Iowa Lawyer Weekly (10/01/2014)
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October 1, 2014
Past Issues

197 join Iowa lawyer ranks in admission ceremony last week

A total of 197 new attorneys from 50 law schools around the country took the oath to uphold the constitutions of Iowa and the United States during the 125th Bar Admission Ceremony Thursday, Sept. 18, at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. They represented 81 percent of the 253 who took the Iowa bar exam the end of July.

Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht gave the keynote address and administered the lawyer’s oath. ISBA President Joe Feller urged the newly admitted attorneys not to doubt their skills or confidence, to know that clients need them, particularly as older lawyers retire, and that they provide value to older lawyers with their fresh view of the law practice.

YLD President Amos Hill outlined the benefits of being involved with the bar association, specifically the Young Lawyers Division, and Dennis Groenenboom, executive director of Iowa Legal Aid, encouraged the new lawyers to devote time to pro bono activities.

Slightly more than 83 percent (202 out of 245) of those who took the exam for the first time were successful. Three fourths (three of four) of those who took it the second time passed. Only one of the two people who took the exam for the third time was successful. And, neither of the two individuals who took the exam the sixth time succeeded. (See a breakdown of all the statistics at this link.)

Click here to see the complete list of those who were sworn in.

25 tips for the new lawyer

Recently admitted attorneys may be interested in a helpful list of tips aimed at newer attorneys to help them ease into the legal workforce. A group of thought leaders, innovators and practitioners came up with a list of tips and bundled it all into one helpful document available online.

Some tips include practical advice on working with clients and partners, daily office struggles and other teaching points that may not have been taught in law school. For more information, check out their website at or to download the PDF, click here.

Iowa Middle School Mock Trial judges needed

The ISBA Center for Law and Civic Education is looking for volunteer lawyers and judges to act as judges for the Iowa Middle School Mock Trial competitions held throughout Iowa this fall.

Through mock trial, students get a hands-on opportunity to examine legal processes and current legal issues. In addition to providing familiarity with the law, mock trials also help students develop important critical thinking skills and aid in the development of fundamental research, preparation, and presentation skills.

Below is a list of regional events where judges are needed:

· Burlington Regional - Nov. 3 (Comfort Suites Conference Center)

· Council Bluffs Regional - Oct. 27 (Iowa Western Community College)

· Cedar Rapids Regional - Nov. 1 (Kirkwood Community College)

· Davenport Regional-  Oct. 25 (Scott County Courthouse)

· Des Moines Regional - Oct. 29-30 (Iowa Events Center)

· Dubuque Regional - Nov. 5 (Loras College)

· Marshalltown Regional - Oct. 24 (Marshalltown Community College)

· Mason City Regional - Nov. 11 (North Iowa Area Community College)

· Rock Rapids Regional - Nov. 8 (Central Lyon Middle School)

Volunteers are also needed for the state tournament held at the Iowa Events Center Nov. 17-18.

Those interested in volunteering can fill out the online form here. For questions regarding the Mock Trial Program visit the Center for Law and Civic Education Mock Trial page on the ISBA website or contact John Wheeler at or 515-697-7882.

Iowa Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Storm Lake

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Storm Lake, Iowa, Oct. 15. The proceeding will take place in Anderson Auditorium in the Harold Walter Siebens Forum on the Buena Vista University campus, 610 West Fourth Street. The session is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.

For details regarding this Iowa Courts release, visit their website here.

PCWA hosts 13th Annual Basket Auction in Des Moines

The Polk County Women Attorneys are scheduled to hold their 13th Annual Basket Auction at the Forte Banquet Hall in Des Moines Oct. 23. The money raised during the auction will benefit the Young Women’s Resource Center in Des Moines.

The event is open to the public. A silent auction will begin at 5 p.m., and the live auction begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per ticket or $175 for a table of eight. PCWA is also accepting donations. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit the website, or for questions, email Lynzey Kenworthy 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!"

Fifteen hours of CLE, including 3 hours of ethics, have been applied for. Those interested in registering or reading more about the event, can go to the INADR website. All questions should be directed to Susan Ewing at 515-283-0331 or

In Other News...

From Omaha to western Iowa: Attorney finds ‘a better fit’
Daniel Fischer is used to being the youngest attorney on the block, and when he resumes practice at Hall Hudson law firm in Harlan, Iowa, in November, that won’t change. What will change are the 27-year-old’s environs. Fischer recently left Baird Holm law firm in Omaha to join the family farm in southwest Iowa. His practice areas will remain the same — planning for estates, taxes and real estate — but he’s looking forward to the relocation.
Omaha World Herald

Tuition cuts at UI law may be boosting enrollment
A decision to decrease tuition at the University of Iowa College of Law may have contributed to a significant boost in enrollment, according to recently published data on the school’s current first-year law students. The entering class at the law school last year dropped last fall to 93 students, down from 155 who enrolled the previous year and 180 new enrollees the year before that. In response, the law school reduced tuition by about 16 percent this year, with in-state tuition to date costing about $22,000.
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa the "Bright Radical Star"
Iowa gained attention for the Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on same sex marriage. But the ruling was no surprise given the court's history. Iowa became only the third state in the nation to allow same sex marriage in April, 2009. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal and lead council in the Varnum v. Brien case. She says her team did "extensive research," on Iowa's legal history before deciding it was the best place to file suit on the issue. Among the considerations was Iowa's long history of expanding and protecting civil rights, partially explained in the timeline below.
Iowa Public Radio

Legal Aid has been a key part of courts for 40 years
Access to our court system is important for everyone, but especially to low-income people. Every day low-income Americans need help with civil legal matters that go to the very heart of their safety and security. Court decisions involving domestic abuse protection orders, evictions, and home foreclosures have a major impact on whether low-income families will be safe or in danger of violence, housed or homeless. Agency decisions about food, medical assistance, disability and unemployment benefits, and cash support for children may be the difference between being fed or going hungry.
The Des Moines Register

Member Highlight

Sergeant Bluff attorney runs in honor of former colleague
More than 400 people participated in the June E. Nylen Cancer Center Race For Hope in Sioux City Sept. 20. Lindsey Buchheit, with Buchheit Law, P.L.C, in Sergeant Bluff, dedicated her race to Delaine Peterson, a former colleague at Corbett Anderson Law Firm in Sioux City, who fought and lost his battle with cancer more than a year ago.

"I will always appreciate the mentorship Delaine provided me,” Buchheit said. "He was an exceptional attorney and an even better person. Even when I was working at a competing firm, Delaine took time out of his day to discuss estate planning and probate matters with me. I loved listening to Delaine reminisce about past cases and his experience as a Trust Officer.”

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

Staples Advantage

All ISBA members, regardless of the size of the individual law firm, are part of a nearly 8,000-person buying group giving you access to all the significant price breaks that Staples Advantage has created for the program. With Staples Advantage, you now have access to products you use every day at special contract prices.

Aside from office supplies, the Staples Advantage program offers:

  • Breakroom (beverages, snacks, plates/cups, etc…)
  • Cleaning & Janitorial (hand sanitizer, soap, tissue/towels, etc…)
  • Technology (computers, software, printer/fax, etc…)
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To get more information and to setup your law firm with access to the website please contact the account manager, Renee Dunatchik. Renee can be reached via e-mail at, or by phone at 800-693-9900, Ext. 24729.