Iowa Lawyer Weekly (05/07/2014)
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May 7, 2014
Past Issues

Popular Bench-Bar Conference kicking off next week

The ISBA Bench-Bar Conference, kicks off next week in Dubuque, May 14-16, at Hotel Julien. It’s not too late to attend the conference that brings together judges and lawyers in a laid-back and fun environment.

"Over the years, the Bench-Bar Conference has engendered open discussions that prompt positive action on emerging issues of interest to the bench and the bar,” said Iowa District Court Judge Annette J. Scieszinski a regular Bench-Bar attendee. "This conference stands as a tremendous opportunity for any lawyer and any judge to be part of the mix!"   

The CLE also includes the following recreational and social events: Golf tournament, morning run/walk, painting workshop, bicycling, Iowa Court of Appeals reception, luncheon featuring Hon. Jane Kelly, Iowa Supreme Court reception and Bench-Bar banquet featuring Hon. John Jarvey.

Those interested in attending can register online, or mail in the printable registration form

Notifications for voting on bar association officers, ABA Delegate, YLD district reps to be emailed

In the next week, the ISBA will send an email to members asking them to vote for bar association officers and an ABA delegate for the 2014-15 Fiscal Year. Those nominated will be identified in the email.

Ballots for voting on the YLD district representatives will be available for all YLD members on May 14. A list of the current nominees may be seen here. YLD members may name additional nominees if they do so by the end of today. (See the link above for details.)

Like last year’s elections, this year`s voting is being conducted electronically. Electronic voting provides a faster method of tallying the results while maintaining maximum confidentiality. Members may vote by paper ballot if they are not comfortable voting online. All ballots - whether online or by mail -- must be cast by May 24.

Vestal to resign as dean of Drake University Law School; Benjamin Ullem appointed interim dean

Allan Vestal, dean of Drake Law School, announced last week, May 1, that due to health issues he will resign as dean effective June 30. After a sabbatical year, Allan plans to return to a faculty position in fall 2015.

"Dean Vestal has done a truly remarkable job leading Drake law School,” said ISBA President Guy Cook. "The law school is genuinely fortunate to have benefited from his insight, gravitas and forward-thinking manner.”

"I would like to thank Allan for his service to Drake over the last five years,” said Drake University Provost Deneese Jones. "His leadership has led to significant renovations at Cartwright Hall, the establishment of new clinical programs that serve the community, and increased faculty publication.” Vestal also recruited a talented cohort of new faculty while developing LL.M. and M.J. programs that broaden the school’s scope.

Benjamin B. Ullem has been appointed interim dean of Drake Law School for the academic year beginning July 1. Ullem graduated from Drake Law School in 1969, and currently practices with Whitfield & Eddy PLC in Des Moines. He will be taking a leave of absence from his current position as a member of Drake University Board of Trustees, where he has served since 1989. He previously served as interim dean of the law school in 2008–2009. 

A national search for a new dean will commence in August 2014.

Creighton School of Law mixer to honor 2014 graduates

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division is joining with the Pottawattamie County Bar Association, the Southwest Iowa Bar Association and the Creighton University School of Law to sponsor a mixer with Creighton law students from 5 – 7 p.m. on May 15.

The event will take place at Mr. Toad’s Pub in Omaha. Appetizers and drinks will be provided. For more details, click here to see the flyer.

New ‘You and the Law’ videos debut on the ISBA website

The ISBA provides a number of resources for the public, including a page on the ISBA website dedicated to You and the Law. Two videos recently released were Alternative Dispute Resolution and Landlord Tenant Law

The videos are meant to be an alternative media option to the ISBA brochures already offered to the public. The public information can be offered to clients to inform them on basic legal processes and when the public should consider the use of an attorney.

The You and the Law page was prepared as a public service by various committees and sections and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law. If the public has specific questions with regard to any of the content on the page, people are encouraged to consult an attorney. If they need an attorney, the public is advised to use the ISBA Find-A-Lawyer service.

Judicial District 8B seeks law clerk

The Eighth Judicial District is seeking a legal assistant 1 (law clerk) for Subdistrict 8B. Deadline for applying is 4:30 p.m. May 16.

Qualified candidates must have graduated from an accredited law school, although applicants may apply before they have officially graduated. A high standard of academic excellence and considerable experience in legal research and writing are desirable.

The individual will perform legal research, draft memoranda, decisions, findings and orders, and perform other duties as assigned. Travel to other counties within the district may be required with mileage reimbursement.

To obtain an application form, go to the Judicial Branch website at: and select "Administration>Career Opportunities.” Send the completed application along with a cover letter, resume, references, transcripts and a writing sample to: Deb Dice, District Court Administrator, 211 East 4th Street, P.O. Box 1319, Ottumwa, IA  52501-1319, or email:

Annual Meeting Speaker: Sally Mulhern

This year’s annual meeting will feature a number of presenters. The ISBA will host Sally Mulhern June 17 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, formerly known as Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Sally will be presenting for the plenary track on real estate topics.

Sally is a founding partner in the law firm of Mulhern & Scott PLLC, with an office in Portsmouth, N.H. She concentrates in sophisticated estate planning techniques, and represents some of the nation’s most prominent families. She is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and has been selected by her peers as one of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers in America. She is also a member of Outstanding Lawyers of America and the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. 

In 1997, Sally founded Estate Planning To Die For®, a national speaking agency. She speaks nationally to global financial institutions, universities, international charities, trust departments, financial advisors and professional organizations. Sally is regularly quoted in the regional and national press, and recently appeared on CBS MarketWatch, the Wall Street Journal and in Dow Jones Newswire. She is the author of Estate Planning To Die For®: An Insider’s Guide For Financial Professionals, which has earned rave reviews from industry leaders, and is currently in its revised third edition.

To sign up to hear Sally and many of the other featured speakers, members can register for the 2014 Annual Meeting online or by printing and mailing a paper registration form.

Second call for Veterans Memorial Auditorium member-photos for annual meeting contest

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. Contest organizers are looking for anyone who played in a state tournament who is willing to share a digital photo for the contest.

The photos will be posted on the ISBA website or in subsequent issues of this newsletter. Members will have the opportunity to identify the ISBA member, or members, in the photos and submit their guesses 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 will be held June 16-19, 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. 

Did You Know...

The April Iowa Lawyer will hit inboxes next week.

Dubbed the Annual Meeting Issue, the April Iowa Lawyer is full of excellent information on the upcoming annual meeting and much more. In addition to the annual meeting coverage, here are a few other items you will want to check out:

   • President Guy Cook’s letter on annual meeting
   • Bar Foundation Approving Grant Requests
   • Dues notifications to be sent digitally 
   • Historic Dubuque to host Bench-Bar Conference
   • Anachronisms
   • Too many cases

Lastly, inside the issue is an eight-page spread of the annual meeting schedule. Find out what CLE credits you won’t want to miss at the annual meeting!

You can get a sneak peak of the April Iowa Lawyer by viewing the online, digital version or view it on the iTunes or Android apps for your mobile device. 


Benefit of the Week

Fastcase Bad Law Bot
Judges and their law clerks spend a lot of time analyzing cases and deciding whether their holdings are still valid. Most courts follow Bluebook Rule 10.7.1 when citing to a case that has been treated negatively.

Fastcase’s Bad Law Bot, available to active Iowa State Bar Association members, identifies that language, bolds it, and brings the negative treatment to your attention with a big red flag. There’s no need to look for the Bad Law Bot either: It’s already working on your Fastcase search.

Been relying on your go-to cases for a while without having checked them for negative treatment? Visit the Fastcase link after logging in at to pull those cases by citation today. If Bad Law Bot identifies any offending language, you’ll immediately see that red flag.


Iowa Supreme
Court Decisions

May 2, 2014

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, C.H. Pelton, Judge (suppression hearing) and Marlita A. Greve, Judge (trial). 

Defendant challenges validity of traffic stop upheld by court of appeals and district court. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT 

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George L. Stigler, Judge. 
An insurer seeks interlocutory review of a district court’s denial of the insurer’s motion for summary judgment. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Daniel P. Wilson, Judge. 
City appeals the district court’s denial of its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict after the jury awarded the plaintiffs damages for property damage allegedly caused by the City’s negligent storm water management. REVERSED AND REMANDED.