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    May 20, 2015
Past Issues   

Now is the time: ISBA Legislative Counsel calls for a grass roots brush fire

It is imperative that ISBA members contact their local legislators this week. Ask legislators to support three bills: judicial branch funding at the level requested by the court, as contained in SF496; indigent defense funding at the level requested by the State Public Defender, as contained in SF497; and maintain funding for the Office of the Substitute Decision Maker to protect some of the most vulnerable Iowans, as contained in SF505. Next week, legislators will return to the state capitol to negotiate these bills in small groups called conference committees.

"You can be ridiculously effective by taking a few moments to contact your legislators,” says Doug Struyk, ISBA Assistant Legislative Counsel. "As a legislator, if you receive three to four emails on a particular issue, that is a brush fire.” By sending an email, making a call or meeting with legislators in person and asking for support of these three bills at specific funding levels, he said, you are giving legislators the messages they need to send to their leadership and to the individuals serving on the conference committees that are negotiating the bills.

Learn more about the issues by watching a video message from ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney and Struyk who share their legislative updatehere. For contact information for your legislator visit

Attorney hiring on the rise in Iowa?

According to this year’s ISBA Economic survey, 272 of the respondents reported that their law firms or organizations plan to hire an attorney in the next 12 months. These figures and more are included in the data from this year’s survey, conducted by Readex Research. It also includes information on average salaries offered to new attorneys, average salaries for experienced attorneys based on a variety of practice factors, average overhead expenses, average billing rates, average weekly work hours and more.

The complete 2015 economic survey report will be released at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

2015 Annual Meeting app now available

Where is that session I wanted to attend? What social event is taking place tonight? Find answers to all of your logistical questions by downloading the free 2015 Annual Meeting App.

All annual meeting attendees are encouraged to download the app. Attendees can personalize their schedules, view maps of the conference venue to help locate session rooms, tag photos to Twitter with #2015ISBA and much more.

Follow these steps to download the app:

· Go to
· Visit iTunes Store or Google Play
· Search for "CrowdCompass Directory”
· Download the CrowdCompass App
· Open the CrowdCompass App and search for "2015 ISBA Annual Meeting”
· Tap on the event name to download the content


 Retired Justice James H. Andreasen dies

Justice James H. Andreasen died Thursday, May 14. Justice Andreasen was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court Nov. 13, 1987, began service as senior judge in 1999 and retired from the bench 10 years later. During his career, he served on several committees of the Iowa Supreme Court and the ISBA.

Services for Justice Andreasen were held Tuesday, May 19, at the First United Methodist Church in Algona, Iowa.

May/June issue of The Iowa Lawyer Magazine now available online

The May/June edition of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine is now available online. Members who elect to receive the Iowa Lawyer in print should expect their copy of the magazine through the U.S. Postal Service in the next few days. This issue focuses on the changing leadership of the ISBA.

The Iowa Lawyer is free online or in print to ISBA members as part of their annual dues and is delivered eight times annually. The magazine informs members on issues, events and developments in the law specific to Iowa that impact their practices and their lives as attorneys.

Members interested in viewing the online version of the magazine can do so by clicking here or by navigating to clicking on "Publications,” then "Iowa Lawyer Magazine.” Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.

Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be directed to the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7898.

National High School Mock Trial results

The Iowa team from Marion Home School took home the 6th place trophy at the 2015 National High School Mock Trial Championship. They defeated teams from New Jersey, Wisconsin and Nevada; falling only to the eventual national runner up from Georgia by split ballots in the final preliminary round. The team from Nebraska is this year’s national champion. A member of the Iowa team, Gabe Groothuis, was named Outstanding Attorney for the competition.

Since 1983, the Iowa Mock Trial Program has given thousands of students the opportunity to get a close-up look at the judicial process. The Iowa program remains among the largest in the nation, and one of very few to offer the mock trial experience to middle school. Close to 3,500 students in grades six through 12 participate in mock trial competitions. Many hundreds more benefited from mock trials as an in-class activity.

For more information about the results from the 2015 National High School Mock Trial Championship, click here. To read more about the Iowa Mock Trial Program, click here.

Iowa Court Rules updates

Chief Justice Mark Cady recently signed orders adopting amendments to the following Iowa Court Rules:

·Court Rule 35.14 Reinstatement of License After Revocation,
·Court Rule 31.16 Registration of Foreign House Counsel and
· Chapters47and 48New and Amended Rules Governing Court Interpreters.

To view the order adopting amendments to Iowa Court Rule 35.14, click here. To view the order adopting amendments to Iowa Court Rule 31.16, click here. To view the order adopting amendments to new chapter 47 and chapter 48 of the Iowa Court Rules, click here.


In Other News ...

Editorial: Grassley right to push states on misdemeanor cases
Despite a reputation for dragging his feet on federal criminal sentencing reform, Sen. Chuck Grassley deserves credit for focusing national attention on an issue that affects the vast majority of people caught up in the criminal-justice system. Last week Grassley held a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, on what he described as a "widespread problem” of states failing to provide lawyers for defendants charged with misdemeanors. Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady was among those testifying.
The Des Moines Register

25 Percent of your colleagues will quit being lawyers by 2022
Law School Tuition Bubble crunched some Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data and figured out that lawyers are leaving the profession at an overall average of 25.5%. That’s not attorneys who are retiring. The retirement rate is a relatively non-terrifying 17.1%. But for "occupational transfers,” which is BLS-speak for "bailing out of being lawyers,” we’re seeing one of every four lawyers leave. And if you’re wondering how that compares to other professions … Double.
The Lawyerist

Iowa court: Anti-concurrent causation language mandates that the jury determine whether an excluded peril was one cause of the loss
Last month, we discussed a recent Texas Supreme Court decision that enforced an anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clause. The month of April also saw a unanimous panel on Iowa’s intermediate level appellate court do the same thing. InSalem United Methodist Church v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1546431, 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 308 (Iowa Ct. App., Apr. 8, 2015), the judges held that ACC provisions unambiguously exclude loss caused by a concurrent combination of excluded perils and included perils and that the question of whether an excluded peril played any causative role must therefore be put to the finder of fact.
JDSupra Business Advisor

County mulls secure buildings
The Lee County Courthouse Security Committee continues to make progress on a plan to improve security at some key county buildings. The committee, which is comprised of employees from more than a half dozen departments, met for about 90 minutes Thursday morning in Keokuk.
The Daily Gate City, Keokuk

Supreme Court splits on Iowa City cooperative rental housing cases
An Iowa Supreme Court ruling shows that Iowa City landlords can save big bucks if they have their paperwork in order to reclassify their apartment units as cooperatives. Iowa Supreme Court opinions released on Friday found one winner and one loser on this front. The court said one Iowa City rental housing complex is eligible for the lower residential property tax rate of a cooperative, while a second does not meet the conditions and must pay the more expensive commercial property tax rate.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Editorial: Ruling gives power to domestic abuse victims
Are the victims of domestic abuse entitled to go before a judge and ask that no-contact orders against their alleged attackers be lifted? That's the question that has pitted Muscatine County prosecutors against District Judge Thomas Reidel. Last summer, the judge issued an order that spells out a new process by which orders of protection can be modified or terminated. The judge's order carves out a new path for victims to take when they seek these types of changes.
The Des Moines Register



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 - May 20

May 15, 2015

No. 13-1031

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Stephen B. Jackson, Jr., Judge.

The Iowa City Board of Review appeals from the decision of the district court, which ordered the Iowa City Board of Review to reclassify a multiunit apartment cooperative as residential for property tax purposes. DISTRICT COURT DECISION REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

No. 14-0495

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Paul D. Miller, Judge.

A city appeals a decision of the district court affirming a board of review’s decision to classify the property owned by eleven multiple housing cooperatives as residential properties for purposes of property taxes. AFFIRMED.




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To get more information and to setup your law firm with access to the website, please contact the account manager, Renee Dunatchik. Renee can be reached via e-mail at, or by phone at (734) 452-4729.