Iowa Lawyer Weekly (05/28/2014)
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May 28, 2014
Past Issues

ISBA President invites members to the 2014 Annual Meeting

ISBA President Guy Cook has recorded a videotaped invitation to members to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting to be held June 16-19 at the Community Choice Credit Union, formerly known as Veterans Memorial Auditorium, in Des Moines.

In the message, President Cook highlights the many CLE opportunities, speakers, social activities and opportunities for camaraderie with fellow attorneys and judges that will be part of the 141st annual meeting. He also touches on the 2nd Annual ISBA Tech Show, which brings together in one place the latest in law office and law practice technology, and is included in the annual meeting registration fee, or for a nominal fee for those unable to attend the entire annual meeting.

To view the video, visit the ISBA YouTube page.

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

Amended probate forms now available

Chief Justice Cady has signed an order adopting amendments to the probate forms contained in Chapter 7 of the Iowa Court Rules. The amendments are designed to bring the forms into compliance with EDMS requirements and to match the updated formatting of forms in the court rules.

The forms are available in fillable and savable format on the Iowa Judicial Branch website and may be used immediately.

Click here to read Chief Justice Cady’s order. The amended forms may be accessed  here (If you experience an issue with either link, visit the recent amendments page here).

IRS: Penalty relief pilot for small retirement plans begins in June

If you represent small businesses, you should be aware of a one-year pilot program the IRS is initiating next month to help small businesses that owe penalties for not filing reporting documents on their retirement plans. By filing current and prior year forms during this pilot program, they can avoid penalties.

The pilot program is designed for certain small businesses, such as those with an owner-spouse or eligible partner arrangement, that maintain retirement plans and may have been unaware that they had a filing requirement. The IRS projects that this program will bring a significant number of small business owners into compliance with the reporting requirements.

Plan administrators and sponsors who do not file an annual Form 5500 series return can face stiff penalties – up to $15,000 per return. Those who have already been assessed a penalty for late filings are not eligible for this program.

Multiple late retirement plan returns may be included in a single submission. If a retirement plan has delinquent returns for more than one plan year, penalty relief may be available for all of these returns. Similarly, delinquent returns for more than one plan may be included in a single penalty relief request. No filing fee will be charged during the pilot program.

More information on how to participate in the program can be found in Revenue Procedure 2014-32

Members select Walker, Kenyon as officers; Brown as ABA State Bar delegate

Bruce Walker was elected by the general membership to serve as ISBA President-elect and Arnold "Skip” Kenyon III was elected to serve as ISBA Vice President for the coming fiscal year (FY 2014-2015), in the election that closed last Thursday, May 22. David L. Brown was elected as the American Bar Association State Bar Delegate.

Walker practices with Phelan Tuker Mullen Walker Tucker & Gelman LLP in Iowa City. Admitted to the bar in 1972, his practice has consisted primarily of trial work for clients, both plaintiff and defense.

Kenyon is a general practitioner with Kenyon & Nielsen, PC in Creston. A University of Iowa College of Law graduate, he was admitted to the bar in 1977.

Brown works with the Hansen McClintock & Riley law firm in Des Moines. His practice area is primarily civil law. A Drake University Law School graduate, he was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1976.

Joe Feller, a sole practitioner in Sibley and the current president-elect automatically ascends to the ISBA presidency at a formal swearing-in ceremony on June 18 during the association’s 141st annual meeting.

State DHS seeks volunteers to be guardians/conservators

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is currently in need of volunteers to serve as guardians or conservators for wards of the state. Guardians and conservators make a big difference for some of the community's most needy individuals, says Megan Dodd, DHS volunteer coordinator.

Wards of the state are typically individuals with mental illness, disabilities or dementia. Often, family members of the individuals are not able to serve as guardians or conservators.

Guardians work with professionals from DHS and other service agencies to make placement and treatment decisions for the ward. A guardian may be asked to sign admission requests for hospitals, complete applications for government assistance and monitor the ward's treatment and condition. Conservators help manage a ward’s finances.

Guardians and conservators make a brief yearly report to the court. If additional court involvement is necessary, the county attorney's office can help file the necessary paperwork.

For more information, contact Dodd, at 515-725-2743 or

Reminder: Justice Fore All Golf Tournament signup deadline is June 19

The deadline for signing up yourself or your team for the 2014 Justice Fore All Golf (Eastern) tournament is Thursday, June 19. The tournament will be held at the Saddleback Ridge Golf Course on the outskirts of Solon on Thursday, June 26, with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m. and a shotgun start at 1:15 p.m.

The Justice Fore All tournament is one of two such tournaments (the other is in central Iowa on July 24) sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division. The events are designed to raise money for the ISBA’s Public Service Project to be used for programming and activity expenses. Donations and player fees are tax deductible to the extent the amount exceeds the actual costs of participation, which are estimated at $50 per person.

More details about both the central and eastern tournaments, as well as registration information, can be found on the ISBA calendar page.

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.

Did You Know...

as an ISBA member, you can securely deliver and access confidential correspondence, discovery documents and other case files faster and without size limits through ShareFile at a discounted rate? A limited number of ShareFile accounts are available to members for $5 a month, and you receive a 20-percent discount on any regular-priced ShareFile plan.

Click here for more information on ShareFile and how to take advantage of the service.

Benefit of the Week

Young Lawyers Division's social event featuring dueling pianos
Call, text, and tweet Sweet Caroline, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Jack and Diane, Proud Mary, Eleanor Rigby, and even your friends in low places. Invite them to celebrate good times with you at the Young Lawyers Division's social event featuring dueling pianos on Tuesday, June 17 from 7 - 10 p.m. The event is free to ISBA members. Simply R.S.V.P. here.

The Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center's Grand Ballroom will be the place to be on Tuesday. Come mingle with old friends and make new ones as you sing and dance the night away to the piano man playing your song. This YLD event is a time for ISBA members to come together and relax after taking care of business during the day at the ISBA's 2014 Annual Meeting.

Iowa Supreme Court Decisions

May 23, 2014

No. 13-0146

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Nancy A. Baumgartner, Judge. Property owner appeals district court judgment affirming decision of Iowa Utilities Board allowing independent transmission company to use pay-and-go procedure of Iowa Code section 476.27, the railroad-crossing statute. REVERSED.

No. 13-1082

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Benton County, Patrick R. Grady, Judge. A surviving spouse appeals the district court’s order granting judgment on the pleadings to the trustees of the decedent’s estate and denying her claim of a spousal elective share. AFFIRMED.

No. 13-1333

Appeal from the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Attorney appeals from the grievance commission’s recommendation of revocation. LICENSE REVOKED.