Hearings Division launches new website
The Administrative Hearings Division of
the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals launched a new website that
provides a wide range of helpful information for administrative law
practitioners and the general public about Iowa’s administrative hearing
process. The website includes a library of administrative law resources,
frequently used forms, guidance for pro se litigants, advice for those
seeking to obtain legal counsel and other information about the division.
"We are excited to be able to provide this wealth of
information as a part of our continued efforts to demystify and improve the
efficiency and effectiveness of Iowa’s administrative hearing process,” said
Sam Langholz, administrator of the Administrative Hearings Division.
The Administrative Hearings Division provides independent
administrative law judges to decide disputes, primarily between private
citizens and government agencies, including state and local departments,
boards, and commissions. To visit the new website, click here.
support is needed for judicial branch, indigent defense budget requests
ISBA members are needed to communicate the ISBA’s
support for the judicial branch budget request and for the State Public
Defender’s Office’s supplemental appropriations request for payment of
court-appointed attorney fees. The Justice Appropriations Subcommittee will be
considering both requests.
ISBA Members from districts 1A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 5A, 5C,
6, 8A and 8B, are especially critical to this effort to help inform members of
the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee as they are constituents of the
lawmakers serving on the subcommittee. The Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee includes the following senators and representatives:
Tom Courtney - Chair, Burlington (8B)
Rob Hogg - Vice Chair, Cedar Rapids (6)
Julian Garrett - Ranking Member,
Mark Chelgren, Ottumwa (8A)
Rich Taylor, Mt. Pleasant (8B)
Gary Worthan - Chair, Storm Lake (3A)
Darrel Branhagen - Vice Chair, Decorah (1A)
Todd Taylor - Ranking Member,
Cedar Rapids (6)
Marti Ander, Des Moines (5C)
Chip Baltimore, Boone (2B)
Stan Gustafson, Cumming (5A)
Steven Holt, Denison (3B)
Jerry Kearns, Keokuk (8A)
Brian Meyer, Des Moines (5C)
The judicial branch budget will be presented to the
Justice Systems Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 10:00
a.m. To see the FY 2017 Judicial Branch Budget Request that includes decision
packages to maintain the current level of service, a judicial salary increase
and an increase for the jury and witness fund, click
here. To review the talking points for communication with Justice System
Appropriations Subcommittee members regarding the judicial branch budget, click
The State Public Defender’s Office is requesting
an additional $3 million in supplemental appropriations this year. The funds
will be used for the payment of court-appointed attorney fees. The claims by
court-appointed counsel will exceed last year’s appropriation of $29.5 million
by at least $3 million. The supplemental appropriations bill is needed to
ensure that court-appointed counsel attorney fee claims are paid in a timely
Contact information for both ISBA Legislative Counsel and state legislators is available here.
Buyer Tax Credit Program announced
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced last week that eligible Iowans can now buy a home
and reduce their federal income tax liability through the Take Credit Mortgage Credit Certificate Program administered by the Iowa Finance Authority.
Approximately 780 home buyers are expected to
benefit from the program in 2016, which is now available for new purchases
through a network of lenders throughout the state. The program provides eligible
home buyers with a tax credit against their federal income tax liability every
year for the life of their mortgage. Eligible homeowners may take 50 percent of
their annual interest paid on the mortgage loan, up to a maximum of $2,000 per
year, for up to 30 years. The remaining mortgage interest may be taken as a
deduction from taxable income if the home buyer itemizes.
Eligibility for the Take Credit program requires
home buyers to meet household income and purchase price limitations and meet
the definition of a first-time home buyer. The federal income limits vary by
county and household size, currently ranging from $67,500 to $115,220 per year.
A purchase price limit of $258,000 applies statewide with the exception of
federally targeted areas where the limit is $316,000. A first-time home buyer
is defined as someone who has not owned a primary residence in the past
three years but also includes home buyers purchasing in a federally targeted
area and qualified veterans who have not used tax exempt mortgage financing
More information is available at www.IowaFinanceAuthority.gov/TakeCredit.
practice ‘meet and greet’ receives praise from attorneys and students
Feedback from a sampling of the 20 rural attorneys
and 28 students who participated in the ISBA Rural Practice Committee’s "meet
and greet” event last Friday at the bar office indicated it was helpful and
they were glad they attended. Attorneys said it was a great opportunity to meet
a large number of potential hires in a short time in one location. Students
were pleased with the chance to meet a number of prospective employers.
All of the attorneys who offered feedback said they
met two or three students with whom they want to follow up for summer clerk or
full-time associate positions this year. Most students said they had met
multiple attorneys for whom they would like to work and would be contacting
The desired outcome of the meet and greet event is
to introduce rural attorneys interested in hiring to students interested in
working in a rural practice after graduation so they begin communicating with
each other over the next few months. The goal is that the attorneys and
students will find a mutually satisfying fit that results in job offers by
Interested attorneys who were unable to attend the
meet and greet are still able to connect with students by viewing the resumés
posted on the Rural Practice Committee’s web page on the ISBA website.
Presently, there are 30 resumés posted on the site. They can be viewed via this
link, or by going to the ISBA website (www.iowabar.org), clicking on
"Committees” in the "Member Groups” tab at the top, then scrolling down to "Rural
Committee Chair, Phil Garland, and Staff Liaison,
Steve Boeckman, are also available to assist attorneys and students hoping to
find a match for the summer. Contact Garland at email@example.com, or
Boeckman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
district judicial nominating commissioner election
is still time to cast your ballot in the district judicial nominating commissioner
election. The individuals who serve on these commissions are charged with
finding appropriate candidates to recommend to the governor for district court
vacancies. The voting period closes Jan. 31, at 11:59 p.m.
of 15 attorney positions are open in each of Iowa’s 14 judicial election
subdistricts. The election will be conducted electronically and is completely
confidential. With the exception of judicial election district 5C, all
districts are to elect one eligible elector. The person to be elected in
Districts 1A, 1B, 3A, 3B, 5A, 5B and 7 shall be a female; the person to be
elected in Districts 2A, 2B, 4, 6, 8A and 8B shall be a male. The eligible
resident members in District 5C are to elect two electors; one shall be a male
and one shall be a female. See Iowa Code §46.4 and 602.11111(3)(2015) for
procedural details. Members of the district judicial nominating commissions
serve six-year terms.
a ballot, attorneys should first log into their accounts on the Office of
Professional Regulation website at www.iacourtcommissions.org. Then, locate the
menu item "Judicial Nominating Elections,” click and select the menu button "Vote in
Current Election,” and selecting "January 31, 2016” from the drop-down box.
From there, attorneys should make their selections and click "Cast Ballot” to
submit their votes.
about the voting procedure should be directed to email@example.com or 515-281-5241.
New Court Rule 39.18 effective next year
effective date for new Court Rule 39.18, Requirement for Death or Disability
Plan for Attorneys in Solo Practice, is now Jan. 1, 2017. New ICR 39.18, adopted on Nov. 20, requires all solo
practitioners in Iowa to have a
succession plan in the event of death or disability in place by the effective
Court Rule 39.18 applies to:
- An attorney
attorney practicing only with other attorneys who do not own equity in the
attorney practicing in an association of sole practitioners
other structure in which no other attorney owns equity in the practice
resources are in development for those ISBA members directly affected by the
rule as well as those being asked to serve as a designated attorney or
alternate. Sample documents that can be used to comply with the new ICR 39.18 are to be released to ISBA
members in early February. They will be distributed in an editable Word
format. The sample documents are being developed through a joint project
between the Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel and the ISBA.
addition, the ISBA is also developing webinars to assist bar association
members who will be impacted by this new rule and will announce them later this
new ICR 39.18, click here.
To see the Jan. 15, order amending the effective date for new ICR 39.18 to Jan.
1, 2017, click
New insurance benefits offered to members
ISBA recently made Aflac accident and cancer/specified-disease insurance
policies available to ISBA members. The Aflac plans provide cash benefits to
help cover expenses that major medical does not - like mortgage, groceries and
accident policies cover incidents like broken teeth, concussions, lacerations,
ground and air ambulances, emergency room visits and more.
cancer/specified-disease policies include plan rider options that help with the
initial diagnosis of cancer, cancer screening/annual care and specified-disease
benefits that cover 30 other diseases beyond cancer such as Cholera, Malaria,
Meningitis and more.
products are available through payroll deduction including short term
disability, critical illness and hospital.
interested in additional information regarding this new ISBA member benefit
should visit www.aflac.com/iowabar.
|In Other News ...
State of the Judiciary address focuses on human trafficking, racial disparity
an end to human trafficking and lessening racial disparity within the Iowa
court system: These were two of the primary priorities outlined by Iowa Supreme
Court Chief Justice Mark S. Cady in his State of the Judiciary address
Wednesday morning. "Justice is within us at this moment and is seen across
this state in the everyday actions of Iowans. It is seen in the actions of
judges. It is seen in the actions of legislators. It is seen in the actions of
the governor, state officials, and all Iowans who see justice as a goal to
achieve," Chief Justice Cady said in his opening remarks.
Court to hear challenge to Obama immigration actions
Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would consider a legal challenge to
President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration rules, agreeing to
examine the reach of presidential power as it decides the fate of one of his
most far-reaching executive actions. The court, which has twice rejected
challenges to Mr. Obama’s signature legislative victory by upholding his health
care law, will now rule on the president’s plan to protect millions of illegal
immigrants from deportation and allow them to work indefinitely in the country
New York Times
and justice: A first step, but many are needed
upon the Condition of the State address delivered by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad
on Tuesday, I was pleasantly surprised. Why? Because for the first time in my
14 years of hearing this annual address, the governor included the subject of
the criminal justice system and its reform.
Des Moines Register
of Appeals uses equity to back-date filing in "unique and specific
The Court of Appeals reversed, holding, "We note the district
court’s language shows recognition of the harshness of its ruling….We also note
the difficulties in this case were not caused by either party but by a
malfunction of the EDMS system in accepting Ewing’s payment for filing the
petition but not accepting the actual petition. Because EDMS is a totally new
filing process for the entire court system, because our supreme court is still
in the process of taking comment on and developing the court’s final EDMS
rules, and because there is a lack of supreme court precedent to guide our
resolution, we conclude an attorney who received notice in April 2014 that EDMS
had accepted payment for the filing of a petition could reasonably believe the
petition itself had been filed, especially when the notice contained the
language … referencing ‘petition.pdf.’ and no notice of the system being down
was generated.” Thus, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded.
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.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Business Attorney, Arenson & Mass, P.L.C.
- Associate Attorney, Lynch Dallas, P.C.
- Associate Attorney, Leff Law Firm, L.L.P.
- Contract Attorney, Confidential Listing
- Labor & Employment Attorney, Endacott, Peetz & Timmer, P.C., L.L.O.
- Assistant Managing Attorney, Iowa Legal Aid
ADMISSION ON MOTION
following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:
Joseph Irk, The Wirbicki Law Group, Chicago, Illinois
Daniel Allen Singer, Shamberg Johnson and
Bergman, Kansas City, Missouri
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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having coverage can put a firm at risk. That’s why The Iowa State Bar
Association partnered with Lockton Risk Services to develop the
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