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February 25, 2015
Past Issues

New video offers updates to recent legislative efforts

ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney presents an update explaining several of the association’s key initiatives during the 2015 legislative session in a video recently posted to the ISBA's YouTube channel.

In the 10-minute video recorded Friday, Feb. 20, Carney covers various House and Senate study bills that have moved out of committee and provides explanation to the following bills: probate costs, expert witness fees, judicial branch funding, justice appropriations, judicial residency, jurisdictional amounts in small claims cases and lastly a proposed seat belt bill.

Members can review an updated ISBA Affirmative Legislative Program online which can be found on the legislative program page or find updates in the next issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine. Questions about the program can be sent to Jim Carney and his team at or 515-689-3189.

Title Standards updates now available

A new title standard, a title standard repeal and five other updates were approved by the ISBA Board of Governors at its quarterly meeting in December 2014 and have now been posted on the ISBA website.

The approvals were based on recommendations by the ISBA Real Estate & Title Law Section’s Title Standards Committee. You can review and download the new and updated title standards by going to the Title Standards page or by navigating to the ISBA’s website and clicking on "Title Standards” under the "Practice Tools” tab.

The new standard approved was Title Standard 4.13, pertaining to when the vendor under a contract for deed is deceased and there is no surviving joint tenant vendor. Title Standard 4.1 was repealed and is incorporated into revised Title Standard 10.5 shown below.

The approved revisions include:

  • Title Standard 6.7 pertaining to Iowa Code § 624.23(2) be relied upon to remove judgment liens appearing in the chain of title and support a determination that a title is marketable?
  • Title Standard 10.4 pertaining to when a mortgage, trust deed, contract, or other security instrument is more than twenty years old, but the record of the mortgage instrument, or any amendment or extension thereof, does not show the date of the maturity.
  • Title Standard 10.5 pertaining to when an instrument filed for record more than ten years ago refers to an unrecorded real estate mortgage or similar security instrument and such instrument does not disclose the due date of such unrecorded mortgage or similar security instrument.
  • Title Standard 10.6 pertaining to whether Iowa Code §614.24 through §614.28 may be relied upon to bar use restrictions, including restrictive covenants, and reversions to land after twenty-one years from recording when a verified claim has not been filed within the twenty-one year period.
  • Title Standard 15.3 pertaining to whether an instrument affecting real estate is executed by a limited liability company, is it necessary to obtain a showing from its certificate of organization, operating agreement, or a duly authorized company resolution.


JNF offering law and justice trip to Israel

The Jewish National Fund is offering a law and justice trip to Israel Nov. 15-19, 2015, open to lawyers, judges, law enforcement and anyone interested in law and justice.

The experience is meant to give participants a glimpse into the Israeli justice system and unique access to Knesset members, supreme court judges and high-level military officials. The group plans to visit an Israeli military court to observe, first hand, a trial of Hamas terrorists, visit Israel's leading law schools and much more.

The trip is scheduled for Nov. 15-19, however there is an opportunity to extend the trip if there is interest. There is a cost associated with the trip, although subsidies are available for qualified participants. Interested individuals can contact Jessica or 212-879-9305 x297, or view the JNF flyer or website for more details.

In Other News...

Legislature honors Drake Law School’s 150th anniversary
The Iowa Senate and House approved resolutions Wednesday congratulating Drake University on the 150th anniversary of the founding of its law school. Drake Law School is one of the oldest law schools west of the Mississippi River and traces its start to 1865 when Iowa Supreme Court Justices George G. Wright and Chester C. Cole established a law school in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register

The first two law schools to drop the LSAT could be just the beginning
Two law schools said this month that they would begin accepting applicants who have not taken the Law School Admissions Test, a move that may help curb weak interest and plunging enrollments in law schools across the country. The State University of New York-Buffalo Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law said they would admit students from their respective undergraduate colleges based on their grade point average and scores on standardized tests other than the LSAT. The two schools are the first to announce that they've taken advantage of a recent ruling by the American Bar Association, which accredits U.S. law schools. In August, the ABA changed its rules to allow law schools to fill up to 10 percent of their class with students who have not taken the LSAT, as long as they were at the top of their college class and scored highly on the SAT and ACT, college aptitude tests, or on the GRE or GMAT graduate school exams.
Bloomberg Business

Attorney's suicide leaves reverberations
An insurance company asked a federal judge to rescind its contract with an Iowa law firm after the suicide of one of its lawyers left dozens of potential malpractice claims in its wake. David Roth, an attorney for defendant Gallagher, Langlas and Gallagher, committed suicide in September 2014 because of depression, according to Iowa press reports. His Sept. 23 suicide came just a week before the firm's insurance with plaintiff Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. was set to expire, according to the Feb. 13 complaint.
Courthouse News Service

Why having a Samsung smart television in your office could be an ethical violation
You purchase a new Samsung television to place in your conference room for the purpose of reviewing video depositions, or to use for teleconferencing. You decide to shell out the money for one that listens to, and understands voice commands. It gets installed, and you agree to the terms of service that come with the unit. Two hours later, you are discussing confidential matters relating to a client. With a partner, you discuss the situation in great detail. What you are unaware of is the fact that your TV has the ability to listen to what you say, and transmit the information back to Samsung or their "business partners” and those people have the legal right to transcribe and share that information with anyone they choose to.
Law Office Technology Bulletin

Fake law firm websites using real lawyers' profiles are increasing, bar group says
A growing number of fake law firm websites are potentially scamming "clients” and gathering their confidential financial information, a European regulator is warning the public. Additionally, since fake law firm websites are often using real attorneys’ profiles and branding, law firms need to be watchful to prevent their advertising efforts from being misappropriated, the Law Society of Scotland says.
ABA Law Practice Management


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.


Legislative Report - Feb. 25

ABA Major Legislation for 114th Congress
 January 2015

February 20, 2015

No. 13–1502
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.

The defendant seeks discretionary review of a district court ruling affirming a magistrate’s order that found the defendant responsible for a citation issued to him for a speeding violation under an automated traffic enforcement ordinance. AFFIRMED.

No. 14–1596
On application of the Iowa Commission on Judicial Qualifications.

Commission on judicial qualifications filed an application to discipline a judicial officer. APPLICATION GRANTED; JUDICIAL OFFICER REPRIMANDED.




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