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March 18, 2015
Past Issues

Board of Governors to meet next week

The ISBA Board of Governors will come together for the Spring 2015 BOG Meeting at The Iowa State Bar Association building in Des Moines March 25. The focus of the meeting will be Access to Justice. Members are encouraged to reach out to their district representatives prior to the meeting to discuss items on the agenda.

On the consent agenda, the board is expected to appoint three attorney-members to the Iowa Legal Aid Board of Directors, approve a resolution to appoint a new member to the Iowa LawPAC Board of Directors and decide whether to include a new Personal Data and Information for Mediation form provided in IowaDocs.

Governors will provide nominations for president-elect, vice president and ABA delegate for the next year; voting will open up to the entire membership prior to the 2015 Annual Meeting June 15-18. Additional action items include review of the Ways and Means Committee’s report and the Conflicts of Interest Policy.

On the legislative agenda, ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney will provide a status report on the ISBA legislative agenda.

Other informational reports will be presented by the Access to Justice Committee, Rural Practice Committee, the Young Lawyers Division, the Economic Survey Task Force, the Real Estate Section and the ABA Delegates. A Client Security Trust Fund update will follow.

Members can find their BOG representatives’ contact information on the website by navigating to "Member Groups,” then clicking on "Board of Governors,” or by clicking here. Also, phone numbers for all the current BOG members can be found on page 3 of every issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine.

Affirmative Legislative Program updated

Jenny Tyler, ISBA’s Assistant Legislative Counsel, recently completed updates to the ISBA’s 2015 Affirmative Legislation Program which is now available on the ISBA website.

A number of bills were approved by their respective committees while others were introduced but did not advance this session. Refer to the legislative update here for a complete list of bills along with their status.

Iowa Lawyer Magazine available online

The March/April issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine is now available online. Members who elect to receive the Iowa Lawyer in print should expect their copy of the magazine through the U.S. Postal Service in the next few days.

Members interested in viewing the online version of the magazine can do so 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 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 and is delivered eight times annually. The magazine informs members on issues, events and developments in the law specific to Iowa that impact their practices and their lives as attorneys.

Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be directed to the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7896.

Iowa Supreme Court request for public comment

The Supreme Court of Iowa filed an order March 11 requesting public comment regarding proposed amendments to Iowa Court Rules 35.14, Reinstatement of License After Revocation, and 31.16, Registration of Foreign House Counsel.

Proposed amendments to rule 35.14 provided with the order can be found here. Proposed amendments to rule 31.16 provided with the order can be found here.

Comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. May 11. See each respective order for instructions.


Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Decorah

Wednesday, April 8, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Decorah, Iowa. The proceeding will take place in the Decorah High School Auditorium, 100 Claiborne Drive. The session, open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m.

The court will hear attorneys argue in two cases:

State of Iowa vs. Tyler James Webster, case no. 13-1095, from Jefferson County
Defendant Tyler Webster appealed his conviction of murder in the second degree on the grounds of juror misconduct, including that the juror did not disclose a familiarity with the victim's family. The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed Webster's conviction and granted a new trial. The Iowa Supreme Court granted the state's application for further review. The state argues that Webster waived his claim of juror misconduct when he did not raise the issue during the trial.

State of Iowa vs. Patience Paye, case no. 14-0183, from Black Hawk County
Defendant Patience Paye appeals her conviction for second offense public intoxication, arguing that the front steps of her home do not constitute a "public place" for purposes of the public intoxication statute. Iowa Code section 123.46 (2013). The Iowa Supreme Court has previously held that the front steps and common hallway of an apartment house do constitute public places, but it has not extended that analysis to a single family home.

Attorneys' briefs for the cases and a guide to oral arguments are posted on the Iowa Judicial Branch website here.

A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments in the Decorah High School commons.

Eighth Circuit special session in Iowa City

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit panel will hold a special session at the University of Iowa College of Law on March 24. The session is open to the public and will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Boyd Law Building, Levitt Auditorium, 130 Byington Road, Iowa City, Iowa.

The panel, which consists of Judges William Riley, Steven Colloton, and Jane Kelly, is planning to take questions from the audience following arguments. The total length of the special session will be approximately an hour and a half.

Attendees should be aware that there will be U.S. Marshals on campus and they have made several requests to ensure proper courtroom etiquette is followed during the Court’s visit.

Additional information about the Court’s visit is available by clicking here.

YLD request for 'You should know better' anecdotes

The ISBA YLD Diversity Committee is collecting anonymous anecdotes for a CLE presentation at the 2015 Annual Meeting entitled "You're a Lawyer, You Should Know Better: Anecdotal Tales of Workplace Inappropriateness.” They would like to hear your stories about:

(1) Insensitive workplace comments regarding gender, age, pregnancy, race/color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, or disability; and

(2) Individuals who demonstrated extraordinary sensitivity in response to an insensitive moment.

If you have a story to share, please respond to this anonymous survey here.

Individuals with questions may contact Gina Messamer at for more details.

YLD extends mentorship application deadline

After a tremendous amount of interest from mentors across the state, the YLD extended its application deadline for the ISBA Mentor Program so potential mentees can take advantage of new mentorship opportunities.

All applications must be submitted by May 1, and pairings will be sent out by June 1. The YLD plans to host a kick-off event for the mentor program during the annual meeting in June. Also during the annual meeting, program participants are invited to attend mentor training to maximize the success of mentorship relationships. More details will follow as plans develop.

Application forms and more details about the mentor program are on the ISBA Mentorship Program web page. For questions, contact

In Other News ...

Woodbury County launches Iowa’s first Veterans Court
Organizers of a new diversionary program have toed the edge of the figurative swimming pool for three years now. Finally on Friday, they were able to dive in. They hope they know how to swim. "We're going into this just kind of jumping into the water and we'll swim when we get there. We've hit the water," said District Judge Jeffrey Poulson after the first session of the Woodbury County Veterans Treatment Court. There are more than 100 such courts in the United States, but this is Iowa's first.
The Sioux City Journal

Not guilty verdicts, dismissed charges would be expunged
A proposed bill passed by the judiciary committee last week would allow not guilty verdicts and dismissed criminal charges to be expunged from court records that the public could access on Iowa Courts Online. Defense attorneys, some legal organizations and legislators passionately support the bill, saying it’s necessary to eliminate unfair treatment of individuals acquitted or wrongly charged. They say defendants in these situations have missed out on job opportunities, education, and even housing when a criminal record exists. Prosecutors and the Iowa Newspapers Association are against the bill, saying they favor open records and "it’s the public’s right to know.”
The Cedar Rapids Gazette

University of Iowa law school responds to concerns around LSAT exception
A new University of Iowa College of Law program allowing academically successful students to apply for admission without taking the traditionally-required Law School Admissions Test could keep some high-achievers from leaving the state, according to law school Dean Gail Agrawal. Addressing questions from members of the Board of Regents on Wednesday, Agrawal said she doesn’t expect the school’s "Kinnick Law Scholars” program to decrease the quality of its students or education.
KCRG, Cedar Rapids Channel 9

Iowa justices rule on appeal of former Dubuque man
A former Dubuque man committed to a sex offender treatment facility can be given supervised release, but the state must prove those terms are constitutional, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court ruled 6-1 that Iowa District Court Judge Michael Shubatt was right to impose supervised release for Calvin Matlock, 57, from a state-run sex offender treatment facility. But it remanded the case back to the district court to prove the release conditions are consistent with the due process principles of the Iowa and U.S. constitutions.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Controversial Iowa voter rules will not take effect
Voter registration rules enacted by former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz that critics said threatened to disenfranchise eligible voters will not take effect, after a long-running lawsuit was resolved on Friday. The Secretary of State's Office — now held by Paul Pate — voluntarily dismissed an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court that was initiated by Schultz last year following a loss at the district-court level.
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.


Legislative Report - March 18

March 13, 2015

No. 13–0543
On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Paul L. Macek, Judge.

Defendant appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea-bargaining process under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

No. 13–1226
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Arthur E. Gamble, Judge.

A criminal defendant appeals the district court’s order disqualifying the entire Des Moines adult public defender’s office from representing him. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

No. 13–1241
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge.

A person committed under the Sexually Violent Predator Act appeals the district court’s revocation of his release with supervision. AFFIRMED.

No. 13-2022

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Michael J. Shubatt, Judge.

A person committed under the Sexually Violent Predator Act alleges his release with supervision violates the Due Process Clauses of the Iowa and the United States Constitutions. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND CASE REMANDED.



Lawyers are expected to meet high professional standards which are set forth in rules adopted by the Iowa Supreme Court. If a lawyer violates an ethics rule, the lawyer may be disciplined.

The Iowa State Bar Association helps its attorneys stay on the right track by providing ethics opinions on a variety of topics that are timely and relevant. A full database from 1966 to the present is searchable and available to members at no cost.