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    September 28, 2016
Past Issues  

Proposed IRS regulations may eliminate discounts for family-owned businesses

The Internal Revenue Service released proposed regulations in early August that would modify and expand Internal Revenue Code 2704 impacting the valuation of privately-held, minority interests that are controlled by the same family. The proposed regulations are subject to a 90-day public comment period which ends Nov. 2. 


Since the tax court decision of Kerr v. Commissioner (113 T.C. No. 30), the IRS has been concerned that certain loopholes exist in IRC 2704 that allow taxpayers to gift interests to family members in entities that have no business purpose and allow the transfer of wealth without due consideration of the value to the transferor. Many attorneys, accountants and business advisors expected the regulations to target partnerships with liquid assets. However, the ramifications of the regulations appear to be more far-reaching than initially believed and may have unintended consequences for valuation discounts for intra-family interest transfers.


Advisors who think their clients might be impacted by the changed regulations should review their clients’ personal situations and estate plans and, if such transfers were being considered or planned, implement them before the proposed regulations are issued. Read the full article here.

ISBA member warns of elaborate new scam

Sioux City attorney, Dan Dykstra, sent an email message to the bar office last week asking that information concerning a different type of scam be sent to members as a warning.


Dykstra was contacted by a procurement agent from a company in the Netherlands about the sale of a piece of equipment. Since he does some work for companies in the Netherlands, he wasn’t surprised at the contact. However, the red flags came up when a check arrived as the deposit with a request that he immediately wire monies elsewhere. 


He called the real agent in the Netherlands and the named buyer, which was an Iowa company. Both denied the transaction.


Fortunately, Dykstra and his firm did not get caught or damaged even though the fake broker used a real business brokerage company in California and a real name.

Supreme Court appoints members to Access to Justice Commission

In an order filed last Thursday, Sept. 22, the Iowa Supreme Court appointed 26 members to the Access to Justice Commission. One member will serve for one year, 13 members will serve for two years and 12 members will serve for three years. All terms begin this Saturday, Oct. 1, and end on Sept. 30, 2017, 2018 or 2019.


Established on June 27 upon the recommendation of The Iowa State Bar Association, the Access to Justice Commission is charged with finding "solutions that will best serve Iowans who may encounter barriers to or difficulties with fully accessing the Iowa justice system,” according to the order. The order outlines the issues that commission members are to address. Justice Brent Appel chairs the commission. 


See the list of appointees and the issues to be addressed in the complete order.


Mosten highlights annual Family Law seminar

This year’s Iowa State Bar Association Family Law Seminar will feature Forrest "Woody” Mosten, an internationally known expert on alternative dispute resolution. Woody will lead a day-long training entitled Building a Successful Unbundled Family Law Practice, providing insight on how to expand and improve a practice by increasing legal access to the under-served through an offering of unbundled legal services.


The seminar, scheduled Oct. 27 and 28 at the West Des Moines Marriott, will cover topics including The New Lawyer: Embracing the Pro Se Revolution and a Consumer Approach To Family Law Practice, Ethical Challenges of Delivering Unbundled Services, Unbundled Representation of Clients in Family Mediation and Kick-starting Your Unbundled Family Law Practice.


A total of 15.5 CLE credit hours are available during the two-day event. Online registration with early-bird pricing is available through the ISBA website until Oct. 26. 

YLD creating anonymous question forum 

The Young Lawyers Division met for its quarterly meeting on Friday, Sept. 23 in Coralville. As part of the meeting, four working groups met to plan projects that will be implemented between now and June. The ideas for the projects came from small-group brainstorming at the YLD quarterly meeting in June and from phone calls between YLD officers and YLD members around the state.

One of the projects is a forum where young lawyers can ask questions anonymously and receive feedback from other attorneys. The YLD’s goal is to have the forum up and running by January 2017 and they are working with the ISBA staff to accomplish that goal.

If you have any questions or would like to be involved with implementing the forum, please contact Maggie White at or (515) 309-6830. 

Link to sign up to judge Drake’s moot court competition

Last week, this newsletter contained an article about the need for attorneys to judge the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds of the regional moot court competition being hosted by Drake University Law School, Nov. 16-19. The link to sign up as a judge was not included in the article. Here is that link


For answers to questions and for more information, contact Tara Miller at

On a lighter note: Davenport golfer is $10,000 richer … for a moment

Davenport attorney Dana Waterman sunk a 50-foot putt at the Genesis Health Services Foundation’s ProAm Challenge last month. The prize: $10,000.


As a devoted member of the foundation’s board, however, the Lane & Waterman attorney donated the money back to the foundation. See a video of the winning putt here.

September 23

No. 15–0852


A former employee of a state university who successfully sued that university for intentional infliction of emotional  distress  and  a  statutory whistleblower violation seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing the district court’s award of attorney fees and remanding for further  proceedings.    



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