Supreme Court establishes Access to
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order
Monday establishing the Iowa Access to Justice Commission. The new commission,
which was recommended to the court by the ISBA after months of investigation by
a study group, will establish a "concerted, sustained, and strategic effort” to
"safeguard the fundamental right of access to justice” for all Iowans,
according to the order.
"The bedrock principle of our court system is that justice
should be accessible to all persons,” Chief Justice Cady wrote. "Inability to
afford the cost of legal representation and other barriers to access to justice
unfairly impact the lives of too many Iowans.”
The court will work with the ISBA, Iowa Legal Aid, other
legal aid organizations and various stakeholder groups across the state to
determine the structure and makeup of the commission in the coming months.
Justice Brent Appel chairs the commission.
Read the complete order for details.
Updates to civil and criminal jury
The ISBA’s Jury Instructions Committee updated the
civil and criminal jury instructions which are effective this month. The changes in the
civil instructions impact instruction 100.2 related to juror biases, and
instructions 3120.1 to 3120.5 regarding workplace harassment and hostile work
environments. Instructions 3120.2 through 3120.5 are new to the chapter and
further define workplace harassment/hostile work environment.
Changes to the criminal instructions impact instructions
920.1, and 920.9 through 920.12, related to sexual exploitation by school
employees. Changes to instructions 1400.22, 1400.25, 1400.25A and 1400.27
address fraudulent practices. And, changes to instructions 1610.1 through
1610.4 address trespass.
The updates to both civil and criminal instructions can be
found on the ISBA website (www.iowabar.org) by clicking on the "Practice Tools” tab, then scrolling
down to "Jury Instructions” and choosing "Civil” or "Criminal.”
Reappointments made to boards and
commissions of the court
The following individuals were reappointed to boards and
commissions of the Iowa Supreme Court as of Monday, June 27. Each is reappointed for a
three-year term ending June 30, 2019:
Board of Law Examiners
Commission on Continuing Legal Education
- Janece Valentine, Fort Dodge
- Eric J. Nelson, Council Bluffs
- Erika Eckley, Carlisle
- Kelley A. Rice, Des Moines
- George F. Davison, Jr., Des Moines
- Randall B. Willman, Iowa City
- Jerry Van Scoy, Clinton
- Allen L. Cook, Jr., Ottumwa
Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law
- Fred J. Nelson, Des Moines
- Sarah J. Gayer, Cedar Rapids
View the Iowa Supreme Court order to see a full list of reappointments to include lay
members not listed here.
Registration open for biennial
solo/small firm conference
Registration is now available for the 2016 Solo &
Small Firm Conference to be held Thursday, Aug. 11, through Saturday, Aug. 13,
at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs. Held every two years, the 2016
conference will be a joint effort with the Nebraska State Bar
Topics such as "Small Firms, Big Markets,” "Succession
Planning/Buying or Selling a Practice,” and "Alternative Fees: Making Them
Profitable,” are designed specifically for the solo or small firm practitioner.
A session late Friday afternoon entitled "Beer and Bull Small Group Sessions:
Discussions on Productivity/Time Management Tips, Marketing and Staffing” give
attendees a chance to pick up tips from colleagues facing similar challenges.
A complete list of the topics to be presented, as well as
registration information is available on the event page. Call the Ameristar Casino Hotel directly at 877-462-7827
or go online to make room reservations. If calling, be sure to identify
yourself as part of the ISBA General Practice Section to receive the discounted
rate of $94 plus taxes and fees per night. If making reservations online, use
the special offer code ISBH16 for the discounted rate.
July Iowa Lawyer now available online
The July issue of the Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. In
this issue, the Iowa Lawyer will uncover a few new points of view. From the
jury box to child witnesses to coaching high school mock trial, attorneys have
an opportunity to gain a new perspective that they may not have previously
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
Bar Foundation brochure summarizes
grants and finances
Iowa State Bar Foundation has gone digital with its annual report, which
describes the grants made during the fiscal year and the status of the
organization’s finances. For many years, the report was published in the Iowa
Lawyer, usually in December or January.
report was included in a brochure handed out at the annual Foundation Fellows
Breakfast earlier this month during the ISBA Annual Meeting. Going forward,
publishing the report in digital format permits a quicker turnaround and
allows it to coincide with the end of the fiscal year instead of months later.
|Supreme Court Opinions
STATE OF IOWA vs. MAR'YO D. LINDSEY JR. A high school student seeks further review of a court of
appeals decision affirming the denial of his motion to suppress evidence
obtained from a search by a public school official. DECISION OF COURT
OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.
KATHRYN WINGER and TIMOTHY POTTS vs. CM HOLDINGS,
L.L.C. Plaintiffs and
defendant seek further review of court of appeals decision ordering a new trial
in a wrongful-death action arising from a fatal fall from an apartment
balcony. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT ORDER
AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART; CASE REMANDED FOR NEW TRIAL.
ERIKA L. SPITZ f/k/a ERIKA L. GENTZ, Plaintiff, vs. IOWA
DISTRICT COURT FOR MITCHELL COUNTY An ex-spouse seeks further review of a decision of the
court of appeals upholding a district court ruling that she did not purge a
contempt based on her failure to comply with the visitation provisions of the
dissolution decree and ordering her to serve the previously imposed thirty-day
jail sentence. WRIT ANNULLED.
STATE OF IOWA vs. JOHN ARTHUR SENN JR. Defendant challenges the constitutionality of Iowa Code
section 804.20, contending a right to counsel attached under article I, section
10 of the Iowa Constitution before criminal charges were filed, which entitled
him to a private phone call with counsel before deciding whether to submit to a
chemical breath test. DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued orders
denying applications for further review in 20 cases.
The Iowa Court of
Appeals posted 33
opinions to the Judicial Branch website today.