legislative team reports progress, requests support
The ISBA legislative team reports positive news as the
legislative session draws to a close. This week, the Iowa House passed the
judicial branch appropriations bill (HF2457)
and the justice systems appropriations bill (HF2458)
which will likely to be substituted with redrafted, companion senate study
Companion justice appropriations senate study bill (SSB 3186)
provides $2.4 million to legal services, $29.6 million to fund
indigent defense and allows the Iowa State Public Defender to operate a pilot
project that allows defendants to choose their own attorneys. Companion
judicial branch appropriations senate study bill (SSB 3187)
provides $178.6 million to the Iowa Judicial Branch and $3.1 million for jury and witness funds, a status-quo budget for the judicial branch. We have been informed by the court that this may result in furlough days. The court has been seeking $5.7 million in additional funding to maintain current service levels.
In addition, the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund appropriations bill (SF 2324) contains $6.72 million for furniture and
equipment for the Polk County Justice Center; however the House version of the RIIF bill currently only appropriates 3.36 million.
Last week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed three additional
bills on The ISBA’s 2016 Affirmative Legislative Agenda: house file 2335, that includes new Iowa Trust Code section 633A.1109, "Methods and Waiver of Notice”; House file 2270,
that amends the definition of "parent” in Iowa Code Section 232.2(39) to
include a father whose paternity has been legally established by operation of
law; and senate file 2233,
an amended version of the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody & Visitation Act
that addresses issues of child custody and visitation that arise when parents
are deployed in military or other national service.
Members are urged to contact their House of Representative and
Senate members to support the bills on the current affirmative legislative
program as the legislature is expected to adjourn this week or next week. Visit
contact page for phone numbers and email addresses. For details regarding the status of other ISBA
legislation, review the most current ISBA Legislative
Senator Grassley receives American Bar Association Justice
ABA President Paulette Brown presented Senator Charles
Grassley and three other members of Congress with the American Bar Association Justice Award during the ABA Day Conference in Washington, D.C.,
yesterday, April 19.
Grassley was presented the award for his bipartisan
support on a variety of issues of importance to the legal profession and the
administration of justice, including his leadership on the Sentencing Reform and
Corrections Act, an historic criminal justice reform bill that he led through
the Judiciary Committee.
Other members of congress recognized with the award include
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio, and Rep. Jim
Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.
ABA Day is a three-day conference that brings together
leaders of the ABA and state and local bars from across the country to take the
message of lawyers to Congress. Each year, ABA leaders take to the Hill to
advocate on behalf of the profession on issues of great importance. In
addition to meeting with members of Congress, ABA Day is also a time to honor
select ABA advocates and members of congress for their commitment to
"Justice for All."
Drake program provides free legal assistance to
By Joe Gardyasz, Business Record senior staff
A relatively new program within the Drake Legal Clinic at
Drake University is providing free legal resources for nonprofits and small
businesses while giving valuable experience to Drake law students.
Launched less than three years ago, the Transactional
Business and Nonprofits Clinic has provided pro bono legal assistance to more
than 150 Central Iowa nonprofit organizations and approximately 25 small
"It’s a win-win-win all around,” said Chip Lowe, who has
run the Transactional Business and Nonprofits Clinic since it was launched in
July 2013. Lowe, who has 37 years of legal experience, was in private practice
in Urbandale prior to joining the Drake faculty.
Read the full article
Certified interpreters: Allies in preserving the attorney-client relationship
Albin, Albin Bilingual Services, L.L.C.
The value of an attorney’s work is not just in her
knowledge of the law, but in her professionalism and ethics. The same is true
for interpreters. Aside from our language capabilities, certified court
interpreters are trained and tested on the ethics of our profession, many of
which mirror attorney ethics and values. Iowa Supreme Court-certified
interpreters abide by a code of ethics spelled out in Iowa Court Rules Chapter
48. Below are explanations on how certified interpreters’ professional
standards preserve the attorney-client relationships, some potential
complications presented by using untrained interpreters and how to identify a
|Supreme Court Opinions
DEANNA JO RAMIREZ-TRUJILLO vs. QUALITY EGG, L.L.C., WRIGHT
COUNTY EGG DIVISION, and SELECTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA Both parties seek further review of a court of appeals
decision upholding a ruling of the Workers’ Compensation Commission. DECISION
OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT
JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART; CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.
STATE OF IOWA vs. MARK GABRIEL MARTIN A defendant in a criminal case contends the district court
should have declared a mistrial or granted a new trial because the prosecutor
repeatedly exceeded the scope of permissible voir dire questioning and thereby
tainted the entire jury pool. COURT OF APPEALS DECISION AND DISTRICT
COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.
NICK C. RHOADES vs. STATE OF IOWA Plaintiff appeals the district court’s award of summary
judgment to the State of Iowa in a wrongful imprisonment action. AFFIRMED.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued orders granting or
denying applications for further review in 40 cases.
|In Other News ...
Lawmakers revisit unpaid court
Iowa lawmakers are looking to strengthen efforts to
collect delinquent court debt, but concede that much of the $682 million in
unpaid fines and fees dating back for decades will never be recouped from
convicted criminals with no or limited ability to pay. "It’s a big deal,” said
Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington, who chaired a Senate Appropriations
subcommittee that approved a measure (Senate Study Bill 3182) designed to
bolster upgraded efforts to enlist county attorneys and a private collection
agency in trying to collect past-due obligations.
Lawmakers say budget means
fewer troopers, guards
Key House and Senate appropriators warned that budgets
totaling nearly $1 billion aren’t enough to maintain proper staffing of Iowa’s
courts, prisons and public safety agencies. "I think I share sentiments with
most of us that this a disappointing outcome,” House Justice Systems Chairman
Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake, said about the budget — $181.7 million for the court
system and another $748.2 million for the departments of Corrections and Public
Safety. "But this is what we have to deal with at this point in time.” Although
the Judicial Branch asked for $5.6 million to maintain current services and
$2.3 million for judicial salary adjustments, its budget is unchanged from the
Lawmakers mull 'textalyzer' bill
that would let cops test cellphones to ID distracted drivers
Some say distracted driving by those who are texting
behind the wheel is every bit as dangerous as drunken driving. Enter the
"textalyzer.” This piece of technology—which is still under development—would
be to the distracted driver what the breathalyzer is to those who have had a
few too many—a device used by police to determine whether there is cause to
proceed with a criminal case.
Family of immigrants, only one a citizen, anxiously awaits Supreme Court ruling
Jerry Pinto, an immigrant from Bolivia, has visions of opening a spacious carpentry workshop in this suburban city, with his name in bold letters over the door. "I want a place where I can be visible,” he says wistfully. But for now he knows he has to lie low, because he is in the country illegally. He runs his carpentry business almost surreptitiously from the cramped garage behind his house. Mr. Pinto is among more than four million unauthorized immigrants whose lives could be transformed by the Supreme Court. On Monday, the justices will hear oral arguments in a challenge brought by 26 states, led by Texas, to President Obama’s effort through executive action to give the immigrants legal work permits and protection from deportation.
The New York Times