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    July 6, 2016
Past Issues  

Appointments made to Supreme Court boards, commissions

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order last Thursday appointing the following individuals to the court’s boards and commissions. Each will serve three-year terms ending June 30, 2019, except where noted.

Attorney Discipline Board

  • Michael J. Chozen, Spirit Lake
  • Karen J. Erger, Ely
  • Mark C. Smith, Des Moines

Commission on Continuing Legal Education

  • Michael G. Pagel, Dubuque
  • Margaret J. Popp Reyes, Council Bluffs
  • Daniel P. Kitchen, Washington
  • Mindi M. Vervaecke, Mason City (to complete an unexpired term ending June 30, 2017)

Grievance Commission

  • Jill M. Kistler, Waukon (1A)
  • Brian John Williams, Waterloo (1B)
  • Greg M. Lievens, Allison (2A)
  • Richard H. Moeller, Sioux City (3B)
  • Beatriz A. Mate-Kodjo, Pella (5A)
  • Peter W. Blink, Newton (5A)
  • Gregory A. Witke, Des Moines (5C)
  • David M. Erickson, Des Moines (5C)
  • Lisa M. Epp, Cedar Rapids (6)
  • Katie L. Ranes, West Des Moines (5A) (to complete an unexpired term ending June 30, 2017)
  • Ralph W. Heninger, Davenport (7) (to complete an unexpired term ending June 30, 2017)
  • Ryan J. Mitchell, Ottumwa (8A) (to complete an unexpired term ending June 30, 2017)
  • Susan C. Daniels, Centerville (8A) (to complete an unexpired term ending June 30, 2018)

The full order includes the individuals appointed as chairs of the boards and commissions, and the lay people who are not listed in this article.

New and revised Iowa Land Title Standards

The ISBA’s Title Standards Subcommittee of the Real Estate and Title Law Section has prepared, and the Board of Governors has approved, updated title standards. The updates, which became effective last month, include:

  • Title Standard 1.2 pertaining to short form acknowledgements
  • Title Standard 2.1 pertaining to when a conveyance is made by a municipal corporation, a county, a school district, a community college, or a merged area of the state
  • Title Standard 3.4 related to name variances. It has been transferred to Title Standard 8.11
  • New Title Standard 8.11 regarding name variances of legal entities.

To view the latest updates, visit the ISBA title standards page. Links to download the full title standards in PDF or Word formats are also available on the page.


YLD’s jury-verdict database now searchable on ISBA website

The Young Lawyers Division database of Iowa civil jury verdicts on the ISBA website can now be searched by the type of case – brain injuries, for example – by the name of the case, by the county, by the opposing counsel’s name, or by a number of other keywords. From this information, you can review all of the filings on the cases in EDMS.

The YLD Litigation Committee began compiling the statewide civil jury verdicts several years ago as a way of helping trial counsel assess the value of a case, support the demand or offer, decide whether to take a case to trial or settle, and access actual pre-trial filings, motions in limine, trial briefs and jury instructions. The compilations are emailed weekly to interested individuals. 

Now anyone can access the database by clicking on the blue "Jury Verdict Reporter” ribbon on the right side of the ISBA website main page. To search for a specific verdict, click the search button above the "Iowa Civil Jury Verdicts” title on the page that opens.

Contact Ben Long or James Russell, co-chairs of the YLD Litigation Committee who compile the database and send out the weekly email, at, or if you have questions, or if you are a young attorney and would like to be involved with the Litigation Committee’s efforts.

Drake Law School among best in nation for post-graduation employment

The American Bar Association collected employment data from all 204 law schools nationwide and ranked Drake Law School 36th for 2015 graduates. With 92.3 percent of last year’s class employed 10 months after graduation, the school finished well above the national average of 84.6 percent.

The school also ranks among the top 30 for graduates in positions that require bar passage at 86.3 percent. Data for the study was collected and submitted by Drake’s Career Development Office. 

"Our employment rate reflects our mission here at Drake Law School -- to provide a solid education and practical experiences that prepare outstanding professionals who are ready to use their law degrees in a variety of careers,” said Ben Ullem, former dean of Drake Law School.

The Career Development Office keeps tracking information on graduates’ employment as well as providing career and job search assistance.

Panel to address changing dynamics of Iowa Supreme Court’s work

A diverse panel of individuals will delve into the changes that have occurred in the Iowa Supreme Court’s work since the ousting of three justices in 2010. The discussion will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 14, on the third floor of the EMC Building, 700 Walnut St., in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. A reception will follow on the Nyemaster Goode, P.C., terrace.

Sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Nyemaster Goode, P.C., the event is free and open to the public. However, reservations are required. View the event webpage to see a list of the panelists and a brief biography on each, and to RSVP.

Supreme Court Opinions
June 30

No. 13–0739
STATE OF IOWA vs. JUSTIN ALEXANDER MARSHALL The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing the defendant’s conviction for murder in the first degree. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED.

No. 15–1661
KELLI JO GRIFFIN vs. PAUL PATE, In His Official Capacities as the Secretary of State of Iowa, and DENISE FRAISE, In Her Official Capacities as the County Auditor of Lee County, Iowa Claimant appeals district court ruling holding her drug conviction fell within the scope of "infamous crime” as used in article II, section 5 of the Iowa Constitution. AFFIRMED.


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