Court adopts new rule on alternate
The Iowa Supreme Court recently rescinded in
its entirety Court Rule 2.18(15) dealing with selection of alternate jurors and
adopted a new Rule 2.18(15) that conforms with the more common practice of
selecting alternate jurors.
Under the old rule, candidates for jury
selection underwent a separate examination process. The new rule conforms to
the often-common practice of examining and selecting alternate jurors at the
same time as principal jurors.
The new rule is temporarily adopted effective
with the June 30 date the order was signed. It will take effect permanently on
Aug. 30, subject to approval by the court’s legislative council.
Read the order here. Read new Court Rule 2.18(15) at this link.
ISBA makes digital annual report available
The ISBA recently emailed to members its
digital annual report for 2015-2016. The report includes information on
membership, sections and committees, CLE programing, member benefits,
legislative successes and civic outreach.
The 2016 Annual Report is mobile friendly and viewable from a
variety of different web browsers. Report information is organized into one
scrollable website with a sleek design to help readers easily consume the
information. Members can take a look at numerous demographic data points, see
what CLEs were a hit, learn what benefits members are using and find out what
ISBA legislation was enacted into law.
Find out who recently passed away through new obituary
The ISBA began its obituary notification
service this week as a way to keep members informed of colleagues who have
recently passed away. The service, a courtesy to members, is meant to
supplement the "In Memoriam” column in the Iowa Lawyer magazine with the intent
of informing members early so that members may be able to attend the funeral or
To sign up for the service, members must log
in to their iowabar.org account, click on "Manage Profile” and choose the "Edit
Bio” option. Scroll down to the option "Obituary Notification,” select "yes,”
then save the changes. Once the option is elected, members will receive an
email notification anytime a member passes away, the same day the ISBA receives
The ISBA encourages members to share funeral
information with the membership department as soon as it’s available. The
membership department does its best to stay informed of members who pass, but
it often receives notifications well after the fact. Members who know of a
colleague passing should email the membership department at email@example.com and include a link to the obituary and/or funeral
information. Any notification that is received more than one month after the
date of passing will be published only in the Iowa Lawyer magazine.
IOLTA grants go to 14 organizations
Fourteen different organizations around the
state that provide legal assistance to low-income Iowans with civil legal
problems have received a combined $239,998 in grants from the Interest on
Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) program. The Iowa Supreme Court approved the
grants to the nonprofit programs conducted by the organizations last week. The
grants were awarded for the fiscal year that began July 1 and ends June 30,
"Far too many Iowans cannot afford to
hire an attorney to resolve the civil legal problems that affect the most basic
necessities of life—shelter, food, and health care," Chief Justice Mark
Cady said in a news release announcing the grants. "Despite the
outstanding contributions from legal aid organizations in Iowa and the
thousands of Iowa attorneys who volunteer their time, a substantial need for
such legal services remains. The IOLTA grant recipient organizations can help
fill that need."
The IOLTA program is managed by a seven-member
commission that reviews grant applications and then makes award recommendations
to the supreme court. With this year's distribution, the supreme court has
awarded more than $24.4 million in IOLTA grants since the program began on July
See the list of organizations who were awarded grants this year along
with the amount each received.
Tips for avoiding embezzlement, fraud
The ISBA’s professional liability insurance
carrier, Lockton Risk Services, has released a white paper that provides
suggestions on how to avoid theft and fraud by employees in a law firm.
Entitled "The Threat from Within: Theft and Fraud Inside Law Firms,” the paper
acknowledges that lawyers may be more concerned with practicing law than with
managing the routine day-to-day operation of the firm’s business practices. As
a result, unscrupulous employees, especially if charged with the responsibility
of managing the firm’s business operations, may take advantage of this lack of
The paper offers at least 10 actions that law
firms can take to reduce the risk of embezzlement and fraud. Among them are
requiring dual signatures on checks, emphasizing the importance of ethical
behavior, rotating job duties when possible and conducting surprise independent
inspections of the books.
Read the complete paper here.
|Supreme Court Opinions
While the Iowa Supreme Court is in administrative session, there will be no Supreme Court opinions. Opinions will pick back up in a couple months.