2014 Basic Skills Course
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2014 Basic Skills Course

Join us for this required event!

9/22/2014 to 9/23/2014
When: 9/22/2014 and 9/23/2014
Where: ISBA Headquarters
625 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa  50309
United States
Contact: Christy Cronin

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The Basic Skills Course is now full.  The on-demand version of the program is still available. Click here to visit the ISBA's on-demand catalog.

Lawyers admitted by examination in 2010 and subsequent years must complete a basic skills course within one year of their actual date of admission. The basic skills course requirement does not apply to lawyers admitted to practice on motion.

This course may be completed after the last day of the bar examination that resulted in admission. If the course is completed after the last day of the bar examination, but the applicant fails the examination, the applicant will remain in compliance with this rule so long as the applicant passes the next examination offered.

Visit the Iowa Judicial Branch website to learn more about this required course.


8:30 - 9:00 - Registration
9:00 - 10:00  - Iowa Business Entities - Speaker: David Bright, Nyemaster Goode PC
10:00 - 11:00 - Iowa Law of Torts - Speaker: Alexander Wonio, Hansen, McClintock & Riley
11:00 - 11:15 - Break
11:15 - 12:15 - Iowa Real Estate Law - Speaker: Timothy Krumm, Meardon, Sueppel & Downer PLC
12:15 - 1:00 - Lunch (complimentary with registration)
1:00 - 2:00 - Ethics for New Iowa Lawyers - Speaker: Tre Critelli, Office of Professional Regulation
2:00 - 3:00 - Civil Procedure - Speaker: Barry Lindahl, City of Dubuque, City Attorney's Office
3:00 - 3:15 - Break
3:15 - 4:15 - Guardianships, Conservatorships, and Power of Attorneys - Speaker: Paige Thorson
4:15 - 5:15 - Iowa Contracts Law - Speaker: Edward Mansfield, Justice, Iowa Supreme Court

Iowa Business Entities - David Bright
David Bright provides his expertise into the different types of business entities. He covers the setup of different business and what every lawyer must know regarding regulations of each entity. Mr. Bright also provides some forms during his presentation that are useful to any lawyer.

Iowa Law of Torts - Alexander Wonio

Alexander Wonio provides his insight into Iowa tort law. Mr. Wonio delves into intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, products liability, medical treatment torts, invasion of privacy, defamation and business torts

Iowa Real Estate Law - Timothy Krumm

Timothy Krumm supplies his knowledge of real estate law in Iowa. Mr. Krumm’s presentation encompasses the different areas of real estate law, including contracts to sell, examining abstracts, mechanic’s liens, other miscellaneous liens on property, quiet title actions, real estate closings, forfeiture, foreclosure and covenants.

Ethics for New Iowa Lawyers - Tre Critelli
Tre Critelli, from the Office of Professional Regulation, provides guidance to lawyers on ethical pitfalls. Mr. Critelli will cover lawyer regulation in Iowa, sources of ethics law for lawyers, reporting by Iowa lawyers, Iowa ethics rules, Iowa ethics trends, and observations and trusts account matters.

Civil Procedure - Barry Lindahl

Barry Lindahl instructs on Iowa civil procedure. Mr. Lindahl covers small claims, proper forum, business, specialty court, the statute of limitations, commencement of actions, motions and pleadings.

Guardianships, Conservatorships, and Power of Attorneys - Paige Thorson
Paige Thorson provides a passionate talk concerning Iowa guardianship, conservatorship and powers of attorneys. Paige focuses her talk on: overview of substitute decision making, personal care, financial management, fiduciary requirements and assessment of capacity, dependency and competency.

Iowa Contracts Law - Justice Edward Mansfield
Justice Edward Mansfield offers his insight into Iowa contract law. Tips provided during the talk are useful to newly admitted lawyers.

8:30 - 9:00 - Registration
9:00 - 10:00 - Iowa Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure - Speaker: Eric Tindal, Nidey Erdahl Tindal & Fisher PLC
10:00 - 10:15 - Break
10:15 - 11:15 - Probate & Estate Administration - Speaker: Ross Barnett, Abendroth & Russell P.C.
11:15 - 12:15 - Family Law - Speaker: James Meade, Meade Law Firm

Iowa Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure - Eric Tindal
The criminal law and criminal procedure presentation provides lawyers with useful practice tips for practicing criminal law in Iowa. Mr. Tindal provides useful sentencing charts and forms.

Probate & Estate Administration - Ross Barnett
Ross Barnet guides a discussion on probate and estate administration laws in Iowa. Mr. Barnett provides useful tips for newly admitted lawyers and stresses using a checklist for collecting information about the decedent.

Family Law - James Meade
James Meade provides a complete update on family law in Iowa. Mr. Meade covers recent cases in dissolution of marriage, post-decree proceedings, actions to compel support and juvenile law.

Prices below reflect the early-bird registration fees. Registering after September 19th will result in a $50 late fee being added on to your registration fee amount.

Taking the Bar Exam in 2014 - $100
ISBA Members - YLD Members (Years 1 - 3) - $100
ISBA Members - YLD Members (Years 4 - 5) - $225

CLE CREDIT (approved)
10 state hours which includes 1 ethics hour

This year's Basic Skills Course is going paperless. No hard copy materials will be available for this event. A link to the materials will be sent to attendees prior to the event so attendees may download/print off materials of their choosing. It is strongly suggested attendees download the materials in advance of the event.

David Bright is an attorney in the Corporate, Finance, and Real Estate Department of Nyemaster Goode, P.C. He represents businesses and corporations on matters including formation, governance, mergers & acquisitions, tax-exemption and franchising.

Alexander Wonio is an attorney at Hansen, McClintock & Riley in Des Moines. He is a member of The Iowa State Bar Association. He received his J.D. from Drake University Law School in 2004.

Timothy Krumm Tim is a partner with the Iowa City law firm of Meardon, Sueppel & Downer P.L.C., having joined the firm following his graduation in 1986 from the University of Iowa College of Law. In addition to real estate, Tim's practice areas include business transactions, estate planning and probate.

Tre Critelli is an English Barrister and Assistant Director of the Boards and Commissions for the Office of Professional Regulations.

Barry A. Lindahl has been city attorney for the city of Dubuque since 1986. Prior to that time he was the assistant city attorney. He is a University of Iowa College of Law Adjunct Faculty Member teaching trial advocacy. He is a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure. He was a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Study of the Federal Rules of Evidence which recommended to the Iowa Supreme Court the adoption of the Iowa Rules of Evidence.

Paige Thorson is currently the Legal Services Developer for the Iowa Department on Aging. As a Legal Services Developer, Ms. Thorson provides leadership in securing and maintaining the legal rights of older Iowans through the development of a comprehensive legal assistance program, ensuring at-risk older individuals have access to the civil justice system.

Justice Edward Mansfield
was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2011. He worked as an attorney in private practice until his appointment to the Iowa Court of Appeals in 2009. Justice Mansfield also has been an adjunct professor of law at Drake University since 1997.

Eric Tindal is a general practicing attorney with a strong emphasis on criminal defense at Nidey, Wenzel, Tindal & Fisher, P.L.C. During his career, Eric has had the opportunity to work in numerous counties and judicial districts on criminal matters. Eric has represented clients charged with everything from speeding violations to murder; and has represented clients in trial, appeal and post-conviction relief.

Ross F. Barnett is a shareholder with the Des Moines professional corporation of Abendroth & Russell Law Firm, where he practices in the areas of real estate, estate planning, and probate. His practice also emphasizes landlord/tenant litigation, guardianships, conservatorships, and Medicaid, Title XIX, and asset-protection planning.

James Meade
has a general law practice in West Des Moines with emphasis on Family Law. Mr. Meade has been an adjunct professor of family law at Drake Law School. He regularly lectures, primarily on family law, in continuing education programs sponsored by Drake Law School, the Iowa State Bar Association, the Iowa Association for Justice, and others.