours per year in accordance with court rules. However, no individual attorney may claim more than six hours of pre-recorded computer-based CLE in any one calendar year.


SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
December 16, 2016

No. 16-1551
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. BRIAN MICHAEL GREEN
Grievance commission reports respondent committed ethical misconduct and recommends the revocation of the attorney’s license.
LICENSE REVOKED.

No. 16-0918
IN THE INTEREST OF C.F.-H., MINOR CHILD, C.H., FATHER
A father appeals the termination of his parental rights.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED.

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IN OTHER NEWS
Two Iowans listed among Obama's commutations Monday
Two Iowa men serving life sentences for drug convictions are among the federal inmates who received commutations from President Barack Obama on Monday.
Des Moines Register

States and cities take steps to reform 'dishonest' bail system
Retired architect Tom Chudzinski had been travelling the western U.S. in his motor home when he awoke one night to local sheriff's deputies knocking on his door in New Mexico.
Iowa Public Radio

Lacking lawyers, plains states try new rural staffing tacks
In Wheeler County, Nebraska, if you want a divorce, attorneys who can help you are nearly 50 miles away. There's only one attorney, James McNally, in the north-central county, and he is its sole prosecutor. He's been there for 50 years and was at one point one of five attorneys. He has a side practice handling probate and estate services, but obviously can't take criminal defense cases.
ABC News


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TIPS & TRICKS

2016 trends in legal technology

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