leadership met with Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and leaders from
both the Iowa House and the Senate last week. The primary purpose of the
meetings was to review and encourage support of the ISBA legislative program.
ISBA President Joe Feller highlighted four ISBA
priorities during their visit.
key Iowa leaders from both parties in order to get our message to the
who control the legislative business in the state of Iowa,” said Feller.
"The issues we discussed are important because they affect
our members. I think we were successful in delivering our message
concerning our total legislative package.”
Feller focused attention on the need for increased compensation for
court-appointed attorneys. To help drive the point, Feller invited Sara Linder,
an attorney from Washington, Iowa, to share her knowledge and experience while
working as a court-appointed attorney. Linder recently wrote an article
published in the December Iowa Lawyer about the topic, encouraging
attorneys to consider the effects of underpaid court-appointed attorneys.
priority concentrated on judicial residency. The ISBA opposes Senate
Study Bill 1029 which would give district judge applicants the ability to
apply for open vacancies state-wide rather than staying within the district in
which they currently reside.
Feller pressed the governor and legislators to consider supporting the ISBA
recommended changes to probate court costs specifically on how the clerk of
probate court determines and collects charges. These court costs often cause
people to avoid going to probate court. Further information on this priority
can be found on the Affirmative
Feller challenged the Iowa leadership to start taking action on improving
courthouse security throughout the state. This was strongly backed by Chief
Justice Mark Cady during his State of the Judiciary Address when he stated that
anyone working in or visiting Iowa courthouses should feel and be safe. This
issue has been revisited several times since the ISBA established the
Courthouse Security Task Force and published a Courthouse
Security Report back
governor, lieutenant governor and all the leaders of both the Senate and the
house were very welcoming and interested in hearing about these issues,”
In addition to the four priorities covered by
Feller, ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney covered a number of legislative
items from the Affirmative
Legislative Program including funding for the courts and indigent civil
cases as well as other proposals concerning probate,
garnishment, and more. Full details about each legislative item can be
found on the Affirmative