Iowa Lawyer Weekly (04/02/2014)
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April 2, 2014
Past Issues

2014 annual meeting to feature Jay Shepherd on the future of law practice

Do you know what your law practice will look like in five years? Do you want to know?

If the answer to question #2 is "yes” or "maybe,” you’ll definitely want to hear Jay Shepherd at ISBA’s 2014 Annual Meeting that will be held June 16-19 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (old Vets Auditorium). The title of Shepherd’s presentation is "Quantum Leap: How You Will Practice Law in 2019.” An attorney from the Boston area who spends his time now as a writer and speaker focused on simplifying business ideas, Shepherd will speak from 10:10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday (June 18).

For more information on other featured speakers at what is being billed as the biggest and best annual meeting in decades, click here.

To register for the annual meeting if you are an attorney and to reserve a room at nearby hotels, click here. Judges have a separate registration form provided by the Iowa Judicial Branch.

ISBA weighs in on Madison County Courthouse gun incident

ISBA leaders were quick to weigh in on an incident involving a gun in a Madison County courtroom last week. An individual who was being sentenced to a 10-year prison term on drug charges pulled a gun out of his pocket, brandished it around the courtroom then fled. He was arrested a short time later a few blocks from the courthouse.

President Guy Cook issued a statement last Friday (March 28) urging a review and implementation of security measures in county courthouses that were recommended in a 2005 report compiled by ISBA’s task force on courthouse security. This morning (April 2), President Cook issued followup statements to the Madison County Board of Supervisors’ decision late yesterday to ban all guns from the courthouse.

The supervisors’ decision makes Madison County the last of the 16 counties in the Fifth Judicial District to implement a ban on guns in the courthouse.

ISBA governors treated to behind-the-scenes tour of Iowa Capitol, host legislators at annual Breakfast with the Bar

About a dozen and a half adventuresome souls took advantage of ISBA President Guy Cook’s invitation to get a behind-the-scenes look at Iowa’s State Capitol building in advance of the board of governors’ dinner before its quarterly meeting last Wednesday (March 26). Governors rose early on Wednesday to host Iowa legislators at the annual Breakfast with the Bar event prior to their meeting.

The Capitol tour was led by Doug Struyk, a former state representative and current ISBA assistant legislative counsel. Under Struyk’s guidance, the visitors toured the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s ceremonial offices and the Secretary of State’s office, peeked inside the House and Senate Chambers, then began the long climb to the top of the big dome and the glassed-in cupola at the top. Though open to visitors years ago, this view of the state’s seat of government is only available by special arrangement today. See photos of the tour here.

Governors arrived at the bar headquarters at 7 a.m. to greet members of the Iowa House and Senate over breakfast. Approximately 60 legislators stopped in to visit with the governors before beginning their day’s work on the hill. Photos of the breakfast can be seen here.

President-elect Feller issues challenge to raise funds for Iowa Legal Aid

Joe Feller, ISBA president-elect, announced at the quarterly Board of Governors meeting last Wednesday (March 26) that the ISBA leadership and Iowa Legal Aid have taken another step forward on their mission to continue to find sources for funding for programs that provide equal access to justice.

Following in the example of his predecessors, President-elect Feller and a large majority of the current Board of Governors joined together to pledge individual, voluntary contributions, totaling slightly more than $4,000, which will now be available when Iowa Legal Aid hosts its annual Equal Justice After Hours event on April 10 at The Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines. Bar leaders are challenging the guests at the event to donate the same amount in order to receive a dollar-for-dollar match up to $4,050.

Feller stated that he is very proud of the generosity demonstrated by the governors. "They have set an example for our membership,” he said. "From time to time, we need to be reminded that our Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct state that we should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means. The collective effort taken this week by the governors individually to voluntarily contribute their own personal funds to Iowa Legal Aid was just what the rule calls all lawyers to consider.”

Early in April, President Guy Cook and Executive Director Dwight Dinkla will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in ABA Day, and will be talking to elected officials about funding for access to justice programs.

Fax number of Member Mark materials corrected

Several members pointed out in recent days that the fax number listed on the certification forms posted on the ISBA website for the Member Mark program was incorrect. That number has been corrected on the forms. It is 515-243-2511.

Individual attorneys and firms can sign up for the ISBA’s Member Mark program by submitting an active-member certificate. Acceptance into the program enables the individual or firm to place the Proud Iowa Lawyer logo on stationery, business cards and other materials used in the practice.

Click on this link for more information about the program, and on this link to access the license agreement and certification forms.

Upcoming events at the U of I College of Law

The University of Iowa College of Law will host a number of events at the Boyd Law Building in the first part of April.

Kicking off the events is the Journal of Gender Race and Justice’s annual symposium, The Unmarried Life: Know Your Rights from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday (April 4) in Levitt Auditorium. The symposium features presentations on estate planning, health care, family law and a presentation of the documentary film Bridegroom.

On April 10, the college hosts the Inaugural Richards Lecture, Politics Trump Science: The Collision Between No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, by Professor Ruth Colker. Professor Colker, who is from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, is one of the leading scholars in the country in the areas of Constitutional Law and Disability Discrimination. The lecture will take place in Levitt Auditorium at 4 p.m., with a reception to follow.

The next day, the Organization for Women Law Students and Staff hosts its annual conference featuring the Katherine Finn Milleman Lecture. This year's keynote speaker is Lorraine May. She will be followed by a panel discussion. The conference will be held in Room 235 from 12:40 to 1:40 p.m. A reception will follow in the fourth floor student lounge.

Contact Jill De Young if you are interested in attending or want more information on any of the events.

April 9 is deadline for nominations 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:

60th Annual Spring Tax Institute to be held May 9

Natalie B. Choate, who received rave reviews for her presentations at the 55th Annual Spring Tax Institute, will keynote this year’s 60th annual institute on Friday (May 9) at the University Club in Iowa City.

An attorney with the Boston firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish, Choate limits her practice to estate planning for retirement benefits. She will present a total of four hours in the morning of the daylong institute. Topics include: "201 Best (and Worst) Planning Ideas for Your Client’s Retirement Benefits” (2 hours), "Understanding the Minimum Distribution Rules” (1 hour) and "Case Studies in Estate Planning for Retirement Benefits: Practical Ideas for Real Life Situations" (1 hour).

Speakers presenting in the afternoon are Carolyn Jones, University of Iowa College of Law; Christopher E. James, Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines; and Wayne E. Reames, Belin McCormick in Des Moines.

To view more information about the institute and to register with a printable registration form, click here, then click on the printable registration form. Online registration is scheduled to be available soon.

Did You Know...

as a member you are able to receive ShareFile for $5 a month? ShareFile lets you securely deliver and provide access to confidential correspondence and other documents with clients and other attorneys. The number of $5-per-month accounts are limited. But you still get 20 percent off any regularly priced ShareFile plan. Learn more here.

Benefit of the Week

Staples Advantage
All ISBA members, regardless of the size of the individual law firm, are part of a nearly 8,000-person buying group giving you access to all the significant price breaks that Staples Advantage has created for the program. With Staples Advantage, you now have access to products you use every day at special contract prices.

Aside from office supplies, the Staples Advantage program offers:

  • Breakroom (beverages, snacks, plates/cups, etc…)
  • Cleaning & Janitorial (hand sanitizer, soap, tissue/towels, etc…)
  • Technology (computers, software, printer/fax, etc…)
  • Furniture (file, desk, chair, space planning, etc…)
  • Custom Print (forms, envelopes, business cards, etc…)
  • Promotional Items (pens, mugs, hats, apparel, etc…)
To get more information and to setup your law firm with access to the website please contact the account manager, Renee Dunatchik. Renee can be reached via e-mail at, or by phone at 800-693-9900, Ext. 24729.

Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

March 28, 2014

No. 12-0627

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Rustin Thomas Davenport, Judge.

Plaintiff appeals the district court’s decision granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

No. 12-2055

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, James M. Richardson, Judge.

Defendants appeal the district court’s remand order that reinstated plaintiff to her former employment and awarded wages and benefits. AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1124

Appeal from the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

Ouderkirk appeals from the grievance commission’s recommendation of a public reprimand. COMPLAINT DISMISSED.

No. 13-1965

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

Grievance commission recommends a thirty-day suspension of attorney’s license to practice law. LICENSE SUSPENDED.

March 31, 2014

No. 14-0512
JONATHAN NARCISSE vs. MATT SCHULTZ, in his Official Capacity as Iowa Secretary of State

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.

In an expedited appeal from a ruling on judicial review, the appellant seeks to have his name placed on the primary ballot as a candidate for Governor. AFFIRMED.