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    August 26, 2015   
Past Issues   

Supreme Court requests comments on amendments to rules on professional regulation

In an order filed Aug. 21, the Iowa Supreme Court asks for comments on proposed amendments to the Iowa Court rules on professional regulation. The comment period deadline is 4:30 p.m., Oct. 21.

Among the proposed amendments and the court rules affected are:

1) A requirement that sole practitioners have a written plan of succession for their practices, and that plan be available for review upon request by the director of the Office of Professional Regulation (Rule 39.18);

2) An exemption from the CLE attendance requirements of Rule 41.3 for active members of the bar who reside in another state or the District of Columbia and didn’t practice law in Iowa during the reporting period, provided they attend at least 15 clock-hours of CLE accredited by the their states (Rule 41.9);

3) Up to three hours of CLE credit per calendar year for preparing an accredited CLE presentation that includes written materials (Rule 42.2);

4) Credit against the legal ethics CLE attendance requirement for instruction regarding bias in the court system and attorney professional relationships (Rule 42.1).

A copy of the order can be seen here. It contains instructions for filing comments. A marked-up copy showing the deletions and additions in the proposed amendments by rule number is available at this link. A discussion of the recommended changes is accessible here.

President Walker welcomes incoming law students

ISBA President Bruce Walker welcomed approximately 140 freshman law students at the University of Iowa College of Law Aug. 16.

He issued three challenges to the students: 1) Complete your education; 2) Serve clients, and 3) Engage in the ISBA. He also told the students not to forget themselves and their families, to keep a sense of humor and not to take themselves too seriously.

"Your first year is critical to your career,” he said.

Traditionally ISBA presidents welcome incoming law students at both U of I and Drake University. Due to obligations that required Walker to be out of town, ISBA Vice President Steve Eckley welcomed the incoming freshman at Drake University Law School on Aug. 17.

Civil Rights Commission seeking volunteer mediators

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is seeking volunteer mediators throughout the state to conduct confidential mediation sessions with parties involving claims of discrimination under Iowa Code Chapter 216 and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Volunteer mediators assist the ICRC in meeting regulatory requirements and contractual mandates with the federal government. The assistance significantly decreases the length of time spent in case resolution and reduces the costs associated with litigation. The purpose is to help the parties reach a compromise without having to go through a full investigation.

If interested, please contact Heidi Johnson, ICRC mediation coordinator, at 515-281-4437.


Motorcycle trip to Alaska and back provides new perspectives for former ISBA president

Jay Eaton, ISBA past president (1999-2000) and current Ways and Means Committee chair, checked off what most people would describe as an item on their bucket lists this summer – a motorcycle trip from Iowa to Alaska and back.

Only Eaton doesn’t have a bucket list. "Never have,” he says, in the almost-daily blog he used to record impressions and pictures of the nearly 12,000-mile, two-month journey that took him to places, some with familiar names and many without. Along the way, he saw many sights and met many individuals that the majority of people will never experience.

The Waukee, Iowa, resident, who retired in December 2013 from the Nyemaster law firm in Des Moines, Iowa, and is now of-counsel with the firm, recorded these thoughts about life on Aug. 1 as he departed Pickstown, So. Dak., for home on the final day of his adventure: (Read more.)

ACLU of Iowa to celebrate 80 years, present awards to several

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa will celebrate its 80th birthday Oct. 2 at the World Food Prize building in Des Moines, Iowa, with an old-fashioned birthday bash. The celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers, birthday cupcakes and a cash bar.

A program beginning at 7 p.m., will recognize 2015 Louise Noun Award winner Jean Basinger; the Edward S. Allen Award honorees Mary Garst, Art Neu and Dennis Barnum; and the Robert Mannheimer Student Advocacy Award winner Glori Dei Filippone.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit, email, or call 515-243-3576. Tickets are $70 for an individual, or $520 for a table of eight.

Services for retired Iowa Attorney General Larry Scalise

A memorial service for former Iowa Attorney General Larry Scalise will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. The memorial service will take place at the St. Joseph Chapel at Dowling Catholic High School, 1400 Buffalo Rd, West Des Moines, Iowa. Information regarding the service will be published in the Des Moines Register.

Scalise was Iowa Attorney General from 1965-67. He became one of Iowa’s most esteemed trial attorneys, a past president of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers and an ISBA leader. Scalise died Friday, June 12.


In Other News ...

Judge fines himself for ringing cellphone
A judge in Hillsboro, Ohio, held himself to the same standards as others in his courtroom Tuesday when his cellphone began to ring. Judge Rocky Coss fined himself $25 for the infraction, WCPO reports. Coss has a sign warning all those who enter his courtroom to turn off their cellphones, and he enforces the measure with $25 fines when he hears a ringing phone. Coss says he left his cellphone in his shirt pocket and forgot all about it until his wife called him. It’s his first offense, he adds.
ABA Journal

Johnson County leaders consider raising minimum wage

Johnson County leaders appear set to approve a minimum wage increase, but the county’s largest employer may not be subject to the pay hike. University of Iowa spokeswoman Jeneane Beck said the UI doesn’t have a position on the proposal, but because the institution is a state agency, university attorneys believe such a rule wouldn’t apply to the school. Beck told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that if the ordinance is adopted, the university will seek an opinion from the state Attorney General’s office on the matter., Mason City

Give us the vote: 50 years after the Voting Rights Act
It’s been 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed into law. Author and investigative journalist Ari Berman says the legislation was supposed to serve as an enforcement mechanism for the 15th Amendment. "We passed prohibition on racial discrimination on voting, but we didn’t enforce it. The Voting Rights Act first abolished literacy tests and poll taxes in states they had been used most frequently. Then it sent federal officials to the south to register voters. In places like Selma, only 2% of people were registered to vote.”
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.



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