ISBA BOG acts on
legislative agenda items, legal forms, at quarterly meeting
the fall ISBA Board of Governors quarterly meeting in Coralville, the BOG acted
on numerous section recommendations for the 2016 ISBA
Affirmative Legislative Program,
continued to examine and further efforts to energize member engagement and
approved recommended non-substantive updates to ISBA legal forms. The governors
also welcomed leaders from University of Iowa College of Law, Drake Law School,
Creighton School of Law, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady and State of
Iowa District Court, Fifth District Chief Judge Arthur Gamble.
ISBA sections that provided
recommendations for the 2016 ISBA Affirmative Legislative Program include the criminal law, business law, family and juvenile law,
probate, trust & estate planning and real estate and title law sections.
Also, governors acted to support full funding of the judiciary’s budget for
equipment needs in accordance with the state’s statutory obligation.
ISBA President Bruce Walker’s report
included remarks on the ISBA’s response to the Iowa Supreme Court’s request for
comment on adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam. He also commented on student loan
debt and information pertinent to member engagement. ISBA Assistant Executive
Director Harry Shipley presented the executive director’s report which
included information about membership trends.
He also presented an overview of new and enhanced member services, including
potential child support calculator models and law practice management
Additional coverage of the
fall quarterly meeting will be included in the November/December issue of the
Iowa Lawyer Magazine. More information about ISBA sections, committees and fast
action teams focused on member engagement will be included in upcoming ISBA
publications. The members of the board of governors, ISBA officers and leaders
welcome questions and input from members. Contact information for governors and
other leaders can be found here.
Supreme Court adopts amendments to trial scheduling/discovery plan forms
Iowa Supreme Court last Friday temporarily adopted amendments, effective
immediately, to the Trial Scheduling and Discovery Plan Forms 2 and 3. The
forms are contained in the Iowa Court Rules, Chapter 23, Time Standards for
amended forms are used in conjunction with the recent discovery rule amendments
and the new expedited civil action rule in the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure.
The amendments will assist attorneys and clerks of court in using the forms to
set pretrial deadlines for discovery matters.
amended forms will take effect permanently on Nov. 25, subject to legislative
council approval consistent with the provisions of Iowa Code section 602.4202.
Fillable and savable versions of the forms will be posted soon, according to
the judicial branch website.
Changes to the forms are highlighted in yellow. Click
on Form 2 to see the
changes. Click on Form 3 to see the changes
attorneys should use engagement letters
ISBA’s endorsed professional liability insurance carrier, Lockton Affinity,
LLC, is offering information to members on various areas of law practice in
conjunction with its endorsed carrier, CNA. One of those practice areas is use
of engagement letters.
of the attorney-client relationship constitutes a critical risk control
technique for law firms,” states the opening sentence of a paper entitled:
"Better with a Letter: Why Attorneys Should Use Engagement Letters.” The
introductory paragraph goes on to say: "Memorializing the nature and scope of
the attorney-client relationship with a thorough, well-written engagement
letter will help resolve potential misunderstandings and also serve to
establish good communications throughout the course of the relationship.
Moreover, in the event of an attorney-client dispute, an engagement letter may
protect an attorney in the event of an unwarranted legal malpractice claim.”
specific court cases related to the various elements, such as scope of
representation, identity of the client and payment of fees, the document
illustrates how the court ruled in each case based on the contents of the
engagement letter. In some cases, the court ruled in favor of the law firm
because of a well-written engagement letter; in others the court ruled against
the firm because the engagement letter was too vague to absolve the firm from
paper is one of several created by the lawyers who work for CNA to provide risk
management and loss prevention services to attorneys insured by Lockton. To
read the entire paper, click here. For more
information, contact Mike Schrandt, senior account manager, Lockton Affinity,
LLC; Phone: 800-679-7154; Fax: 913-652-4682; Email: MSchrandt@locktonaffinity.com.
host Kosovo dignitaries Oct. 7
Iowa State Bar Association will host a delegation comprised of five members of
Kosovo’s Parliament Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at bar
headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. ISBA members who would like to meet the
delegates are welcome to attend the meeting.
delegation, which will spend a week in Des Moines, is interested in learning
about the basic organization of the association, its mission and such things as
services provided to members and the public and the association’s process for
determining legislative issues and prioritizing and working to get those issues
passed into law, says Dennis Dietz, chair of the Kosovo Committee for Iowa
Sister States. Iowa Sister States is hosting the delegation through the Open
World Leadership Program.
delegation's interest in the ISBA’s work dovetails with their overarching
interest in how state government is structured and the processes that make it
work. Their focus is on accountable governance. As such, they will be meeting
with a variety of organizations during their visit.
you plan to attend the meeting, please let Dwight Dinkla, ISBA executive
director, know you’ll be attending. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to lecture on equal justice Sunday
University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) at the College of Law is
hosting a lecture by author Bryan Stevenson from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 4, in
the Memorial Union’s main lounge. Stevenson wrote the New York Times
bestselling book "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” which details
a young lawyer’s transformation in his understanding of mercy and justice as a
result of defending poor and wrongly condemned individuals.
founded, and currently serves as executive director of the Equal Justice
Initiative. According to the UICHR website, the attorney and law professor has
"won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the
supreme court and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against
the poor and people of color.”
appearance is part of the Iowa City Book Festival in conjunction with UICHR and
the Geneva Lecture Series powered by the Geneva Campus Ministry. The lecture is
free and open to the public.
more information, contact Joan Nashelsky at email@example.com or 319-335-3900.
Court to hear oral arguments in Newton Oct. 14
Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Hutchison, et al.
v Warren County Board of Supervisors beginning at 7 p.m., Oct. 14, at the
Newton High School Auditorium, 800 East 4th Street South in Newton,
Iowa. A public reception with the justices will follow the oral arguments in
the Newton High School commons.
Hutchinson case involves former Warren County employees contending that the
county board of supervisors violated Iowa’s open meetings law when individual
supervisors met separately with the county administrator, who was serving as a
go-between, to discuss a proposed restructuring of the county workforce. The
district court ruled there was no open-meetings law violation because there was
no gathering of a majority of supervisors. The high court is being asked to
determine whether "walking quorums” or "serial communications” constitute a
"gathering” within the definition of "meeting” in Iowa’s open meetings law.
briefs for the case and a guide to oral arguments are available on the judicial
branch website here.
Finance Authority interim director named permanent director
Tara Lawrence has been named director of Title Guaranty - Iowa Finance Authority.
She has served as the interim director since May 1. Prior to that, she served
as the director of commercial services for the agency since 2012.
Before working for Iowa Finance Authority, Tara was an associate at
Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., in Des Moines, Iowa, practicing primarily in
commercial real estate, business and banking law. She has been a member of the
ISBA’s Real Estate and Title Law section since her admission to the bar in
Bolts Seminars to be held Friday and Monday
2015 Nuts & Bolts Seminars will be held this Friday in Coralville, Iowa,
and on Monday in Johnston, Iowa. The Coralville seminar will be at the Holiday
Inn, 1220 1st Avenue, and the Johnston seminar will be at the Hilton
Garden Inn, 8600 Northpark Drive.
seminars begin at 8:30 a.m. with a session on ethics and trust accounts and end
at 5 p.m. The afternoon sessions at both seminars will be divided into
litigation and transactional tracks. Lunch is not provided with registration.
register for the Coralville seminar, click here. Register for the
Johnston seminar here. Registration
deadline is tomorrow, Oct. 1. A $50 late fee will be added to the registration
fee for registrations made after Oct. 1.
Free Criminal Law Summit to take place tomorrow at UNI
daylong bipartisan summit on criminal justice will be held at the University of
Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, tomorrow (Oct. 1). The summit will address
disparities in justice for minorities and others, such as the mentally ill and
speakers, including Iowa Representative Helen Miller; Senior Vice President,
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Koch Industries, Mark Holden, and
CNN political contributor Van Jones will address the various issues with a
twofold purpose of creating awareness of the issue among all Iowans, and
serving as a call and guide to action for the legislature, the executive
branch, the judiciary and community stakeholders, according to Representative
Miller, who has organized the summit with the assistance of advisory and
which is free, opens at 7:30. The summit begins at 8:30. For more details about
the schedule, speakers and supporting organizations, go to the summit’s website.
|In Other News ...
Law removing felons' voting rights is
state judge has upheld a state law that disqualifies felons from voting but
said the state Supreme Court needs to sort out the confusion it caused last
year when it ruled not all felons are automatically disenfranchised.
Des Moines Register
Ralph Nader builds shrine to tort law
advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader recently opened a museum
filled with items like defective toys and unsafe machines all tied together
under a unifying theme: tort law.
Midwest Innocence Project commemorates Wrongful
Conviction Day, announces new partnerships & hair review project
The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP), a not-for-profit
corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of
wrongfully convicted men and women, announces today that Friday, Oct. 2
marks the second-annual, international Wrongful Conviction Day. To commemorate
the day, the MIP also announces new partnerships that expand its services to
Iowa and Nebraska in addition to Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas, as well as a
new hair microscopy testing project.
|The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to firstname.lastname@example.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.