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    February 22, 2017
Past Issues  



YLD-backed student loan bill assigned to legislative committee

A legislative bill backed by the ISBA Young Lawyers Division has been introduced as House File 334 and assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill allows for borrowers to deduct the total amount of student loan interest paid each year for Iowa state income tax purposes. Currently, the student loan interest deduction is limited to $2,500 per year, and there are income caps for deductibility. This bill puts the student loan interest provisions in the tax code more in line with realistic debt loads, because many borrowers pay substantially more than $2,500 per year in student loan interest.

The bill is sponsored by a bipartisan group of representatives and, in addition to registering support from The Iowa State Bar Association, has also earned the support of the Iowa Society for Respiratory Care, the Iowa Cosmetology School Association, the Iowa Physical Therapy Association and the Iowa Occupational Therapy Association.

House File 334 is one initiative the YLD has been working on to help young lawyers tackle student loan debt.


Court seeking comment on family law mediation proposal

The Iowa Supreme Court is seeking public comment related to a Family Law Task Force proposal on the development of statewide uniform mediation requirements for family law cases.

The supreme court established the task force in 2015 to identify best practices for accessible, transparent and consistent family law processes and to propose recommendations for new court processes. A recommendation of the task force is to develop uniform mediation requirements.

Prior to consideration of this proposal, the supreme court seeks public comment. Comments sent by email should go to: rules.comments@iowacourts.gov and must state "Proposed Mediation Program" in the subject line of the email and must be sent as an attachment in Microsoft Word format. Comments can also be mailed or delivered in person to the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Ave. Des Moines, IA 50319. The deadline for submitting comments is 4:30 p.m. on April 17.


Amendments made to Iowa Rules of Electronic Procedure and Appellate Procedure

The Iowa Supreme Court recently amended the Iowa Rules of Electronic Procedure 16.314(4) and 16.315(1)(f) to strike some requirements and correct references.

An order adopting an amendment to the Iowa Rules of Appellate Procedure was also issued last week by Chief Justice Cady.

You can read the details of these changes on the Iowa Courts website.



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Drake University starting new compliance and risk management program

A new compliance and risk management program starting this fall at Drake University is now accepting applications. The program will offer three paths: a professional certificate, a Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) and a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree.

The certificate is a 12-credit track that requires only a bachelor's degree to apply. The M.J. and L.L.M. are both 24-credit programs, also scheduled with working professionals in mind. The M.J. requires only a bachelor's degree and provides an understanding of the law for those who do not practice. The L.L.M. requires a J.D. or comparable degree and is intended to help expand a legal professional's practice areas.

According to U.S. News & World Report, compliance law is one of the fastest growing legal fields today.

For more information, contact Drake Law School’s Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or law-admit@drake.edu.


Women growing in influence in the legal profession

The National Center for State Courts recently examined data related to women in the practice of law for their latest issue of "Trends: Close Up." The NCSC analysis showed that, for the first time in U.S. history, women make up a majority of law students.

Additionally, female influence on the bench is also growing. Approximately 31 percent of state court judges are women and nearly 36 percent of justices on state courts of last resort are female. There are female-majority benches in 11 states.

You can read more of the data and a brief history of women in law in the February 2017 issue of the "Trends: Close Up" newsletter.


Iowa Title Guaranty’s Mortgage Release Certificate now available online

Attorneys now can apply online for a Mortgage Release Certificate from Iowa Title Guaranty. The online availability, which applies only to mortgage release requests that have an associated fee, makes “it easier to apply and pay for” the certificate, according to officials.

They also said that these new features have been added to the online application to increase the convenience:

  • Application fees can be paid by credit card or electronic check, which will be confirmed via email with reference information when the payment is accepted;
  • A PDF version of the completed application can be downloaded and printed after submission;
  • Supplemental documentation, including payoff statements, wire confirmations or cancelled checks can be uploaded and submitted electronically.

To access the application, go to the agency’s Resource Desk, and look in the right column under “Applications.” The button for submitting an application is at the bottom of the column.


ACLU looking for nominations for young advocates

The ACLU's annual Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy award is now accepting nominations. Each year a $500 cash prize is given to an Iowan between the ages of 14 and 19 who exemplifies passion and advocacy for human rights.

Anyone can nominate an individual he or she feels is deserving of the award as long as the nominee's accomplishments are familiar to them. The nominee must be within the age limits and have lived in Iowa for at least six months.

Nomination forms and instructions are available on the ACLU's website.


SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
February 17, 2017

No. 14-1174
STATE OF IOWA vs. DAIMONAY DARICE RICHARDSON
A juvenile convicted of second-degree murder seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the district court’s restitution order.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT AND SENTENCE OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED

No. 14-1789
STATE OF IOWA vs. SHANNON ELIZABETH LEE BREEDEN
A juvenile convicted of attempted murder seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the district court’s restitution order.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT AND SENTENCE OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED

No. 15-1922
WELLMARK, INC. d/b/a WELLMARK BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF IOWA, an Iowa Corporation, and WELLMARK HEALTH PLAN OF IOWA, INC., an Iowa Corporation, Plaintiffs, vs. IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR POLK COUNTY
Defendant health insurer petitioned for writ of certiorari challenging district court rulings allowing chiropractors to proceed with an antitrust rule-of-reason claim after procedendo issued from decision affirming summary judgment dismissing this civil action with prejudice.
WRIT SUSTAINED

No. 16-1266
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. TAREK A. KHOWASSAH
The grievance commission reports the appellant committed an ethical violation and recommends a one-year suspension of the attorney’s license.
LICENSE SUSPENDED


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IN OTHER NEWS

Chief Justice Cady bucks tradition, pleads directly to lawmakers for funds
Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady made a rare appearance before a statehouse committee Tuesday, pleading for more money for Iowa’s court system.
Iowa Public Radio

Iowa attorney general won’t defend state in labor dispute
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Tuesday that he will ask the Iowa Executive Council to seek outside legal counsel to defend the state against the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a collective bargaining bill signed into law last week.
Quad-City Times


Editorial: When Iowa cuts courts' budget, we all pay
Iowans are beginning to see what happens when the state shortchanges justice. Consider one little courthouse, this one in Clinton, which has a shortage of judges because of cuts. Editor Tom Pantera of the Dewitt Observer spent one day there last month to see “what happened — or, perhaps more accurately, didn't happen”
Des Moines Register

Des Moines is seizing tax refunds to pay for overdue traffic camera fines, and a lawyer is trying to stop it

For more than three years, the city of Des Moines has seized state income tax refunds from people who fail to pay automated traffic enforcement camera citations. It's a practice an Iowa attorney has asked Polk County District Court to halt.
Des Moines Register

Iowa Supreme Court overturns 30 years of precedent
Last week, a split ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court may significantly change how law enforcement officers approach vehicle stops. In a 4-3 decision the Court reversed the conviction of a Scott County man for driving while barred based on an unconstitutional traffic stop.
Knoxville Journal Express

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JOB LISTINGS


Litigation Attorney
Goosmann Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Transactional Attorney

Goosmann Law Firm, Sioux City, IA


Associate Attorney
Aspelmeier, Fisch, Power, Engberg & Helling PLC, Burlington, IA

Plaintiff Personal Injury Attorney
Hope Law Firm, PLC, West Des Moines, IA

Law Clerk
Marshall County Courthouse, Marshalltown, IA

Sr. Casualty Claims Adjuster
York Risk Services Group, Johnston, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Equity Coordinator
Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, IA

Banking & Finance Attorney
Goosmann Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Associate Attorney

Confidential Employer, Des Moines, IA

Family Law Attorney

Confidential Employer, Dubuqe, IA

Senior Counsel
Travelers, West Des Moines

Child's Attorney
Kids First Law Center, Des Moines


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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