Due to the upcoming holiday, the Nov. 26 Iowa Lawyer Weekly e-newsletter will
be suspended until the Dec. 3 issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this
A Letter from the President
assessment for Iowa Legal Aid? Two perspectives.
There has been a lot of discussion in the last year or two
about the reduced funding sources for Iowa Legal Aid. The ISBA supports a new
Pro Hac Vice fee of $250 per case and a stronger lobbying effort both here in
Iowa and in Washington, D.C., to raise more funds to provide civil legal
services for low-income Iowans. Some say that these efforts are inadequate and
that Iowa should now join the ranks of those few state licensing boards that
have adopted mandatory assessments requiring most licensed lawyers and judges
to pay into a fund to support these legal services.
At the request of Iowa Legal Aid, a proposal is pending
before the Iowa Supreme Court that would require a mandatory assessment of $100
per attorney per year. As your president, my duty is to ensure you receive this information so you have the opportunity to file your comments with
Two of our accomplished members have graciously agreed to
share their opinions on this subject. I want to publicly thank both Art
and Joe for helping us present both sides to this issue. Please see their
|Supporting View||Opposing View
Arthur A. Neu - Carroll
in the firm of Neu, Minnich, Comito & Neu, P.C.; has served as a state
senator, lieutenant governor and as a member of the Board of Regents.
C. Joseph Holland - Iowa City
practicing in the firm of Holland Law Office, P.L.C.; served on our
Board of Governors and also served as president of the ISBA in 2001-02;
served on many different boards including the National Conference of Bar Presidents
and the Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys.
Why lawyers? Why do we
need to give $100 per year to provide legal help to low-income Iowans?
Perhaps why the Iowa Supreme Court has asked for comments on this fee is that
we, as lawyers, have a special responsibility for the quality of justice. Our
rules of professional conduct urge us to do so. Unrepresented parties
negatively impact the quality of justice, not just for themselves, but for
others involved in the judicial system. This contribution to support access
to justice will improve the system for lawyers, our clients and for all
Iowa Legal Aid and the
Volunteer Lawyers Projects in Iowa provide critical legal assistance to
low-income Iowans that ensures they are treated fairly. Iowa Legal Aid and
the volunteer lawyers to whom it refers cases handled 18,127 cases …
here to read more.
For those of you who may not
know, a proposal is before the Iowa Supreme Court to assess every Iowa
licensed attorney a $100 annual fee to fund Iowa Legal Aid. The
deadline for submitting written comments to the court is 4:30 p.m. on Jan.
5, 2015. This is not an ISBA proposal and ISBA has not taken a position in
favor of this proposal. Iowa Legal Aid took the request to the court.
I believe in Iowa
Legal Aid. My firm and I have donated time and money in support of its
mission. I have lobbied, in person, members of both the Iowa Legislature and
the United States Congress, for support for Legal Aid on state and national
levels. However, I see court imposed funding for Legal Aid as unacceptable
for many reasons. Here are a few….
here to read more.
The court wants to measure the temperature of the bar on this
issue and has requested that you make your comments known, either by mailing
them to the court or filing your comments electronically at email@example.com.
The email must state, "Access to Justice,” in the subject line and the comments
must be attached to the email in Microsoft Word format.
In addition to those comments, we are also asking you to take
a few minutes to complete our short survey concerning this topic. This survey
will help The Iowa State Bar Association understand the concerns of its members
regarding access to justice and fill gaps of information missing from the
initial report. Results of this survey will be shared with the Iowa Supreme
Court. Click the button below to begin.
Thank you for
your attention to this matter and thank you again for the opportunity to serve
as your president.
Joseph M. Feller
President, The Iowa State Bar Association
P.O. Box 37
Sibley, Iowa 51249
Iowa Supreme Court Resources:
Public Comment Regarding Access to Justice Recommendations (Oct. 1).
Clerkship announcement for Fourth Judicial
The Fourth Judicial District Court in Council Bluffs is now
accepting applications for judicial clerks. This is a one-year clerkship
beginning August 2015. Duties include working directly with all Fourth District
judges and associate judges; performing legal research; drafting memoranda,
decisions and orders; and other assigned duties. The salary is approximately
$45,177 and includes full Iowa State benefits. Graduation from an accredited
law school is required, although applicants may apply while still in their
final year. Interviews will be held and offers made beginning in February 2015.
Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, law school
transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable), and writing sample by Dec. 19 to:
District Court Administrator
Pottawattamie County Courthouse
227 South 6th Street, 4th Floor, Rm.
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
|In Other News...|
of Iowans Passing the Bar Exam Drops
passage rate for Iowans taking the Bar Exam fell 11-percent when compared to
the previous year. The country’s average score dropped 4 points. The National
Conference of Bar Examiners sent a memo asking law schools to better prepare
their students for the test. Drake University Law School associate dean Andrea
Charlow says she doesn’t agree that the schools are to blame for a decline in
Iowa Courts Working to Address Racial Disparity Concerns
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady pointed to encouraging signs Monday that
Iowa is addressing problems associated with racial disparity in the state’s
criminal justice system. Speaking to attendees of an Iowa Summit on Justice
& Disparities conference at Drake University, Cady said efforts are under
way to inform and educate Iowa judges about racial disparity problems and the
steps that can be taken to end them. As part of what he called project
equality, Cady said recommendations also have been made on ways to reduce
racial disparity at all stages in Iowa’s juvenile justice system.
Iowa Law Helps Seniors Protect Against Financial Abuse
Iowa's population continues to age, also growing is the number of elders being
exploited financially, although new protections are in place aim to reverse
that trend. The Iowa Uniform Power of Attorney Act officially took effect this
summer and today marks the start of a statewide awareness campaign.
and law professor Josephine Gittler, College of Law, University of Iowa, says
the Act adds new protections against those who abuse Power of Attorney
authority, and makes it easier for Iowans to set up a POA.
News Service via KMALand
Marriage Issue Squarely Before High Court
same-sex couple from Michigan is putting the question of the right to marry
nationwide squarely before the Supreme Court. The couple's plea to be allowed
to marry was being filed Monday. It asks the justices to hold that state laws
prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married violate "our nation's
most cherished and essential guarantees." The appeal from Detroit-area
hospital nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse calls on the court to overturn an
appeals court ruling that upheld anti-gay marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan,
Ohio and Tennessee.
Press via ABC News
Gather Outside Courthouse Where Grand Jury Weighs Ferguson Case
dozen demonstrators took to the streets Monday in Clayton, Missouri, where a
grand jury is determining whether to file criminal charges against a white
police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen in August. Protesters
expressed anger that, 101 days after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed
in Ferguson, Missouri, it was still unclear what will happen to the officer,
via Huffington Post
New App Helps People Expunge Their Criminal Records
Maryland, as in any part of the world, people with checkered pasts are looking
to wipe their slates clean. Baltimore lawyer Jason Tashea is hoping to make
that process just a little easier. Tashea, along with University of Maryland
law student Jon Tippens, created ExpungeMaryland.org, a web application to help
people start to figure out whether their criminal records can be wiped away.
Solo Without Breaking the Bank
a law practice is a challenge for any lawyer, even one with unlimited funds.
But most lawyers have limited budgets. Startup costs rapidly accumulate and
being frugal is not a choice, it’s a necessity. Just a few years ago, it was a
significant challenge to obtain the necessary technology to open a practice for
$5,000. However, while many costs relating to the practice of law have
increased over the last 10 years, the cost of much of the basic computer
technology and software has decreased. So the challenge faced by lawyers
opening new solo offices, whether they are new graduates or are leaving other
positions, is if they can obtain the technology they need on their budget. What
if they only have $1,000? What if they have a bit more, say, $2,500 or even
|The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published
every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or
photos, to firstname.lastname@example.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.|
SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
STATE OF IOWA vs. JABARI LAMAR WALKER
On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Nancy A. Baumgartner, Judge.
Defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision sustaining the writ of certiorari requested by the State, vacating the sentence imposed by the district court, and remanding for resentencing. COURT OF APPEALS DECISION AFFIRMED, WRIT SUSTAINED, AND CASE REMANDED.
TIPS & TRICKS
BENEFIT OF THE WEEK
The Iowa State Bar Association and Go Next are pleased to present wonderful travel
opportunities available to you, your family, and friends. Take advantage
of the great savings and conveniences when traveling with Go Next. On
many of our programs, you can select from daily optional excursions or
experience these destinations on your own.
To obtain tour brochures and details about the latest trip, call (800) 842-9023 or visit here.