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    February 24, 2016
Past Issues  

Last call for committee, section council nominations

Members interested in making nominations for appointments to ISBA committees and section councils must complete the online application before next Tuesday, March 1. After that date, ISBA President-elect Arnold "Skip” Kenyon III, will begin making appointments to the committees and section councils for next fiscal year. 


"The opportunities for networking, interaction and the expanding of your practice lie within these groups,” said Kenyon, a Creston, Iowa, attorney. "In order to assure consistency and a smooth transition, it is essential that we establish a succession plan for each committee and section. It is my intention to have all appointments completed and in place so that they will become effective at the time of the annual meeting in June.”


Submissions are now being accepted via the online application form. Members may apply for more than one position by indicating preferences in the event a particular section council or committee is full. Applicants should note that the number of vacancies are limited. 


Questions or requests for additional information concerning any of the sections or committees can be directed to the ISBA office or to Kenyon at or 641-782-7007.

March Iowa Lawyer now available online

The March issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine is now available online. In this issue, ISBA focuses on technology including data security, blogging, HotDocs and more.


Members can view the digital version of the magazine by clicking here or by navigating to, clicking on "Publications,” then "Iowa Lawyer Magazine.” Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.


The Iowa Lawyer is free online or in print to ISBA members as part of their annual dues. The magazine informs members on issues, events and developments in the law specific to Iowa that impact their practices and their lives as attorneys. Members are encouraged to submit articles and manuscripts for publication in the magazine. Contact the communications team to discuss options and deadlines. 

Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be directed to the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7898.


Supreme Court adopts amendments to rule for admission pro hac vice

The Iowa Supreme Court adopted amendments to Iowa Court Rule 31.14 that specify the fee and registration requirements to practice pro hac vice before Iowa courts. The amendments were proposed by the Office of Professional Regulation and contain seven key provisions. The court’s action comes after consideration of public comments. Public comments were requested in a supreme court order filed Oct. 29. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The amendments to Rule 31.14 include the requirement that applicants register and pay a $250 pro hac vice fee at the OPR website. Paying the fee will allow attorneys to file applications for admission pro hac vice in Iowa Courts for five years from the date of registration without paying additional fees. The pro hac vice fees collected will be deposited in the Client Security Trust Fund.

To see a summary of the amendments, read the complete order here. Read the full amended chapters at this link.

Iowa Dept. of Revenue issues statement concerning coupling, IRC section 179

Current Iowa law allows a $25,000 limitation and a $200,000 investment limitation for Internal Revenue Code Section 179 expensing. The Iowa Legislature may enact a law that conforms with the permanent federal increases to expensing limitations but it is improbable that such law could be in place and effective by next week’s March 1 filing due date.

To avoid being subject to penalties and interest, farming and commercial fishing taxpayers and practitioners with clients who derive at least two-thirds of their income from farming and commercial fishing can file returns and pay in full any tax due under current Iowa law on or before March 1. If Iowa law is changed after March 1 to provide for different expensing limitations, taxpayers and practitioners can file amended returns and potentially receive refunds for overpayment. 

For more information about federal limitations to section 179 expense limits, click here. For more information, click here to visit the Iowa Department of Revenue’s website or contact The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University via email at or phone at 515-294-6365.

Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Ames

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from attorneys in the case of State of Iowa v. Kenneth Osborne Ary in Ames, Iowa, March 2. The hearing is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. in the Ames High School Auditorium at 1921 Ames High Drive.

A court of appeals decision reversed and remanded previous drug-delivery convictions based on an alleged error in the jury selection process. The state contends that existing case law does not allow a presumption that an entire jury can be biased based on comments from one juror. 

Following the hearing, justices will participate in a public reception hosted by the Story County Bar Association in the school’s media center.

Supreme Court Opinions
Feb. 19

No. 13–0712 


A defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming his convictions for forgery and falsifying a public document. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.


No. 13–1997 


The court of appeals held there was insufficient evidence in the record to establish that an inoperable stun gun was a dangerous weapon and reversed the decision of the district court. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.


No. 14–0831 


The State requests further review of a decision of the court of appeals reversing the denial of a motion to suppress the defendant’s chemical test result. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.


In Other News ...

These common mistakes can lead to lawyer ethics complaints 

Oddball ethics complaints may get more attention, but it’s the run-of-the-mill problems that are most likely to trip up lawyers, according to lawyers who handle such cases. BNA’s U.S. Law Week spoke with several experts about common errors. 

ABA Journal 


Writers, teachers and lawyers react to Harper Lee’s death

Harper Lee left a lasting legacy with "To Kill a Mockingbird.” After her death on Friday, lawyers spoke about what her novel meant to the legal profession, teachers about the lessons it still contains for their students and writers about the conviction it took to address the subjects she did.

The New York Times


Nursing accommodations during Iowa Bar Exam greatly improved 

The Iowa Bar Exam is a critical two-day test that allows lawyers to practice in Iowa. But its previous policies on accommodating breastfeeding test-takers who wanted to nurse or pump was inadequate—as are the test-taking policies for many other professions in many other states. 



Iowa legislators consider increased transparency on closed police investigations 

Family and friends of Autumn Steele have many questions about the day the 34-year-old mom was accidentally shot and killed by a Burlington police officer. Why was Officer Jesse Hill holding a gun when responding to a domestic disturbance in Steele’s front yard? Did Steele’s dog bite Hill as the officer alleged? How many shots were fired? Steele’s supporters think most of these questions could be answered with the video from the body camera Hill was wearing during the Jan. 6, 2015, shooting.

Government Technology


Rox Laird, veteran Iowa courts commentator, joins On Brief 

Rox Laird, former Des Moines Register editorial writer and Iowa courts commentator, is joining this blog as a regular contributor.  Rox retired from the Register last fall and, as former Register editor and NBC News president Michael Gartner recently remarked, he took with him "43 years of institutional memory and 43 years’ worth of knowledge about how this city and this state work.” We’re thrilled that Rox is bringing that knowledge to this blog, and we’re certain that Iowans will be the beneficiaries. 

Nyemaster Goode P.C. 


Dead Iowans' digital assets focus of Senate bill  

The digital assets of dead Iowans would be addressed under a bill approved 48-0 Monday by the Iowa Senate. Current state law doesn't do a good job of focusing on what happens to digital assets like social media accounts, email accounts, photographs and other assets when a person dies, said Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids. 

The Des Moines Register


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.


Feb. 19




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