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    August 10, 2016
Past Issues  

Nominations still needed for Supreme Court Rules of Criminal Procedure Committee

The Iowa Supreme Court asked ISBA President Skip Kenyon for help in locating a criminal defense attorney who is not a public defender to serve on the court’s Rules of Criminal Procedure Committee. The preference is for a female attorney from districts 3, 6 or 7.


If interested in serving on the committee, or if you know someone who would be a good candidate, please send an email to by close of business Friday, Aug. 12. Include "Rules of Criminal Procedure Committee” in the subject line. In the body of the email, include a brief paragraph describing your location, your background in criminal defense, number of years you’ve practiced criminal defense law and any other information that would assist the ISBA president in selecting candidates to forward to the court.


More information about the committee, including a list of the current members and when their terms expire, can be found at the Iowa Judicial Branch's website.

YLD to cancel Trial by Jury unless help found

For many years, the Young Lawyers Division has organized the Trial by Jury event at the Iowa State Fair. The event included presentations by Iowa High School Mock Trial students as well as mock trials by practicing attorneys. The YLD formed a state fair committee to handle the public outreach event that initially planned the high school presentation and later drafted the mock trial problem for presentation. The committee organized lawyers, judges, and court reporters to present the case for fair-goers on multiple evenings during the fair.


In recent years, fair-goer attendance has been dwindled. A couple years ago the event was held outdoors with very poor attendance. It became more and more difficult to find lawyers able to offer their time and talents to present the case. With the committee’s re-focus on YLD members - particularly educational opportunities and expansion to the offerings in the jury verdict reporter - the committee just didn’t have enough people able to offer enough time to keep the state fair event going. It is the committee’s goal to continue supporting young lawyers. Anyone interested in taking on the public outreach Trial by Jury event should contact the litigation committee co-chairs, Ben Long or James Russell.

The litigation committee of the YLD is excited to continue remolding its focus on expanding education and resources for less seasoned litigators. Many recognize the decreasing opportunity for young lawyers to get trial experience. The committee is focused on promoting and bolstering CLE opportunities focused on young trial lawyers and expanding resources available through the Iowa Jury Verdict Reporter.

Tips for avoiding malpractice claims

Law firms that have robust risk management practices in place may not only reduce their risk of a professional liability claim, but may also have a distinct competitive advantage over those firms that do not have such practices.


That statement in the introduction of a white paper created by CNA, and made available to Iowa attorneys through Lockton Risk Services, acknowledges findings by the ABA that between 4 and 17 percent of private practice attorneys can expect to be sued for malpractice in a given year. In addition, attorneys can expect on average, at least three malpractice claims over the course of their careers.


The paper lists 10 tips to assist in avoiding malpractice claims. Among them are using engagement agreements, screening potential clients before agreeing to represent them, not dabbling in cases outside their areas of practice and avoiding business transactions with clients outside of legal representation.


To read the remaining tips and an explanation of each, click here.


Bridge the Gap Gives Back

This year’s Bridge the Gap seminar, to be held Sept. 8 and 9, will offer attorneys an opportunity to give back to several charitable organizations from across Iowa.


Attorneys will first notice the event’s theme, ‘Bridge the Gap Gives Back,’ on the registration page, where they will have the opportunity to contribute to the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa or the Iowa 4-H Foundation. Representatives will also be on hand at the event to discuss volunteer needs.


At this year's program, 15 state hours of CLE credit, which includes three ethics and 7.5 federal hours, may be earned throughout the two-day event. Also included with registration are three juvenile law hours available through the ISBA On-Demand CLE Catalog.


The seminar will cover timely topics like Federal Laws Associated with Operating Drones, Ethics of Technology, Search and Seizure in the Digital Age and many more topics to keep you up to date in your practice.

Judges needed for competitions at Iowa Law

The University of Iowa College of Law is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for moot court and trial advocacy competitions in October and November. Volunteers are needed for the Stephenson Trial Advocacy Competition, oral arguments for Appellate Advocacy I, oral arguments for the ACMA Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court competition and to grade briefs for Appellate Advocacy I.


Judges for the trial advocacy competition may preside over or score the competition. Appellate Advocacy I will have a three-judge panel for oral arguments only. The American Collegiate Moot Court Association's undergraduate regional competition requires judging for oral arguments as well. 


Attorneys who are interested in helping can register online for any of the competitions. Questions regarding the events can be directed to Jill De Young.


In Other News ...

Does Iowa's deduction for federal taxes prevent tax increases?

Iowa could lower its high income tax rates significantly with no revenue loss if it traded lower rates for elimination of Iowa's unusual deduction for federal taxes paid. Such a trade-off plays a big part in the recently released Iowa Tax Reform Options prepared by the Tax Foundation for the Iowa Taxpayers Association.

Business Record


Can the access-to-justice gap be closed? These recommendations might make it possible

As expected, the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services delivered plenty of recommendations for how the bar can close the access to justice gap in America, while steering clear of the most contentious issue: whether alternative business structures—most notably non-lawyer ownership of law firms—should be permissible.

ABA Journal


New suits against social media giants seek to expand reach of US anti-terrorism laws

Three lawsuits pending in federal court make the sensational claim that Twitter, Google and Facebook committed acts of "international terrorism" and are responsible for compensating individuals injured by ISIS and Hamas. These improbable cases have been brought pursuant to the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a law permitting American victims of international terrorism to sue and collect three times their total damages, plus attorney fees and costs. They may be just the beginning of a high-stakes litigation campaign aimed at online service providers.

Legaltech news


Expert lawyering before SCOTUS is 'exceedingly lopsided' in criminal cases, law review article says

U.S. Supreme Court expert litigators argue a majority of civil cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, but in criminal cases the expertise is "exceedingly lopsided,” according to a law review article that examined the backgrounds of lawyers representing criminal defendants before the U.S. Supreme Court.

ABA Journal


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.



Ten technology mistakes lawyers make every day

5 ways to avoid awkwardness when you don’t know how to pronounce someone’s name

Logistics of hiring your first new associate

The disrupted lawyer: 5 steps to prepare for change

Changing your mindset to help reach your goals


Public Law Attorney (Labor Relations)

Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., Des Moines, IA

Experienced Tax Attorney

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Des Moines, IA


Bradley Preston Brown

Cedar Rapids, IA

Business Litigation Associate
Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP, Des Moines, IA

Labor & Employment Attorney
McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, NE

Director of Program Administration
Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, IA

Policy Counsel
ACLU of Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney (HIDTA/Iowa Attorney General's Office)

United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Davenport, IA

Legal Assistant I (Law Clerk)
Third Judicial District Court of Iowa, Sioux City, IA

Vice President Trust Officer
First American Bank, Clive, IA

Senior Legal Counsel
Veridian Credit Union, Waterloo, IA

Associate Attorney
Confidential Employer, West Des Moines, IA

Cartwright, Druker & Ryden, Marshalltown, IA

Assistant Director - Boards and Commissions/Judicial Branch
Office of Professional Regulation, Des Moines, IA

AmeriCorps Legal Fellow
Iowa Legal Aid, IA

Experienced Transactional Attorney
Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, IA


The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

Lucas Philip Robinson, PER Software, Inc., Hamilton, TX

Scott Simeon Fintzen, Gaido & Fintzen, Chicago, IL

Peter Antonio Gaido, Gaido & Fintzen, Chicago, IL

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicants should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


Iowa Jury Verdict Reporter, published by the Litigation Committee of the ISBA Young Lawyers Division is a collection of Iowa civil jury verdicts. You can search hundreds of cases to view comparable verdicts and sample documents used within the various cases.

The Iowa Jury Verdict Reporter also includes an email service where upcoming trials and recent results are emailed to all members of the YLD, Litigation Section and Alternative Dispute Resolution Section on a weekly basis. If you are not a member of any of the groups listed above and would like to begin receiving these emails, please contact our membership department at

Learn more at the Jury Verdict Reporter webpage.

See more ISBA member benefits here


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