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 January 3, 2017  Past Issues

New Jury Instructions available on ISBA website

The newest changes to the ISBA Jury Instructions were made available online Dec. 22. The most recent updates include changes to both the civil and criminal instructions.

The Jury Instructions committee approved changes and additions to civil instructions regarding wrongful birth and to criminal instructions regarding child endangerment and sexual abuse.

Full details on the specific updates, as well as copies of the new jury instructions, are available on the ISBA's website.


Make cybersecurity a priority in 2018

Cybersecurity continues to make headlines in 2018, but the best defense against a cyber-related event is to identify the risks prior to an event occurring. The ABA recently released an updated version of its handbook on cybersecurity, “The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business, Second Edition,” which is a great resource to help lawyers identify potential cybersecurity risks.

In addition to the handbook, this document, “Safe and Secure: Cyber Security Practices for Law Firms,” is the most requested cyber resource from lawyers in the ISBA Insurance Program. It contains valuable information on how to avoid a cyber breach and includes a checklist to help assist in the event a breach occurs.

For more information on cybersecurity, please contact Lockton Affinity at 800-679-7154 or ISBAInsurance@LocktonAffinity.com.


Have you renewed your PTIN?

If you haven’t already renewed your IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), you need to do so before filing clients’ 2017 income tax returns. All current PTINs expired Dec. 31.

Anyone who is paid to prepare or help prepare any federal tax return, or claim for refund, must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on the returns prepared. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.

For those who had a 2017 PTIN, the renewal process takes a few moments online. Those who cannot remember their user ID and password can find online tools to assist them. Click www.irs.gov/ptin to get started.

If registering for the first time, the PTIN application may also be completed online. Paper Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application and Renewal, is available for paper applications and renewals, and takes four to six weeks to process. There is no fee for obtaining or renewing a PTIN.



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Upcoming CLE gets tax preparers ready for 2018 changes

The Iowa State Bar Association Taxation Section and the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) are partnering to provide a detailed look at changes coming from the newly enacted tax law.

Kristy Maitre and Kristine Tidgren from CALT will present the two-hour seminar on Jan. 24 to help preparers get updated on what they need to know to get through the 2018 filing season. They will also provide an overview of key provisions of the new tax law practitioners must know to advise clients as 2018 gets underway.

The seminar offers attorneys two hours of credit, including two federal hours, and offers credit for CPAs, enrolled agents and tax return preparers as well. Full details as well as registration are available on the event page.


RUSSELL WINS BID FOR COLORADO VACATION

Davenport attorney Ian Russell was the successful bidder for the luxury vacation in the Colorado mountains. His bid of $3,750 entitles him and his family/friends to six days and six nights in the Rocky Mountains in Edwards, Colorado.

The vacation was made possible by ISBA Legislative Counsel, Jim Carney, who offered the weeklong stay in his townhome to the highest bidder as a fundraiser for Iowa LawPAC. The townhome is about 20 minutes from the Eagle Vail airport.

For more information about Iowa LawPAC, click here, or on the “Legislative” tab at the top of the ISBA homepage then on “LawPAC.”


SUPREME COURT OPINIONS

No. 16-0279
State of Iowa v. Thierno Yaya Diallo
The State requests further review of a court of appeals decision vacating a defendant’s guilty plea.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED

No. 15-0471
Westco Agronomy Company, LLC v. William S. Wollesen a/k/a Bill Wollesen, Kristi J. Wollesen, William S. and Kristi J. Wollesen Revocable Trust, John W. Wollesen, Iowa Plains Farms and Chad A. Hartzler
An agricultural cooperative and its subsidiary seek further review of a court of appeals decision affirming in part and reversing in part a judgment entered after summary judgment and jury trial proceedings.
COURT OF APPEALS DECISION AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED

No. 16-1112
State of Iowa v. Jason Gene Weitzel
The State requests further review of a court of appeals decision vacating defendant’s guilty pleas.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED

No. 16-1265
Alexander Shcharansky and Tatiana Shcharansky v. Vadim Shapiro, Boris Pusin, Ilya Markevich, Alex Komm, and Dmitry Khots
Appellants seek further review of judgment denying action for contribution.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED


IN OTHER NEWS
2017: The year of change?
Why would I end this article title with a question mark? Of course, 2017 was a year of change. All you had to do was turn on your phone (for those who ever turn them off) and a stream of rapid-fire news greeted you reminding you that change was ever prevalent – whether good, bad or indifferent.
Law Sites Blog

Iowa continues to battle budget issues
One of the first issues greeting lawmakers when they gavel in their 2018 session Jan. 8 will be addressing a projected shortfall in the current budget before they and Gov. Kim Reynolds can begin crafting a fiscal 2019 spending plan — which poses challenges, too.
Sioux City Journal

Chief Justice Roberts promises to evaluate sexual misconduct policies
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts released his annual report on the federal judiciary on Sunday.
Iowa Public Radio

Dubuque event strives to help job- and service-seekers overcome criminal histories
Fresh starts and new careers can be challenging to obtain for those with a criminal past. Convictions, even those that are decades old, can continue to haunt job-seekers struggling to make ends meet.
Telegraph Herald

 
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TIPS & TRICKS

Top law firm technology trends to watch in 2018

You can take it! How to accept negative feedback with ease

How to customize your Android phone exactly how you like it

Bitcoin and estate planning: Top FAQs

6 ways to avoid being broke even if you make good money


JOB LISTINGS

Estate Planning/ Tax Attorney - Whitfield & Eddy Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Leff Law Firm, LLP, Iowa City, IA

Assistant General Counsel-Agri/Farm Insurance - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Davenport, IA

Trial Attorney III - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA

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

In-House Counsel - Marshalltown Company, Marshalltown, IA

Labor & Employment Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels, Des Moines, IA

Managing Attorney - Iowa Legal Aid, Davenport, IA

Associate Attorney - Marzen Law Office, P.L.L.C., West Des Moines, IA

Coverage Attorney - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE


ADMISSION ON MOTION

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

David Edward Gordon, Gordon Legal Services, Northbrook, IL

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


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