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    May 25, 2016
Past Issues  

This week in history: Fifty-three attorneys assembled May 27, 1874, at the Polk County Courthouse, for the purpose of forming The Iowa State Bar Association. The elected president was Judge James Grant of Davenport, Iowa, and attorneys from each of the 13 judicial districts were selected for the executive council. During that initial meeting, the ISBA constitution and bylaws were presented and adopted. 

A message from the ISBA President



The 2016 Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting is fast approaching. As president of the ISBA, I am excited to invite you to attend this dynamic conference Monday, June 13, through Wednesday, June 15, at downtown Des Moines’ Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Once again, we welcome the Iowa Judges Association and the Iowa Court Reporters Association.


This meeting, Iowa’s largest gathering of legal professionals, not only provides compelling CLE programming with timely topics and charismatic speakers, it also offers several exciting social events – a guaranteed opportunity to enhance the personal and professional relationships ISBA members value most. With such implementations as electronic filing, it seems the face-to-face encounters we have with one another have diminished over time. Our paths cross less at the courthouse and numerous new attorneys do not know judges or other attorneys. With the variety of networking occasions planned, the annual meeting is the one time of year we can reconnect and create new bonds with members of the bench and bar. The social event opportunities allow attendees to:

  • Reconnect with old friends at the Creighton, Drake and Iowa Law School luncheons
  • Congratulate the members of the 50-year class of 2016 on their achievement at the 50-Year Member Luncheon
  • Establish a new valuable connection at the Joint Presidents Reception
  • Mix and mingle with fellow attorneys and judges at the Luau in the Lot
  • Discuss issues of importance with judges and ISBA leadership at the Luncheon Honoring the Iowa Supreme Court
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of fellow members at the Awards Gala

Make no mistake – The Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting is the place to be June 13 through 15. I look forward to seeing you there.


Bruce L. Walker


The Iowa State Bar Association


To learn more about the 2016 ISBA Annual Meeting, visit the registration page.

Election results for ISBA, YLD officers and directors

Members have made their selections for the 2016-2017 ISBA officers, ABA delegate, and the YLD officers and district representatives. 


Current Vice President Steve Eckley was elected to the position of president-elect. Tom Levis was elected as vice president. And, David L. Brown was re-elected as one of three ABA delegates.


YLD members elected Tom Hillers, Marshalltown, as president-elect for the coming year. Margret "Maggie” White, Des Moines, was elected secretary.


A total of 14 individuals were elected as district representatives in the six districts with open seats. Click here see who was elected.

ISBA Public Service Project seeks attorneys to assist with cases

The ISBA Public Service Project has nearly 80 cases for which it seeks pro bono assistance from Iowa bar members. Pro bono placement requests come from around the state and include a variety of case types such as child custody, divorce, real estate, tax and more.


A list of all outstanding cases awaiting placement has been assembled with the assistance of the two primary pro bono programs in Iowa. This list illustrates that on any given day, there are members of local Iowa communities who need assistance.


To accept one of the listed cases, simply email the associated email address to begin the process. For questions regarding this list, contact ISBA PSP Executive Director Brett Toresdahl at or call 515-697-7881. 


Friday is deadline for I.O.W.A.’s Mansfield, Rush awards nominations

Only two days remain for nominating deserving female attorneys for the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys (I.O.W.A.) Arabella Mansfield and Gertrude Rush awards. The awards will be presented at the I.O.W.A. Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 13, at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, Iowa.


The two awards honor outstanding women lawyers in Iowa who have promoted and nurtured women in the legal profession, and who demonstrate leadership in the community and the legal profession and show concern for human and civil rights. More information about the awards as well as nomination forms can be found here.


A registration form for the meeting and awards banquet is available by clicking here. The deadline for registering is Friday, June 3.

American Bar Association sharing FBI cyber security alerts

The American Bar Association began sharing new cybersecurity alerts with the legal community in an effort to increase awareness of potential threats. The FBI generates notifications about potential threats, which are forwarded on in the ABA alerts.


The most recent alert focuses on concerns over ransomware and keysweepers. Ransomware is an attack that shuts down key portions of a network or computer system until a ransom is paid. KeySweepers are devices designed to monitor keyboard strokes in order to gain passwords and other vital information. 


Each alert will contain detailed information on how cyber-attacks are executed, as well as best practices to avoid becoming a victim. The alert program is part of the ABA’s effort to enhance cybersecurity awareness, protect privacy and maintain public safety.


More information about the ABA cyber security initiatives and registration for the alerts is available at the ABA website.

Constitution society to host discussion on Supreme Court nomination process

The Iowa Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society will host a discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process Wednesday, June 1, at noon in the Faegre Baker Daniels offices on the 33rd floor of the 801 Grand Avenue building in Des Moines, Iowa. 


Led by Mark Kende, director of the Drake University Constitutional Law Center, the discussion will feature two former advisors to U.S. presidents, as well as a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Registration, which can be accessed here, is required by Tuesday, May 31, to ensure building access.

Supreme Court Opinions
May 20

No. 14–1623

GLENDALE MORE JR. vs. STATE OF IOWA An applicant for post-conviction relief requests further review of a court of appeals ruling affirming a district court decision denying his application for relief. AFFIRMED.


No. 16–0005

IN THE MATTER OF HONORABLE MARY E. HOWES, District Court Judge of the Seventh Judicial District.  The Iowa Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed an application for judicial discipline recommending this court discipline a district court judge for various violations of the Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct. APPLICATION GRANTED AND JUDGE PUBLICLY ADMONISHED.


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