meets with key Iowa leaders
leadership met with Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and leaders from
both the Iowa House and the Senate last week. The primary purpose of the
meetings was to review and encourage support of the ISBA legislative program.
ISBA President Joe Feller highlighted four ISBA
priorities during their visit.
"We met with
key Iowa leaders from both parties in order to get our message to the people
who control the legislative business in the state of Iowa,” said Feller. "The issues we discussed are important because they affect
our members. I think we were successful in delivering our message
concerning our total legislative package.”
Feller focused attention on the need for increased compensation for
court-appointed attorneys. To help drive the point, Feller invited Sara Linder,
an attorney from Washington, Iowa, to share her knowledge and experience while
working as a court-appointed attorney. Linder recently wrote an article
published in the December Iowa Lawyer about the topic, encouraging
attorneys to consider the effects of underpaid court-appointed attorneys.
priority concentrated on judicial residency. The ISBA opposes Senate
Study Bill 1029 which would give district judge applicants the ability to
apply for open vacancies state-wide rather than staying within the district in
which they currently reside.
Feller pressed the governor and legislators to consider supporting the ISBA
recommended changes to probate court costs specifically on how the clerk of
probate court determines and collects charges. These court costs often cause
people to avoid going to probate court. Further information on this priority
can be found on the Affirmative
Feller challenged the Iowa leadership to start taking action on improving
courthouse security throughout the state. This was strongly backed by Chief
Justice Mark Cady during his State of the Judiciary Address when he stated that
anyone working in or visiting Iowa courthouses should feel and be safe. This
issue has been revisited several times since the ISBA established the
Courthouse Security Task Force and published a Courthouse
Security Report back
governor, lieutenant governor and all the leaders of both the Senate and the
house were very welcoming and interested in hearing about these issues,”
In addition to the four priorities covered by
Feller, ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney covered a number of legislative
items from the Affirmative
Legislative Program including funding for the courts and indigent civil
cases as well as other proposals concerning probate,
garnishment, and more. Full details about each legislative item can be
found on the Affirmative
Iowa Lawyer magazine available online
The January/February Iowa Lawyer
magazine is now available online. The Iowa Lawyer, the ISBA’s flagship
magazine, is free online or in print to ISBA members as part of their annual
dues. In this Issue:
Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers fellows announced
2015 Legislative update – Carney
Meet the 2015 lawyer-legislators
Lobbying Tips – Graves
The significance of LawPAC’s support – Henderson, Hogg, Paulsen
BOG quarterly meeting summary
Resolution honoring deceased members
How to contact your legislator
2015 Affirmative legislation chart
Lawyers helping lawyers – Moore
My experience with depression – Bakke
Impact of a Brain Storm – Graves
Help is available – Grady
Knowing the difference between good, bad and ugly reply reports – Lindebak,
2014 changes to the Iowa Court Rules – McCarthy
Jefferson County restores century-old courthouse – Boeckman
interested in receiving the magazine electronically can change their preference
by logging in to the iowabar.org website and clicking on "manage profile,” then
clicking "edit bio,” which will open up to the user’s member profile editing
page. The member will need to scroll down to "The Iowa Lawyer Magazine” and
select, "yes.” A "yes” selection indicates that the member no longer wishes to
receive a physical copy of the magazine by mail and will only receive the
magazine electronically thereafter.
regarding changing Iowa Lawyer magazine preferences can be sent to Mary Hill at
515-697-7870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Court establishes task forces to address areas of needed reform
Mark Cady signed two orders Jan. 14 establishing and appointing members to the
Guardianship and Conservatorship Reform Task Force Steering Committee and the
Iowa Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force Steering Committee. The
announcement of the committees fell on the same day that the Iowa Supreme Court
Chief Justice gave his State of the Judiciary Address, Jan. 14.
and Conservatorship Reform Task Force
the Iowa Supreme Court, there are currently 22,000 open guardianship and
conservatorship cases. And, increasingly more recognition is given to the need
for reform at the state and national levels as the number of cases continues to
supreme courts nationwide are playing leadership roles in addressing
guardianship and conservatorship challenges, the Guardianship and
Conservatorship Reform Task Force Steering Committee was established and
participants named. The committee will be challenged to review Iowa’s
guardianship and conservatorship laws and procedures in order to ensure the
system is efficient and responsive to the needs of Iowans.
will provide the supreme court with recommendations for the convening of an
Iowa Guardianship and Conservatorship Summit of the members of the Task Force
Steering Committee and working groups.
Law Case Processing Reform Task Force
In 2009, the
Iowa Civil Justice Reform Task Force conducted a survey of more than 9,000
attorneys and judges. Even though family law matters were specifically excluded
from the survey, 65 percent of respondents suggested that family law was in need of
this, the supreme court established the committee and named participants,
challenging them to identify best practices for accessible, transparent and
consistent family law processes. Recommendations, tailored to the Iowa court
system, should foster just, prompt and cost-effective resolutions for
dissolutions of marriage and child custody cases, including the financial
matters related to each.
will report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the court by May
Free human trafficking
documentary, Q&A event scheduled for Thursday
January is human trafficking awareness
month and to help spread awareness Junior League of Des Moines is hosting an
awareness event at the Fleur Cinema in Des Moines Thursday, Jan. 22. The free
event will include a cash-bar reception, the premiere of a 15-minute documentary,
"Any Kid, Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories,” followed by a
According to a recent
article in The Des Moines Register, human trafficking is a problem that
occurs right here in Iowa. One victim now speaks out about the issue. Christi
Geiser, who grew up in Dubuque, was lured into the illegal industry in her
teens; her story is featured in the documentary.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and the
documentary premiere starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. The Fleur Cinema is at 4545
Fleur Drive in Des Moines. Registration for the event is not needed.
Your Constitution winners selected to go to DC
hosted its annual Know Your Constitution Luncheon Friday, Jan. 9, at the West
Des Moines Marriott. ISBA YLD Know Your Constitution Committee Co-Chair Robert
Gainer awarded certificates and medals to student-finalists for their
accomplishments. In addition to the certificates, five students’ names were
selected in a random drawing among the 100 finalists for an all-expense paid
trip to Washington, D.C.
to the following winners: Kyle Apple, of North Scott High School, and his
teacher Sean Marmion; Ellie Biebesheimer, of Clear Lake High School, and her
teacher Beth Ann Schumacher; Sadie Kavalier, of South Tama High School, and her
teacher Seth Koch; Jordan Lehman, of Des Moines Central Academy/North Polk High
School, and her teacher Daniel Swanson; and Noah Schwarzkopf, of Adel DeSoto
Minburn High School, and his teacher Charity Miller.
The Know Your
Constitution contest involves a U.S. Constitution-related multiple choice quiz and a
short essay for students in grades 9-12. Winning entries are selected from each
of Iowa’s 100 legislative districts. Every year, finalists are honored at a
special luncheon in January where five students and their teachers are selected
to attend a week-long program in Washington, D.C., through the Close Up Foundation.
Estate and Title Law Section requests participation in survey
Estate and Title Law Section and The ISBA Board of Governors are working to
craft important policy recommendations relating to the Iowa Title Guaranty
system and are looking for input from attorneys who practice in real estate and
title law. A survey was created to capture member’s thoughts on the real estate
and title law issues.
recently conducted a forum on the subject of Iowa Title Guaranty which
identified a number of issues in the way that Iowa attorneys practice real
estate law. Because of these issues, the ISBA wants to collect information from
Iowa attorneys who practice in the area of real estate and title law.
three-part survey can be completed relatively quickly. The first two sections
have short, multiple choice questions, and the third section allows
participants the opportunity to provide detailed responses if time allows. The
survey can be accessed here until Jan. 27.
information relating to the issues can be found on the Real Estate and Title Law
Section’s webpage (requires log in). Those interested in joining the
section can do so by navigating to www.iowabar.org,
clicking on "store,” then "join a section.”
expanding online advertising opportunities
State Bar Association now offers new online advertising options. In addition to
advertising in the Iowa Lawyer magazine, interested advertisers can now choose
from expanded banner ad opportunities on the iowabar.org homepage and in this Iowa
Lawyer Weekly e-newsletter. A variety of cost-effective placement options
are available, but space is limited.
are available on a first-reserved basis for monthly placements. The ISBA
also offers package discounts for extended placements in conjunction with
advertising in the Iowa Lawyer magazine. Those interested in discussing advertising
options should contact Dave Larson at 515-440-2810 or email@example.com to review all available
space and pricing options.
ISBA CLE activity codes listing available
recently published a listing of all 2014 Continuing Legal Education courses for
members who may be looking to finalize their reports to the commission on
continuing legal education and the client security commission. The courses are
listed in chronological order and include the course title, CLE credits by area
(state, federal, or ethics) and activity identification numbers. The
full listing of the ISBA CLE courses is available on the ISBA homepage.
from the CLE Commission/Client Security Commission: The due date for filing 2015 annual
reports without penalty is March 10, 2015. A fee of $10 for support of the CLE
system will be collected with all annual CLE reports during 2015. The annual
fee for support of the disciplinary system is $175. Approximately $10 to $11 of
this fee will support the Iowa Lawyer Assistance Program during 2015. The fee
for support of the disciplinary system will be collected with annual client
security reports. An assessment for the Client Security Trust Fund (CSTF) will
be collected from most lawyers during 2015. More information regarding the CSTF
assessment will be provided by email in mid-December. Please check your email
address listed on your lawyer account page to ensure it is current.
information about filing visit www.iacourtcommissions.org.
|In Other News...|
Iowa chief justice targets racial
system should work in 2015 to become a nationwide leader in addressing racial
disparities in its criminal justice system, while also working to make
courthouse employees safer across the state, the chief justice of the Iowa
Supreme Court told lawmakers Wednesday. In his annual State of the Judiciary
address, Chief Justice Mark Cady highlighted efforts in the Iowa City community
and by judges to combat staggering statistics that show blacks are sent to
prison and to juvenile courts at significantly higher rates than other racial
Juvenile court officers make strides
the number of juveniles with criminal complaints or felony charges filed
against them has dropped by 20 percent. That means Iowans are safer and more
kids are headed down a successful path to adulthood. Iowa courts also are
keeping more families together with the help of family treatment courts. Family
treatment courts provide intense oversight and direction for parents who’ve had
drug problems and are at risk of losing their children. There are now 14 family
treatment courts throughout Iowa. Because of the impressive role they’ve played
in changing lives for the better, we expect to see more family treatment courts
added in the future.
Courthouse security costs at issue
from Maquoketa — the site of a courthouse shooting this fall — says security
measures at Iowa’s county courthouses should be a shared responsibility between
state and county governments. That’s Senator Tod Bowman, a Democrat from
Maquoketa who is also a high school teacher. Two of his students had been at
the Jackson County Courthouse shortly before the September 9th shooting there.
Another student had a parent in the room where the shooting occurred — and then
their school was locked down as a precaution.
The Register's editorial: Balance
security, access in Iowa courthouses
is that violent incidents in city and county office buildings in Iowa are very
rare. Courtroom security, however, has been a legitimate concern for many
years. Instead of creating security gates at every government building in Iowa,
state and county officials should focus on courtroom security, including
portable metal detectors and armed deputies in courtrooms on days when court is
U.S. Supreme Court will rule on
same-sex marriage this term
court said it would hear arguments for 2 1/2 hours in April on two questions:
first, whether the constitutional guarantee to equal protection of the law
renders invalid state bans on same-sex marriage. And, second, whether states
are required to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple who marry legally
in another state," said NPR's legal affairs correspondent, Nina
Totenberg. The case will be argued in April; a decision is expected by
Legal Assistance merges with Iowa Legal Aid
The office of
HELP Legal Assistance has merged with Iowa Legal Aid. Iowa Legal Aid provides
legal assistance throughout the state to low-income and senior clients in civil
matters involving basic human needs.
|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
January 16, 2015
IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF STEVEN MICHAEL GUST AND LINDA LEANN GUST
On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.
An ex-spouse seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming a district court order requiring him to pay spousal support indefinitely. AFFIRMED.
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