January 22, 2020  Past Issues

New opinions released by ISBA ethics committee
The ISBA Ethics and Practice Guidelines Committee recently released two new ethics opinions: 19-01 and 19-02, addressing issues that were the subject of Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics and Conduct Opinions 88-14 (Jan. 12, 1989) and 79-70 (Sept. 14, 1979).

Ethics opinion 19-02 relates to lawyers serving as sole executors or trustees, and 19-01 relates to in-house insurance counsel representing insureds. You can read both opinions, as well as an introductory letter from the committee, by clicking here.

It is important to note that advisory opinions and practice guidelines issued by the ISBA do not have the force of law and are not binding, as Iowa law places sole responsibility for the regulation of the practice of law with the Iowa Supreme Court.

Application process begins for Justice Wiggins' seat on Iowa Supreme Court
The State Judicial Nominating Commission announced that it will begin accepting applications for the vacancy on the court that will occur when Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins retires on March 13. The commission has 60 days to send a slate of nominees to the governor, who makes appointments to the court.

Application forms can be obtained on the State Judicial Nominating Commission website. Those interested in applying need to send materials to the commission by Feb. 21. More information on the process can be found here.

Meanwhile, the governor has received the names of three nominees for the seat that opened with the passing of Chief Justice Mark Cady, but has not yet made a selection.

"We will come to you!" - Schedule an ISBA visit to your firm or office
Are you making the most of your ISBA membership? Is your firm best utilizing the tools that an ISBA membership provides? Find out with a personalized visit from an ISBA staff member.

The ISBA's Assistant Executive Director Harry Shipley and Membership Engagement Coordinator Hank Hanson have made it a priority in 2020 to visit as many members as possible in order to provide an individualized assessment of which ISBA services or programs can benefit or improve their practices.

“We are not just your association, we are an extension of your office," said Hanson. "Let us help you succeed."

Some examples of underutilized ISBA services include: Discounted conference call rates, LawPay credit card processing, professional liability and health insurance packages, Career Center job listings, IowaDocs legal document library, website development discounts, Caselaw updates, CLE index, Engage section listservs, Fastcase free legal research, practice manuals, Trustifi email encryption and much more.

Please contact Membership Engagement Coordinator Hank Hanson at hhanson@iowabar.org or 515 697-7865 to schedule your ISBA member visit.

New free interactive court forms released for divorces without minor children
The Iowa Judicial Branch is releasing the first group in a series of free interactive court forms designed to assist Iowans accessing the state court system without an attorney.

The online program offers users a question and answer process that results in the preparation of approved court forms to be used in legal proceedings. The first case type now available is for persons seeking a divorce without minor or dependent adult children. Click here to access the forms.


Celebrate 100 years of voting rights for women at Drake reception
Iowa attorneys are invited to a reception at Drake University Law School this Thursday celebrating the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the constitutional right to vote. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m., at Cartright Hall's Kern Commons on the second floor.

Attendees will have the opportunity to view the traveling exhibit "100 Years After the 19th Amendment: Their Legacy, and Our Future" and listen to a short program, which will begin at 5 p.m. Roxanne Conlin, an honoree in the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Gertrude Rush award and the Amelia Jenks Bloomer and Carrie Chapman Catt Award for Public Service, will be the featured speaker.

More information on the event, which is co-sponsored by the ISBA, can be found here.

Upcoming webinar: ABA Retirement Funds Program
Please join the ABA Retirement Funds Program on Thursday, Jan. 30, at noon, for a live webinar entitled “New Year, New Markets?” Experts will review the 2019 market performance and the 2020 economic outlook, as well as policy trends and the impact of the upcoming election and geopolitics.

Register for this free presentation by clicking here.

IRS improves subscription service for professionals, others
The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging tax professionals, taxpayers, businesses and others to take advantage of a variety of improved e-mail subscription services.

The subscription service has been redesigned and updated in recent months to make it easier to subscribe to specific areas that people and organizations are interested in. Among others, the IRS offers subscription services tailored to tax exempt and government entities, small and large businesses and individuals.

The IRS currently has 20 registration-based e-News options, including its e-News for Tax Professionals. That service includes a weekly roundup of news releases and legal guidance specifically designed for the tax professional community. Tax pros receive a weekly summary, typically delivered on Friday afternoons.

Additional subscription services can be found here.

Have questions for the presidential candidates? Submit them here
Organizers of the CNN Presidential Town Halls scheduled in Des Moines next week have reached out to The Iowa State Bar Association to assist in generating questions for the candidates.

The town halls are being held at Drake University on Jan. 28 and 29. You may submit up to three questions for each of the seven Democratic presidential candidates participating through this link. If your question is selected, you will be invited to ask the question of the candidate during the live televised town hall.

No. 18-0765
State of Iowa v. Ken Lorenze Kuhse
The State seeks further review of the ruling of the court of appeals reversing appellant's conviction for domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury in violation of Iowa Code sections 708.2A(1) and 708.2A(2)(b) and remanding for a new trial.

No. 18-1225
Jeremy Hollingshead v. DC Misfits, LLC
Plaintiff appealed from a district court summary judgment dismissing his dramshop claim for failure to comply with the notice requirements of Iowa Code section 123.93 (2015). Plaintiff contends the court erred in finding his notice to defendant's insurer of his intention to bring a dramshop claim was defective in that it did not identify defendant as the owner of the bar. The court of appeals affirmed. Plaintiff seeks further review.

No. 19-1320
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. T.J. Hier
Grievance commission recommends public reprimand for violation of ethical rules.

5 questions with Acting Iowa Chief Justice David Wiggins
It might be easy to dismiss Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins as just a caretaker.
But Wiggins, appointed acting chief justice after the November death of Chief Justice Mark Cady, believes caretaker is an essential role.
Times Republican

Five reasons lawyers avoid retirement
Have you noticed how reluctant lawyers are to discuss slowing down their practice? The mere mention of the change causes discomfort. You might recognize these five obstacles to discussing your retirement:
Attorney at Work

U.S. Supreme Court takes up presidential Electoral College dispute
As the 2020 race heats up, the Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a dispute involving the complex U.S. presidential election system focusing on whether Electoral College electors are free to break their pledges to back the candidate who wins their state’s popular vote, an act that could upend and election.


How to decide if legal billing software is worth the investment

22 Excel tips for becoming a spreadsheet pro

Flu season is here: Tips to minimize its impact on your office

Law firms still aren't budgeting for technology

8 tips for praising employees (Without making others jealous)


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