Lawyer Weekly to feature legislative report
the General Assembly is in session, The ISBA produces the Legislative Report, a
weekly round-up of ISBA legislative positions, information about bar advocacy
and legislation of interest. In the past, specific law updates were sent to
appropriate section listservs. Now, all members who receive the Iowa Lawyer Weekly will be a click away from reviewing this report in its entirety.
link to the report,
compiled by the ISBA legislative team, can be found here and in the right column of the
Iowa Lawyer Weekly webpage, just above the Supreme Court Opinions, while the
legislature is in session. Legislative questions can be directed to Jim Carney,
Doug Struyk or Jennifer Tyler by dialing 515-282-6803 or by emailing email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
as it becomes available, the ISBA will publish the American Bar Association Washington
Letter Major Legislation of Interest to Lawyers chart highlighting
legislative and executive branch action on policy issues during the 113th
Congress. The first issue for the year is the January
2015 chart. This report can be found below the previously mentioned ISBA
Legislative Report, located in the right column of the Iowa Lawyer weekly page.
Deadline approaching for mentorship applications
The deadline for The ISBA Young Lawyer Mentorship
Program is quickly approaching. Mentor and mentee applications for the
YLD-driven mentorship program will be accepted through Feb. 15 for the
year-long program set to begin March 15.
The YLD officially launched the ISBA Young
Lawyer Mentor Program in early January. Members interested in becoming
mentors or mentees should download the mentor or mentee applications online and submit their
applications soon to be considered for the 2015-2016 mentorship year.
Once accepted into the program as a mentor or mentee, attorneys
will receive additional materials regarding the program which includes a mentor
guide, information on mentor training, and a mentor/mentee match. The program
commitments are minimal: six hours of contact over the year between mentor and
mentee (ideally in-person) with no formal curriculum, although a suggested list
of topics and issues is provided.
Who can apply? ISBA members who have been licensed for fewer than
five years in the state of Iowa are eligible to be a mentee. To serve as a
mentor, attorneys must have been licensed for five years or more in Iowa, have
a clean disciplinary record, and carry malpractice insurance (if required). The
YLD Mentoring Committee anticipates a high number of mentee applications, and is asking those who are eligible to serve as a mentor to consider joining the
More information about the program is available in the December Iowa Lawyer magazine (Pages
8-11). For questions regarding the mentoring program, contact the YLD Mentoring
Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
scams continue to be serious threat for 2015 filing season
and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain near
the top of the annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams for the 2015
filing season, the Internal Revenue Service announced recently.
IRS has seen a surge of phone scams in recent months as scam artists threaten
police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other things. The IRS
reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any
someone calls unexpectedly claiming to be from the IRS with aggressive threats
if you don't pay immediately, it's a scam artist calling,” said IRS
Commissioner John Koskinen. "The first IRS contact with taxpayers is
usually through the mail. Taxpayers have rights, and this is not how we do
telephone scams continue across the country, the IRS recently put out a new YouTube video with a
renewed warning to taxpayers not to be fooled by imposters posing as tax agency
representatives. The new Tax Scams video describes some basic tips to help
protect taxpayers from tax scams.
callers may demand money or may say individuals have a refund due and try to
trick victims into sharing private information. These con artists can sound
convincing when they call. They may know a lot about the victims.
IRS reminds people that victims can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller
is a fake. Here is a list of tactics the scammers will often use, but the IRS will not.
Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.
IRS will never:
to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without
first having mailed you a bill.
that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the
amount it says you owe.
you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit
for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested
for not paying.
you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for
money, here’s what you should do:
you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report
the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
you’ve been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission
and use their "FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS
Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your
personal tax issue involving bills or refunds. For more information on
reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and
type "scam” in the search box.
YLD looks to pair lawyers with diverse law students
The ISBA YLD Diversity Committee is seeking lawyer-mentors to connect with diverse law students in Iowa, as part of its Varietas Diversity Mentoring Program, in order to continue to build and strengthen the diversity of the legal profession.
Varietas, which means diversity in Latin, is a mentorship program between law students at Drake University and the University of Iowa and local attorneys and judges with the goal of diversifying Iowa’s legal community. Varietas will target students and mentors from groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession who are committed to diversifying Iowa’s legal community. The program will allow students to select their mentors from a pool of volunteers based on factors important to the student–mentee. The YLD Diversity Committee will host at least one event at each university for the mentors and mentees to meet and network with other lawyers in Iowa who are also committed to diversity in the legal profession. The committee will incorporate professional development activities and workshops into event programs that will focus on how to improve diversity in the legal profession and give law students the opportunity to meet mentors. The programs will provide lawyers with continuing legal education credit.
The purpose of Varietas is to forge strong ties between law students from underrepresented groups in the legal profession and Iowa employers in order to create career opportunities for law students. Ultimately, the Committee hopes the relationships formed between the mentors and mentees will encourage underrepresented law students to seek employment opportunities in Iowa, which will broaden the diversity of the Iowa Bar. The program will also provide attorney–mentors the opportunity to receive education and training on the importance of having a diverse Bar, and encourage law schools to prioritize diversity in the legal profession by assisting the committee in developing a series of professional development workshops for lawyers and law students from underrepresented groups, such as "crash courses” on how to survive and thrive at work, developing resumes, and interview coaching.
The Varietas program is also a part of the American Bar Association’s Next Steps Diversity Challenge, which aims to increase diversity in the pipeline to the legal profession. Those with questions or interest in participating as a mentor to a law student as part of the YLD’s Varietas program are invited to contact Maggie White at email@example.com.
of Iowa executive director named
ACLU of Iowa recently announced that Jeremy Rosen of the National Law Center on
Homelessness and Poverty in Washington, D.C., has been named executive director
of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.
the national center's director of advocacy, he will start his new position at
the ACLU of Iowa on Feb. 2. His extensive background includes
litigation with the ACLU at the state and national level on voting rights,
First Amendment issues, and anti-eviction programs for victims of domestic
also has experience in key elements of the ACLU's work, including policy work
at the state legislative and state agency level, public education and
communications, and fundraising.
native of Boston, Rosen received his undergraduate degree with honors at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree at The George Washington
University Law School.
"I am honored to lead the fifth
oldest ACLU affiliate in the country and to continue the organization's
vigorous defense of the civil liberties protected by the U.S. and Iowa
Constitutions," he said.
Broders, president of the ACLU of Iowa Board of Directors, said, "We are
pleased that Mr. Rosen has chosen to bring his considerable talents and passion
for civil liberties to the ACLU of Iowa. Under Mr. Rosen's leadership, we
expect that the affiliate will continue to grow in its role as the preeminent
defender of civil liberties in Iowa.”
|In Other News...|
Supreme Court scraps class for new attorneys
licensed Iowa attorneys will no longer have to take a course on Iowa-specific
law that was previously required within one year of being admitted to the bar,
the Iowa Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday. The so-called basic skills course
was designed to give new attorneys a foundation in Iowa-specific law in a
variety of areas, including criminal law, civil procedure, family and probate
law and ethics. However, the Iowa Supreme Court began reviewing the requirement
in response to criticism that the course was time-consuming and unnecessary.
Des Moines Register
aims to help unaccompanied immigrant children
U.S. government defines unaccompanied immigrant children as those younger than
18 with no legal U.S. status and no parent or legal guardian present when
immigration authorities apprehended them. Though they have been coming to the
United States for decades, there has been a dramatic surge in arrivals since
fall 2011. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported encountering 15,701
unaccompanied immigrant children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and
Mexico in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2011, and 67,339 in the fiscal year
ending Sept. 30, 2014.
Des Moines Register
says Congressional hearings possible on Co-Opportunity
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa wants details of Co-Opportunity Health's
collapse and isn't ruling out congressional hearings. The Iowa Insurance
Commissioner, as the court appointed rehabilitator for CoOportunity Health, has
determined that rehabilitation of CoOportunity Health is not possible and will
ask the court for an order of liquidation. "We’re going to vote for repeal but
the president’s going to veto it. So we’re not going to pass it over his veto
so there’s not going to be any repeal of it. But we’re going to vote to repeal
because that’s what we promised the people in the election. And if you win an
election you ought to carry out your promises,” said Grassley
court says defendant's good deed didn't sway jury's opinion of codefendant
Iowa Supreme Court says the good deed of one defendant did not unfairly sway
the jury's opinion of his codefendant. During a 2012 medical malpractice trial,
defendant Dr. John Sweetman came to the aid of juror who fainted. The
anesthesiologist was on the witness stand at the time. The juror was replaced
and the trial concluded with both Sweetman and OBGYN Dr. Jennifer Booth, his
codefendant, cleared of malpractice. Plaintiff Mary Jack requested and
was granted a retrial at the Iowa Court of Appeals. She says when Sweetman
helped the stricken juror, he swayed the rest of the jury to view the defense
Preparing for the
worst: Courthouse employees receive training to prevent deaths in shooting
the Plymouth County Courthouse Friday, county staff and other state employees
took part in training designed to save their lives. The program is called ALICE
Training. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The
purpose of ALICE training is to help prepare someone for the threat of an
active shooter and attempt to increase the odds of survival, according to the
concern over courthouse security in Iowa
leaders are demanding tighter security at courthouses across the state of Iowa.
Last week, Iowa's Chief Justice announced it's a top priority this year.
[Video: Shelby County Courthouse security concerns]
|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 23, 2015
MARY E. JACK, Individually and as Parent and Next Friend of ELLA JACK and OWEN JACK and LAWRENCE LAIRD JACK III, Individually
Appellants vs. JENNIFER R. BOOTH Appellee, JOHN GERRAD SWEETMAN, Appellee.
On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge.
A physician seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing the district court’s judgment and granting a new trial to the plaintiffs after the physician’s codefendant rendered medical assistance to a juror during trial. DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED.
STATE OF IOWA vs. DARION AUBREA LOVE
On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.
Defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming his convictions for assault with intent to inflict serious injury and willful injury. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued orders granting or denying applications for further review in 34 cases.
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