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Master Calendar

12/19/2014
An Overview of Municipal Utilities Law in Iowa (Live Webinar)

12/31/2014
Ethics of Mediation (Live Webinar)

1/7/2015
New Rules: Expedited Trial and Discovery Changes (Live Webinar)

1/16/2015
Expedited Civil Actions and General Discovery Rule Amendments – a Review (Telephone CLE)

1/27/2015
Consumer Data & Privacy: Contractual Risk Management Strategies (Live Webinar)

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December 17, 2014
Past Issues

Editor’s note: Due to the upcoming holidays, the Iowa Lawyer Weekly e-newsletter will be suspended until the Jan. 7 issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


Mentor program now accepting applications

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division officially launched the ISBA Mentor Program earlier this week and is accepting applications from ISBA members to serve as mentors or mentees for the 2015-2016 mentor year.

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15. Mentors and mentees will be matched with the year-long program set to begin March 15. Members can download the mentor or mentee applications.

Once accepted into the program as a mentor or mentee, attorneys will receive additional materials regarding the program which includes a mentor guide, information on mentor training, and a mentor/mentee match. The program commitments are minimal: six hours of contact over the year between mentor and mentee (ideally in-person) with no formal curriculum, although a suggested list of topics and issues is provided.

Who can apply? ISBA members who have been licensed for fewer than five years in the state of Iowa are eligible to be a mentee. To serve as a mentor, attorneys must have been licensed for five years or more in Iowa, have a clean disciplinary record, and carry malpractice insurance (if required). The YLD Mentoring Committee anticipates a high number of mentee applications, and are asking those who are eligible to serve as a mentor to consider joining the program.

More information about the program is available in the December Iowa Lawyer magazine (Pages 8-11). For questions regarding the mentoring program, contact the YLD Mentoring Committee at mentorprogram@iowabar.org.


Know Your Constitution finalists selected

One hundred finalists were recently selected from the more than 1,000 students across the state of Iowa who participated in the ISBA Young Lawyers Division’s Know Your Constitution Project (A complete list of finalists is located here).

All finalists will be honored at a luncheon held at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel on Jan. 9. This year’s keynote speaker is the Honorable Ross Walters, magistrate judge of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

From the finalists, five students and their teachers will be chosen by random drawing to attend the all-expense-paid, five-day education work session in Washington, D.C., in February. The work sessions from the Close-Up Foundation are designed to develop a deeper understanding of government and political processes.

The Know Your Constitution Project, sponsored by the ISBA, the Iowa State Bar Foundation and many of the county bar associations across Iowa, is designed to enrich student's understanding and appreciation of the constitution. The students participating in the project were required to familiarize themselves with constitution-related issues. Each student completed a quiz including essay questions.

More information about the program is available on the ISBA website here. For questions regarding the program, contact John Wheeler, the director for the ISBA Center for Law and Civic Education, at 515-697-7882 or jwheeler@iowabar.org.


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Government job posting: DAS Attorney

The State of Iowa, Department of Administrative Services, is currently accepting applications for an attorney position in Des Moines to assist the General Counsel and Labor Relations Team. Travel throughout Iowa is required. The primary purpose of this position is to prepare legal documents, conduct research, prepare legal memoranda and assist with other legal matters related to labor relations and collective bargaining agreements. The successful candidate must have sound research and writing skills, good interpersonal relationship skills, be able to communicate effectively and be able to effectively work in a team environment.

Those interested in learning more about or applying to the position should visit this link.


Don’t fall short on ethics credits

Changes to Iowa Supreme Court Rules 41.3 and 42.1 require that Iowa-licensed attorneys have three hours of ethics every two years. If you’re short on ethics hours, consider participating in one or more of the the ethics seminars the ISBA is sponsoring before the end of the year.

They include: "Taxation Legal Ethics - Live Webinar" (Dec. 18) and "Ethics of Mediation - Live Webinar" (Dec. 31). For the complete calendar of upcoming CLE events, please click here.

Attorneys may also take advantage of the ISBA's On-Demand CLE Catalog. View our mobile-ready content whenever you need, wherever you are. However, no individual attorney may claim more than six hours of pre-recorded computer-based CLE in any one calendar year.

For more information, please visit the ISBA's CLE Overview page.


Checking on your CLE credit status

Not sure where you stand on the required 15 hours of CLE credit for 2014? Or on the required ethics hours?

Check out your status with the CLE Commission on the Office of Professional Regulation’s website. The address is: www.iacourtcommissions.org. You can look up how many hours of CLE programs have been approved for state and ethics hours. You can also see how many hours you have carried over from the previous year.


In Other News...

CIA report revives legal debate on interrogation
When the CIA sought permission to use harsh interrogation methods on a captured al-Qaida operative, the response from Bush administration lawyers was encouraging, even clinical. In one of several memos forming the legal underpinnings for brutal interrogation techniques, the CIA was told Abu Zubaydah could lawfully be placed in a box with an insect, kept awake for days at a time and slapped multiple times in the face. Waterboarding, too, was acceptable because it didn't cause the lengthy mental anguish needed to meet the legal standard of torture, the 2002 Justice Department memo says.
Associated Press via ABC News

Benton County accidentally releases confidential information
The Benton County Attorney’s Office may have violated federal law when officials released confidential information of more than 500 Iowans whose driver’s licenses were suspended earlier this year. Assistant Benton County Attorney Jo Nelson accidentally gave a Vinton man a 40-page document that included his personal information and the information of hundreds of other Iowans facing license suspension. Addresses and driver’s license numbers — both protected by federal law — were not redacted.
The Gazette via KCRG

1L enrollment drops nearly 30 percent from 2010 high; when were figures last so low?
First-year enrollment at ABA-approved law schools dropped this year to the lowest point since 1974, when there were 53 fewer accredited law schools. The 204 ABA-accredited law schools enrolled 37,924 full- and part-time first-year students in the fall of 2014, a drop of 4.4 percent from 2013 and a drop of 27.7 percent from the historic high of 52,488 in 2010, according to an ABA press release.
ABA Journal

New Standard Mileage Rates Now Available; Business Rate to Rise in 2015
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2015 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be: 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014, 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
Internal Revenue Service

Iowa's court system going paperless
Sometime in 2015 every Iowa county will require private attorneys, county attorneys, pro se litigants, law enforcement, Department of Corrections, clerk of courts, judges and probation, parole and juvenile officials to electronically file court documents using the judicial branch's Electronic Document Management System.
Daily Iowegian


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.


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SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
December 12

No. 13–0060
LUANA SAVINGS BANK vs. PRO-BUILD HOLDINGS, INC. and UNITED BUILDING CENTERS

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Allamakee County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.

Lender acquiring apartment buildings by deed in lieu of foreclosure seeks further review of court of appeals decision affirming summary judgment that dismissed claim against builder under implied warranty of workmanlike construction. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED.

No. 13–1285
ROSAUER CORPORATION vs. SAPP DEVELOPMENT, L.L.C.; TODD SAPP; WHISPERING CREEK, L.L.C.; and W.C. DEVELOPMENT, INC.

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Duane E. Hoffmeyer, Judge.

Residential developer seeks further review of court of appeals decision affirming summary judgment that dismissed claim implied warranty of workmanlike construction applied to sale of building lot without a dwelling. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1764
STATE OF IOWA vs. MARK AARON THOMPSON

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol L. Coppola (plea), District Associate Judge, and Odell G. McGhee II, (sentencing), District Associate Judge.

A defendant seeks further review of an opinion affirming his sentence. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

No. 14–0944
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. SETH EUGENE BALDWIN

On review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Grievance commission reports respondent committed numerous violations of the rules of professional conduct and recommends suspension. LICENSE SUSPENDED.

TIPS & TRICKS


BENEFIT OF THE WEEK



The ISBA Career Center helps bring attorneys and employers together. Whether you have a legal position you need to fill or you’re looking for a career in the legal industry, you’re in the right place! Listings are available for a fee for ISBA members. Job seekers may search the listed jobs and post their resumes on the site for free.


Visit the Career Center or call (515) 697-7896 for more information.

 


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