Judicial performance survey closes tomorrow
ISBA opened the 2014 judicial performance review online survey last week, but
participants should reply soon as the survey will only remain open until
tomorrow, Sept. 11. Links to the survey were sent out Sept. 2 via email to all
ISBA membership to restrict access to the survey.
the e-mail was a link to the ISBA’s bi-annual Judicial Performance Review.
Clicking on the link will take participants to the instructions for filling out
the review, including the qualifications for doing so.
of the Judicial Review will be populated, reviewed by the Board of Governors
and made available by Oct. 1 on the ISBA website and shared through various
ISBA communications channels. Results will also be shared with the media and
members who appear before these judges are in a unique position to render
opinions about judges up for retention. Members who did not see the email sent
Sept. 2 should check inboxes and spam filters. Members interested in
participating in the survey who have not received the email should contact the
ISBA at 515-697-7868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa Department of Revenue website recently updated
The Iowa Department of Revenue recently released their new website with a goal to reduce clutter and improve searches and communications. The new version of the website is located at a different address, https://tax.iowa.gov.
The site offers a search box just for tax forms, tax education videos, links to online services, and key information for taxpayers, tax professionals and local governments. Those interested in sharing their opinions of the new site or who have questions can contact IDRWebTeam@iowa.gov.
ISBA President Feller encouraged by court ruling - message to members
September 5th, our Supreme Court entered an order in response to our
proposed amendments to bar admission in Iowa (click
here for order). In that order, the Court directs that the
current process for admission of lawyers by examination should continue
to be carefully studied and requested that the Iowa Board of Law Examiners do so with the goal of achieving greater efficiency, expedition, economy and
utility for the applicants for admission.
The Board of
Law Examiners will, as a part of its work, also issue a recommendation
concerning the adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam and the administration of the
bar exam during the third year of law school. The Court will also review the
current Basic Skills Course in a separate proceeding.
I am very
pleased that the Court is requesting the Iowa Board of Bar Examiners to
thoroughly review all of our proposals as well as other possible modifications
to the current process. The review of the Basic Skills Course is also a
celebrate this ruling as a further opportunity to provide input on improving
the process for admission to the bar. The conversation concerning legal
education and licensure between the Court, the law schools and the bar is off
to a great start.
want to thank all of you who participated in public discourse which was the
first time the bench, bar and our law schools have discussed bar admission in a
fully-transparent manner in 150 years. I commend you all for your
passion, your wisdom and your willingness to shine a light on an enormously
important issue. Clearly, the Board of Law Examiners will be reaching out
to all of us as directed by the Court. The current board members and
their contact information can be found here.
I commend all
of you for the professionalism and civility you have brought to bear. All
points-of-view were presented to the Court in an exemplary manner. I
thank our Supreme Court for taking these matters up in such an open and
engaging process. Today we can truly be proud to be Iowa Lawyers and
members of the ISBA and officers of this Iowa Court.
again for the opportunity to serve as your President.
Joseph M. Feller
The Iowa State Bar Association
P.O. Box 37, Sibley, Iowa 51249
selects McGovern as acting Workers' Compensation Commissioner
Branstad named Michelle "Miki” McGovern the acting Workers’ Compensation
Commissioner Monday, Sept. 8. McGovern has served as an Iowa Workers’
Compensation Deputy Commissioner for the past 26 years and has been very
involved in the ISBA both in the Workers' Compensation Section and as a member
of the Board of Governors.
Compensation Commissioner is the head of the Division of Workers’ Compensation
which is part of the Iowa Workforce Development. Workers’ compensation has the
responsibility of administering, regulating, and enforcing the workers’
compensation laws. Though the workers’ compensation commissioner’s office
cannot represent the interests of any party, the agency provides information
regarding the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law, the rights of the
parties, and the procedures the parties can follow to resolve their disputes.
began working for the Iowa Division of Labor, the precursor to Iowa Workforce
Development, in January 1982. In 1988, she became a Deputy Workers’
Compensation Commissioner. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Iowa
State University, a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa and a law
degree from Drake University.
serve as acting Commissioner while an exhaustive and extensive search for a
permanent Commissioner continues.
To read the
complete release from the governor’s office click
recognizes Constitution Day next week, encourages participation
Center for Law and Civic Education is recognizing Constitution Day next week
Wednesday, Sept. 17, with activities and program launches. As always, ISBA
Center for Law and Civic Education encourages ISBA members to visit classrooms
around the State in observance of Constitution Day to begin the conversation
about the importance of the Constitution.
In honor of
the day, two high
school classes will be watching live arguments at the Judicial Branch
Building and then meeting a retired appellate judge to facilitate a discussion on
the process. The oral hearings will be two search and seizure cases dealing
with OWI. Iowa Supreme Court will also stream the oral arguments live at 9 a.m.
Your Constitution (KYC) program will release contest guidelines for this
year’s contest. The contest for Iowa high school students requires students to
take a quiz and write a short essay on the constitutional conundrum offered by
the KYC committee. In January, 100 students and their teachers will attend a
luncheon at the state level where five of those students will be selected for a
week-long educational trip to Washington, D.C., accompanied by their teachers.
ISBA will launch the Iowa We the People
program aimed to promote civic competence and responsibility among the
nation's elementary and secondary students. The culminating activity is a
simulated congressional hearing where students "testify" before a
panel of judges. At the high school level, schools may participate in a State
Competition, held in December, performing before a panel of notable
governmental and political leaders. The top performing high school team is
eligible to attend the National Competition in Washington, D.C.
Those interested in getting involved, can email
John Wheeler, Director for the ISBA Center for Law and Civic Education at email@example.com.
Moines law firm displaced after fire in Equitable Building
Jensen, Abels, Fischer and Bouslog, P.C., law firm is temporarily displaced
from its offices due to a fire located between the second and third floors of
the Equitable Building on Saturday, Aug. 30. The firm has temporarily worked from
the Ruan Center since Monday, Sept. 8.
offices suffered water and extensive smoke damage, and the building is
presently off-limits for hazardous materials testing. The nearly 90-year-old
Des Moines law firm will be working on the 9th Floor of the Ruan Center across
the street from the Equitable Building and plans to return once the damages are
the law firm still has access to electronic records through its computer
server, and hard-copy client files were not damaged. Additionally, the firm’s
20 employees can still be reached by email and mobile phone, as well as the
main telephone number which is forwarded to the Ruan Center.
this is not the first time the Des Moines law firm has been displaced. In 1993,
the law firm relocated from its offices in the Hub Tower due to flooding.
|In Other News...|
Jackson County Courthouse Lacks Security Detail
The only security measure preventing Francis "Gus" Glaser from entering
the Jackson County Courthouse on Tuesday with a handgun was a small sign
on the building's front entrance that read: "firearms are prohibited."
Iowa State Court Administrator Named to Leadership Positions
in Two National Court Organizations
Court Administrator David Boyd was named vice-chair of the Board of Directors
of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and president of the Conference
of State Court Administrators (COSCA) at the NCSC Board meeting and COSCA
Supreme Court Justices to Meet with Iowa City Area Students
Sept. 12, members of the Iowa Supreme Court will visit five Iowa City area high
schools to meet with students and discuss the role of the courts. The justices
will visit City, West, and Regina Catholic high schools in Iowa City, Solon High
School in Solon, and Clear Creek Amana High School in Tiffin.
with Joe Feller
has practiced law in Sibley, Iowa, for 36 years. In July, he became just the
second lawyer from the Northwest Iowa city in the last 56 years to serve as
president of the Iowa State Bar Association. He also is the first ISBA
president in nearly a decade to come from a rural county-seat town.
The Iowa Lawyer Weekly is an electronic newsletter published
every Wednesday. Please submit comments, letters to the editor, articles, or
photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
|Benefit of the Week|
ISBA On-Demand Catalog
Take advantage of the ISBA's new on-demand CLE catalog!
The ISBA has upgraded its collection of on-demand videos and is offering, for a limited time only, two videos free to ISBA members. These free videos, which focus on real estate law, also offer CLE credit. Earning CLE credit has never been easier! Members simply need to log-in to view the following videos absolutely free:
View the complete catalog here.
- Essentials of Successful Abstract Examination - Part 1 & 2
- Closing the Transaction: A Best Practice Guide for Residential Real Estate Closings - Part 1 & 2
Please contact ISBA CLE Director Christy Cronin at 515-697-7874 or email@example.com with any questions.
Supreme Court Opinions
September 5, 2014
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY
DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. RICHARD CLAY MENDEZ
IOWA SUPREME COURT ATTORNEY
DISCIPLINARY BOARD vs. DAVID S. KELSEN