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April 08, 2015
Past Issues

Clarifying amendments made to new discovery rules and forms

The Supreme Court of Iowa filed an order April 1 making clarifying amendments to the new Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure relating to disclosure and discovery that took effect January 1. The order was issued in response to feedback from the Advisory Committee Concerning Certain Civil Justice Reform Task Force Recommendations chaired by Justice Edward Mansfield and the implementation committee chaired by Chief Judge Marlita Greve.

The clarifying changes apply to these three areas: exemption of domestic relations proceedings from the new discovery conference and trial scheduling requirements, signature block on trial scheduling and discovery plan forms and deadlines for pretrial submissions on trial scheduling and discovery plan forms.

To view more about each new rule or form amended view the Iowa judicial branch Web page here. See the order for additional information.

Affirmative Legislative Program bill passes

A bill from the ISBA’s 2015 Affirmative Legislation Program, Senate File 223, was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor March 31. The bill updates Iowa Code Chapter 252 to clarify that, after enactment of Medicaid and Medicare, counties can no longer seek support for a poor person from family members.

To see the updates to chapter 252, click here




Reminder: Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award request for nominees

The selection committee for the Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award is asking that you submit nominations for fitting recipients of this year’s award. Each year, an attorney is honored who has enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering pro bono legal services for those who for one reason or another are unable to afford a lawyer. Any member of The Iowa State Bar Association is eligible for nomination.

The award recipient will be selected based on his or her commitment to pro bono publico and the delivery of legal services to the low-income Iowans in their community and around the state. The award will be presented at the ISBA Annual Awards Gala June 17.

Send your nominations along with a brief description to Brett Toresdahl, the ISBA Public Service Project Executive Director, via email at no later than April 10.  


Prairie Jewels close to goal - help bring the project to life

The authors of Prairie Jewels – Iowa’s Courthouses are approaching their goal to seek crowd-source funding for their 210-page book. The book boasts the architectural diversity and historical significance of Iowa’s 100 courthouses.

A project that eventually developed into a compilation of visual mastery and informational literature features the 100 Iowa courthouses in panoramic images and researched narratives. A preview for the book is available online here.

Authors David Richmond and Michael Adams have established a Kickstarter campaign allowing people to pledge various dollar amounts, starting at $50, to support their campaign. If their goal of $5,000 is met by the April 27 deadline, each pledge will act as a pre-order for variations of the book and courthouse prints.

Learn more about the project by visiting the Prairie Jewels – Iowa’s Courthouses Web page and Facebook page. Interested parties can pledge their support and purchase the first edition of the book by donating to the Kickstarter campaign.

UI Center for Human Rights hosts panel discussion on torture

Friday, April 10, the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights will host a panel discussion looking at the recent Senate report on the use of torture. The event begins at noon and will take place in Room 201 of UI's Pappajohn Center at 1200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.

The Senate report, released in December, documents the detention and interrogation techniques employed by the CIA in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The panelists will highlight the findings of the Senate report, consider what the report tells us about government accountability and transparency, and address the international human rights implications of the report. Panelists will include Dr. Michelle Farrell, lecturer in law at the University of Liverpool (UK); Prof. Mark Kende, professor of law at Drake University; and Jeremy Rosen, executive director of the ACLU of Iowa.

Contact Brian Farrell at with questions.

Iowa Dept. of Inspections and Appeals RFP notification

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is seeking proposals from Iowa licensed attorneys meeting statutory criteria to serve as independent reviewers for state informal conferences and federal informal dispute resolution.

Those interested in learning more about this opportunity may view the RFP and additional bid information here. Proposals are due by April 17.

Questions about the RFP should be directed to Mindla White, Bureau Chief, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, via email at or by calling (515) 281-3765.


In Other News ...

Philanthropist, attorney Ed Gallagher dies early Sunday
Ed Gallagher Jr., a philanthropist and attorney whose legacy and name is tied to buildings, programs and institutions in the Cedar Valley, died early Sunday morning. He was 89.
The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Legal experts weigh in on Iowa Supreme Court ruling
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled defendants must be informed of their right to legal counsel if they're facing any jail time for a misdemeanor. Lawyers told KCCI the ruling could lead to a lower number of wrongful convictions. Some legal experts said the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling will allow greater access to fair legal representation.
KCCI, Des Moines Channel 8

When civilians accuse troops of rape, military courts often decide
Brittany Bentz was 16 years old in 2012, living near Edwards Air Force Base in California. She went to the same martial arts studio as a family friend, who was 25 and in the Air Force. "He was like a brother so I felt comfortable talking with him, hanging out with him," Bentz says.
Iowa Public Radio


The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to 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.


Legislative Report - April 8

April 3, 2015

No. 13-0983
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol L. Coppola, Judge. The defendant in a criminal proceeding appeals from an enhanced sentence imposed on her present conviction for third-degree theft by the use of a prior uncounseled misdemeanor conviction. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

No. 13-1009
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Christopher L. McDonald, Judge. A workers’ compensation claimant appeals the district court’s ruling on judicial review of a decision of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

No. 14-0095
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, Judge. A party seeking damages for mental disability and mental pain and suffering appeals an order by the district court requiring him to sign a patient’s waiver releasing his prior mental health records to the tortfeasor. REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

No. 14-1781
On review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Grievance commission recommended revocation of attorney’s license. LICENSE SUSPENDED.



The ISBA maintains an active career center bringing attorneys and employers together online. Whether you have a legal position you need to fill or you’re looking for a career in the legal industry, the career center can help. Job seekers may search and apply for the listed jobs or post their resumes on the site for free. If you are looking to hire, job listings are available for a nominal fee. Jobs listed in the career center are also listed in the Iowa Lawyer Magazine’s classifieds section.

Please click here to visit the career center. For questions, contact the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7896.



The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
Ph. (515) 243-3179 • Fax (515) 243-2511