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Iowa Lawyer Weekly
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July 23, 2014
Past Issues



Closing the Transaction: A Best Practice Guide on-demand CLE video now available

Former chair of the ISBA Real Estate & Title Law section, Tim Gartin, presents Closing the Transaction: A Best Practice Guide for Residential Real Estate Closings, an on-demand continuing legal education video recently released on the ISBA website. This on-demand video is available on the ISBA CLE webpage at no cost to ISBA members.

Gartin discusses objectives for the residential real estate closing, pre-execution matters, execution of loan documents, post-execution matters, installment contracts, and ethical considerations. He also includes several forms and checklists in the course materials. This two-part video presentation was approved for a total of 2.5 hours of State CLE credit.

Another free, on-demand video made available recently is Essentials of Successful Abstract Examination. In this video Gartin discusses purchase agreements, installment contracts, drafting warranty deeds, overview of title examination, curing title problems and closing the transaction. This two-part video presentation also offers 2.5 hour of State CLE credit.

Both of these on-demand videos, each of which is valued at $75, were made available at no charge to ISBA members by Iowa Title Guaranty. Any questions regarding CLE orders should be directed to Christy Cronin at cle@iowabar.org.


Hackers gaining access to corporate client records through law firms

Hackers are looking to cyber-vulnerable law firms as a "back door” to gain access to the firm’s corporate clients. The biggest threat to law firms is from within, attorney Christopher Anderson writes, because of lax attention to existing security measures.

Anderson lists a dozen ways law firms can beef up security and keep themselves from being the subject of a hacker field day, including using Virtual Private Networks and wiping discarded devices.

Read his 12 ways to protect your firm in his post entitled "Law firms: Soft targets; hard truths on the Business of Law Blog.


Save the dates: Upcoming annual events and CLE

Dates have been locked in for some of the association’s biggest and best annual events. Members should be sure to add these dates to their calendar:

Family Law, Oct. 23-24, West Des Moines Marriott, West Des Moines

Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Nov. 14, Hilton Garden Inn, Johnston/Urbandale

Tax School, Dec. 3-5, Downtown Des Moines Marriott, Des Moines

Federal Practice, Dec. 12, Venue to be determined, Des Moines

2015 Annual Meeting, the week of June 15, 2015, Community Choice Credit Union Conference Center, Des Moines

These events are not currently open for registration. More information will be presented when it becomes available. Any specific questions should be directed to Christy Cronin at cle@iowabar.org.


Tips for fixing problems that arise when Apple devices don’t connect to WiFi

Most of the time Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) connect effortlessly to a WiFi signal when in the presence of a signal. However, when they don’t, John Edwards writing in Law Technology News, has some suggestions.

Some of his suggestions simply involve rebooting the device by shutting it down, letting it sit for a minute or so and powering it back on. Read all of his suggestions here.


In other news…

Iowa AG seeks injunction against supplement company
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller requested an injunction Friday against a Las Vegas-based health supplement company to stop its Iowa sales and force it to comply with a consumer fraud inquiry.
Legal Newsline

Iowa rejects juvenile mandatory minimum sentences

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that juveniles cannot be given mandatory minimum sentences, making it the first state to interpret federal court directives that broadly.
Associated Press

Obama's health care law has a confusing day in court

Another wild legal ride for Obamacare on Tuesday: Two U.S. Court of Appeals panels issued conflicting decisions on an issue with the potential to gut the health care overhaul.
The two rulings could lead to another U.S. Supreme Court showdown over the controversial law, all because of what one of the law's opponents initially called "a glitch."
Iowa Public Radio

Writer sees $1.2 million jury award cut by half

A university writer who was compared to the Virginia Tech shooter by his boss can only keep half of a $1.2 million jury award, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled.
Dennis L. Smith began working at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in 2001, writing articles for alumni magazines and other publications.
Courthouse News Service






The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to communications@iowabar.org. Contact information should be included with submissions. The ISBA reserves the right to refuse any submission, but will take all submissions into consideration for future publication.


Did You Know...

that you can find guidance on many ethical issues by searching the ethics opinions on the ISBA website? Click on this link to be taken directly to the Ethics & Practice Guidelines Committee web page. You can also go to the bar’s main page, hover your mouse on "Practice Tools” at the top of the page, then click on "Ethics Advice/Opinions.” On the committee’s web page, you’ll find a list of the most recent ethics opinions as well as a link to search all of the ethics opinions from 1966 to the present.


Benefit of the Week

Citrix ShareFile
Citrix ShareFile is a secure file sharing, file transfer, sync and storage solution enabling you to access and manage your content from anywhere, on any device. With ShareFile, co-workers and clients can receive full or partial access to the files they need, so you can work collaboratively and securely.



Iowa Supreme Court Opinions

July 11, 2014

No. 12–0596
THERESA HUCK vs. WYETH, INC. d/b/a WYETH; SCHWARZ PHARMA, INC.; and PLIVA, INC.

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Sac County, Gary L. McMinimee, Judge. Plaintiff seeks further review of court of appeals decision affirming summary judgments dismissing her personal injury claims against pharmaceutical companies. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENTS AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

No. 12–0827
IOWA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, IOWA RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION, and IOWA WATER ENVIRONMENT ASSOCIATION

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Bradley McCall and Mary Pat Gunderson, Judges. Petitioners and intervenors appeal from the summary judgment granted by the district court in a judicial review action. AFFIRMED.

No. 13–0642
SZ ENTERPRISES, LLC d/b/a EAGLE POINT SOLAR vs. IOWA UTILITIES BOARD, A DIVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, STATE OF IOWA

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carla Schemmel, Judge. Utility board appeals district court judgment reversing declaratory ruling of Iowa Utilities Board finding that a solar rooftop company is a public utility, as defined in Iowa Code section 476.1. AFFIRMED.


July 18, 2014

No. 11–1020
STATE OF IOWA vs. GABRIEL DETRACE TAYLOR

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Ian K. Thornhill, Judge. An offender convicted of first-degree robbery committed as a juvenile appeals mandatory minimum sentence as cruel and unusual punishment under the Iowa Constitution. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED; REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.

No. 11–1339
STATE OF IOWA vs. ANDRE JEROME LYLE JR.

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert A. Hutchison, Judge. A juvenile challenges his sentence as cruel and unusual under the

State and Federal Constitutions. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED; CASE REMANDED.

No. 12–0913
LINDA PIPPEN, et al., On Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated vs. THE STATE OF IOWA, et al., and ALL OTHER AGENCIES SIMILARLY SITUATED IN USING THE HIRING AND PROMOTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J. Blink, Judge. The plaintiffs appeal from an adverse district court judgment after a trial in a class action brought under both the Federal Civil Rights Act and the Iowa Civil Rights Act against the State of Iowa and various executive branch departments, generally alleging that the State unlawfully discriminates against African Americans in employment. AFFIRMED.

No. 12–1150
STATE OF IOWA vs. JUSTIN DEAN SHORT

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, James D. Scott (suppression), and Jeffrey A. Neary (trial), Judges. A criminal defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming a district court’s admission of evidence collected by law enforcement officers in probationer defendant’s home based upon reasonable suspicion of criminal activity under the Iowa Constitution. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED.

No. 12–1182
DENNIS L. SMITH vs. IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY and STATE OF IOWA

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Kurt J. Stoebe, Judge. Employee and university were granted further review of court of appeals decision affirming in part and reversing in part the district court’s denial of the university’s posttrial motions following verdicts for the employee on intentional infliction of emotional distress and whistleblower claims against the university. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED.

No. 12–1899
STATE OF IOWA vs. PATRICK EDOUARD

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marion County, Paul R.

Huscher, Judge. The State seeks further review of a decision by the court of appeals reversing a pastor’s convictions for sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist under Iowa Code section 709.15 and remanding for a new trial. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT

JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART; CASE

REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.



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