judicial residency bill moves to Iowa House
the state legislature, the House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (HF
260) changing the current residency requirements for judicial applicants.
The bill now moves to the entire house of representatives for debate.
bill, which was requested by the Judicial Branch, specifies that a district
court judge must be a resident of the appropriate judicial district or judicial
election district before taking office. The effect of HF 260 is to allow
judicial applications on a statewide basis as compared to the state’s current
methodology which requires judicial applicants reside within the judicial
example, with the passage of HF 260, an attorney in Burlington could apply for
a judgeship in Spencer. An attorney from Decorah could apply for a judgeship in
Shenandoah. The Iowa State Bar Association Board of Governors has adopted a
position to oppose statewide judicial appointments and supports the current
interested in contacting state legislators to express opinions regarding HF
260, may do so by telephone or by email. The legislator's contact
information can be found here.
Supreme Court schedules two special evening sessions
Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a special session of oral arguments in
Des Moines Tuesday evening, Feb. 24, and in Creston Monday evening, March 9.
evening sessions are open to the public and provide an opportunity for Iowa
residents, who may not be able to attend the court's regular morning and
afternoon sessions, to watch the court conduct oral arguments. A public
reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments at
both special sessions.
Homan, et al. vs. Terry Branstad, et al.
Tuesday evening, Feb. 24, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in the
case of Danny Homan, Steven J. Sodders, Jack Hatch, Pat Murphy, and Mark Smith
v. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and Charles M. Palmer, Director of the Iowa
Department of Human Services, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Supreme Court
Courtroom on the fourth floor of the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court
Avenue, Des Moines. Attorneys'
briefs for the case and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa
Judicial Branch website. Proceedings will be streamed
live from the Iowa Judicial Branch web site as well.
et al. v. City of Pella, et al.
Monday evening, March 9, the supreme court will hear oral arguments in the case
Sanon, et al. v. City of Pella, et al. beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Creston
High School auditorium, 601 West Townline Street, Creston. Attorneys' briefs
for the case and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa
Judicial Branch website.
more information, visit the Iowa Courts
website or view the full
IowaDocs library update now available
IowaDocs support staff recently released the 2015 library late last week. The update comes on the heels of the recent
announcement of IowaDocs also being published
on the HotDocs Market.
IowaDocs users now have more options
when it comes to working on legal forms.
Users can use IowaDocs within the HotDocs Market or continue to use their desktop versions.
Those who wish to continue to use the desktop version should
contact the IowaDocs support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
to receive the new library update.
will continue to offer members traditional services but strives to meet the
tech demands of some of The ISBA’s tech-savvy attorneys. HotDocs, a company
that offers automated generation of transactional legal documents, recently
created a virtual marketplace for users to access legal documents from any computer through a cloud-based system. IowaDocs was one of the first state-specific
legal documentation services to begin transitioning to the new online
marketplace earlier this month.
IowaDocs available on HotDocs Market represents ISBA’s commitment to offering
our members access to the latest technologies, aimed at improving practice
management, generating workflow efficiencies and delivering value for their
clients,” said Harry Shipley, Assistant Executive Director for The Iowa State
For IowaDocs users
interested in learning how to navigate the HotDocs Market, the ISBA is offering
a free webinar tomorrow, Feb. 19. Click here
for details. For questions, contact the IowaDocs support team
at email@example.com or
IRS warns tax preparers about scam
The IRS recently released
a warning to tax preparers who may receive hoax emails asking them to update
their e-Services information. The links provided in the email to access
e-Services appear to be a phishing scam to capture e-Services usernames and
passwords. This email was not generated by IRS e-Services. Tax preparers who
receive an e-mail like this, should not click on the links or take any other
action. There is no need to call the IRS, just disregard the email.
e-Services is a suite of
web-based tools that allow tax professionals and payers to complete certain
transactions online with the IRS. The tools include Registration Services,
e-file Application, Transcript Delivery and TIN Matching. These services are
only available to approved IRS business partners and not to the public.
partners who need assistance using the online tools can contact the e-help Desk
at 1-866-255-0654. For more details regarding e-Services, click
|In Other News...|
Register's Editorial: Branstad needs to say why he fired judge
there's one job in state government that should be protected from political
influence, it's that of a judge. So it was more than a little disconcerting to
hear two of Iowa's administrative law judges tell state legislators last summer
that they were being pressured by the Branstad administration to rule in favor
of employers in legal disputes over unemployment benefits. Ackerman is now
suing the state, claiming she was fired in retaliation for her whistleblowing
testimony before the Senate committee. The governor won't say why Ackerman was
fired. His spokesman, Jimmy Centers, told the Associated Press that state law
"prevents us from discussing personnel matters."
Des Moines Register
Branstad appoints Chad A. Kepros District Court Judge
Terry Branstad appointed Chad A. Kepros as judge to the 6th Judicial District.
Kepros was appointed on Friday. Kepros, of North Liberty, received his
undergraduate degree from Coe College and his law degree from the University of
Iowa College of Law. He currently serves as a Magistrate Judge in Johnson
County and is also in private practice as an attorney and mediator.
apply to Grassley for Iowa federal judgeships
screening committee set up by Sen. Charles Grassley has received 41
applications from Iowans hoping for one of the two federal judgeships that soon
will open in Iowa. It’s an odd situation: A Republican Senator seemingly taking
charge of sending names to a Democratic president for judicial openings in the
Senator’s state. But these days Grassley isn’t just any Republican Senator;
he’s the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which must approve any
judicial nomination from the White House before it can reach the Senate floor
for confirmation. And Iowa now has no Democratic Senator.
woman brought to New Kent was torture victim, FBI says
Iowa couple has been charged with sex trafficking and torture in a brutal
cross-country scheme first uncovered by Virginia State Police and New Kent
County authorities. New Kent officials dropped charges Wednesday morning
against Aldair Hodza, 36, and Laura E. Sorensen, 31, both of Clive, Iowa, as
federal agents filed new charges against the couple in a horrific torture and
sex case discovered last month.
law firm appears set to close amid claims of theft
Waterloo law firm appears set to close, months after its former president
killed himself before allegations surfaced that he had stolen millions of
dollars from clients. Most of Gallagher, Langlas and Gallagher's lawyers have
found work elsewhere since the allegations arose that David Alan Roth stole or
mishandled client money, said Greg Lederer, a Cedar Rapids attorney
representing the firm. The allegations came after Roth killed himself in
September. Claims total at least $7.8 million, the highest of which is $1.9
million for a woman who had given Roth money to invest. Some claims don't list
a dollar amount.
County officials: courthouse security OK
County officials said they feel the courthouse is as secure as it needs to be.
"Do I think that we are 100 percent safe and secure? No. That is
impossible," Board of Supervisors Chair Kas Kelly wrote in an email to the
Muscatine Journal. "Even the White House, the most secure house in the
United States, has had breaches in security. I believe we have to be alert and
aware of our surroundings and take precautions whenever possible."
Currently, there is no metal detector or security screening to enter the
Muscatine County Courthouse. The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors recently
established a committee to review courthouse security.
courthouse briefly evacuated for bomb threat
Black Hawk County Courthouse was evacuated for about a half hour Friday
afternoon due to a bomb threat. Security staff and deputies removed everyone to
the parking lot. Two trials in process were interrupted as well as other county
business. People were allowed to return inside at about 2:20 p.m.
Cedar Falls Courier
|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
February 13, 2015
STATE OF IOWA vs. DEMETRICE DE'ANGELO TOMPKINS
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Joseph Moothart, Judge.
Defendant appeals his conviction for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury pursuant to Iowa Code section 708.2A(2)(b), claiming ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 10 of the Iowa Constitution. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.
AHMAD S. VOSSOUGHI and C, N, & A, INC. vs. JOSEPH A. POLASCHEK and MICHAEL J. MELOY
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, David H. Sivright Jr., Judge.
Plaintiffs appeal from an adverse summary judgment ruling dismissing legal malpractice claims against two attorneys. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
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