Iowa Lawyer Weekly (04/16/2014)
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April 16, 2014
Past Issues

More applicants needed for Jury Instructions Committee

President-elect Joe Feller is asking for additional applicants for the ISBA’s Jury Instructions Committee. There are five openings on the committee for terms beginning July 1.

The Jury Instructions Committee meets two-three times a year in person to study and produce drafts of recommended uniform civil and criminal jury instructions for approval by the ISBA Board of Governors. The committee also monitors published instructions and modifies them as required.

The committee is balanced among prosecutors, criminal defense and civil litigation attorneys, and members of the Iowa Attorney General’s office. Members serve three-year terms, and are eligible for re-appointment twice for a total of nine consecutive years.

To apply, send an email to with "Jury Instructions Committee” in the subject line. Include in the email a three-to-four sentence biography to include the area(s) of law in which you practice. Deadline for applying is this Tuesday (April 22).

Courthouse security report gaining mileage

Who’d have thought that a courthouse security report compiled by a special ISBA task force nearly nine years ago would now be a topic of interest.

That’s exactly what has happened, however. Yesterday (April 15), the Des Moines Register published a front-page story on the issue of courthouse security with numerous references to the ISBA’s Courthouse Security Task Force Final Report issued in December 2005. The Iowa City Press Citizen published the Register article along with a companion article about Johnson County’s efforts to construct a courthouse annex that will include improved security measures.

The Register’s article, which begins on the front page and continues at great length on page 9A, is the latest in a number of broadcast and print reports on the subject. Interest in courthouse security was sparked by an incident at the Madison County Courthouse several weeks ago when a defendant being sentenced in a drug case pulled a handgun out of his pocket and brandished it around the courtroom.

Read the Register article. Read the Press Citizen article.

Reserve your room for the annual meeting

Rooms are going fast at the sponsored hotels for this year’s annual meeting. Members planning to stay near the event site can book a reservation at the following hotels that are offering discounted rates for the event. Just mention you are attending the ISBA Annual Meeting.

o The Quality Inn and Suites
Room rate: $94.95 (+ tax & fees)
(515) 282-5251
929 3rd Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

o Holiday Inn - Mercy Campus
Room rate: $99.95 (+ tax & fees)
Optional Online Reservation Discount Code: S4B
(515) 283-0151
1050 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50314

o Downtown Des Moines Marriott
Room rate: $129 (+ tax & fees)
(515) 245-5500
700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309

Click here to register to attend the annual meeting.

Information and updates from the U.S. District Court Southern District of Iowa

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa recently released a number of updates. For details on the following updates, click here:

· Magistrate Judge Helen C. Adams appointment

· Dismissal procedures

· Corporate disclosures

· Certificate of Service

· Upgrade to CM/EF Version 6.1

· Pro Hac Vice

· Document images

· Scheduling guilty pleas

· Paperless procedures

· Top e-filing errors

· And much more.

Beginning farmer program workshops

The Iowa Agricultural Development Division (IADD) will be hosting a series of free workshops around the state in May and June that attorneys who practice in Ag Law might want to attend. The purpose of the workshops is to increase the awareness of Iowa's Beginning Farmer Loan and Tax Credit programs that could be advantageous for clients.

IADD is a division of the Iowa Finance Authority. One of its purposes is to connect owners of farmland, machinery and other assets with individuals who want to begin farming by providing tax credits to the owners who lease land or other assets to beginning farmers.

Topics covered in the 60-minute workshops include:

  • Benefits of the Beginning Farmer Loan Program for beginning farmers
  • Tax benefits for farmers interested in hiring or leasing land to a beginning farmer
  • Eligibility requirements for participants and programs
  • Timeline and process to apply
  • Program summaries, applications and other detailed information
  • Issues frequently faced by beginning farmers and farmers desiring to transition out of farming, and how both can benefit from these programs

The first round of workshop dates and locations are listed on the IADD website, along with information about the program. Others workshops will be listed as the dates get closer. Check the website periodically, or contact Emily Toribio via email by clicking on her name, or via phone by calling 515-725-4886. Click on the workshop of your choice to pre-register.

For specific program questions, please contact Steve Ferguson at 515-494-4979.

Annual meeting contest to feature ISBA-member basketball stars

This year’s annual meeting organizers have devised a contest to recognize ISBA members who played basketball in the state tournaments in Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The goal is to tie the past Vet’s Auditorium, as most Iowans know it, with its reincarnated self as the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center that will be the home for the 2014 Annual Meeting.

To make the contest work, however, organizers need your help. Would any of you who have a photo of your state tournament team be willing to scan the photo to make a digital copy and send that copy to the association?

The photos will be posted on the ISBA website. Members then will have the opportunity to identify the ISBA member, or members, in the photos and submit their choices to the association. Obviously, the members who submit photos won’t be able to submit their own names for their photos.

A week or so before the annual meeting, which is being held from June 16-19, the winners will be announced and the members in the photos will be identified on the website and via this newsletter. Winners will receive prizes.

Submit your photos via email to: with the words "Annual Meeting Contest” in the subject line. Please identify yourself in the photo you submit in case no one on the ISBA staff can identify you.

Some popular lawyer websites impacted by ‘Heartbleed’ security flaw

The ABA Journal Law News Now online publication reported Monday (April 14) that a number of websites popular with lawyers are vulnerable to the Heartbleed security flaw. Quoting a post from Robert Ambrogi, attorney, writer and media consultant, on his LawSites website, some of the common sites are Dropbox, Google and Yahoo, as well as more specific law-related sites such as Estate Map, MyCase and Clio.

According to Ambrogi, most of the sites affected have now installed patches to fix the problem. Clio, for example, posted a notice on its website saying that its infrastructure team "worked tirelessly” to patch and secure all systems affected by the Heartbleed bug. The work was completed on April 9.

"While we have no evidence that customer information was compromised as a result of the Heartbleed vulnerability, as a precaution we strongly recommend that our customers reset their passwords immediately,” the company wrote in its post.

Aaron Street, writing in the Lawyerist on April 11, explains what Heartbleed is, how it happened and what to do about it. He, as with Ambrogi and other technology experts, recommends changing your passwords on the vulnerable sites as soon as possible.

Registration now open for 2014 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference

Registration is now open for the 2014 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference to be held Aug. 5-8 for federal judges and Aug. 6-8 for lawyers at the Hilton Hotel in Omaha.

Held in conjunction with the Nebraska Supreme Court,the Nebraska State Bar, The Iowa State Bar Association, the Eighth Circuit Bar Association, and the Omaha Bar Association, the conference features 40-plus presenters on topics concerning current legal topics. Among the presenters is U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., who will narrate a virtual tour of the Supreme Court on Aug. 8.

The Conference will also include a number of social events at the Hilton, Joslyn Art Museum and elsewhere in Omaha.

To register, go to the Eighth Circuit Court website. On-line conference registration ends July 25. Hotel reservations must be made by July 9. A complete list of conference topics, as well as reservation information for the hotel and driving instructions, can be found here.

Did You Know...

as an ISBA member, you are eligible to receive discounts on USPS Express Mail (overnight) and Priority Mail (1-3 days) to all 50 states. Click on "Member Benefits” to be taken directly to the web page that lists all member benefits, or click on "Member Benefits” under the "Practice Tools” tab on the ISBA website and scroll down to "Express Shipping.”

Benefit of the Week

Iowa Lawyer Magazine App
The ISBA’s monthly magazine is now brought to you via your iOS or Android device. Receive all the great information available in the Iowa Lawyer Magazine in the palm of your hand, wherever you go, at no cost. Just simply download the free app below!

Download the free iOS app here or click here to download the Android app. You may also call (515) 697-7868 for more information.


Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

April 11, 2014


No. 12-1862

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Davis County, Myron L. Gookin, Judge.

A criminal defendant appeals his conviction for sexual exploitation by a school employee in violation of Iowa Code section 709.15. REVERSED.

No. 12-2168

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark R. Fowler, Judge.

A sex offender who was convicted of loitering within 300 feet of a public library appeals his conviction. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

April 15, 2014

No. 14-0553

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David L. Christensen, Judge.

In an expedited appeal from a ruling on judicial review, the petitioner challenges the denial of his objection to the intervenor’s eligibility to seek elective office. AFFIRMED.