Share |


    August 31, 2016
Past Issues  

Supreme Court requests comments for amendments to rules after Hedlund

The Iowa Supreme Court is requesting comments regarding proposed changes to both rule 1.904 and rule 6.101 relating to timeliness of appeals. The amendments were proposed by the court after it noted concerns about the existing state of the law following Hedlund v. State 875 N.W.2d 720, 725 (Iowa 2016). Public comments were requested in a supreme court order filed Aug. 29.

As stated in the order, Iowa Court Rules 1.904 and 6.101 relate to the timeliness of appeals when the notice of appeal is filed more than 30 days after the original court order or judgement but within 30 days after an order on a motion to reconsider, enlarge or amend the order or judgment. Proposed changes to both of the rules are intended to be parallel and similar in effect.

The order requesting comments and proposed amendments is available at the Supreme Court’s website. The deadline for comments is Oct. 31. There are also four other orders that were filed by the supreme court Aug. 29 regarding amendments and rule changes that are open to public comment on the same webpage. (Two additional articles in this issue of the Iowa Lawyer Weekly pertain to the supreme court orders filed Aug. 29.)

Supreme Court delays succession planning court rule 39.18, seeks input

The effective date for current rule 39.18 regarding the requirement for death and disability planning by Iowa attorneys is now delayed until Jan. 1, 2018. The Iowa Supreme Court is requesting public comments on proposed amendments to the rule pursuant to its Aug. 29 order.

Amendments currently being considered originated from the ISBA’s Rule 39.18 Study Committee’s report. They cover several key provisions, including:

  • Creating two tiers of planning, a mandatory short form and optional written plan created by the attorney.
  • A requirement for all private practice attorneys to complete the short form as part of the annual client security questionnaire. Non-private practice attorneys would be allowed to avoid that portion via a direct question response.
  • Required maintenance of a current client list.

The recommendations by the ISBA committee were created to make it easier for attorneys to fulfill the basic planning requirements, place information regarding every private practitioner’s plan in the possession of the Client Security Commission for quick retrieval, allow for prompt annual updating and remove the need for auditors to check on succession planning during trust account audits.

The order requesting comments, proposed amendments, committee report and a letter against the report are available at the Supreme Court’s website. The deadline for comments is Oct. 31.

Secretary of State survey seeks feedback on business services, applications

Scott VanVooren, chair of the ISBA’s Business Law Section, is encouraging all members who use the services of the Iowa Secretary of State’s office to complete a 10-minute survey no later than this Friday, Sept. 2. The survey seeks feedback on improvements to the business services applications and other electronic systems and services currently offered by the Secretary of State’s office.


The survey, which is completely anonymous, follows up on the results of numerous focus groups that were held around the state in recent weeks. The purpose of the survey is to bring some of the key issues to all users across the state. The findings will assist the Secretary of State’s office in identifying and prioritizing improvements to these systems as well as documenting the need for resources to be allocated to the office.


To access the survey, click here. General questions about the survey should be addressed to: Gracie Brandsgard at the State Public Policy Group Questions about how the survey results will be used should be directed to Todd Henderson at


Former ISBA president Marion Beatty dies

Marion Beatty, a well-respected Iowa attorney from Decorah, Iowa, died Monday, Aug. 29. Beatty, who served as the ISBA president from July 2006 to June 2007, lost his fight with colon cancer after wrestling with the disease since his diagnosis on June 16, 2011.


"With hurting hearts but filled with faith we must post the sad news that Marion left us last night just before midnight,” his wife Peggy wrote on the CaringBridge website. "He fought the fight longer and harder than we had ever expected, for over 62 months. When he was told at the end of July that there were no more treatment options he thanked the doctor who had taken such compassionate care of him. Back in Decorah, he promptly called Hospice and his care continued under their skillful administration.”


Perhaps son, Ben, best described his father’s desire not to call special attention to himself -- an approach that permeated his life -- with this comment: "he sneaked out the back door.”


Funeral arrangements were not available at time of publication. However, the front page of the ISBA website,, will be updated as information becomes available. 

September Iowa Lawyer now available online

The September Iowa Lawyer Magazine is now available online. In this issue, we examine the choices and challenges facing new Iowa attorneys. Take a closer look at student debt issues, three different solo practice options and the YLD mentoring program to learn more about solutions for new lawyers.


Those who elect to receive the print version of the magazine should see it in mailboxes in the next week or so. To view the digital version, navigate to, click on "Publications,” then "Iowa Lawyer Magazine.” Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.


Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be directed to the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7898.

Bridge the Gap Seminar deadline coming soon

The deadline is quickly approaching to register for this year’s Bridge the Gap seminar. Attorneys interested in attending will still be able to sign up after Sept. 7, but will face a $50 late fee. 


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.


The theme for this year’s seminar, ‘Bridge the Gap gives back,’ gives attendees 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.

Supreme Court requests comments on forms for discovery, ECA, scheduling

The Iowa Supreme Court is requesting comments pertaining to the discovery reforms, expedited civil action rule and trial scheduling that became effective Jan. 1, 2015. Public comments were requested in a supreme court order filed Aug. 29. According to the order, amendments related to the following are among those under consideration by the court:
  • Deadline ECA election, rule 1.281(1)(c);
  • Deadline for discovery conference to occur in cases transferred from small claims court, rule 1.507(1);
  • Applicability of the discovery moratorium to domestic relations matters where there will be initial disclosures, rule 1.505(1);
  • Applicability of the discovery moratorium to requests for admissions in addition to other forms of discovery, rule 1.510(1);
  • Filing of objections to exhibits in pretrial submissions on trial scheduling and discovery plans, rule 23.5.
The order requesting comments and proposed amendments are available at the Supreme Court’s website. The deadline for comments is Sept. 29.


In Other News ...

One million documents have been electronically filed in Iowa

"Electronic Recording has been a long, sometimes precarious journey with a few setbacks but the end result has been a time-saving product for our customers and stakeholders," Tama County Recorder Deborah Kupka told The Chronicle.

Toledo Chronicle


Scott County launches mental health court

Judges, attorneys, law enforcement and social workers across Scott County agree: The way of dealing with mentally ill people who go in and out of the criminal justice system is not working.

Quad City Times


Should schizophrenia clear Des Moines man of murder charge?

Experts agree that Norman Wadsworth likely suffered from daily hallucinations and paranoia when he brutally killed a Des Moines apartment manager who had evicted him months earlier, stabbing her 70 times.

Des Moines Register


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.



What biglaw associates can learn from solo and small-firm lawyers

9 reasons to love LinkedIn

Cyber laws you might not know about

Why you should update your iPhone right now

How to represent a diverse clientele


Public Law Attorney (Labor Relations)

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

Experienced Tax Attorney

Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Des Moines, IA

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