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    August 19, 2015   
Past Issues   

Iowa ethics opinion available regarding the invocation of the implied waiver of self-defense

The ISBA Ethics and Practice Guidelines Committee released its latest ethics opinion July 15 regarding the implied waiver of self-defense. The eight-page opinion (15-03) provides an introduction to the issue, a review of the implied self-defense waiver, the declination of the ABA’s formal opinion regarding the subject, an explanation of the client as a pro-se litigant, an explanation of the self-defense waiver in relation to claims by third parties, and the committee’s official opinion.

The opinion is specifically titled, "A lawyer invoking the implied waiver of self-defense must first ensure the client has made a knowing waiver of the attorney-client privilege or rule of confidentiality and then limit the disclosure to only that information which reasonably responds to the adverse allegation.” The opinion can be found on the ISBA website by navigating to the Ethics and Practice Guidelines Committee page under the "Member Groups” tab, then "Committees.” Click here for a direct link.

Two former Iowa Supreme Court justices to be inducted into hall of fame Saturday

Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Linda K. Neuman and Chief Justice Marsha K. Ternus will be inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame at 10 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony will take place at the State Historical Building auditorium, 600 East Locust, Des Moines, Iowa, and will be followed by a reception in the atrium of the historical building.

Both events are free and open to the public. A luncheon to honor the inductees and their friends and families will follow the reception at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust St., in Des Moines. Tickets for the luncheon are $35 for individuals or $330 for a table of 10.

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women established the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 1975. Each year the ICSW and the governor welcome four women into the Hall of Fame, paying tribute to them and setting them forth as role models for others. Lt. General Michelle D. Johnson and Joyce Boone Chapman join Justices Neuman and Ternus as inductees for 2015.

Justice Neuman is being honored, among other things, for her many "firsts” as a woman in Iowa’s legal profession. She was the first woman admitted to partnership in the Davenport law firm of Betty, Neuman, McMahon, Hellstrom & Bittner. She was the first woman to serve as a part-time judicial magistrate in Scott County. And, she was the first woman to serve as a member of the Iowa Supreme Court, having been appointed to the high court in 1986 by Governor Terry Branstad.

Chief Justice Ternus is being honored for her work to improve access to justice, but she also can claim a "first.” Appointed to the state’s highest court in 1993, she was selected as chief justice by the members of the court in 2006, the first woman to serve in that role. During her years on the court, Justice Ternus’ work on administration of justice included improving access to the courts and improving the court’s oversight of cases involving abused and neglected children.

Brief biographies of both women are available on the ICSW website. Click here to read Justice Newman’s biography. Click here to read Justice Ternus’ biography.


Cybersecurity, whistleblowing, white collar crime among topics in upcoming seminar

Updated information on the legal issues related to cybersecurity, an update on the whistleblowing law and how to avoid claims, and what’s currently important in white collar criminal investigations are among the topics that will be discussed at the Corporate Counsel/Trade Regulation seminar Sept. 11 at the ISBA Headquarters.

Sponsored by the ISBA’s Corporate Counsel and Trade Regulation section, the seminar begins with registration at 8:15 a.m. and concludes with an ethics panel from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Attendees can receive six hours of CLE credit, including one hour of ethics. A total of 3.5 hours of federal credit are pending.

In addition to the topics listed above, the seminar will feature updates on franchise law, antitrust issues, and intellectual property and agriculture. The latter will focus on patent exhaustion, seeds and the open source movement.

Online registration is available until Sept. 10. To access the registration form, click here. You can also print out the registration form from the same page.

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Donald E. O’Brien dies

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Donald E. O’Brien died Aug. 18 in Sioux City, Iowa. President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge O’Brien for service as a federal judge in 1978. Judge O’Brien served as chief judge in the Northern District of Iowa from 1985 to 1992, when he began service as a senior judge. During his career he was also a leader in the Democratic Party, Woodbury County Attorney and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa.

"[Judge O’Brien] was a man of impeccable integrity, with great love for his faith, family and our federal court.” said U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett, as quoted by the Sioux City Journal. "All of us at the federal courthouses throughout Iowa deeply mourn his passing.”

Visitation will be Sunday, August 23, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Sioux City, Iowa. Funeral services will be Monday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m. at the church.

Northern District seeking applicants for magistrate judge; deadline Aug. 28

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa is accepting applications for a full-time magistrate judge based in Sioux City, Iowa. The successful applicant will replace Judge Mark Bennett, who took senior status in June.

A description of the duties and qualifications is available here, as are the instructions for obtaining and filling out an application form. Application packets should include a cover letter, resume, application and any supporting documentation and must be submitted in person or via mail by Aug. 28.


In Other News ...

Early adopters take new .law domains
Some prominent BigLaw firms are among the early adopters of the new .law domain name extension. DLA Piper; Russell and Goldstein; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom have each already reserved their domain names. Minds + Machines, the owner of the .law domain extension, started taking orders July 30, the beginning of a 60-day "sunrise period.” Firms who have registered their trademarks with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers— the nonprofit responsible for coordinating the monitoring and creation of naming conventions on the Internet—are eligible to participate in the sunrise period. Domain name registration will be available to credentialed members of the legal community Oct. 12.
ABA Journal

Mills County forms courthouse security committee
Mills County is the latest to address security issues regarding its courthouse and other facilities. Earlier this week, the Mills County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of a courthouse security committee. County Sheriff Eugene Goos chairs the 13-member committee, whose mission is to identify security concerns and implement a plan addressing those concerns. County Auditor Carol Robertson--herself a committee member--tells KMA News the committee is part of a statewide effort to beef up courthouse security.
KMAland, Shenandoah

An important addition to the library of Iowa history
While Congress and several state legislatures, including Iowa’s, were reinforcing the barriers to gay marriage, a determined handful of Iowa gay-rights advocates were preparing to go to court. A new book, "Equal Before the Law,” which came off the presses this summer, offers a highly readable, thoroughly researched and sometimes jolting look at how Iowa rocked the nation’s social and legal foundations in the process. It is an important addition to the library of Iowa history.
Cityview, Des Moines

DMACC staff promoting unique program at state fair
There’s a ton of things to see at the Iowa State Fair. Court reporter training programs are probably not on anyone’s list as one of the main sights. However, several court-reporting industry representatives are taking advantage of their spot in the Varied Industries building at this year’s Iowa State Fair, promoting a program that is unique to Des Moines Area Community College’s Newton Campus.
Newton Daily News

Strapped for cash to start a law firm? Crowdfunding may be permissible, ethics opinion says
Lawyers who want to start a law firm but are short on cash may be able to use some types of crowdfunding, according to an ethics opinion. Lawyers may not use any funding, however, that gives the investor an interest in a law firm or a share of its revenue, according to the June 29 opinion by the New York State Bar Association. The ABA BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct has a story.
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.



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