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    September 23, 2015   
Past Issues   

Reminder: Renew dues by next week to continue receiving member benefits

Wednesday of next week is the deadline for renewing your bar association dues in order to continue accessing member benefits such as Fastcase, title standards, jury instructions and CLE information on the ISBA website. After Sept. 30, anyone who has not renewed his/her membership will be barred from accessing the member benefits on the website until the dues are paid.

Individuals who wait until after Sept. 30 to pay their Fiscal Year 2015-2016 dues will still be able to open the ISBA website. Click on the "Renew Membership Here” button on the home page. It will take you to a page where you can sign in. Once you click "Sign in,” you will be taken to a page with your name, address, etc. already filled in. Simply check the sections you want to belong to and the other contributions (bar foundation, LawPAC, Public Service Project) you want to make, fill in your credit card information and submit.

A phone number for the membership department is listed on the page should you have any questions. The ISBA thanks you for renewing your membership.

Member benefit: Free on-demand CLE videos for young attorneys

ISBA members who have been admitted to the bar for five or fewer years may view any, or all, of the ISBA’s on-demand video courses free. This member benefit is designed to help young attorneys gain knowledge and learn from the experiences of presenters who have insights into specific areas of the law.

There are nearly 30 on-demand video courses listed on the ISBA website. All qualify for varying levels of CLE credit that may be applied to the annual 15-hour-per-year requirement. However, the Iowa Supreme Court limits the number of CLE hours that can be obtained from on-demand video courses to six hours in a year.

To view the ISBA’s on-demand catalog listing all courses available, click here. Each video can be previewed before selecting. To select a video, click on the "View Product” button next to the video. That opens up the video’s product page, which requires members to log into the ISBA website in order to purchase the video. Click on "add item” to purchase, and go through the checkout process. The website should recognize individuals who qualify for the free videos and offer those videos at no charge.


See upcoming and past civil jury trials on YLD web page

Want to know what civil jury trials are coming up for the week around the state?

The Litigation Committee of the ISBA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) offers a listing that identifies all civil jury trials for the coming week. Although geared for young lawyers as a way of helping them become skilled trial attorneys by participating in or watching a jury trial, the service can be of value for all attorneys who are involved with civil jury trials.

The information provided each week includes the venue (county) where the trial will be held, the case name, case number, the claims, and the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys. Completed trials also list the outcome in each case.

A complete list of trials dating back to June 9, 2014 can be found on the YLD web page on the ISBA’s website. Click here for a direct link to the list. Or access the list at any time by clicking on "Young Lawyers Division” under the "Member Groups” tab on the ISBA homepage, then by clicking on "Litigation,” and finally on "View all Civil Jury Trials since June 2014.”

New admittees receive advice for success in practice

Diligence, communication skills, mentors and ethics were the major points Iowa Supreme Court Justice Brent Appel made in his keynote address to the 191 new lawyers attending the swearing-in ceremony last Friday at Hoyt Sherman Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Be diligent and take time to be prepared, he said, citing, Abraham Lincoln as an example. Lincoln didn’t work quickly, but he worked exhaustively.

Continue working on your communications skills. You need to be a good writer. Conciseness is the goal. Get a legal writing book.

Seek out a mentor. There’s no substitute for experience. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Be aware of ethics practices, and if you make a mistake, don’t cover it up. That is disastrous. Admitted mistakes are inconsequential.

ISBA Past President Jane Lorentzen also stressed the importance of civility in the law practice in her address to the new attorneys. Filling in for President Bruce Walker, who was presiding over the quarterly board of governors meeting in Iowa City, she said that clients will "want you to inflict further conflict on opponents. Your job is to mitigate conflict.”

YLD President Joe Goedken talked with the new admittees about the YLD’s mentoring program, and urged them to participate in it. Right now the program has 60-70 matches, he said.

Elisabeth Reynoldson, chair of the Iowa Legal Aid Board of Directors, urged the new attorneys to devote some of their time to pro bono activities. "Access to the court system is especially critical for low-income Iowans,” she said.

High school students given inside look at the judicial system on Constitution Day

Nearly 100 students from several high schools around the state got an inside glimpse of Iowa’s judicial process during Constitution Day activities at Iowa’s appellate courts last Thursday.

Students from three high schools – Des Moines Scavo, Hampton-Dumont and Panorama -- attended oral arguments in the "State of Iowa v. Dale Dean Pettijohn” case at 9 a.m. in the supreme court courtroom on the fourth floor of the judicial branch building. Following the oral arguments, they moved downstairs to the judicial building auditorium where they listened to Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran describe the role of Iowa’s appellate courts. Judge Vaitheswaran also answered students’ questions about how a case makes it to the higher courts, how long it typically takes to file an opinion after the case is submitted, and why some of the questions raised by the justices were not answered by the attorneys.

Students from Ballard and East High Schools attended the 1 p.m. oral arguments for the case "In re Property Seized from Robert Pardee.” Following the oral arguments, the Ballard students met with Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Christopher McDonald, who talked with them about the role of Iowa’s appellate courts and answered their questions.

The Constitution Day activities were co-sponsored by the ISBA, the Iowa Judicial Branch and the Iowa Department of Education. Schools unable to send students to the live presentations were encouraged to view an online orientation video and follow the oral arguments via the court’s live streaming service.


In Other News ...

Editorial: Strong courts contribute to a strong economy
Iowa often finds itself ranked among the 50 states on its "business climate.” One measure of how well Iowa rates for new businesses that doesn’t show up in most rankings, however, is the quality of the state’s courts. And on that score, Iowa consistently finds itself in the top 10, according to one annual survey.
The Des Moines Register

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments about juvenile sentences during Manchester murder hearing
The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether a judge should be able to sentence a juvenile to life in prison without parole. The justices heard oral arguments Thursday in the case of Isaiah Sweet. He was 17-years-old when he killed his grandparents at their home in Manchester three years ago.

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in cash seizure case
The Iowa Supreme Court will determine whether some tactics used by state troopers to nab drug traffickers are legal. The state's high court heard arguments Thursday in the request for review by an attorney for Robert Pardee, who had more than $33,000 in cash seized by the Iowa State Patrol following a 2012 traffic stop.
Quad-City Times

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.



Receive all of your CLE credits by using The Iowa State Bar Association’s affordable CLE Season Pass. It’s the one and only pass that offers hundreds of CLE credits at the best price in town! For only $550, you can take all the CLE credits you need in a 12 month span. Sign up for the CLE Season Pass today and have the opportunity to choose from over 200 hours of live CLEs in addition to the 20 hours of telephone CLEs the ISBA offers.

Click here for more information or to order your pass online. For a printable order form, please click here.

See more ISBA member benefits here


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