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    June 3, 2015
Past Issues   

Save the date to tell ABA president-elect nominee your thoughts, July 2

Linda Klein, the ABA president-elect nominee is no stranger to Iowa lawyers. She is asking for help as she plans the future direction of the ABA and invites Iowa attorneys and judges to join her Thursday, July 2, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., in the Clear Lake/Mason City, Iowa area to tell her how the ABA can be more helpful. Klein specifically requests a dialogue that includes attorneys’ and judges' sincere feelings, suggestions and recommendations with no sugar coating.

"Linda has been a friend of the ISBA for years,” says ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla. "I encourage ISBA members to participate in this rare opportunity to meet with the national spokesperson for our profession and work with her to help shape and focus the ABA agenda for the next several years. Linda is specifically requesting the input of ‘main street lawyers’ during her visit.”

Klein was the first woman to serve as the Georgia State Bar President. Klein spent most of her 30 years in private practice in small- and medium-sized firms. She represents plaintiffs and defendants in construction and civil litigation and advises business owners. Currently, she serves as the managing shareholder for the two Georgia offices of Baker Donelson, a firm with 19 offices.

More information including the specific meeting location in the Clear Lake/Mason City, Iowa area regarding this rare opportunity to personally meet with the national spokesperson for the legal profession will be provided in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly next Wednesday. Questions about the event may be directed to ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla via email at

Iowa House and Senate adopt judicial branch appropriations bill no. SF496

Late yesterday, the Iowa House adopted the conference committee’s report for the judicial branch appropriations bill no. SF496. Senate conferees have approved the conference committee’s report and the Senate is prepared to vote on it today. The bill appears to appropriate status quo funding but Iowa State Court Administrator David K. Boyd provided clarification that the outcome is not necessarily bad news.

"There have been positive conversations with legislative leaders in both chambers about a plan to appropriate funds to the judicial branch in a different appropriations bill,” said Boyd. "Hopefully, we will have a final number sometime in the next couple of days.”

Boyd also offered reassurance that work is taking place to ensure that the judicial branch receives the funding needed to provide the current level of service to Iowans during the next fiscal year. To learn more about the efforts made by ISBA Legislative Counsel on SF496, click here.

2015 ISBA Annual Meeting to feature timely, unique experiences for attendees

The 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting offers attendees more than the opportunity to update their practical skills through in-depth discussions on new statutes and case laws; judges, attorneys and court reporters have unique opportunities to experience the work of and interact with nationally distinguished thought leaders and remarkable storytellers.

Monday afternoon, June 15, all attendees are invited to see author and former professor James Loewen, Ph.D., for his keynote speech to the Iowa Judges Association. Loewen documented how race relations deteriorated after the Civil War and will direct his remarks to Iowa’s history and how it impacts Iowans today. Later in the afternoon, Loewen will discuss his research on race relations in a "non-touchy-feely” seminar.

Tuesday afternoon, June 16, any attendee may watch a one-hour play, "Map of My Kingdom,” presented by Mary Swander, Iowa’s Poet Laureate, as part of the probate track. Swander is the co-founder of Agarts, a national group designed to explore the intersection of the arts and agriculture.

Wednesday morning, June 17, Kitty Williams will tell her story of miraculously surviving an Auschwitz labor camp and imprisonment as part of the court reporters track. Immediately afterwards, all attendees are invited to take a guided tour of the Iowa Holocaust Memorial.

To see the complete schedule, view the official 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting program here or download the free 2015 Annual Meeting App here. Register no later than June 11 for the early bird discount. For more information on registration, click here.


To what extent and in what areas do Iowa attorneys specialize their practices?

Data from the 2015 ISBA Economic survey indicates that private attorneys practicing in Iowa, on average, focus their work on five practice areas. Out of 850 survey respondents, 27 percent report focusing on two to three practice areas with an additional 23 percent focusing on four to five practice areas.

The highest percentage of survey respondents state that their work is primarily focused in the area of general practice. According to the responses, family/juvenile law is the second most common primary practice area. Estate planning/probate and litigation/civil practice (defense) tied for the third most common primary practice area. Real estate and litigation/civil practice (plaintiff) are reported as the fourth and fifth most common primary practice areas, respectively.

These figures and more are included in the data from this year’s survey, conducted by Readex Research. Survey results also provide more detailed information on average salaries for both new and more experienced attorneys based on a variety of factors including practice area, average overhead expense, average billing rates and average weekly work hours.

The complete 2015 ISBA Economic Survey Report will be released at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

Veteran ISBA staffer retires

After nearly a quarter of a century of service, ISBA staffer, Mary Lehman, has retired. Friday, May 29, was her last day working at the bar office.

During her almost 25 years at the association, Lehman held many different jobs. Among other responsibilities, she managed the American Citizenship Awards program, which involved recruiting local attorneys to make presentations to recipients at high school graduation ceremonies and making sure they were supplied with appropriate certificates and medals. She was in charge of the bar review materials for graduates studying for the Iowa bar exam. She maintained the lists of committee members, section council members and board of governors and informed leadership about eligibility and term limits. And, for many years, she was the go-to person for the Young Lawyers Division.

Former YLD President Aaron Oliver is one of the YLD leaders who appreciated Lehman’s involvement. "My lasting memory of Mary is her unwavering dedication to the YLD, always looking out for us and always there to answer any questions the YLD officers or board members might have," he says "Each incoming officer was told the first thing he/she should do is to call Mary for some essential ‘training’ and advice as to what to do and the expectations of the position (as well as what not to do)."

"It also impressed me that Mary would attend most of the YLD quarterly meetings, and she would always have a birthday cake for anyone celebrating a birthday,” Oliver recalls. "She was a tremendous asset to the YLD and the ISBA in general, and she will be greatly missed.”

What will the former second-most-senior staffer at the ISBA do with her "free” time in retirement? She wouldn’t commit to anything specific. But comments about spending more time with her grandchildren came up in numerous conversations.

Election results are in for ISBA officers and ISBA ABA delegate position

Ballots are now tallied for the 2015-16 ISBA Officers and the vacant ISBA ABA delegate position. ISBA members selected:

· Arnold (Skip) Kenyon III, Creston, president-elect;
· Steven R. Eckley, Des Moines, vice president;
· Jane V. Lorentzen, Des Moines, ISBA ABA delegate.

Bruce L. Walker, Iowa City, will automatically move from ISBA`s president-elect to president June 17.Four new members of the ISBA Board of Governors were also elected in their respective district: Shannon Simms (1B), Patrick Vickers (2A), Mason Ouderkirk (5A) and Emily Chafa (5C).

Iowa State Association of Counties position notification

The Iowa State Association of Counties, a nonprofit focused on the promotion of effective and responsible county government for the people of Iowa, seeks to add a compliance officer to create and maintain compliance programs and address questions, issues and concerns within the ISAC and its membership.

Those interested in learning more about this opportunity may view more information about the position here. Applicants should send cover letters and resumes to the ISAC, Attn: Tammy Norman, Office Manager, 5500 Westown Parkway, Suite 190, West Des Moines, IA 50266. Applications are to be received no later than June 26.

Questions about the position should be directed to Tammy Norman, ISAC Office Manager, via email at


In Other News ...

Law is the least diverse profession in the nation. And lawyers aren’t doing enough to change that.
From the outside, the legal profession seems to be growing ever more diverse. Three women are now on the Supreme Court. Loretta Lynch is the second African American to hold the position of attorney general. The president and first lady are lawyers of color. Yet according to Bureau of Labor statistics, law is one of the least racially diverse professions in the nation. Eighty-eight percent of lawyers are white. Other careers do better — 81 percent of architects and engineers are white; 78 percent of accountants are white; and 72 percent of physicians and surgeons are white.
The Washington Post

Updating courthouse security
The Iowa Judicial Counsel sent out a list of ways they’d like to see security increased at courthouses. Ideas include installing a bullet proof window where the judge sits and metal detectors at doorways. At this point, they are all just recommendations. Winnebago County Board of Supervisor Terry Durby says he’s on board with increasing security.
KIMT-TV 3, Mason City

EPA: Rule will ensure clean water
Protecting the Heartland’s streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, helps our communities and is vital to our economy, health, safety, and quality of life. During the past 43 years, EPA, the states, and local partners have worked tirelessly to clean up once polluted rivers and streams.
The Press Citizen, Iowa City

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 - June 3

May 29, 2015

No. 13-0474
Appellees, vs.JANICE STEWART,

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Christopher L. McDonald, Judge.

A workers’ compensation claimant appeals the district court ruling on judicial review of a decision of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.

No. 14-0178
DANNY HOMAN, STEVEN J. SODDERS, JACK HATCH, PAT MURPHY, and MARK SMITH vs. TERRY BRANSTAD, Governor, State of Iowa, and CHARLES M. PALMER, Director, Iowa Department of Human Services

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.

The Governor and the director of the department of human services appeal from the district court’s grant of a temporary injunction prohibiting them from closing the Iowa Juvenile Home. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.



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