Iowa Lawyer Weekly (03/05/2014)
Share |
March 5, 2014
Past Issues

Annual Meeting shaping up as biggest and best in recent history

Like the proverbial snowball rolling down the hill, the ISBA’s 2014 Annual Meeting, to be held June 16-19 in downtown Des Moines, is growing larger by the day.

For one thing, the annual event will be held at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly Vets Auditorium). The convention center offers more room to spread out and accommodate all of the activities that will take place at this year’s meeting.

Among those activities is the 2nd Annual ISBA Tech Show open to all attendees. Come and learn all the latest technical trends in the legal field including:

  • Paperless office
  • Cloud computing
  • Practice management
  • Must-have apps
  • Document storage and management in the cloud

In addition, this year’s annual meeting will feature more than 60 hours of CLE and many social events, all conveniently located within the convention center. You can learn and talk shop with old friends and new ones without ever leaving the building.

Registration forms will be on the ISBA website soon, as will information for reserving rooms in nearby hotels.

Free ethics webinar next week

Is Your Office Inadvertently Leaking Confidential Information?

That is the title of a free ethics webinar to be presented next Thursday (March 13) from noon to 1 p.m. The webinar, which is being offered to all members of the bar by the ISBA Ethics and Practice Guidelines Committee, will cover your ethical obligation to remove client confidential metadata hidden within your electronic documents, and your obligation to redact confidential and sensitive information from your electronically filed documents.

The presenter will show how to removed metadata in a Microsoft Word document, and how to permanently remove protected information from documents to be filed with the EDMS and CM-ECF electronic filing systems.

Registration is being handled by Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

More information about the webinar is available on the ISBA website at this link.

Iowa Trial Academy seminar includes panel of young lawyers addressing mentorship

A panel of four young lawyers told the couple hundred attorneys attending the annual Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers seminar last Thursday and Friday (Feb. 27-28) that mentoring is invaluable for them in order to gain experience in trial practice.

Catherine Chargo told the assembly that 99 out of the 100 benefits of mentoring probably accrue to the young attorney, but hopefully senior attorneys can gain some benefits from mentoring a young associate. As an example, she said that she learned a lot about court procedures while clerking for a district court judge and the Iowa Court of Appeals before joining Bradshaw Fowler Proctor & Fairgrave PC in Des Moines, and sometimes she is able to use her knowledge to answer questions on court procedure from senior attorneys in her firm.

Michael Kuehner, an associate with Grefe & Sidney in Des Moines, said that new attorneys come into the practice without knowing how to do the practice. He said he has learned a lot from opposing counsel.

Adam Zenor, also an associate with Grefe & Sidney, told the group that because of so many fewer jury trials, it’s more important than ever for young attorneys to join professional organizations such as Inns of Court, etc.

Caption: Four young attorneys (from left) Catherine Chargo, Michael Kuehner, Erik Bergeland and Adam Zenor address those attending the Iowa Academy seminar. David L. Brown (right) moderated the panel. 

Need for mock trial judges continues

Three regional High School Mock Trial competitions will take place next week, and judges are still needed for them.

Monday (March 10) is the regional competition for the Des Moines area. It will be at the Iowa Events Center, with the playoff round the next day at the same location.

Thursday (March 13) will be the regional competition for central Iowa at the Marshalltown Community College. Friday (March 14) will be the Southeast Iowa regional competition at the Comfort Suites Event Center in Burlington.

If you can help judge, please go to this link on the ISBA website. A description of this year’s case and other pertinent information is available here.

Reminder: ISBA’s lawyer referral program only online

The receptionist desk at the ISBA has been receiving a large volume of calls recently from individuals wanting to use the association’s lawyer referral program. In many cases, they were told by individuals at law firms to call the ISBA.

Approximately five years ago, the ISBA switched to a web-based lawyer referral program – FIND-A-LAWYER. Individuals seeking the assistance of an attorney must go to the website where they can select their counties, their towns, areas of law covered by their problems and, optionally, their preferred language. When they click on the "Search” button, they will be provided a list of attorneys who offer services based on the criteria selected.

Staff members who answer incoming calls at the ISBA are unable to help individuals who call in for help, other than to direct them to the website.

Time to nominate candidates for I.O.W.A. awards

The Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (I.O.W.A.) seeks nominations for its annual Arabella Mansfield and Gertrude Rush awards. The awards are presented at the organization’s annual meeting and awards dinner being held this year on June 19 at the Forte’ Banquet and Conference Center in downtown Des Moines.

Deadline for nominations for both awards is March 28. A description of the awards and online forms for nominations can be found on the I.O.W.A. website. Completed forms can be emailed to the awards committee. Forms can also be downloaded, printed and mailed to the address shown on the website.

Iowa Legal Aid annual event slated for
April 10

Iowa Legal Aid will host its annual Equal Justice After Hours event on Thursday (April 10) at the Temple for Performing Arts, 1011 Locust Street, in downtown Des Moines. The event runs from 5 – 7 p.m.

Equal Justice After Hours 2014 will showcase how Iowa Legal Aid makes a positive impact in the lives of the people it helps, providing thousands of low-income Iowans with hope, dignity and justice each year, according to the flyer promoting the event.

"This year we are focusing on the impact of donors’ support on clients served,” says Iowa Legal Aid Executive Director Dennis Groenenboom. That focus "will be implemented in a few different ways, including a client video,” he says.

Tickets and event sponsorships are available by contacting Terri Bennett at 515-243-2980, Ext. 1611, or via email at Click here to see the types of sponsorships available.

Drake Law School students place third in National Moot Court competition

Three students comprising Drake Law School’s National Moot Court team placed third in the 64th Annual National Moot Court competition last month in New York City, N.Y.

The team made up of 3L students Mara Jones and Kyle Mendenhall, and 2L student Louis Sloven earned a berth in the national competition after winning the regionals last November. They competed against 29 other law schools around the country in the finals.

Read more…

Did You Know...

the ISBA offers a list of vendors who supply services often needed by attorneys in its "Vendor Mall?” For a nominal charge, providers such as court reporters, process servers, and even computer handware and software companies, can list their services. Check out the list of providers in the Vendor Mall on the bar’s website, or go to the home page, hover your mouse on "Practice Tools” and click on "Vendor Mall” near the bottom of the menu.

Benefit of the Week

CLE Season Pass

Receive all of your CLE credits by using The Iowa State Bar Association’s affordable CLE Season Pass. It’s the one and only pass that offers hundreds of CLE credits at the best price in town! For only $550, you can take all the CLE credits you need in a 12 month span. Sign up for the Season Pass today and have the opportunity to choose from over 200 hours of live CLEs in addition to the 20 hours of telephone CLEs the ISBA offers.

Click here for more information or to order your pass online. For a printable order form, please click here.

Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

February 28, 2014


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Mary Pat Gunderson, Judge.

A railroad appeals from a damage verdict in favor of an employee in a Federal Employers’ Liability Act case, asserting error in the exclusion of evidence. REVERSED AND REMANDED.


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission appeals the district court’s order remanding for dismissal its enforcement action against an employer. REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.