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    June 10, 2015
Past Issues   

Editor’s note: Our next electronic newsletter will be June 24th. Next week, all bar association staff will be at the Annual Meeting where we hope to see you!

ISBA members, legislative counsel impact successes of 2015 legislative session

The 2015 Iowa Legislative Session ended Friday, June 5, with a number of ISBA Affirmative Legislative Agenda successes. This legislative session’s standings bill, SF510, which includes sections that appropriate $178.7 million to Iowa courts, was ultimately passed after various revisions in conference committee.

"Before the final conference committee report was passed as SF510, there was a significant amount of policy that both chambers attempted to insert,” said ISBA President Joe Feller. "The ISBA legislative team did an outstanding job monitoring each and every revision to keep potentially harmful legislation out of the bill.”

According to the legislative team, many ISBA members took the time to communicate with their local legislators during the legislative session. Additional successes include changes requested by the court to increase efficiency, an update to Iowa human trafficking law, removal of the $25 per hour indigent defense language from justice appropriations, indigent defense funding set at $29.75 million and reinstatement of funding in the amount $288,666 for the Office of the Substitute Decision Maker.

"The efforts of the ISBA legislative team were very successful,” Feller went on to say. "Thanks in large part to the legislative team, the ISBA has great relationships with both the House and Senate, and that is apparent from the results of this year’s legislative program.”

A full legislative report will be presented at the Board of Governor’s meeting during the 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting next week. Look for the full legislative report in an upcoming Iowa Lawyer Magazine.

Join the conversation: Iowa White House Conference on Aging Dialogue, June 26

Are Iowa communities equipped to offer the wide range of services aging individuals will need to maintain their long-term independence? Do older Iowans and their families know what types of services they need and which ones are available locally? These questions and more will be addressed as part of a statewide community conversation hosted by the Iowa Area Agencies on Aging at seven locations throughout Iowa, Friday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to noon.

"This event will help attorneys stay in touch with the needs of clients,” says Greg Kenyon, ISBA Elder Law Section chair. He encouraged members of the ISBA to attend at any of the locations including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo. The Des Moines community conversation will take place at ISBA Headquarters.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating at each location is limited, so advance registration is recommended. For additional information or to register, visit or call LifeLong Links at 866-468-7887.

Last minute 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting announcements

The 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting, scheduled to be held next week (June 15-18) at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines, is almost here. Below are a few announcements to note:

Registration. Time is running out to register. Any registrations received after June 11 will incur a $50 walk-in/late fee. To make sure you don’t miss out on the lower rate, register today by clicking here and completing the online form.

Ticketed Events/Luncheons. Due to limited space, annual meeting attendees must purchase tickets for any of the following ticketed events by close-of-business tomorrow, June 11: Law School Luncheons, Luncheon Honoring the Iowa Supreme Court, the 50-Year Member Luncheon and the ISBA Annual Awards Gala.

If you’d like to attend one of these events but have already registered, contact Christy Cronin at 515-697-7874 or to make or alter your reservations. If you have not yet registered, click here to register and be sure to include the ticketed events when completing the online form.

Hotel Availability. Rooms are selling out fast. Of the three hotels offering reduced rates, the Quality Inn & Suites still has room availability and are honoring the group rate of $94.95 (tax and fees not included). The hotel is located at 929 3rd Street in downtown Des Moines. Call 515-282-5251 to make your reservation, and be sure to mention you are with the ISBA.

To see the complete schedule, view the official 2015 ISBA Annual Meeting program here or download the free 2015 Annual Meeting App here.


Update: RSVP for ABA President-elect nominee visit

Join Linda Klein, the ABA President-elect nominee, Thursday, July 2, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Mason City, Iowa, at the Historic Park Inn. Klein wants ISBA members' sincere input as she plans the future direction of the ABA and invites Iowa attorneys and judges to join her to tell her how the ABA can be more helpful.

"It is rare when the primary national spokesperson for our profession seeks the input of ‘main street lawyers’ in this manner and format,” says ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla. The Historic Park Inn, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, offers a unique venue for this important dialogue.

For more information about Linda Klein, click here to read last week’s article.The event is free for all to attend. For those interested in dining, there is a small fee of $10 so long as reservation is received by June 25. After June 25, the cost of the meal is $20. RSVP to ISBA Meetings Coordinator Lisa Hanson via email at Questions about the event may be directed to ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla via email at

Celebrate the I.O.W.A. past, present and future, June 15

Join the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys for a series of "flash panels" at its 30th Annual Meeting Banquet and Awards Presentation, Monday, June 15. The annual business meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Forte, 615 3rd Street, Des Moines, Iowa. A social hour will take place prior to the 7 p.m. banquet.

During the banquet program, "flash panels” will share their historical knowledge of the I.O.W.A. along with some of the successes and challenges each of these attorneys faced in founding and leading the organization, as well as the I.O.W.A.’s impact on their own professional lives and careers. As a preface to the Annual Arabella Mansfield Award and the Gertrude Rush Award presentations, several past award winners will share their brief thoughts on what the award meant to them personally and professionally.

For more information about the event, click here. Last-minute RSVPs may contact I.O.W.A. Annual Meeting Co-Chair Emily Chafa at or To learn more about I.O.W.A., click here.


In Other News ...

Iowa Supreme Court rules end of marriage has to include property distribution
The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled marriages in the state can’t be ended without all the property involved being divided up. The case involved Susan and Ronald Thatcher, who were married in 1984. Susan was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January 2013 and filed to end the 29-year marriage, saying their relationship had broken down. The two had been living apart and Susan said it was "highly unlikely” that she would survive her condition for a trial on the dissolution of their assets.
Radio Iowa

Tax Law Blog: Legislature passes bill affecting Iowa trusts and estates
The Iowa Legislature just passed House File 661, which was proposed by the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association and supported by the Iowa Academy of Trusts and Estates Lawyers.
JDSupra Business Advisor

5 questions answered on the legal challenge to Obamacare subsides
By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of the federal tax subsidies that help millions of Americans buy health insurance if they don't get coverage through an employer. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for people in about three dozen states using, the federal exchange website.
Iowa Public Radio

Montgomery County boosts courthouse security
Montgomery County is joining the ranks of others upgrading courthouse security. By unanimous vote Thursday morning, the county's board of supervisors approved the installation of a keyless entry system. With the new system, county employees will enter the building using I-D cards swiped through an electronic scanner. Montgomery County Auditor Stephanie Burke worked with Emergency Management Services Director Brian Hamman and I-T Director Ryan Ernst on improving the courthouse's security. Burke tells KMA News the improvements are based on Iowa judicial court guidelines on courthouse and public building safety.
KMAland, Shenandoah

Which bills passed and died in 2015 Iowa Legislature
If you ignite a bottle rocket or firecracker on July Fourth this year, it still won't be legal in Iowa. But don't worry about being pulled over by a state trooper while making a call on your hand-held cellphone because there's no violation of state law. Those are two of the many implications of the Iowa Legislature's 2015 session, which has headed home after enacting scores of new laws and leaving behind a long list of rejected bills.
The Des Moines Register

Nation's high court to hear Iowa class-action case
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case next term involving a $5.8 million class-action lawsuit arising from a pork processing plant in northwest Iowa. Tyson Foods Inc. say that employees at its Storm Lake facility don't have enough in common to join in a single class-action lawsuit.
Iowa Public Radio

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 - June 10

June 5, 2015

No. 13-2044

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Marsha M. Beckelman, Judge.

Appellant seeks further review of court of appeals decision dismissing his appeal of district court order granting bifurcated decree of dissolution of marriage without division of property. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT DECREE REVERSED; PROCEEDINGS ABATED; CASE REMANDED FOR DISMISSAL.

No. 14-0231

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Eliza J. Ovrom, Judge.

An injured worker awarded workers’ compensation benefits following a hearing seeks further review of a decision by the court of appeals denying the assessment of expenses of a medical examination as costs of the hearing taxed to the employer. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED.



Jury Instructions
The purpose of jury instructions is to give the law to the jury in language they can understand. The Iowa Civil and Criminal Uniform Jury Instructions are written in plain English. While the Iowa Supreme Court cannot give prior approval to the instructions, the Court has unanimously approved, in principle, the plain English redraft of the Iowa Civil and Criminal Jury Instructions. The court also adopted a resolution commending the Civil Instructions for consideration by the Trial Bench.

Access the Civil Jury Instructions here.
Access the Criminal Jury Instructions here.