Iowa Lawyer Weekly (09/17/2014)
Share |
September 17, 2014
Past Issues

New scam deceptively used Des Moines law firm’s logo

The ISBA would like to make members aware of a new email scam that has affected a local Des Moines law firm. The law firm discovered someone has been fraudulently using the firm’s logo on bogus email correspondence to a number of individuals targeted for the scam throughout the U.S. So far, about a dozen individuals have reported the incident to the law firm.

The law firm is in the process of alerting the Iowa Attorney General’s office and filing a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

ISBA recognizes Constitution Day

The ISBA’s Center for Law and Civic Education is recognizing Constitution Day today, Sept. 17, in a variety of ways. The 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 classes watched live arguments at the Judicial Branch Building this morning and then met with a retired appellate judge who facilitated a discussion on the argument process. More information on the classes attending the live arguments can be found on the Iowa Courts website here.

Additionally, the Know Your Constitution (KYC) program released contest guidelines for this year’s contest today. 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 be selected to attend a luncheon at the state level. Five of those students will be selected for a week-long educational trip to Washington, D.C., accompanied by their teachers.

Lastly, the ISBA launched 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 in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. At the high school level, schools may participate in a State Competition, held in December, performing units 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 visit the ISBA Constitution Day webpage. On it, the ISBA has a gambit of educational tools inspired by the holiday. For questions or more information, email John Wheeler, Director for the ISBA Center for Law and Civic Education at

Newly Admitted Ceremony scheduled for tomorrow

Newly Admitted Attorneys will swear into the bar tomorrow, Sept. 18, in Des Moines. The event will take place at Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland, at 10:00 a.m., with a cookie reception to follow. The event will have open seating and free parking. About 200 attorneys are expected to be sworn in.

ISBA offers free Adobe Acrobat training for members, staff

The ISBA will host a free, live webinar on Adobe Acrobat Essentials Oct. 8 for ISBA members and their staffs. The live webinar will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m. and will cover basics of the software as well as advanced functions. Registrants may attend this event live in-person at the ISBA Headquarters or via the web.

The presenter, Terry Aurit of Savvy Training and Consulting, will demonstrate how to create, modify, review, and share PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro. The presentation covers the basics of the software, such as creating and customizing PDFs, searching, editing text and graphics, and extracting PDF content to use in other programs. Advanced functionality such as combining PDFs with other types of files to create customized portfolios and document security will also be covered.

Members interested can sign up on the ISBA website by navigating to the CLE drop-down menu, Upcoming CLE, then clicking on Webinar (or click here). Registrants should be sure to identify whether they will attend in person or via the web. Non-lawyers may also register for the event. For attorneys, 1.5 hours of state CLE credit have been approved. For any questions, please contact Christy Cronin at

Save the date: INADR to host two-day seminar at Drake

The International Academy for Dispute Resolution is scheduled to host a two-day seminar at the Drake University Law School Legal Clinic Oct. 17-18. The 6th Annual World Congress features speakers from around the world including speakers from here in Iowa.

"Last year I went to the World Congress for the first time and would not miss it again!” said Laurie Stewart of Stewart Law & Mediation, P.L.L.C. in Panora. "In addition to receiving outstanding training and information from amazing mediators from around the world, the networking proved to be a huge benefit. My mediation practice and circle of mediator colleagues has expanded incredibly!"

Those interested in reading more about the event can view the event flyer here or go to the INADR website. All questions should be directed to Susan Ewing at 515-283-0331 or

In Other News...

Judge suspended for 2012 intoxication
A southern Iowa judge has been suspended without pay for 30 days after findings that she arrived for work at the Henry County Courthouse intoxicated and, in a separate incident, urinated on a street. Fort Madison-based District Associate Judge Emily Dean was drinking a "colorless liquid" on May 9, 2012, while her court reporter was driving her from Fort Madison to Mount Pleasant, according to a ruling Friday from the Iowa Supreme Court. Dean fell asleep in the car and when she arrived at the courthouse an employee in the county attorney's office convinced her she could not work.
Des Moines Register

More order to our courts
After more than a decade, our courts’ dual record-keeping systems will finally begin to merge. Scott County joins the Iowa courts’ move to digital filing, meaning that court documents will be sent and accessible via the web instead of delivering hard copies. The advent of electronic records led to a two-tiered system where business was conducted with paper, but duplicated digitally. Web access helps expedite justice tremendously. But it also added to public records cost.
Quad City Times

Iowa Supreme Court sheds light on process at open hearing
In an Iowa Supreme Court special session Thursday at West High, justices heard oral arguments for two cases, one of which centered on the legality of testimony delivered by video. "Now everyone is using technology," said attorney Brian D.W. Spannagel, who argued on behalf of defendant Zachariah Rogerson that video testimony received through the Iowa Communications Network violated the state and U.S. constitutions. "Although technology has changed, people are still hardwired the same."
Iowa City Press-Citizen

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.

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:
  • Essentials of Successful Abstract Examination - Part 1 & 2
  • Closing the Transaction: A Best Practice Guide for Residential Real Estate Closings - Part 1 & 2
View the complete catalog here.

Please contact ISBA CLE Director Christy Cronin at 515-697-7874 or with any questions.

Supreme Court Opinions

September 12, 2014

No. 14–0510
IN THE MATTER OF EMILY SUSAN DEAN, District Associate Court Judge. On application of the Iowa