Iowa Lawyer Weekly (05/14/2014)
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May 14, 2014
Past Issues

Funeral arrangements for Phil Willson

Services for longtime ISBA member, former president and supporter of the association, Philip Willson, will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at the Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. in Omaha. Phil died May 8 at Hospice House in Omaha at the age of 90.

A graduate of Yale University Law School in 1949, Phil was a co-founding partner of the law firm Willson and Pechacek, P.L.C. in Council Bluffs. He served as president of the ISBA from 1977-78, the Iowa Defense Counsel Association from 1969-70, and the Pottawattamie County Bar Association from 1963-64.

He also received many honors and awards during his career, including the ISBA’s Award of Merit – the association’s highest honor – the ISBA’s President’s Award and the ISBA Community Service Award. In addition, he co-authored "Iowa Practice,” Vestal & Willson in 1975

An obituary and the opportunity to sign the guest book are available on the Heafey-Heafey-Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler website.

Congressman Bruce Braley to address members at annual meeting

U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley will address members attending the ISBA’s 2014 Annual Meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (formerly Vets Auditorium) in Des Moines.

Congressman Braley will address members in a general session immediately following the first round of breakout sessions Tuesday morning. The topic(s) he will discuss are yet to be determined.

To view the schedule of events taking place at this year’s annual meeting, see the brochure on the ISBA website. It contains a printable registration form on the back page. To register online, click here.

More beginning farmer program workshops scheduled

The Iowa Agricultural Development Division of the Iowa Finance Authority (IADD) has announced the dates and locations for its next round of free workshops to increase the awareness of Iowa’s Beginning Farmer Loan and Tax Credit programs that could benefit clients.

During the 60-minute workshops, participants will learn about assistance available for beginning farmers to purchase agricultural land, depreciable machinery or equipment, breeding livestock, buildings, or to improve existing farmland and buildings. There are also programs to give farmers or landowners an Iowa tax credit if they lease their land or custom-hire beginning farmers.

Ag attorneys, CPAs, Ag lenders, farm managers and other agricultural service providers, are encouraged to attend. A list of the workshops and registration information for each event is available here or by calling 800-432-7230.

ISBA locks in presentations for 2nd Annual Tech Show

As the 2014 Annual Meeting approaches, ISBA staff is locking events into the schedule, including more tech presentations for the 2nd Annual Tech Show June 19 held in conjunction with the annual meeting. To make scheduling easier, ISBA staff created a tech show feature page to help attendees customize their day.

Some of the tech show topics include: Social Media Ethics for the Legal Profession, Introduction to Legal Research on Fastcase, How to Embrace a Paperless Legal Office including e-discovery, Office 365 for the Legal Profession, Metadata - Are you Inadvertently Leaking Confidential Information, Mobile Practice Management, and much more.

After the success of last year’s tech show, ISBA staff and event planners are beefing up this year’s show with more opportunities and content. But this tech show isn’t just for attorneys. For only $35, attorneys and law office staff members can attend and gain helpful tech knowledge to use at their firms, and even get lunch out of the deal.

The tech show is included in the annual meeting fee so attorneys attending the annual meeting can drop into the tech show at no additional cost. For those not attending the annual meeting, but wishing to attend the tech show, registration is available online here.

Members can register for the annual meeting here
, or for a complete schedule, download the 2014 Annual Meeting eight-page brochure.

YLD brings dueling pianos to annual meeting entertainment line-up

The Young Lawyers Division of The ISBA is hosting an annual meeting social event Tuesday, June 17, from 7 - 10 p.m., which will feature three hours of dueling piano entertainment. Audience members can join in on the interactive show, select songs they want to hear and sing or dance along.

This is a free event open for all ISBA membership. However, attendees must indicate whether they plan to attend the event when registering for annual meeting. Members who are interested in attending the YLD social event but cannot register for all of annual meeting should still submit a registration form. Be sure to check the "social events only” box on the online registration form.

Members can register online here, or view the complete schedule, by downloading the 2014 Annual Meeting eight-page brochure.

Did You Know...

The April Iowa Lawyer hit your inboxes this 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 always view the magazine online or through an app available in the iTunes or Google Play store.


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 9, 2014

No. 11-1685
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael G. Dieterich, District Associate Judge. A defendant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision finding the district court’s admission of certain evidence did not violate the Confrontation Clauses of the United States and Iowa Constitutions. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.

No. 12-0302
ALAN ASHER and LARYSA ASHER, as Parents and Next Friends of ALEXANDRA ASHER, a minor, and ALAN ASHER and LARYSA ASHER, Individually vs. OB-GYN SPECIALISTS, P.C., and ANTHONY A. ONUIGBO, M.D.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Thomas N. Bower, Judge. Defendants in a medical negligence action appeal a jury verdict. AFFIRMED.

No. 12-0919

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Eliza J. Ovrom, Judge. Appellee seeks further review of court of appeals decision reinstating private lawsuit by service dog trainer alleging denial of access rights under Iowa Code chapter 216C. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1158

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge. Public employee organization appeals district court decision on judicial review that reversed ruling of Public Employment Relations Board on scope-of-bargaining issue. DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART; REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.