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10/6/2016
Introduction to Legal Research on Fastcase (Live Webinar)

Iowa Lawyer Weekly (04/06/2016)
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    April 6, 2016
Past Issues  

Key Iowa Judicial Branch director retiring; applications for the position due June 3

The Iowa Judicial Branch yesterday posted a job description for director of the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) of the Iowa Supreme Court. The successful applicant will succeed Paul Wieck, II, who is retiring Dec. 22.

Wieck joined the judicial branch Jan. 1, 2002 as director of what was then known as the Supreme Court Commissions. In early 2008, the office name changed to the Office of Professional Regulation and the scope of the office expanded. After the expansion, Wieck was responsible for overseeing the Attorney Disciplinary Board, Court Interpreters and the Board of Law Examiners.

Immediately prior to becoming OPR director, Wieck was in private practice with the Reynoldson law firm in Osceola, Iowa. Prior to that, he served as commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety for 10 years. His legal career, which began in 1982, also included clerking and serving as assistant to Chief Justice Ward Reynoldson, and practicing with the Reynoldson firm from 1983-1990. (Look for more information about Wieck and the impact his career as director of the OPR has had on Iowa’s legal profession in a future issue of the Iowa Lawyer magazine.)

The OPR director oversees the administration of key boards and commissions and the program functions performed by those commissions. Read the full job description, including responsibilities and qualifications, here. Deadline for applying is 4:30 p.m. June 3.


Russian cyber criminal targeting law firms

A Russian cyber criminal has been attempting since January to hire hackers to break into law firms’ computer systems to enable him to trade on insider information. At this point, his focus has been on nearly 50 "elite” law firms around the U.S. and in the United Kingdom according to an article in Crain’s Chicago Business

Kevin Johnson, senior vice president, program executive for Lockton Affinity, L.L.C., the ISBA’s endorsed provider of professional liability insurance, brought the article to the ISBA’s attention. The article doesn’t indicate that any Iowa law firms have been targeted, but it’s good to be aware that hackers are at work.

The plan, according to the article, is to "infiltrate the law firms' networks, then use keywords to locate drafts of merger agreements, letters of intent, confidentiality agreements and share purchase agreements.” The purpose is to "know in advance which companies were going to be merged with the help of the stolen law firm documents and subsequently leverage this information to execute algorithmic insider trading activities,” the article states. Read the article here.


Marion Home School team repeats as High School Mock Trial champion

A team from the Marion Home School Association won the 2016 High School Mock Trial championship in the state tournament held last week, March 28-30. It was the second consecutive year the team, known as the "Slayhawks,” has captured the state championship. As the state champion, the team will compete in the national tournament in Boise, Idaho, on May 12-15.

The Marion team, which was coached by attorney Matt Dake, and teacher Dana Miller, defeated a Johnston High School team in the semifinals to advance to the finals. They narrowly defeated a team from Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, to capture the championship. The Valley team was coached by attorneys Sarah Franklin and Maggie Hanson, and teacher Stefanie Kaylor.

A complete list of the top 12 teams, as well as an alphabetical listing of the 22 other teams who competed in the state tournament, can be found here. The list also contains the names of the outstanding attorneys, the outstanding witnesses and the winners of the Judge Anthony Critelli Award for sportsmanship, civility and courtroom decorum. The attorney and witness winners are selected by the judges scoring the competitions. The Critelli award is determined by the members of all the teams competing in the tournament.



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Register today for the ISBA Commercial and Bankruptcy Section’s Annual CLE

A message from Desirée Kilburg, Commercial and Bankruptcy Section CLE Committee Chair

The Commercial and Bankruptcy Section’s CLE event will be held April 22 at ISBA Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. We are pleased to offer this CLE event by live webinar. This year’s program is designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of practices, and features discussion of complex issues including legislative and case law developments in areas of bankruptcy, business litigation and agricultural law.

Featured speakers include the Honorable Charles L. Nail, chief bankruptcy judge, District of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the Honorable Anita L. Shodeen, chief bankruptcy judge, Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa. Both serve on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit and will present on bankruptcy case law developments and appellate advice. This event will provide 6.75 state and 4.25 federal CLE hours (1 hour of ethics included). Federal credit is pending.

For a complete schedule and more information, click here. To register early for a discounted rate, click here.



Iowa Supreme Court Justices to hear oral arguments, meet area students in Clinton next week

Members of the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for one case next Thursday evening, April 14, in Clinton. While in the Clinton area, the justices will meet with students at high schools in Clinton, Camanche, Tipton, DeWitt and Maquoketa to discuss the Iowa judicial system and the role of the courts.

The supreme court will hear lawyers argue in the case:

State of Iowa v. Mar'yo D. Lindsey, Jr.
The defendant seeks further review from the Iowa Supreme Court after the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction for possession of a firearm as a felon, carrying weapons on school grounds, going armed with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a controlled substance. Appellant contends that after he was injured in a high school football game, school officials conducted an unreasonable search of his school-issued football equipment bag constituting an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment in violation of his constitutional rights.

To read more about the visit including time schedules at the schools and attorney briefs for the two cases, view the Iowa court’s press release on iowacourts.gov.


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Iowa Title Guaranty Spring Conference, April 26

The 2016 Iowa Title Guaranty Spring Conference will be held April 26 at the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona.


Conference highlights will include timely updates on a variety of topics for real estate attorneys and real estate settlement professionals, including an examination of lender best practices, key issues, challenges, and opportunities in light of the implementation of TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.


Presentations include "Back to the Best Practices: Where are lenders on best practices yesterday, today and in the future?”, "TRID Post-Implementation Challenges, Common Mistakes and Liability,” and "A Path Forward – Major Issues Facing the Industry and the Opportunities that Exist.”


For more information about the agenda, click here. To register, click here.


Supreme Court Opinions
April 1

No. 14–0357 
IN THE INTEREST OF J.C., Minor Child J.C., Minor Child 

A youth adjudicated as a delinquent seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the adjudication. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUVENILE COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.


No. 15–1161 
MARLIN LEE JUST, NOELLE MARIE MARCHANT HUGHES, and TRAVIS CLINTON HUGHES vs. FARMERS AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE ASSOCIATION d/b/a PEKIN INSURANCE 

The drivers of two vehicles that collided with a wrong-way SUV appeal the grant of summary judgment to the SUV driver’s insurer in a declaratory judgment action, arguing there was more than one "accident” for purposes of the insurance policy’s limits on liability. AFFIRMED.




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In Other News ...

You can wipe acquittals, dismissals from Iowa Courts Online

The state of Iowa is at the forefront of providing public access to online court records. Most of the information is available at no cost, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Want to learn more about your neighbor’s divorce? Check Iowa Courts Online. Want to figure out if your child’s college roommate has had a brush with the law? Check Iowa Courts Online... But what if, instead of the searcher, you were the one being searched? And what if your information was still on Iowa Courts Online even though you were found not guilty of a crime or the charge was dismissed?

The Des Moines Register


Grassley agrees to meet with Court nominee

Sen. Chuck Grassley and Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland will sit down over breakfast to discuss why the Iowa Republican opposes setting a hearing on the nomination. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he spoke with Garland on Monday and invited the federal judge to breakfast in the Senate dining room. The time and date are to be determined.Grassley has repeatedly said he’s standing on principle in refusing to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Quad City Times


Supreme Court rejects challenge on ‘One Person One Vote’

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that states may count all residents, whether or not they are eligible to vote, in drawing election districts. The decision was a major statement on the meaning of a fundamental principle of the American political system, that of "one person one vote.”

"We hold, based on constitutional history, this court’s decisions and longstanding practice, that a state may draw its legislative districts based on total population,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court.

The New York Times



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


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April 5



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