Judicial Branch Meltdown
consequences imminent as judicial branch budget slashed
attorneys should brace themselves for significant judicial complications with
the Iowa Legislature's judicial budget proposals. Because 96 percent of the
judicial budget is allocated for personnel, the drastic underfunding will
likely result in 22 layoffs per $1 million not budgeted. Depending upon the amount of reduced funding, this could mean as many as 160
judicial employees being permanently laid-off, directly affecting Iowans
in the session, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad requested a $182.7
million budget for the judicial branch in order to provide the funding
necessary for current operations. The Senate approved $176 million, and the
House approved only $171.4. The potential budget equates to a $5.5 million
shortfall between the Senate and the House.
underfunding of the judicial branch will result in a significant
reduction of services and closure of clerks’ offices around the state. In
addition, Iowans can expect:
- Major trial delays
- Delays in child support payment processing
- Delays in implementation of the new expedited civil trials
- Scaling back of family treatment, drug, veterans, mental health and business courts
- First-time offenders of juvenile courts will not be able to have face-to-face meetings with officers
- Travel restrictions for all judicial branch personnel
judicial budget, only two percent of the total state budget, is depended upon by Iowa
citizens every day. According to ISBA leaders,
shortfalls are a very real and genuine step back in serving Iowans. They urge
immediate action to protect the system and clients’ needs. Please inform your
local legislators that adequate funding of the third branch of government is
essential to the citizens of our state.
Contacting your legislator is simple. Visit the Iowa
Legislative website for your legislator’s contact information here.
defense funding cuts could mean $25 hourly rates for attorneys
the Iowa House debated the justice system’s budget bill (SF 497). The
House passed an amendment replacing the original Senate file with its own
language. The new House amendments include language that significantly
drops court-appointed counsel reimbursement rates from $65 to $25 per hour for
language is an insult to the hard-working lawyers who take these cases and
provide constitutionally-guaranteed counsel,” said ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim
Carney. "Paying attorneys $25 per hour is an insult to our profession.
The Iowa State Bar Association cannot allow this language to become law and
further diminish the value of Iowa lawyers.”
House amendments reduced funding for indigent defense and the state public
defender compared with last year. The amendment reduced the state public
defender’s budget from $26.03 million to $24.74 million. Indigent defense
was reduced from $29.75 million to $28.23 million. The ISBA is very
concerned about the potential of a $1.5 million dollar cut to indigent defense.
need to let our elected officials know immediately that these changes will have
a drastic impact on lawyers in Iowa and the availability of court-appointed
counsel,” Carney said.
bill now returns to the Senate and can be amended by the Senate or sent to
conference committee. The ISBA urges members to contact Iowa Senators
immediately. Members should ask the Senate to restore indigent defense funding
to $29.75 million and to remove the language inserted by the House reducing
simple misdemeanor reimbursement to $25 per hour.
can find their district senator’s contact information by clicking here to be
navigated to the Iowa Legislature website.
Day event to focus on empowering youth
consortium of community organizations in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area will
sponsor a Law Day activity next Wednesday, May 13, designed to allow citizens –
particularly youth – to gain a deeper understanding of the justice system, law
enforcement and human rights.
"Law Day 2015: From Selma to Cedar Rapids,” the event starts at 9 a.m. with
addresses by Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, Des Moines attorney Alfredo
Parrish and U.S. District Court Chief Judge for the Northern District of Iowa Linda Reade.
Following those presentations, participants will take part in a symbolic march
in downtown Cedar Rapids from the U.S. Federal Courthouse to the Linn County
Courthouse. From there, participants will move to the Veterans Memorial
Building where they will have lunch and listen to three presentations: Selma:
The Bridge to the Ballot; The Edna Griffin Story (State of Iowa v. Katz,
1949); and Race Relations in America.
goals are to empower youth to take an active role in the community; highlight
positive relationships between law enforcement and the community; positively
challenge law enforcement and the judicial system to review practices that may
be counterproductive to community relationships; and highlight the
connection between historical events and present-day law enforcement.
five-hour event is open to anyone who would like to attend. Organizers expect
around 300 students to participate. Those who are 18 years of age will be able
to register to vote while at the Veterans Memorial Building.
a brochure on the law day event here.
asked to adopt standards on electronic publishing
ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress and the American
Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is asking states to enact the Uniform
Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA). The act was approved by the Uniform Law
Commission in 2011, and by the ABA House of Delegates at the 2012 Midyear
Meeting in New Orleans.
governments have moved rapidly to electronic publishing of official legal
documents such as state constitutions, state session laws, codified law and
agency regulations that have the effect of law, etc., according to the law
commission. However, with the increasing use of electronic publishing of
documents, states need to adopt UELMA to ensure that electronic legal material
will have the same level of trustworthiness traditionally provided by print
publication. UELMA doesn’t specify how states should authenticate or preserve
their electronic information, leaving the choice of technology for
authentication and preservation up to them.
states have enacted UELMA thus far: California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon and
Pennsylvania. Five others have introduced legislation this session: Maryland,
Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Texas.
the full act here.
Government job opening: Administrator for Attorney
The Office of Professional Regulation recently informed the
ISBA of the planned retirement of Charles Harrington, administrator of the
Attorney Disciplinary Board, later this year. The Iowa Judicial Branch posted
the soon-to-be-open job position to the Iowa court's website May 1 announcing
The position requires graduation from an accredited law
school and admission to practice law in the State of Iowa with a law license in
good standing, ability to effectively manage and administer a multi-lawyer
prosecutorial office with a high intake load and high levels of personal and
professional honesty and integrity. Five years experience in trial or appellate
practice is strongly preferred. Additional details for the position can
be found on the job opening announcement here.
Those interested in applying for the vacancy must complete
the Iowa Judicial Branch Application for Employment and send the application with cover letter and resume to Paul Wieck
II, director of the Office of Professional Regulation. Closing
date for applications is June 5.
Annual Drake v. Iowa golf battle 12 days away
12 days remain until the annual battle between Drake University Law School and
the University of Iowa College of Law for bragging rights on which school
produced the best golfers. The 11th Annual Dean’s Cup fundraiser,
which raises money for Iowa Legal Aid, will take place Monday, May 18, at
Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa.
of every skill level who are affiliated with either school are encouraged to
support their alma maters by participating in the event, which features match
play and best-shot contests. Even attorneys who didn’t graduate from either
school can participate in the best-shot competition as long as they declare
temporary allegiance to one of the law schools when registering.
can help one school or the other to victory by contributing $25 or more to
support Iowa Legal Aid and having their names added to the "Dean’s List.” The
school with the longest "Dean’s List” receives an advantage in the best-shot
secure a spot in this year’s challenge, or to indicate an interest in being a
sponsor, click on this registration
The registration fee is partially tax deductible.
|In Other News ...
Supreme Court: Judges are not for sale
years of striking down campaign finance laws, the U.S. Supreme Court on April
29 upheld a Florida rule that bars judicial candidates from personally asking
for campaign contributions… Justice Ginsburg cited the 2010 Iowa Supreme Court
election, in which justices were targeted by out-of-state groups for their vote
for marriage equality, and concluded that "disproportionate spending to
influence court judgments threatens both the appearance and actuality of
Local business professionals honored for excellence
Randal Caldwell of Newton was recently inducted into the American College of
Trust and Estate Counsel at its recent annual meeting. Caldwell was one of 35
new Fellows from across the country. As a member of the firm Caldwell, Brierly,
Chalupa and Nuzem, PLLC, Caldwell has been practicing since 1979 and is one of
only 46 ACTEC Fellows in the state of Iowa. He is a former chair of the Probate
Section Council of The Iowa State Bar Association and is a member of the Iowa
Newton Daily News
City code change would eliminate jail time for simple
staff have proposed an amendment to Iowa City Code that would remove the
possibility of jail time for offenders sentenced with simple misdemeanors...
The Iowa City Council [gave] its first consideration to the amendment at its
meeting Tuesday. Council packet information indicates the amendment stems from
an April 3 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that requires the court to appoint legal
counsel for "indigent defendants in simple misdemeanors if the penalty includes
the possibility of jail time.”
Iowa City Press-Citizen
|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
May 1, 2015
OF IOWA vs. JOHN ROBERT HOYMAN.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for
Warren County, Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, Judge. The defendant appeals his
conviction and sentence for fraudulent practice following a jury trial. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.
SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. VICKI LORRAINE RYAN.
review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
Grievance commission recommended one-year suspension of attorney’s license. LICENSE SUSPENDED.
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD
vs. KENNETH J. WEILAND, JR.
On review of the report of the
Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa. The grievance commission
reports an attorney committed ethical misconduct and recommends a public
reprimand. ATTORNEY REPRIMANDED.
TIPS & TRICKS
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