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    December 23, 2015
Past Issues   

 Editor's note: There will be no Iowa Lawyer Weekly next week. See you after the holidays!

 Past President Russ Buchanan dies at 92

ISBA Past President Russell "Russ” Buchanan of Algona, Iowa, died Sunday, Dec. 20. Services are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Algona. No visitation or wake is planned.

The family understands it is a difficult time of year for many to attend the funeral. In lieu of any flowers or memorials, they ask that those interested in giving memorial gifts make a donation to their own favorite charity.

Buchanan was born in Tama County, Iowa. He began his studies at Cornell College before joining the U.S. Navy and serving during World War II. After the war, Buchanan completed school, graduating from the University of Iowa College of Law. Although he first started his career in Kansas City, Missouri, he moved back to Algona in 1955 and began his solo practice.

Buchanan practiced primarily in tax law and estate planning. He chaired the ISBA Tax School Seminar for many years. He eventually became ISBA president in 1986. He also received the prestigious ISBA Award of Merit in 1990.

In addition to serving as ISBA president, Buchanan was a long-time president of the Iowa State Bar Foundation. Those interested in making a memorial contribution in his honor may send donations to the Iowa State Bar Foundation, c/o Mary Hill, 625 East Court Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309.

New, revised title standards approved

The ISBA Board of Governors approved a new title standard and changes to three others at its quarterly meeting earlier this month. The updates, based on recommendations by the ISBA Real Estate & Title Law Section’s Title Standards Committee, are now listed on the ISBA website.

The new Title Standard 16.3 pertains to tax sale proceedings of record less than three years, and the updates include Title Standard 10.6 pertaining to the use of Iowa Code relied upon to bar use restrictions; Title 16.1 pertaining to tax sale proceedings of record more than 10 years; and Title Standard 16.2 pertaining to tax sale proceedings of record more than three years.

Digital title standard manuals are available online at the ISBA’s website by clicking on "Title Standards” under the "Practice Tools” tab or via direct link here.

Rural Practice Committee to hold second meeting between rural attorneys and students Jan. 15

The Rural Practice Committee will hold its second "meet and greet” event on Friday, Jan. 15, at the ISBA headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.

The event brings together rural attorneys looking to hire a summer clerk or a full-time associate with students from Creighton University School of Law, Drake University Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law. It gives attorneys an opportunity to meet and visit with a number of students in one location. The objective is that attorneys will meet one or more students they are interested in so they can establish further communications with a goal of hiring them for the summer or as full-time associates.

Last year’s "meet and greet” on Jan. 9 was the committee’s first such event. A total of 18 attorneys and 22 students attended. The event received nothing but praise from the attorneys and students who attended.

This year’s event will be structured slightly different from last year’s. Attorneys wishing to hire full-time associates will interview 3L students from 9 a.m. to noon. Attorneys wanting to hire summer clerks will interview 1L and 2L students from 1-4 p.m. However, attorneys and students attending the morning session are also welcome to participate in the afternoon session. A lunch will be provided for attorneys and students from noon to 1 p.m.

To assist with planning for the space and the lunch, please RSVP by Friday, Jan. 8, to Phil Garland, committee chair, or Steve Boeckman, committee staff liaison. Garland’s contact information is or 641-923-3792. Boeckman’s contact information is or 515-490-2279.



ISBA staff adopts local families in need 

Members of the ISBA staff gathered gifts for two local families as a way to make things a little brighter for those in need this holiday season. The staff of 17 purchased a variety of gifts for children ranging from six months to 15 years and delivered them yesterday, Dec. 22, before the holiday break.

"We were really looking for a way to give back,” said Harry Shipley, the ISBA assistant executive director. "Since my wife, Traci, works at River Woods Elementary school, she was able to come up with two families in need. We decided rather than give to larger charity organizations, we’d try to make a bigger impact on a local family or two instead.”

The staff used their cafeteria funds and personal donations to fund the project. Many staff members went out over the last couple weeks to purchase things from the families’ wish lists. Even Chris Fritz who works remotely from Chicago did some online shopping for the families.

"It feels nice to be giving back to those who are less fortunate,” said Jennifer Phillips, the ISBA membership records coordinator. "It makes me thankful for what I have.”

All the gifts were stacked up throughout the ISBA headquarters building before being delivered this week.

Drake, Iowa law schools highlight history, distinguished alumni

Law schools at Drake University and the University of Iowa will complete their 150th anniversary celebrations at the end of this year. As part of the year-long celebrations, both schools took a look back at historical events and people that have influenced Iowa’s legal landscape.

From its founding in Des Moines in 1865 by Iowa Supreme Court Justice George W. Wright, the Iowa Law School as it was known at the time, has celebrated many milestones, including having what is thought to be the first woman (Mary Beth Hickey) to graduate from a public law school. That occurred in 1873. (Read the Iowa College of Law history here.)

Drake University’s Law School traces its roots to the founding of the Iowa Law School in 1865. Though that school was eventually transferred to Iowa City and affiliated with the University of Iowa, justices from the Iowa Supreme Court re-established a Des Moines law school called the Iowa College of Law, in 1875. It became affiliated with Drake in 1881. Among its many firsts was graduating the first African American student in 1898. (See Drake’s history here.)

Both schools highlighted distinguished alumni as part of their 150th anniversaries. Among the alumni recognized at Drake were Governor Terry Branstad (1974), Chief Justice Mark Cady (1978), Congressman Neal Smith (1950), and ISBA Past Presidents Guy Cook (1981), Nick Critelli, Jr. (1967), Jane Lorentzen (1991) and Dan Moore (1977). (See the complete list.)


Those recognized by Iowa include: Congressman Tom Tauke (1974), Iowa State University Professor Neil Harl (1961), current Iowa Appellate Court Justices and Judges Anuradha Vaitheswaran (1984),Thomas Waterman (1984) and Mary Tabor (1981), and ISBA Past Presidents Marvin Berenstein (1961), Robert Downer (1963), Ed Hansell (1961), Cynthia Moser (1977), Carroll Reasoner (1976) and John Shors (1964). (See the complete list.)

Last chance for ethics CLE

Two opportunities remain for collecting your ethics and federal CLE hours before the end of the year. "Implicit Bias: Know it When You See it, and Learn How to Avoid it” is a live or in-person webinar on Dec. 28 at ISBA headquarters that offers two ethics and two federal hours. "More Than Just "Don’ts": A Review of the Aspirational Rules of Professional Conduct” is an in-person, live webinar or telephone program on Dec. 31 that provides one ethics and one federal hour. The live portion will be held at ISBA headquarters.

The two seminars can fulfill the three hours of ethics required every two years by the Iowa Supreme Court. Click on the titles above to register for each seminar.

YLD’s Jury Verdict Reporter on homepage

The Iowa Jury Verdict Reporter, published by the YLD's Litigation Committee, is now easily accessible to ISBA members directly from the ISBA home page. The jury verdict reporter provides litigators with an almost real-time report of civil jury verdicts around the state.
The searchable report identifies civil jury trial dates, locations, case names and numbers, claims and attorneys involved. The report is also available in weekly email format. The email includes both the upcoming civil jury trials expected as well as the results of the previous week’s case results.

Members interested in receiving the civil jury trial emails should visit the ISBA website, select Young Lawyers Division under the "Member Groups" tab, then select the Litigation Committee. Lastly, select the "Join Group" icon. By joining the group, attorneys will receive these weekly emails as well as other Litigation Committee information.

For any questions about this service, please contact Tom Hillers at

Reminder: Nominations for district nominating commission members due Jan. 1

The deadline for nominating individuals to be on the ballot next month for the election of judicial district nominating commissioners is fast approaching. In order to be listed on the ballot, an eligible elector must
file a nominating petition in the office of the state court administrator on or before Jan. 1.

The person to be elected in Districts 1A, 1B, 3A, 3B, 5A, 5B and 7 shall be a female. The person to be elected in Districts 2A, 2B, 4, 6, 8A and 8B shall be a male.

The eligible resident members of the bar of judicial election district 5C are to elect two individuals to the district nominating commission -- one shall be a male and one shall be a female. Click here for a blank nominating petition.


In Other News ...

Worker's comp lawyers victorious at Iowa Supreme Court

A ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court will give Iowans who are injured on the job a better chance at getting workers' compensation benefits even if they wait to file a claim, plaintiffs' lawyers said Friday. The unanimous ruling from the seven justices solidifies a so-called "discovery rule" into Iowa law guaranteeing that employees who are injured in a one-time, traumatic incident can file a claim for benefits years later if the severity of a workplace injury isn't recognized immediately.

The Des Moines Register


Drake Law recognized as a top private law school

Drake Law School was ranked #16 in the 2015 Best Value Private Law Schools by The National Jurist. This marks the third year in a row Drake Law was included in the list. The ranking is based on various factors including bar exam pass rates, employment rates, tuition, cost of living, and average student debt.

Drake Law News & Events


US Supreme Court to hear dispute between EEOC, Iowa company

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a long-running dispute between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a major Iowa trucking company. The court granted a petition Friday by Cedar Rapids-based CRST Van Expedited Inc. to review a decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Des Moines Register


Johnson County Drug Treatment Court graduates receive diplomas

Five graduates lined up to receive their diplomas for finishing Drug Treatment Court in Johnson County. "If it weren't for the Drug Court people, I would not be here today," Treatment Court graduate Dawn Blaszczyk said. "It's true.” All graduates completed at least 15 months in the program to combat their substance abuse issues that they say were ruining their lives. "I have 7 felony possession charges," Blaszczyk said. "Yeah, that's basically what brought me here.” Graduates say the program wasn't easy. Blaszczyk and her significant other entered the program together, and were not allowed to communicate for 9 months. Graduates say if they hadn't gotten involved in the program when they did, they know they would be in a much worse place now., Waterloo


Iowa's Sixth District judges working to speed up justice

It is becoming less common for lawyers to ask for — or be granted — continuances on trials, as district court judges here take more control of pending trials and more closely scrutinize requests for delays.

The increased focus on expediting the judicial process comes after a court management consultant reviewed the 6th Judicial District’s case flow management and made a dozen recommendations.

The Gazette, Cedar Rapids

The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or photos, to 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.


December 18

No. 14-2062


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge. An employer appeals the district court’s ruling on judicial review of the workers’ compensation commissioner, contending the employee’s claim is time-barred because the discovery rule does not apply to work-related injuries arising out of a singular event. AFFIRMED.




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As a member benefit, ShareFile and The Iowa State Bar Association have agreed to provide limited ShareFile accounts for $5 a month to members. Members who need more from ShareFile will be given a 20% discount off any regularly priced ShareFile plan.

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See more ISBA member benefits here



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The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
Ph. (515) 243-3179 • Fax (515) 243-2511