Leadership meets with governor, state legislative leaders
This morning, ISBA Leadership met with Iowa Governor
Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and legal counsel to the governor, Larry Johnson, in the governor’s office at the Iowa State Capitol to discuss six ISBA legislative
defense funding – Adequate compensation for court-appointed
counsel is necessary in order to ensure that the state meets its
constitutional obligation to provide competent assistance of counsel to
indigent persons accused of crimes. The ISBA supports a $5.00 per hour
increase in the court- appointed counsel contract rate and further supports
cost-of-living adjustments in the hourly rate for such compensation.
- Probate court
costs – Under current law, joint tenancy property,
transfers made during a person’s lifetime and assets payable to
beneficiaries are not excluded from the value of personal property and
real estate used to calculate the court costs despite the fact that the
clerk’s office does not "perform services” regarding these assets. The
ISBA supports the Calculation of Probate Court Costs bill, SF 376/HSB 37,
which excludes property over which the court lacks probate jurisdiction
and for which the clerk renders no services from the determination of
facilities funding – Under state law, county
governments are financially responsible to provide physical structures for
the court system but the state is responsible for the furnishings and
technological equipment therein. The ISBA supports full funding of the
Iowa Judicial Branch’s budget request for equipment needs in accordance
with Iowa Code sections 602.1302 and 602.11101, including one-time funding
for furnishings and technological equipment for the recently renovated
Polk County Courthouse.
branch funding – The Iowa Judicial Branch budget request for
FY2017 includes $179 million plus $5.6 million. This amount would only
provide enough funding for the Iowa Judicial Branch to maintain the
current level of services that it provides. The ISBA supports full
funding for the Iowa Judicial Branch budget request.
residency – Legislative proposal HF260 allows a judicial
applicant from any area of Iowa to apply for an open judgeship anywhere in
the state. The ISBA opposes HF
260 and statewide appointment of district court judges.
- Iowa Legal Aid
funding – Iowa Legal Aid provides essential legal
services throughout the state to low-income Iowans with critical legal
needs. The most recent census data indicates that 493,721 Iowans meet Iowa
Legal Aid’s income eligibility guidelines. The ISBA supports state
funding for ILA through continued support of the Legal Services Grants
Program, and from other available state sources, in the amount of $2.9
Those advocating for the ISBA’s position on crucial issues for the
legislative session included,
ISBA President Bruce Walker, President-elect Skip Kenyon, Vice-president
Steve Eckley and Executive Director Dwight Dinkla along with ISBA Assistant Legislative
Counsel Doug Struyk.
Read more about the ISBA’s 2016 Affirmative Legislative Program in
the Jan./Feb. issue of The Iowa Lawyer Magazine and upcoming ISBA publications.
To keep apprised of developments in the ISBA’s 2016 Affirmative Legislative
Program, visit the ISBA
Legislative Program webpage. To learn about ways to help further key
legislation, contact your Board of Governors District representative. To find
your BOG district representative, click
Photo Caption: ISBA Leadership meets with Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer and House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow.
ISBA launches new career center, offers
20% discount on jobs listings
ISBA launched its new career center last week. As a way to celebrate, the ISBA
is offering a 20 percent discount to any employer who posts a job to the new
site from now until the end of February.
new site, employers may choose from 30, 60 or 90-day job postings. Rates for
the posts vary: ISBA members and non-members receive different rates, and
attorney positions differ from support staff positions. A chart of products and
rates is available here.
can strengthen their job post by adding enhancement features at an additional
cost. Featured job listings, digital job video presentations and special
employer branding are just a few of the enhancements offered. And, posting a
job to the ISBA career center will still get employers’ job listings posted in
the Iowa Lawyer Magazine and in this Iowa Lawyer Weekly eNewsletter. See the
products and rates page for more details.
addition, employers can choose to participate in the Legal Job Exchange
Network, a strategic industry alliance of associations in
the legal profession. A number of legal associations have networked their job
boards together to offer a broader audience of candidates. If employers choose
to post a job onto the Legal Job Exchange Network, the job post will not only
appear on the ISBA career center, but it will be distributed to the job boards
of the partner sites as well.
those interested in posting a job, the 20 percent discount may be applied to
any 30-day job posting or enhancement by entering the promotional code LAUNCH2016 when checking out. The code
is only valid through the end of February 2016. To post a job, employers must
first register for an account at http://careers.iowabar.org/employers.
The career center is a self-service platform, but any questions or concerns can
be sent to Zach Zuber at 515-697-7864 or email@example.com.
Five students headed
to D.C. as winners of 2016 Know Your Constitution contest
85 students and teachers from high schools around the state took part in a
luncheon last Friday at the West Des Moines Marriott in West Des Moines
honoring the students for being finalists in the 2016 Know Your Constitution
program. Five of those finalists, selected in a random drawing, will spend the
week of Feb. 14-19 in Washington, D.C., learning more about government through
a program sponsored by the Close-up Foundation.
More than 900 students representing Iowa’s state legislative districts successfully
completed the multiple choice and essay questions on the U.S. Constitution that
were part of this year’s contest. From the 900, the top 100 were selected to attend last Friday's luncheon. The annual contest is sponsored by the Young
Lawyers Division of The Iowa State Bar Association.
Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins was the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
After briefly discussing the different roles of the three branches of U.S.
government, he focused on the judiciary’s role as referee to ensure that no one
can violate an individual’s rights guaranteed by the constitution.
the Know Your Constitution program focuses on the U.S. Constitution, Justice
Wiggins urged the students to check Iowa’s Constitution as well. State
constitutions often provide more protections than the U.S. Constitution, he
Photo Caption: Four of the five students
and their teachers who are headed to Washington, D.C. as part of the YLD Know
Your Constitution program stand with committee co-chairs Sam Langholz (far
left) and Bob Gainer (far right) and Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins
(second from left). Teachers and their students are (from left) John Drake and
Danielle McComas, Lewis Central High School; Mandie Reynolds and Lindsey White,
Riverside High School; Roland Schmidt and Ben Wetzeler, Spirit Lake High
School; and Sarah Carlson and Jenis Jusufovic, Peet Jr. High School, Cedar
Falls. Not pictured are student Lexie Schulz and teacher Bill Shafer from
Central Springs High School.
continues to earn support, affords greater access
As awareness of the benefits afforded by unbundled legal services
is increasing within the profession, bar associations can play an important
role in advancing public awareness. The ABA House of Delegates unanimously
passed a resolution to support limited-scope representation in 2013. As the
2016 ABA Midyear meeting next month approaches, the ABA Division for Legal
Services urges bar associations to consider how they can help pursue even
greater support for unbundled legal services.
According to a recent article from the Bar Leader, an electronic
newsletter from the ABA for bar association members, bar associations can
advance unbundling and thereby expand access to those who may otherwise
- Providing CLE programs to help lawyers understand the potential of
unbundling for both pro se and practice representation;
- Regularly bringing together practitioners who can share their
experiences of providing unbundled legal services with one another;
- Maintaining a directory of unbundling lawyers and promoting it
anywhere those with modest means may be seeking help;
- Making certain that newly admitted practitioners have a better
opportunity to experiment with unbundling and share their experiences.
To support the benefits of greater public awareness that unbundled legal services present in terms of greater access,
the article also highlights the findings of a national public survey completed
in 2010 that informed the passage of the 2013 ABA resolution. The survey found
that while 70 percent of people surveyed said that they were not familiar with the
concept of unbundling, two-thirds reported that they would like to discuss the
option with an attorney.
To read the full ABA article on unbundling, click
here. Look for upcoming articles in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly and the Iowa
Lawyer Magazine to learn more about the ISBA’s efforts to advance unbundling in
order to expand access to legal services and ways to get involved.
|In Other News ...
The best, worst and most surprising SCOTUS opinions of 2015
was an amazing year in the United States Supreme Court. As the year comes to a
close, I cannot resist the temptation to look back and present my "awards” for
what happened in the court this year. In
October 2014-15, the liberal justices were in the majority more than any term
in recent memory, and likely the most since the end of the Warren Court in
1969. The liberal justices were in the majority in most of the criminal law and
criminal procedure decisions, all the First Amendment cases, all the civil
rights cases and all of the separation of powers cases. This is reflected in
Justice Stephen Breyer having been the justice most often in the majority, in
percent of the cases, and tying with Justice Anthony Kennedy for the justice
most often in the majority in 5-4 decisions.
refers questions in Water Works case to Iowa Supreme Court
District Judge Mark Bennett today asked the Iowa Supreme Court to rule on four
key questions in Des Moines Water Works' lawsuit against three northwest Iowa
counties regarding nitrate pollution in the Raccoon River. It remains unclear
how much, if at all, the action may delay the case, which will remain in the
Northern District of Iowa in Sioux City. The trial date, at this point, remains
set for Aug. 8.
of State: Budget tight, justice reform needed, Branstad says
Gov. Terry Branstad
described Iowa as having strong employment and sound fiscal practices, but he
cautioned Tuesday that a slumping farm economy has hurt state revenue, forcing
a tight state budget… On a key
policy matter, Branstad proposed initiatives to address the state’s criminal
justice system. These include providing confidentiality for many juvenile
delinquency records now public, combating human trafficking and domestic
violence, and revising funding for drug and mental health courts.
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
BEN VILLARREAL JR., CLEO MARTINEZ, and LaCASA
MARTINEZ TEXMEX, INC. vs. UNITED FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY d/b/a UNITED FIRE
review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for
Cerro Gordo County,
T. Davenport, Judge.
insurer seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing a summary
judgment granted by the district court in favor of the insurer. DECISION OF
COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT
TIPS & TRICKS
ADMISSION ON MOTION
following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:
Anne McGinn, Office of State Public Defender, Special Defense Unit, Des Moines,
with questions or comments on the above applicants should contact: Dave Ewert
at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines,
IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.
BENEFIT OF THE WEEK
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