Iowa Judicial Branch releases 2017 budget summary
The Iowa Judicial Branch recently released its 2017 fiscal
year budget. The courts were forced to make difficult budgetary decisions after
legislative appropriations fell more than $5 million short of what was needed.
The courts made several resources available to explain how the judicial branch
budget will be broken down.
A four-paged paper, titled The Iowa Judicial Branch Fiscal Year
2017 Budget, was shared with
the ISBA Board of Governors during the annual meeting held last week at the Community Choice Credit Union Community Center in Des Moines, Iowa. In the paper, the judicial branch
shares staffing numbers, 2015 filing information and the parameters by which
the courts based budgetary decisions.
Additionally, the judicial branch website dedicated a webpage to the 2017 budget which contains the final budget
decisions, statistical information and other facts.
A law practice in Wal-Mart?
Fully-functional legal offices opened in two Wal-Mart
store locations in Missouri earlier this month. The Law Store, as it’s known,
is nested in two of the super stores and is now part of Wal-Mart's one-stop-shop
According to a local news report from the Joplin Globe, The Law Store operates on an
upfront, menu-style pricing model and is meant to bring services to people who
need basic legal services but wouldn't otherwise seek out an attorney. Services include wills, bills of sale, uncontested divorces and more.
Details about The Law Store can be found in the Joplin
Globe article linked above, or at the company website.
Get CLE credit for preparation time
By Tre Critelli, Administrator of the CLE Commission
One of the new rules which went into effect Jan. 1 of this
year was Iowa Court Rule 42.2(3) which gives credit for time
involved in the preparation for a CLE presentation. Under the rule you are
entitled to preparation credit equal to the length of the presentation you
make, up to an annual maximum of three hours. So, if you give a 60-minute
presentation, you are entitled to up to 60 minutes of preparation time for
drafting the written materials. If the preparation of the written materials
took less than 60 minutes, then you would reduce the amount of preparation
credit accordingly. Written materials include PowerPoint or other similar
One caveat is that only attorneys who prepare the written
materials and give the presentation are eligible for the CLE preparation
credit. If you are a panelist who did not prepare the written materials, you
are not entitled to preparation credit. However, you may still claim attendance credit
for the presentation itself. If you only prepared the written materials but
were not part of the actual presentation, you are not entitled to any CLE
credit. Nor are you allowed to claim preparation credit if you have received
financial compensation for your role in preparing or presenting the CLE. Other
exclusions can be found in rule 42.2(3).
To certify your preparation credit you will need to add
CLE Activity ID #214549 to your CLE transcript. You can then indicate how many
hours of preparation credit you are claiming. Preparation credit for multiple
CLE presentations made during 2016 can be claimed by increasing the number of
hours of credit claimed under this Activity ID, to reflect the total
preparation credit for all the events, subject to the limit of three hours per
Ag Development Division to increase application fees 20
percent July 1
Attorneys with ag clients who are interested in state tax
credits for leasing to beginning farmers should be aware that the Iowa
Agricultural Development Division (IADD) will increase the application fee for
its Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program by $50 beginning July 1. The fee will
jump from $200 to $250 for both cash rent and crop share leases. The additional
$50 per year for cash rent and $100 per year for crop share leases remains the
In addition, the IADD has changed the deadline for
applying for the tax credits to Sept. 1 from Oct. 1. Landowners who have leases
effective March 1 of this year must apply for the tax credits by Sept. 1 to
receive those credits. The leases must be for at least two years, and can be up
to five years. Qualifying leases include agricultural land, depreciable
machinery or equipment and breeding livestock and buildings.
More information about the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit
program, as well the Beginning Farmer Loan Program, the Custom Farming Tax
Credit Program and other programs offered by IADD can be found at this link. Click on the link "Beginning Farmer Tax Credit (BFTC) Application &
Instructions” to see the
value of the tax credits.
Specific questions can be directed to Steve Ferguson, IADD
program planner, at 515-725-4928, or Steve.Ferguson@iowa.gov.
Attorneys see increased malicious email attacks
Several organizations across the country are reporting
incidents of cyber criminals attempting to gain control of attorney computer
systems through malicious emails. Although the methods of attack vary,
attorneys can protect themselves from falling prey.
Most phishing emails can be detected but require vigilance
and attention to detail:
- Avoid links and attachments in any unexpected emails,
- Before clicking on a link, hover over it to see what the
true web address is,
- Pay attention to the sender's email address as most will
have minor differences from a legitimate sender.
The State of Iowa Information Security Office reported
malicious emails sent to attorneys regarding overdue membership dues.
Additionally, bar associations including Alabama, California, the District of
Columbia, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada have reported members receiving phishing
emails targeting attorneys through a variety of different methods.
Once hacked, a firm’s client information becomes
vulnerable. Once compromised, it can be very difficult to recover full control.
The key to avoiding problems is prevention.
|Supreme Court Opinions
June 10 and June 17
STATE OF IOWA vs. ZYRIAH HENRY FLOYD SCHLITTER Defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals
decision affirming convictions for child endangerment resulting in death and
involuntary manslaughter by commission of public offense. DECISION OF
COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT
AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.
BRENDA J. ALCALA vs. MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. and
COURTYARD MANAGEMENT CORPORATION d/b/a QUAD CITIES COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT A personal injury plaintiff seeks further review of court
of appeals decision ordering a new trial on her premises liability
claims. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT
REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED FOR NEW TRIAL.
NATIONAL SURETY CORPORATION, an Illinois Corporation vs.
WESTLAKE INVESTMENTS, LLC, an Iowa Limited Liability Company An insurer seeks further review of a court of appeals
decision affirming in part a district court judgment finding it liable under
the terms of an excess commercial general liability insurance policy for
property damage arising due to defective workmanship by the insureds’
subcontractor. DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED; DISTRICT
COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART; CASE REMANDED WITH
EMILY M. BASS, on Behalf of Herself and All Others
Similarly Situated vs. J.C. PENNEY COMPANY, INC. Plaintiff appeals from district court summary judgments in
a class action suit against a retailer based on a wrongful collection of sales
ESTATE OF DAVID PAUL McFARLIN by Its Personal
Representative, Jamie Laass; JAMIE LAASS, Individually; and JAMIE LAASS, as
Parent and Next Friend of S.L. vs. STATE OF IOWA Plaintiffs seek further review of court of appeals
decision that affirmed summary judgment dismissing tort claims against the
State of Iowa arising from boating accident on Storm Lake. DECISION OF
COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT SUMMARY JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.
STATE OF IOWA vs. DEYAWNA LEANETT TAYLOR A defendant in a criminal case seeks further review after
the court of appeals affirmed her convictions, arguing that the district court
erred in rejecting her claim of a speedy trial violation. DECISION OF
COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND REMANDED.
IN THE MATTER OF JAMES H. MARTINEK, A Magistrate. On application of the Iowa Commission on Judicial
Qualifications. The Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed an application
to discipline a magistrate. OPINION ISSUED.
The Iowa Court of Appeals recently posted 110 opinions to the Judicial Branch website.