Iowa Lawyer Weekly (01/29/2014)
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January 29, 2014
Past Issues

Positive media attention continues on diploma privilege recommendation

Media from inside and outside the state continue to show interest in the recent recommendations of the ISBA’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Legal Education and Licensure.

The Iowa State Bar Association’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the recommendations put forth by the Blue Ribbon Committee at its quarterly meeting in December 2013. The recommendations move away from the multi-state bar exam in use for the past five years and adopt the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) that is portable in 14 states. The recommendations also allow students who successfully complete three years of specified law school course work at Drake University Law School or the University of Iowa College of Law to be admitted to the Iowa Bar without being required to take a bar exam.

One of the most recent media interviews occurred on the Lawyer2Lawyer podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams. The hosts interviewed ISBA President Guy Cook and University of Iowa Clinical Professor of Law John Whiston on their Jan. 28 show, which is hosted on the Legal Talk Network.

Listen to the audio podcast here. Go to the Blue Ribbon Taskforce web page on the ISBA website for additional resources and more media reports on the unanimously approved proposal.

The committee’s recommendations have been submitted to the Iowa Supreme Court for review.

YLD session on becoming a lawyer-legislator postponed

The information session the YLD planned to sponsor this afternoon (Jan. 29) for attorneys interested in becoming a legislator has been postponed. As of this writing, a new date hadn’t been selected.

Conflicts with the schedules of legislators who were lined up to speak necessitated the postponement, according to organizers.

The session, which is the second one offered by the YLD, is intended to give prospective legislators information on such topics as the ethical issues in campaigns, understanding the districts, voter/voting issues and the executive office versus legislative offices, and the nuts and bolts of a campaign. This latter session is led by a panel of legislators and would-be legislators.

The new date will be announced in this newsletter as soon as it is decided.

25+ law students looking for summer employment in rural areas

At press-time, 27 students from Drake University Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law had indicated their interest in participating in the ISBA Rural Practice Committee’s Summer Clerkship program. All had submitted their resumes for posting on the Rural Practice Committee web page.

Now the critical element is to find attorneys in rural communities who would be willing to hire the students for the summer.

There are a number of benefits to hiring a student, according to attorneys who have participated in the program in the past. See the benefits they experienced under "Rural Practice Benefits and "Why You Should Participate” on the web page.

Some prospective employers have concerns about the cost and the time commitment associated with hiring a student for the summer. Program organizers suggest that the student be paid $15 an hour for a maximum of 10 weeks, although the number of weeks and the compensation rate is determined by the attorney and the student. (See "Frequently Asked Questions.”)

Any ISBA member may view the posted resumes. If you are willing to consider hiring a student for the summer, simply click on "View Participating Student Resumes on the Rural Practice web page. In order to assist students in finding a practice and community where they would like to work, plans are to create a template that interested attorneys can fill out containing information about the attorney’s practice and about the community. The information will be posted on the web page. Only students will be able to access the information.

Beware of yet another scam directed at attorneys

A member sent an email to the ISBA Monday morning (Jan. 27) asking that members be informed about another scam directed at attorneys. This one takes a different approach than the previous scams reported in this newsletter. She wrote:

"Last week we received an inquiry through our website for representation from a company in the UK purporting to be "Technicare Dental Supplies" seeking representation in a potential claim for breach of contract for over $2 million against a local Iowa company. After review of the documents they sent, it appears to be a scam.

"They sent a series of obviously doctored emails and a fake contract for the sale of goods with seriously doctored logos of a local company and fake image-based signatures on pdf's, as well as an odd wire transfer notice. Their supposed warehouse address in the UK appears on Google Maps to be a shabby mobile repair shop and could not reasonably accept over 2 million dollars worth of shipped goods.

"If you are not well versed in technology, it could appear to be legitimate at first,” she wrote.

If you receive similar too-good-to-be-true solicitations, please let the ISBA know so the information can be passed on to all members. Thanks.

New ISBA legislative tracking program provides easy access to bills important to your practice

A new legislative bill tracking program makes it easier than ever to comment on a piece of legislation being considered in the Iowa House or Senate. The program is accessed from the web pages of each ISBA section.

To look at a bill important to your area of practice, go to the section web page on the ISBA’s website, click on a section, then click on "Legislative Bills of Interest.” The window that opens displays, among other information, the bill number, the ISBA’s position on the bill, a brief description of the bill, when the bill was introduced and where it currently resides, i.e., subcommittee, committee in the legislature.

Clicking on the bill number takes you to a screen containing various information about the individual bill including a "Post Your Comments” button. Click that button, enter your name and email address (required fields) and write your comment. When finished, click on the button "Display Your Comments for Review.”

Your comments are automatically submitted to ISBA legislative counsel.

Color of money could make a difference in retirement bliss

If retirement is in the not-too-distant future for you, make sure you have the right colored money, says a financial planner who has been working with individuals and companies on their financial goals for nearly 30 years.

Curt Whipple, chief managing partner at the C. Curtis Financial Group in Plymouth, Mich., believes that you need red, blue and green money to provide the diversity necessary to weather the meltdowns of the nation’s economic systems such as the one that began in 2008.

Read why …

Did You Know...

…that as an active ISBA member, you are entitled to use the association’s Member Mark on your business cards, letterhead and other materials used to promote your practice? The mark conveys to the public and to fellow attorneys that you are a proud Iowa lawyer and an active, participating member in the 8,400-plus-member association. Click here for information about this free member benefit, including the rules of use, the licensing agreement and the application form.

Benefit of the Week

ISBA Headquarters

The Bar Headquarters is the home of the lawyers and judges of Iowa. It is their professional gathering place. ISBA members may reserve any of the Bar conference rooms (3 conference rooms, 2 private offices and a CLE Center) on a first-come, first-served basis. Rooms are free of charge for law-related meetings (food, soft drinks and coffee are extra). Conference Center hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Contact Meetings Coordinator Lisa Hanson at or call (515) 697-7876 for more information or to reserve a room.

Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

January 24, 2014

No. 12-1928

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, David F. Staudt, Judge.

Ex-wife seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming a trial court judgment finding there was no substantial change in circumstances justifying modification of a child support order. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED IN PART AND AFFIRMED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED IN PART, AFFIRMED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

No. 12-2226

Certiorari to the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Jane F. Spande, District Associate Judge.

State agencies challenge a district court order appointing counsel at public expense in a termination-of-parental-rights proceeding under Iowa Code chapter 600A. WRIT ANNULLED.