Iowa Lawyer Weekly (03/26/2014)
Share |
March 26, 2014
Past Issues

Supreme Court adopts rule changes on distance education for CLE, regulation of student practice

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady signed orders last Friday (March 21) authorizing amendments to Iowa court rules regulating continuing legal education, and student practice. The amendments are effective immediately.

The amendments to chapters 41 and 42 of the Iowa court rules concern the role of distance education. The amendments to chapter 31 of the court rules relate to permissible practice by law students and law school graduates waiting for bar exam results.

Orders authorizing the changes to the rules, the amendments to the rules and the Office of Professional Regulation’s memos regarding the rules can be found at this link on the judicial branch website.

Guts Gear fundraiser to be held tomorrow

The second annual Guts Gear Foundation event will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday (March 27) at Palmer’s Deli, 2843 Ingersoll Ave., in Des Moines. The foundation was started by John Cook, 20, who died of complications of his third kidney transplant last July.

Cook, son of ISBA President Guy Cook, started the foundation to provide educational and entertainment items for children diagnosed with renal failure who have to endure lengthy dialysis procedures. He endured countless hours of dialysis in his life and knew firsthand the boredom that occurs while receiving treatments.

At the first fundraiser a year ago, Cook raised $33,000. The proceeds have assisted children at 12 pediatric dialysis centers in the U.S as they undergo eight hours of dialysis three times per week.

The cost for the fundraising event is $25 per person for hors d’ oeuvres, desserts and soft drinks. Silent auction items will be available for bidding. More information is available on the foundation’s website.

IRS warns of scam affecting taxpayers

You may have already received, or will receive, requests from clients, or potential clients, asking what they can do to repair the damage from a scam directed at taxpayers from scammers claiming to be from the IRS.

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) issued a warning last Thursday (March 20) about "the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” according to J. Russell George, the TIGTA inspector general. The scam involves scammers claiming to be from the IRS calling victims and telling them they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

For more details about this scam, see the Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration website.

Drake Law School busy with activities next few weeks

Drake University Law School officials and students will have their hands full with a variety of activities in the next few weeks.

Leading off the activities will be the James T. Grant Iowa Constitution Lecture Series presentation by Iowa Supreme Court Justice Brent Appel at 3 p.m. tomorrow (March 27) in Cartwright Hall, Room 206The title of his presentation is: "State Constitutional Law in Iowa:  Past, Present, and Future.”

Rounding out the Constitution Lecture Series for this spring will be presentations by Sanford Levinson, law professor of government at the University of Texas, at 4 p.m. Friday (April 5) at the Drake Legal Clinic, and Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady at 4 p.m. Tuesday (April 8) in Cartwright Hall, Room 213. Professor Levinson will discuss "More Alike Than Different: A Comparison of the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions.” Chief Justice Cady will present "A Pioneer’s Constitution: How Iowa’s Constitutional History Uniquely Shapes Our Pioneering Tradition in Recognizing Civil Rights and Civil Liberties”

Friday (April 5) starting with a reception in Cartwright Hall at 6 p.m. and dinner in the Parents Hall of the Olmstead Center at 7 p.m. will be Drake’s 77th Annual Supreme Court Banquet and Awards Ceremony. ISBA President Guy Cook will be the keynote speaker for the banquet, which caps three-days of activities that are part of the supreme court celebration. Numerous Drake law students will receive awards at the banquet.

Drake’s 2014 Constitutional Law Symposium will be held Saturday (April 12), from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sussman Theater in the Olmstead Center. The theme for the symposium is "The U.S. Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision and Its Significance for the 50th Anniversary of LBJ’s Great Society.” See the list of speakers and their topics. Registration is $10 and includes a continental breakfast. Click here for a registration form. Deadline for registering is April 7.

Deadline is Friday for I.O.W.A. awards

This Friday (March 28) is the deadline to submit your nominations for the annual I.O.W.A. Arabella Mansfield and the Gertrude Rush awards, which are co-sponsored by I.O.W.A. and the Iowa National Bar Association.

The awards will be presented at the I.O.W.A. annual meeting and awards banquet on the evening of June 19 at the Forte’ Banquet and Conference Center, 615 3rd St., in Des Moines.

Read more about the awards and submit your nominations via the forms available on the I.O.W.A. website.  If you nominated someone last year and would like the nomination to be resubmitted this year, please email Alissa Smith at and ask her to resubmit the nomination for this year.

Nominations sought for Rollie Grefe Pro Bono award

The nominating committee for the Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award is seeking nominations for this year’s award, which will be presented at the ISBA Annual Meeting’s President’s Awards Banquet on June 18.

Any ISBA member who has enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering pro bono legal services for those who for one reason or another are unable to afford a lawyer is eligible for nomination. The award recipient will be selected based on commitment to pro bono publico and the delivery of legal services to the poor in his or her community and around the state of Iowa.

Send your nominations along with a brief description to Brett Toresdahl at the ISBA Public Service Project by April 9th.  Email to

Drake fun run, walk to raise money for Iowa Legal Aid

The Public Interest Law Association at Drake University Law School is soliciting sponsors and runners for the 7th Annual Court2Court 5k Race on Saturday (April 5) beginning at 2 p.m.

For every dollar raised, Drake University will contribute three dollars from its Federal Work Study funding to support Drake University Law School students working for Iowa Legal Aid’s Poverty Law Internship Program.

Detailed information about the run/walk is available here.

Did You Know...

as an ISBA member you are entitled to use the LawPay credit card processing program? The program allows you to accept all major credit cards from your clients. It also has the ability to separate funds that must go into your trust account from your operating account. And, it provides 100 percent protection of your trust account. Click here to learn more. Or go to the ISBA website and click on "Member Benefits” under the "Practice Tools” tab, then scroll down to "Credit Card Processing Service.”

Benefit of the Week


IowaDocs® is a service provided by The Iowa State Bar Association for its members. This site will give you information, tips, and support for the yearly subscription to IowaDocs®.

IowaDocs® is a library of hundreds of legal documents created, endorsed and copyrighted by The Iowa State Bar Association that have been automated using HotDocs. These templates ask questions and automatically create customized documents based on the answers given. This member service will save time, effort and money in the production of repetitive documents and forms.

Click here to learn more about IowaDocs®

Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

March 21, 2014

No. 11-1133

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Bobbi M. Alpers, Judge.

A defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming his convictions for voluntary manslaughter and five counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART, SENTENCES VACATED, AND CASE REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.

No. 11-1272

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge.

The defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming his convictions and sentences. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT REVERSED, SENTENCES VACATED, AND CASE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.

No. 11-1616

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean W. McPartland and Mitchell E. Turner, Judges.

A defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming his convictions for two separate robberies. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1213

On review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

The Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa recommends the respondent receive a six-month suspension. LICENSE SUSPENDED.