Share |


April 22, 2015
Past Issues

Check your inbox for economic survey

The ISBA is conducting the 2015 Iowa State Bar Association Economic Survey beginning today, April 22, to capture a variety of demographic and economic figures from members and their firms.  

Be sure to check inboxes and junk/spam folders for an email sent from on behalf of The Iowa State Bar Association. 

The last economic survey conducted in 2011 proved immensely popular, which is why ISBA leadership is encouraging members to participate in the new study this year. The 2011 survey conducted by the bar reported on topics such as:

· The average salary offered to new attorneys,
· Average salaries for experienced attorneys based on factors such as geographical areas of the state, experience, fields of practice, etc.
· The average salary for a new, inexperienced legal secretary compared to a secretary with five years’ experience,

This year’s survey, conducted by Readex Research, will include similar questions and others including average overhead expense, average billing rates, average weekly work hours and more.

The survey, emailed to in-state members April 22, is expected to take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. As an incentive, those who participate in the study will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE registration to the June 2015 Annual Meeting (a value of $325). Three winners will be selected.

The ISBA contracted with Readex Research to administer the survey. The survey website is secure and the identity of any respondent, including email addresses, will be kept confidential by Readex.The research company will not share the identity of any respondent with the ISBA or any third party. The results will be compiled and sent to ISBA members this summer at no charge as a member benefit.

2015 Annual Meeting online registration now open – early bird pricing

The 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting, one of the largest annual legal gatherings in Iowa, is scheduled for June 15-18 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines. Last year, more than 1,000 legal professionals from across the nation traveled to downtown Des Moines making it the largest ISBA Annual Meeting to date. The ISBA will again improve on last year's event with new continuing legal education tracks, unique social events and the last Basic Skills Course.

"We are thrilled that our conference has expanded from three days of CLE with three tracks each day to five tracks of CLE each day for four days,” said ISBA Annual Meeting Co-Chair Christine Moon. As in the past years, the Iowa Judges Association will be holding their annual meeting during this event. New this year, the Iowa Court Reporters Association will also be holding its annual meeting to coincide with the ISBA Annual Meeting.

Make no mistake, the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center will be the place to be for Iowa's legal professional community June 15-18. Please click here to register online or click here for a printable registration form. For the complete 2015 Annual Meeting schedule, please click here. Also, see the annual meeting insert in the special edition of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine sent to members last week and now available online.

ISBA leaders attend ABA Day, discuss important issues

At ABA Day, ISBA leaders met with members of Congress and their staffs in Washington D.C. to discuss two critically important issues that impact both the legal profession and the public. At this year’s ABA Day, April 14-16, more than 400 local, state and specialty bar association volunteers focused their advocacy efforts on funding for the Legal Services Corporation and over-incarceration and juvenile justice reform, along with several other priority concerns.

ISBA President Joe Feller, ISBA ABA Delegates Alan Olson and David Brown and ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla and Assistant Executive Director Harry Shipley met with U.S. Reps. Rodney Blum and David Young and U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley to discuss the need for funding for civil legal assistance programs for low-income Americans, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and smart sentencing reforms.

To read more about the ABA’s position on funding for civil legal assistance programs for low-income Americans, click here. To read more about the ABA’s position on juvenile justice and sentencing reform, click here.


2015 membership dues now open for renewal

Iowa State Bar Association members can now log into their ISBA account and renew their 2015-2016 membership electronically. Although renewing memberships online is the preferred method, the ISBA will also provide hard-copy dues statements via the U.S. Postal Service in early May for members who prefer to mail in their renewals.

If members go without paying their dues by July 1, the computer system will provide a small grace period before their memberships will become delinquent and benefits will end by Sept. 30. Not only does renewing online reduce costs and the amount of work involved with the dues renewal process, it also ensures memberships are uninterrupted.

The cost of annual dues remains unchanged from last year. However, members should note that their tenure in the association may move them into a new membership bracket especially if they are within their first six years of ISBA membership. Those individuals may see a cost increase as their membership moves toward a standard membership.

To renew online, go to, log into the system and follow the prompts. If users have difficulties recalling their passwords, they can click on the ‘forgot password’ link below the login fields to recover their passwords. Individuals with questions may contact the membership department via email at

66 new attorneys to be admitted to Iowa state bar April 23

Approximately 66 new attorneys from 28 law schools around the country will be admitted to practice at the 126th Bar Admission Ceremony Thursday, April 23, at Hoyt Sherman Auditorium in Des Moines. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Brent R. Appel will give the keynote address and administer the lawyer’s oath. Additional speakers include Board of Law Examiners Board Chair Cheryl Weber, ISBA President Joe Feller, YLD President Amos Hill and Iowa Legal Aid Executive Director Dennis Groenenboom.

Only 66 of the 92 individuals who took the exam for the first time were successful. Click here to see the complete list of successful applicants.

ISBA receives ESGR Above and Beyond Award

During the Annual Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Awards Luncheon Saturday, April 18, ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla accepted on behalf of the ISBA an award presented to employers who hire and support members of the National Guard or Reserves. ISBA Communications Director Ashlee Lolkus nominated the ISBA for the Patriotic Employer Award last year which was upgraded this year to the Above and Beyond Award.

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Mock, national chair of the ESGR, Richard Rue, the state chair for the ESGR, and Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, the Iowa National Guard adjutant general, presented the awards to the employers. The ISBA was one of 14 employers to receive the ESGR’s second highest award this year.

"I feel The Iowa State Bar Association should be recognized for its support,” Lolkus said. "Without its willingness to support my National Guard career, I don’t know that I would have continued serving after my current obligation was exhausted.”

In the Guard, Lolkus serves as the public affairs non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the 34th "Red Bull” Infantry Division located in Rosemount, Minn. She attends drill-periods one weekend a month and an annual training period for two weeks each year. She has been a part of the Guard for 15 years and deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

YLD mentorship application deadline approaching

The ISBA Mentor Program application deadline is less than two weeks away. 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 no later than May 1 and pairings will be sent out no later than June 1.

"A kick-off event for the mentor program will take place at the YLD social at the ISBA annual meeting where all mentees and mentors will be encouraged to get to know each other,” said YLD President Amos Hill. 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 ...

Alzheimer’s trial in Iowa stirs talk of senior sexuality
Whether their parents still want sex probably isn’t at the top of the minds of most people choosing a nursing home for their loved ones. But experts from the Widener University-based Sexuality and Aging Consortium say a groundbreaking Iowa court case illustrates why consumers and long-term-care facilities should do more thinking about sex — before they get into trouble.
The Seattle Times

City of Dubuque could eliminate misdemeanor jail time
Commit a city crime and you'll likely pay a fine, but you might avoid jail time. Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen and Assistant City Attorney Maureen Quann on Monday will ask City Council members to eliminate jail time as a penalty for misdemeanor violations of city code.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald

The Register's Editorial: Chairman Grassley: Treat all states alike on judges
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley's announcement last week that he is recommending two Iowans for U.S. District Court vacancies in Des Moines and Sioux City is good news for Iowa. The implication is Grassley is prepared to move quickly on Senate confirmations of White House nominees for the federal courts — at least for judgeships in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register

Proposed courthouse security upgrades outlined
Following a brief debate last Tuesday about security updates in the North and South Lee County courthouses and office buildings, action on the issue was put on hold. During Tuesday’s Lee County Board of Supervisors meeting, representatives from Mohrfeld Electric in Fort Madison said $100,000 should do the trick.
The Daily Gate City, Keokuk

Iowa Civil Rights Act commemorated
The Iowa Senate today observed a milestone in the history of anti-discrimination in Iowa. Fifty years ago on April 21 the General Assembly unanimously approved the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965, following the enactment of the U.S. Civil Rights Act in 1964. Reading a senate resolution, Des Moines Democrat Tony Bisignano says great strides have been made in eliminating discrimination in Iowa.
Iowa Public Radio


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 - April 22

April 17, 2015

No. 13-1615

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Todd A. Hensley, Judge. The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing defendant’s conviction for OWI finding the prosecution violated the speedy indictment rule. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1938

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol S. Egly (suppression) and Carol L. Coppola (trial), Judges. The defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the district court’s judgment and sentence for operating while intoxicated, second offense. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

No. 14-0374

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, James D. Birkenholz, District Associate Judge. The defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming her conviction and sentence of second-degree harassment following a guilty plea. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.



It is vital that firms have professional liability coverage in place. Not having coverage can put a firm at risk. That’s why The Iowa State Bar Association partnered with Lockton Risk Services to develop the ISBA Insurance Program. Developed under the guidance of ISBA, the program offers the professional liability coverage Iowa law firms need to protect their practices at competitive rates that may not be available anywhere else.The ISBA Insurance Program is designed specifically with you in mind and offers:
  • Competitive Rates
  • Comprehensive Policy Form, including unique coverage extensions
  • Access to Unparalleled Loss Prevention & Risk Management Service
  • Outstanding Customer Service Insurance with a Company Rated "A” by A.M. Best
Click here to get started!