Iowa Lawyer Weekly (05/11/2016)
Share |


    May 11, 2016
Past Issues  

What to do with old files

As more boomer-aged attorneys retire or begin thinking about retiring, the question often arises about what to do with old files. Two sources provide some guidance.


One is a white paper created by CNA, which provides professional liability insurance to members through Lockton Affinity L.L.C., the ISBA’s endorsed professional liability insurance carrier. Entitled "Creating a File Retention and Destruction Policy,” it discusses various scenarios on file retention and destruction, including how to deal with electronically stored information. It is available by clicking here.


The other is Ethics Opinion 08-02 published by the ISBA Committee on Ethics and Practice Guidelines in March 2008. Entitled "File Storage and Retention Policy,” it points out that "while there is no legally prescribed time that a lawyer must keep a file, there are certain considerations a lawyer may use in determining when and under what circumstances a file may be destroyed.” Read the full opinion here.

Register now for 2016 annual meeting

With the 2016 ISBA Annual Meeting only a month away (June 13-15), now is the time to register to take advantage of the early bird rates. Those rates result in a savings of $50 compared with the regular rates; they end June 9.

Held for the third year in a row at the Community Choice Credit Union in Des Moines, Iowa, the annual meeting is the largest gathering of legal professionals in the state. This year, as in the past several years, it will be held in conjunction with the Iowa Judges Association. The Iowa Court Reporters Association will also hold a meeting and offer seminars during the event.

Aside from the CLE credit (a maximum of 19 state hours and nine ethics hours, with 16.5 federal hours pending), there will be plenty of opportunities for socializing with other attorneys and judges. The convention center offers ample space for chatting in the hallways. Organized social events such as the Luau in the Lot hosted by the YLD and the 50-year member luncheon, provide additional opportunities to rub shoulders with colleagues. The Luau in the Lot, new last year, is particularly popular because of its casual atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to wear Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts and are treated to a smorgasbord of free food and drink in the festively decorated ISBA headquarters parking lot.

For more information and to register for the meeting, click here. A detailed list of CLE seminars with topics and speakers can be seen by clicking on the annual meeting image above, or on the event website.

Reminder: June 3 is deadline to apply for OPR director’s position

The deadline to apply for the position of director of the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) at the Iowa Judicial Branch is fast approaching. All application materials must be mailed, faxed or emailed to the counsel to the chief justice by 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 3. 


The OPR director oversees the administration of key boards and commissions and the program functions performed by those commissions as provided by Chapter 49 of the Iowa Court Rules. A detailed list of the responsibilities and qualifications, as well as instructions for applying, can be found in the job posting on the judicial branch website accessible at this link


The successful applicant will succeed Paul Wieck, II, who is retiring Dec. 22.


Enrollment still open for Aflac accident, cancer/specified-disease insurance policies

There’s still time to sign up for the Aflac accident and cancer/specified-disease insurance policies recently made available through the ISBA’s endorsed broker for insurance products and services other than professional liability insurance.


Reynolds & Reynolds, Inc., is offering the Aflac coverage which, unlike most major medical insurance products, pays cash benefits to the policy holder to use as he or she sees fit. For example, the individual cancer/specified-disease product provides cash that can be used for out-of-network specialists, experimental cancer treatment, child care and household help, and normal living expenses, such as car payments and utility bills.


To learn more about the Aflac coverage, including the various plans available, click here.

Fellow attorney needs help

A message was sent Monday to the ISBA’s SOLACE support program requesting help for Philip Ramirez, chief public defender in the Seventh Judicial District in Davenport. Ramirez, 50, was diagnosed two weeks ago with a very aggressive form of cancer, adenocarcinoma, and his prognosis is poor.


The family – wife, Darla, who has worked for the judicial branch for 21 years, and children 13 and 11 – need help covering out-of-pocket expenses while Ramirez receives treatment in Chicago. He is unable to eat and a feeding tube has been inserted. The feeding bags he receives are partially covered by insurance; however the out-of-pocket costs are $200 to $300 each.


If you can help this family, please contact Kathy Gaylord, district court administrator for the Seventh Judicial District. Her email address is Her physical address is: Scott County Courthouse, 400 West 4th Street, Davenport, IA 52801. She will give you instructions on where to send your donation.


The ISBA’s SOLACE (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel, All Concern Encouraged) program was started several years ago. Its purpose is to enable the legal community to reach out in a small, but meaningful and compassionate way to those judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries, bar staff and their families who experience a death or some catastrophic illness or injury. Read more about the SOLACE program here.

What the best NEW lawyers do

A group of law professors from the University of Arkansas is looking for attorneys across the nation to feature in their book project, What the Best New Lawyers Do. Their hope is to produce a manual that can be used as a helpful resource to new attorneys and much more.


The project, planned to take nearly three years to complete, is broken down into four phases. The first phase is generating credible nominations. According to the group’s definition, an exceptional new lawyer is one who has found exceptional success in both his or her profession and community. Those interested in nominating an attorney can review and complete the observer nomination consent form. Those who wish to nominate themselves should review and complete the nominee consent form


For more details regarding the project, visit the project website. For a similar study on best mentors, visit the group's mentor study site.

Supreme Court Opinions
May 6

No. 14–0019

STATE OF IOWA vs. TOBY RYAN RICHARDS A defendant in a criminal case seeks further review after the court of appeals affirmed his conviction for domestic abuse assault, contending the district court improperly admitted evidence of prior altercations in violation of Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.404(b). COURT OF APPEALS DECISION AND DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.


No. 14–0820

ELYSE DE STEFANO vs. APTS. DOWNTOWN, INC. A tenant appeals and a landlord cross-appeals a district court ruling affirming in part and reversing in part a small claims court decision in a residential landlord–tenant dispute. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.


No. 14–1547

ESTATE OF PAUL DEDRICK GRAY by BRENNA MARIE GRAY, Administrator of the Estate, and BRENNA MARIE GRAY, Individually and on Behalf of O.D.G., Minor Child of Paul Dedrick Gray and Brenna Marie Gray vs. DANIEL J. BALDI; DANIEL J. BALDI, D.O., P.C.; UNITED ANESTHESIA & PAIN CONTROL, P.C.; CENTRAL IOWA HOSPITAL CORPORATION; IOWA HEALTH PAIN MANAGEMENT CLINIC; IOWA HEALTH SYSTEM; UNITYPOINT HEALTH; BROADL Plaintiffs appeal from a district court decision granting summary judgment to defendant medical providers, contending the district court erred in concluding the plaintiffs’ wrongful-death and loss-of-consortium claims are time-barred. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.


No. 14–1783

LENORA CARUSO vs. APTS. DOWNTOWN, INC. A landlord appeals and a tenant cross-appeals a district court ruling affirming in part and reversing in part a small claims court decision in a residential landlord–tenant dispute. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.


In Other News ...