A message from the president:
The Iowa Supreme Court this morning announced that it will establish a hiring freeze for all vacancies in the judicial branch and hold open judicial vacancies for an average of six months as a way of compensating for the $5.4 million shortfall in Fiscal Year 2017 funding.
There is little question that the level of services delivered by the judicial branch to our citizens will not be maintained. This shortfall will affect the provision of services beginning July 1.
Other actions the court decided to take include: Reducing travel by 10 percent, reducing furniture and non-IT equipment purchases by 50 percent and instituting a moratorium on the expansion of specialty courts. Click here for more information on actions being taken. Click here to view the news release issued by the court this morning that provides additional information.
I encourage you to be patient with our judicial branch this year. The court’s actions will result in tough consequences that will be felt by Iowa lawyers and most Iowans using our court system.
As such, once the court has determined its needs for Fiscal Year 2018, I encourage all Iowa lawyers to use their talents in a concerted effort to persuade their local legislators to fully fund our judicial branch. Thank you for your help in advance.
Very truly yours,
Bruce L. Walker
Top four notable CLE presentations
planned for 2016 ISBA Annual Meeting
People attend the ISBA’s largest event of the year for a
number of reasons. There are many opportunities to socialize and be involved in
the pomp and circumstance of transitioning leadership into a new fiscal year,
but nothing draws more attorneys to the event than the large number of CLE
offerings in one location. This year there are four notable CLEs that members
may want to attend:
- Mentorship: The Key to Iowa Attorney’s
This presentation will cover various aspects of mentorship
and how it relates to attorney professionalism. Presented by Past ABA President
Robert Grey, Jr., Richmond, Virginia, Wednesday, June 15, from 11 a.m.
- 12 p.m. This CLE provides one state CLE credit hour
- Evidence in Action: Critical Issues in Federal Evidence
This presentation features the Q&A of courtroom
testimony with evidence points interspersed during the courtroom drama.
Presented by Prof. Ronald Carlson, University of Georgia School of Law, Athens,
Georgia, and Michael Carlson, Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, Marietta,
Georgia. Wednesday, June 15, from 9:20 – 10:20 a.m. This CLE provides
one state and one federal CLE credit hour.
- Ethical Responsibility Concerning Confidential Information
and Cyber Security Risk Management
This program discusses the growing information security
risks law firms face today and the various business and legal factors
contributing to law firm decisions to implement more stringent data security
practices. Presented by Theresa Garthwaite and Lisa Jaffee, CNA Insurance,
Chicago, Illinois. Wednesday, June 15, from 1:30 – 3 p.m. This CLE
provides one and a half state, one and a half federal, and one and a half ethics
CLE credit hours.
- Anatomy of a Hoax
Using evidence collected during the investigation, this
presentation will discuss the facts of the Duke Lacrosse case and how the
defense attorneys were able to have the prosecution dismissed and their clients
declared innocent by the Attorney General of North Carolina. Presented by James
Cooney, III, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, L.L.P., Charlotte, North
Carolina. Tuesday, June 14, from 9:10 – 10:10 a.m. This CLE provides
one state and one federal CLE credit hour.
For a full list of CLE offerings or to register for the
meeting, visit the 2016 Annual Meeting event page.
Public Relations Committee seeks
The ISBA is searching for a member who is interested in
becoming the committee chair for the Public Relations Committee for the upcoming
year. The committee chair is responsible for facilitating committee discussion
meetings and the development of PR and marketing campaigns. The objective of
the committee is to create and maintain a good public image of the legal
profession and the ISBA.
Bar association members interested in serving one year as
chair of the Public Relations Committee are encouraged to email Dwight Dinkla
June Iowa Lawyer now available online
The June issue of the Iowa Lawyer
Magazine is now available online. In
this issue, the Iowa Lawyer will introduce the new ISBA president and the new
Drake University Law School Dean. It will also feature articles about
Medicaid modernization, drug testing in Iowa and the Affordable Care Act.
Those who elect to receive the print version of the
magazine should see it in mailboxes in the next week or so. To view the digital
version, navigate to www.iowabar.org, click on "Publications,” then "Iowa Lawyer
Magazine.” Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the
magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA
account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine
Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be
directed to the ISBA Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Iowa Supreme Court appoints members
to the Iowa Child Support Guidelines Review Committee
The Iowa Supreme Court appointed members to the 2016 Iowa
Child Support Guidelines Review Committee May 26. According to the Federal
Family Support Act of 1998, states are required to review child support
guidelines every four years.
The following individuals will complete committee
objectives and submit a final report with findings and recommendations no later
than Dec. 12:
- Wayne Bergman, Assistant Attorney General, Des Moines
- Honorable Thomas A. Bitter, First Judicial District, Dubuque
- Eric Borseth, Attorney, Altoona
- Honorable Susan Christensen, Fourth Judicial District, Harlan
- Jill M. Davis, Attorney, Spencer
- Kevin E. Kaufman, Assistant Attorney General, Davenport
- Honorable Chad A. Kepros, Sixth Judicial District, Iowa City
- Steven H. Lytle, Attorney, Des Moines
- Evelyn Ocheltree, Attorney, Legal Aid, Mason City
- Honorable Eliza Ovrom, Fifth Judicial District, Des Moines (Co-Chair)
- Marlis J. Robberts, Attorney, Burlington (Co-Chair)
- Dennis R. Ringgenberg, Attorney, Sioux City
- DeShawne Bird-Sell, Attorney, Glenwood
- Alison Werner Smith, Attorney, Iowa City
- John Wood, Attorney, Waterloo
Per the order filed last week, the committee is
responsible for analyzing information about the number of deviations from the
Iowa guidelines; study current data concerning child-raising costs and other
economic measures; compare Iowa's guidelines with child-rearing measures and
the guidelines of other states; review and consider the findings and
recommendations of the Iowa Child Support Advisory Committee; and consider
other information deemed necessary or useful for thorough review of the current
Iowa child support guidelines.
Law Day in Cedar Rapids focuses on students
High school students from three Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
schools were the focal point of the city’s 2016 Law Day festivities, May 1. The
event organizers hosted several activities designed to encourage students to be
positive change agents in their community.
United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa,
Kevin W. Techau, stated that the program aimed to challenge students to think
about fundamental ideals upon which this country was founded and reminded them
that they have the power to put their energy and skills to work for the common
The event keynote speaker was Betty C. Andrews, president
of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP. She touched on the subject of racial equity and
challenged the students to dream big and dream bold.
Mayor Ron Corbett gave the opening address, declaring the
Law Day celebration an opportunity to promote a better understanding of the
roots of our freedoms and to serve as a reminder that even the youngest members
of our society can effect positive social change.
Caption (left to right): Kevin Techau, Betty C. Andrews and Dr. Carlos Grant
|Supreme Court Opinions
DAVID L. TAFT JR., Plaintiff, vs. IOWA DISTRICT COURT FOR
LINN COUNTY A person committed
under the Sexually Violent Predator Act alleges statutory criteria for
suitability for placement in a transitional release program violate the Due
Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Iowa and the United States
STATE OF IOWA vs. ISAIAH RICHARD SWEET A juvenile offender convicted of first-degree murder
appeals from the district court’s order sentencing him to life in prison
without the possibility of parole. DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE REVERSED AND
CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS
OYENS FEED & SUPPLY, INC. vs. PRIMEBANK A federal district court certified two questions of law in
a priority dispute between competing creditors of a bankrupt hog
operation. CERTIFIED QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued orders
granting or denying applications for further review in 55 cases.