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 November 29, 2017  Past Issues

Iowa Legal Aid hires new executive director

A New York City attorney, Nick Smithberg, will succeed Dennis Groenenboom as executive director of Iowa Legal Aid on Jan. 4, 2018. The announcement was made yesterday by Mark Zaiger, president of the Iowa Legal Aid Board of Directors, and Elisabeth Reynoldson, chair of the search committee.

Smithberg, who will relocate from New York City to Des Moines in early January, most recently worked with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs as deputy general counsel and executive director of the Paid Sick Leave and Commuter Benefits Divisions. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center, and began his law career with South Brooklyn Legal Services, working as a staff attorney in the housing unit. He has also worked with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP as well as Cooley LLP in New York City, focusing on litigation in the corporate and bankruptcy departments.

After an extensive process, the search committee concluded that Smithberg was the best fit for the current needs of Iowa Legal Aid, Zaiger said. “Nick’s vision, passion and dedication to helping to meet the legal needs of Iowa’s poor impressed the search committee and staff members who met him,” he added. “He will clearly be a zealous advocate in maintaining Iowa Legal Aid’s proven commitment to underprivileged Iowans.”

Groenenboom, who has served as executive director since 1992, will continue at Iowa Legal Aid during the transition. He does not currently have a definite date for his retirement from the organization.

For more information, contact Zaiger at mlz@shuttleworthlaw.com


Enhanced Fastcase now available to ISBA members

Members of The Iowa State Bar Association now have free access to Fastcase 7, the all-new upgraded version of Fastcase offering full nationwide coverage including all federal and bankruptcy cases. 

It has all of the familiar features and tools from the past, as well as an enhanced Forecite, Tag Cloud, Authority Check and Bad Law Bot, as well as interface enhancements making the program easier to operate.

The Fastcase service ordinarily costs $995 per year for an individual subscriber, but bar members have access to Fastcase and Fastcase 7 for free as a complimentary member benefit.

Members can access the new system via iowabar.org using their bar username and password. They can also easily switch between 7 and the classic service through a simple slider in the upper right of the screen. Full details on the enhancements and new features available can be found here.


Candidates sought for district nominating commissions

The Iowa Judicial Branch is seeking applications for electors to the district nominating commissions in the state’s 14 judicial election subdistricts. The deadline for applying is Jan. 1.

Eligible resident members of the bar are to elect two electors in each subdistrict, except for 5C. One of those elected shall be a woman and one shall be a man. Members of subdistrict 5C shall elect one commissioner -- a man.

Article V, section 16 of the Iowa Constitution provides that commissioners serve for six-year terms and shall not be eligible for a second six-year term on the same commission. Newly elected commissioners will begin their terms on Feb. 1, next year and serve until Jan. 31, 2024. Article V, section 16 further provides that elective members “shall hold no office of profit of the United States or of the state during their terms.”

Under Iowa Code section 46.10 (2017), an eligible elector must file a nominating petition in the state court administrator’s office by Jan. 1. Blank nominating petitions will be furnished by the administrator’s office upon request by writing: State Court Administrator, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Click here to see a list of the commissioners whose terms expire Jan. 31, 2018.



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Iowa Judicial Branch debuts newly-designed website

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Iowa Judicial Branch website was updated with a brand-new look. The revamped site includes improved functionality, including a search function. Judicial branch officials also say the newly-designed site is better organized so attorneys and citizens can quickly find the information they need.

You can check out the new website at the same URL: iowacourts.gov.


Tax school program highlights

The ISBA's annual Bloethe Tax School is set to begin one week from today. It has a full slate of courses, with highlights below:
• James Goodman and Maureen Kenney will provide a 1040 forms and example session
• David Bibler and Lee Wilmarth will be joined by Daniel Fretheim to cover the Tax Manual
• Alan Gregerson from the Internal Revenue Service will be providing an IRS Update
• Michel Nelson, Janice Kerkove and Christine Halbrook will delve into the top 10 listserve questions regarding tax and probate and provide the answers

Friday offers attendees two tracks to choose from. The Standard Tax Track will cover Iowa Sales Tax Issues, LLC to S Corp. Reorganizations and Tax Implications of Cryptocurrency. The Fiduciary Tax Track will cover Fiduciary Income Tax Update, Form 706 and Special Use Valuation.

Friday also features the traditional Blue Ribbon Panel. Questions can be emailed in advance to ccronin@iowabar.org.

Registration is available online, with a $50 late fee taking effect Dec. 5. Those interested in a hard-copy manual must select that option at registration. There are currently only 84 remaining for this year's school.


SUPREME COURT OPINIONS

No. 15-1543
STATE OF IOWA vs. CARLOS ARIEL GOMEZ GARCIA
The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision ordering a new trial because the district court overruled the defendant’s objection to a standby interpreter.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED


No. 16-0267
STATE OF IOWA vs. MICHAEL SCHEFFERT
The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision suppressing the State’s evidence.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED

No. 17-0920
IN THE INTEREST OF L.H., MINOR CHILD
The State and a child’s guardian ad litem seek further review of a court of appeals decision that reversed the adjudication of a child as a child in need of assistance.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED

No. 17-1110
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD V. KENNETH J. SMITH
On review of the report of the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission.
ATTORNEY REPRIMANDED

No. 16-1731
PAULA J. TYLER AND MARK J. ALCORN V. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Taxpayers appeal from a district court order upholding the constitutionality of a definition used in an inheritance tax exemption.
AFFIRMED



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IN OTHER NEWS
Iowa Supreme Court appoints Noneman as senior judge
The Iowa Supreme Court has appointed retiring District Associate Judge Gary R. Noneman to serve as a Senior Judge for the 8th Judicial District effective Dec. 6.
Fort Madison Daily Democrat

Blawg 100 Hall of Fame
Since 2012, the ABA Journal has maintained the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame to note consistently outstanding law blogs. The list of best blogs has grown to 55, with five new additions for 2017. Descriptions which follow were written in the year the blog joined the Hall of Fame.
ABA Journal

Gov. Reynolds appoints Thomas Murphy as district court judge
Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Thomas Murphy on Monday as district court judge in the Judicial District 5A. Murphy will fill the judicial seat formerly held by Judge Gregory Hulse.
Dallas County News

Most children in Iowa's foster care system reunite with their birthparents, some never find their way back
After the state moved Nicolas back into the care of his birth mother, Breanne French tried to accept he wasn’t hers to keep.
The Gazette

 
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JOB LISTINGS

Associate Attorney - Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Associate Director, Procurement - Cambridge, Fairfield, IA

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

Corporate Counsel/Licensing - DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA

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

Executive Officer 3 - Iowa Department of Commerce Credit Union Division, Des Moines, IA

Director of Advocacy/ Staff Legal Counsel - Iowa Hospital Association - Des Moines, IA

Assistant Director of OPR - Office of Professional Regulation, Des Moines, IA

Assistant City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

Attorney 2 - Iowa Public Information Board, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - McEnroe, Gotsdiner, Brewer, Steinbach & Rothman, P.C., West Des Moines, IA


ADMISSION ON MOTION

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

Matthew Gettman, Dept. of Defense, Rock Island, IL

Mary Carol Parker, Law Office of Jerry Crowder, St. Louis, MO

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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