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 August 2, 2017  Past Issues

Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website provides new video FAQ library to the public

The Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website now offers short videos from ISBA attorney members to assist the public in navigating legal issues.

The "Ask an Attorney" video topics include frequently asked questions such as: “How are lawyer fees structured?,” “Should I get a prenuptial agreement?” and ”What can I expect during the real estate foreclosure process?” Dozens of members have already recorded their answers, with more added every day to the Find-A-Lawyer website’s Self Help Tools section. Click here to see some of the latest videos.

The ISBA is seeking additional member attorneys to record videos related to their practice areas, with a goal of creating an extensive video FAQ library on IowaFindALawyer.comPlease reach out to the ISBA Communications Department if you are interested in being involved: Melissa Higgins, Communications Director, mhiggins@iowabar.org, 515-697-7896


August Iowa Lawyer now available online

The August issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. This month, you’ll learn about ARAG, a legal insurance company with its North American headquarters based in Des Moines. You will also meet the ISBA’s new Vice President Bill Boyd, and read about how to find a good cybersecurity company for your law firm.

Those who elect to receive the print version of the magazine should see it in mailboxes this week. Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.


Tort suits in state courts are 'down sharply' as contract claims grow

Tort lawsuits are “down sharply,” raising concerns among some judges that Americans no longer see the courts as a way to achieve justice in garden-variety civil cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fewer than two in 1,000 people filed tort suits in 2015, down from about 10 in 1,000 in 1993, the article reports, citing information from the National Center for State Courts.

In 2015, tort cases accounted for 4 percent of civil filings in state courts, down from 16 percent of civil filings in 1993. In raw numbers, the decline in filings amounts to more than 1.7 million cases. The numbers are estimates based on case percentages recorded by more than 20 states.

Read more in this article from the ABA Journal.



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Expected retirements likely to increase pressures on overworked government lawyers

Government lawyers are already feeling workload pressures, and it is likely to get worse.

Sixty-seven percent of government lawyers responding to a Thomson Reuters survey said scarce resources and tight budgets were adding pressure to their workloads.

And 76 percent of the government lawyers surveyed expected their workloads to increase in the next few years. A press release and white paper(PDF) summarize the findings.


 

Upcoming Events for the Family & Juvenile Law Section

David Cox, Family Law Section chair

The Family & Juvenile Law Section will have its annual Family Law Seminar on Oct. 26 and 27. The section meeting will be at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the West Des Moines Marriott.

The seminar will include advanced family & juvenile law topics such as, 1) Jim Meade’s Family Law Update, 2) New Changes To The Iowa Child Support Guidelines, 3) Ethical Pitfalls To Avoid By Maintaining Client Control And Expectations, 4) Intellectual Property Issues In A Dissolution Of Marriage Case, 5) How To Cross-Examine A Business Valuation Expert, and 6) How To Support Or Cross-Examine A Psychologist’s Report.

The list of speakers includes national presenters from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, judges and experts from across the state of Iowa.

The section meeting will include a discussion of the section’s affirmative agenda as well as issues to consider in the upcoming legislative session, especially proposals related to changes in the probate code that would affect family & juvenile law.


IRS launches campaign to help tax preparers fight client data thefts

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry have launched a 10-part campaign over 10 weeks called “Don’t Take the Bait” to help tax preparers fight against the increased efforts by cybercriminals to breach tax professionals’ systems and steal client data. Through June 1, the IRS had identified approximately 10,000 business returns as potential victims of identity theft in 2017. That compares with about 4,000 for calendar year 2016 and 350 for calendar year 2015.

The affected returns included corporate returns (Forms 1120 and 1120S) and estate and trust returns (Form 1041). There also was an increase in identity theft related to the Schedule K-1 filings made by partnerships.

The “Don’t Take the Bait” campaign focuses on raising awareness of the critical need for tax professionals to increase their computer security and be cautious when reviewing their inboxes -- specifically the email scams dubbed spear phishing. Those emails appear as though they are from a friend, customer or company. Read more about the campaign and how to protect your clients’ tax information in the news releases found at this link.



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IN OTHER NEWS
Chances diminishing of a new courthouse at former YMCA site, official says
The odds are “less than 50-50” that a new federal courthouse will be built at a controversial downtown site owned by Hubbell Realty Co., Des Moines City Councilwoman Christine Hensley said Monday.
Des Moines Register

Federal order could hinder new Iowa restrictions on civil asset forfeiture, groups worry
Amid concerns that local law enforcement was, in some cases, taking advantage of a program that allows them to seize the money and property of individuals suspected of a crime, Iowa lawmakers earlier this year approved legislation that put restrictions on the program.
Globe Gazette

Appeals court considers removal of judge who is Facebook friends with lawyer
A Florida appeals court is considering a law firm’s attempt to force the recusal of a judge for being Facebook friends with a lawyer who entered an appearance for a nonparty in her court.
ABA Journal

Cedar Rapids attorney Stephen Jackson Sr. receives 'prestigious' pro bono award from Iowa State Bar Association
The news of significant federal budget cuts to legal aid back in 1996 provoked the ire of Stephen B. Jackson Sr., making him jump in his car and drive to the Cedar Rapids legal aid regional office.
Cedar Rapids Gazette

 

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TIPS & TRICKS

6 lessons about lawyering -- and life

Using mediation during e-discovery to settle cases faster

5 tools to take your modern law firm to the next level

6 things you'll find the smartest people doing every day

How to deal with failure, from two people who have made it to the other side


JOB LISTINGS

Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

Chief Deputy Clerk - United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA

Associate Attorney - Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, IA

Litigation Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Intellectual Property, Data Security and Privacy Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Surety Claims Attorney - Merchants Bonding Company, West Des Moines, IA

Attorney 1 - Iowa Department of Revenue, Des Moines, IA

Legal Secretary 2 - Iowa Department of Revenue, Des Moines, IA

City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

Administrative Assistant - City Attorney's Office - City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, IA

Senior Casualty Claims Adjuster - York Risk Services Group, Johnston, IA

Estate Planning Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Staff Attorney - Disability Rights Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Attorney - Brady Preston Gronlund PC, Cedar Rapids, IA

Business Litigation Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA

Real Estate Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Legal Assistant - Otto Law Office PLLC, Newton, IA


ADMISSION ON MOTION

The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

Megan Marlene Green, State Farm, Bloomington, IL

Thomas A. Houdek, Jefferson City, MO

Garet K. Galster, SmithKeane, Hartland, WI

Arielle Silver Karsh, Alliant Energy, Madison, WI

Anyone with questions or comments on the above should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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