Reminder: Candidates for district
judicial nominating commissions must file by Jan. 1
A total of 28 attorney positions, two in each of Iowa’s 14 judicial
election subdistricts, will come open on Jan. 31, and the judicial branch is
seeking candidates to fill the open slots. Jan. 1 is the deadline for filing a
the District Judicial Nominating Commissions serve six-year terms. The new
commissioners’ terms will begin on Feb. 1, 2014 and end on Jan. 31, 2020.
"Having a cross-section of effective and involved
bar members serving on the judicial district nominating commissions is
essential to maintaining the high quality of judges in our state,” says ISBA
President Guy Cook.
Candidates for the positions will have their names printed on a ballot.
resident members of the bar of each judicial election district will elect two
eligible members as prescribed in Iowa Code §46.4
and 602.11111(3)(2013). One of those to
be elected shall be a man and one shall be a woman.
The election will be conducted electronically
as it was two years ago. Details on how it will be conducted can be found here.
Additional questions about the voting procedure should be channeled to Tina
Schweitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 515-281-5241.
to file a nominating petition are available from the state court
administrator’s office. That address and phone number, along with the list of
commissioners whose terms expire the end of January, can be found at the bottom
of the same document
as the details for electronic voting in the link above.
Practice seminar to be held next week
is still time to sign up for the ISBA Federal Practice Committee’s annual
seminar scheduled for Friday (Dec. 13) at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 101 East
Locust St., in Des Moines.
of the seminar include an address by Judge Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a panel of Eighth Circuit judges hearing oral
arguments in two cases in the federal courthouse across the street from the
Embassy Suites, recent developments in federal sentencing and a discussion of
the newest Iowa ethics opinions affecting "of counsel” relationships, "pro hac
vice,” "contracted lawyers,” "mentorships” and "co-counsel relationships.”
total of six state CLE credit hours, which includes one ethics hour and six
federal hours, is pending. Early bird registration ends Thursday (Dec. 12).
more information, and to register for the seminar, click here.
Dec. 16 to discuss proposed court rules on discovery, expedited trials
your calendar for a webinar on Dec. 16 that will discuss a proposed amendment
to the discovery provisions in the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure and a proposed
new rule allowing for streamlined and expedited civil actions for cases
involving $75,000 or less in money damages.
Supreme Court Justice Edward Mansfield, Gregory Lederer of Lederer Weston &
Craig PLC, and Karla Shea of McCoy Riley Shea & Bevel PLC will discuss the
proposed changes that are the outgrowth of work done by the Iowa Civil Justice
Reform Task Force. The three presenters are members of the advisory committee
that developed the new rules.
proposal has the potential to impact civil litigation more than any rule change
in recent decades.
on the ISBA website here.
School Mock Trial State Tournament finals to be broadcast on cable television
outstanding accomplishments of Iowa middle school students as exhibited by
their performances in the Iowa Middle School Mock Trial program will be
presented statewide the next few days. Mediacom channel 22 will televise the 2013
Iowa Middle School Mock Trial Championship tonight at 9:30 p.m., tomorrow (Dec.
5) at 2 p.m., and Sunday (Dec. 8) at 9 p.m.
fall students in grades 6-8 are given a legal problem, and then work to prepare
and present both sides of the case before a panel of volunteer lawyers and
judges. This year’s championship round came down to two teams of mostly eighth
grade students from Urbandale Middle School and Assumption Catholic School in
Granger. Urbandale emerged as the state champion.
Court Justice Brent Appel presided over the championship round and was assisted
by scoring judges, Emily Chafa, Ian Russell and Jennifer Zahradnik. Each team
was judged on their mock trial competition, sportsmanship, civility, courtroom
decorum, and professionalism. The Iowa Middle School Mock Trial program is
sponsored by The Iowa State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division through
the association’s Center for Law and Civic Education.
appear to be ramping up attacks on lawyers
couple of members recently contacted the ISBA about scams they’ve been
subjected to, and requested that the association pass along the information to
other attorney members.
what appears to be a new approach, scammers send a letter to a member of the
public on a law firm’s letterhead (or close facsimile) stating that the
lawyer/law firm represents an individual attempting to collect money from the
recipient. In this member’s case, the recipient took the time to look up his
contact information online and saw that it did not match the
information in the correspondence sent to him. The recipient contacted the
member and verified that indeed he and his firm were not representing the
concern is that some recipients of these scammers’ correspondence may not take
the time to check out the legitimacy of the correspondence and could remit the
money requested in the correspondence, or in rare instances file a complaint
against the lawyer or law firm for improper solicitation.
other scam, which was reported in the Nov. 6 Iowa Lawyer Weekly, involves the
scammer sending a "certified” check to an attorney for deposit into his/her
trust account, with a request to send the funds to another party (usually an ex
spouse) minus a professional fee. Lawyers can verify the authenticity of the
check by waiting the 10 days to two weeks that most banks require to make sure
problem with this approach, according to one ISBA member who checked out the
scam with the FBI and other authorities, is that the false routing numbers on
the check would go not to the bank listed on the phony check but to the
scammers along with the attorney’s bank account number and wiring instructions.
The scammers allegedly have the technology to then create bank wires that would
empty the trust account without the attorney’s knowledge.
who have been victims of these scams urge fellow attorneys either to carefully
check out any suspicious correspondence, or to simply delete or ignore it.
iPhone JD and Droid Lawyer apps can
enhance law practice
apps for the iPhone/iPad and for phones and tablets using the Android operating
system can make a lawyer’s work easier – or at least beef up the practice,
according to a couple of technical reviewers writing in the ABA Journal’s Law
Anatomy Atlas” for the Droid system can help attorneys who have to make anatomy
presentations. "Google+ Photo Spheres,” also for the Android operating system,
can beef up a firm’s marketing, according to one of the reviewers. "Todoist” is
an app for the Android system that helps create and manage to-do lists from a
the Apple IOS operating system, the "Documents to Go” app is "one of the best
apps for viewing and editing Microsoft Word documents” on an iPhone or iPad,
according to another reviewer. "Stabile Pro” is a stand for the iPad that
"securely holds an iPad at about the same height as a computer monitor,” he says.
can see the overall reviews here.
Contained within the review are links that connect to more detailed information
about each product.
Did You Know...
you can pose questions or make comments in the
"Forum” portion of the new ISBA website? The process works much like the
listserves that many ISBA groups have used to seek answers to questions from
others in the group. To access "Forums,” log into the ISBA website (www.iowabar.org) and sign in. On your
personal member profile page, you should see a list of the groups you belong to
below a heading called "Groups.” Click on the group for which you want to
create a message. On the upper right side of the page, you’ll see "Forums.”
Click on it and post your question or comment.
Benefit of the Week
2013 Fiduciary Tax Manual
new edition of the Fiduciary Tax manual is now available to ISBA members at a discounted member price.
Originally written in
1991 and revised in 1994, 2003 and October 2013, the 365-page manual provides
an overview of the federal and Iowa fiduciary income tax returns for estates
and trusts, and incorporates examples and forms to illustrate certain aspects
of those returns.
To get your hands on the new manual, visit here.
Iowa Supreme Court DecisionsNovember 22, 2013
OF IOWA vs. MARC A. HAGEN
from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Colleen D. Weiland, Judge.
State seeks discretionary review of a district court’s denial of penalties and
interest in a restitution order arising from a criminal defendant’s guilty
pleas for failure to file or pay taxes. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH
SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. MARC R. ENGELMANN
review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
Grievance commission reports respondent committed ethical violations and
recommends suspension of his license to practice law. LICENSE REVOKED.