President urges members to share judicial performance review results with
As you know,
the results for the Judicial Performance Review are out. You may have noticed
your local paper writing about the results and that The Iowa State Bar
Association has recommended all judges be retained. The ISBA has conducted the
biennial review since 1962 when the state of Iowa adopted its merit system for
you to share these results with your friends, neighbors and other members of
your communities. All licensed attorneys in Iowa are considered court officers and ambassadors for the court, and
any member can do his or her part by encouraging others to retain the judges up for
You can do
this by simply referring them to the ISBA website at www.iowabar.org. The results are posted on
the bottom of the homepage, or you can share a direct link: http://www.iowabar.org/2014JudicialReview.
The judicial review page provides a wealth of information to aid Iowans in
making an informed decision Nov. 4.
the efforts of the attorneys who completed the survey last month so that we
could compile this information to educate Iowans. I also appreciate everyone
sharing this information to help Iowans understand the judicial retention
Thank you for
your help, and for the opportunity to serve as your president.
Joseph M. Feller
The Iowa State Bar Association
P.O. Box 37, Sibley, Iowa 51249
ISBA Celebrates Pro Bono Month: Volunteer to Take a Case
The ISBA is
joining the ABA’s annual Pro Bono Celebration this October. The best way
to celebrate pro bono is to take cases and do the work, according to the ISBA
Public Service Project. Therefore, the ISBA is embarking on an endeavor
with a grand aspirational goal: All clients waiting for volunteers will get attorneys to assist them.
A list of all
cases that are currently waiting to be placed by one of the Volunteer Lawyer
Programs in the state is compiled here.
Attorneys are encouraged to take one of the more than 170 cases awaiting
recognized more than 50 lawyers in the October issue of the Iowa Lawyer magazine who donated
50 or more hours of pro bono in the last year. Additionally, attorneys who
provided any pro bono time in the last year were identified here.
attorney can make a difference in the life of one person who is seeking access
to justice. Collectively as a profession, attorneys are joining together and
recommitting themselves to serving the needs of Iowa’s most vulnerable
Those interested in donating pro bono time should contact Brett
Toresdahl, the ISBA Public Service Project director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
ISBA isolates compromised email
week, a suspicious email went out to the Probate list serve. The ISBA
Information Technology Department was in contact with the originating firm who
verified that an employee’s email account was compromised.
was a legitimate member of the section, and therefore the list serve simply
forwarded the message as normal. However, the server’s spam and virus filter
screened the illegal ZIP attachment, replacing it with a benign text
attachment. If anyone on the list attempted to open the attachment, the
member would have received a message about the removed attachment.
members reported the suspicious email, and the firm is working to resolve the
issue. Until there is a satisfactory resolution, the violating email address
has been removed from the list serve and members should disregard the post.
notices suspicious activity within the list serve should contact the ISBA's IT
Department immediately at email@example.com or 515-697-6891.
of I students told about the benefits of rural practice
University of Iowa College of Law students gathered last Friday for an
hour-long presentation and question and answer session on what it’s like to
practice in rural communities. The presentation was made by Phil Garland and
Amy Skogerson, co-chairs of the ISBA’s Rural Practice Committee.
us to hire people in our offices. They don’t want to go elsewhere for their
legal needs,” Garland, a long-time attorney in Garner, told the students. He
explained why it’s important for the legal profession in Iowa to take on the
responsibility of attracting new, young lawyers to rural practice as current
lawyers in those practices retire.
who has a solo practice in Van Meter, told the students that new and exciting
aspects of law practice are emerging that fit well in rural practice. Two of
those new opportunities are collaborative law and mediation.
Rural Practice Committee, created in 2010, has as its primary initiative a
summer clerkship program whereby mostly 1L and 2L students spend 10 weeks
during the summer working with rural practitioners to get a taste of law
practice in rural communities. The goal is for those students to choose a rural
practice when they graduate and are admitted to the Iowa Bar.
information about the summer clerkship program, including frequently asked
questions, can be found on the ISBA website. To be taken directly to the
information, click here. To reach the information from the
website, click on "Rural Practice” under the "Committees & Section” tab in
the gold bar near the top of the homepage.
Report: Membership density in top 125 Iowa cities
membership department recently ran an interesting report of membership density
in Iowa’s top 125 cities. The list displays the top 125 populated cities in
Iowa and its corresponding ISBA member density as of October 2014. The full
report can be found here.
association member recently recommended a calculator for loan or contract
payments. The calculator has a lot of useful features such as calculating
regular loan payments for any frequency, not just monthly. Compounding frequency
may be set separately from payment frequency. The calculator also can calculate
and show the dollar value of the points being charged.
A link to
this calculator is posted on the webpages for the Real Estate & Title Law
Section and the General Practice Section of the ISBA for future reference. The
calculator can also be viewed directly, here.
|In Other News...|
Farms Fading and Urban Might Rising, Power Shifts in Iowa
running out of students. Public school enrollment in this corn-blanketed county
in northern Iowa has plummeted 32 percent over the past decade as the
population steadily shrinks. Schools have merged, classes have combined, and
sports teams have consolidated, wiping out generations of tradition and
Aid eyes some extra spice for funding
Legal Aid office hopes a chili cook-off fundraiser Saturday will help generate
more revenue as the organization grapples with continued federal funding cuts.
The Dubuque Young Lawyers, part of the Dubuque County Bar Association, will
host a chili cook-off at 3 p.m. Saturday at Courtside Sports Bar & Grill.
Proceeds will benefit the Dubuque office of Iowa Legal Aid. The group has
hosted an annual fundraiser for the agency for several years.
Cedar Rapids lawyer pleads guilty to wire fraud in federal court
Rapids disbarred attorney who stole more than $800,000 from clients pleaded
guilty to one count of wire fraud Monday in U.S. District Court. Susan Hense,
54, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and agreed in the plea deal to pay
$837,011 in restitution to 15 former clients. Some of those clients attended
the hearing but declined to comment afterward. Some did say they might want to
comment at a later time, after they had talked to Assistant U.S. Attorney
Anthony Morfitt, who is prosecuting the case.
Supreme Court: "There's far more agreement than is commonly understood"
Has the U.S.
Supreme Court become a partisan institution? According to polls, many Americans
think so. On this episode of River to River, a discussion on the politics and
perception of the Supreme Court with Anthony Gaughan, of Drake University, who
argues that decline in the public’s faith in the court is not a fair
These days it
is so common to hear about PTSD, in relation to veterans, that one might think
that it is really only a big concern for veterans. Post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) is actually what its name implies, a disorder occurring after
trauma and that can include a variety of traumas, such as combat, bullying,
disasters, terrorism, abuse, and often car accidents. Dr. Daniel G. Amen of the
Amen Clinics states that the traumatic event can be experienced, witnessed in
person, something that happens to someone close to you, or simply come from
being exposed to graphic details over and over.
|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.|
SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
GITS MANUFACTURING COMPANY and ST. PAUL TRAVELERS INSURANCE COMPANY
vs. DEBORAH FRANK
Appeal from the
Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.
An employee seeks further review
of a court of appeals decision reversing her award of benefits by the Iowa
Workers’ Compensation Commission. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART
AND VACATED IN PART; JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED
IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED
TIPS & TRICKS
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