November 13, 2019  Past Issues

Iowa Middle School Mock Trial Tournament next week needs volunteers

The state rounds of the Iowa Middle School Mock Trial Tournament begin on Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Des Moines, and there are many judging slots that still need to be filled.

The rounds in which volunteers are needed are 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, and 9 a.m. and 1:30 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The time commitment is typically about three hours and the location is Franklin Junior High School in Des Moines. There is free parking on site and lunch provided between the Wednesday rounds if you sign up for both. Click here to register.

If you have questions, please contact ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Director John Wheeler at 515-697-7882 or

Iowa Supreme Court selects business court judges

The Iowa Supreme Court has selected District Judge Sarah Crane, Des Moines, and District Judge Kurt Stoebe, Fort Dodge, as Iowa Business Specialty Court judges. These judges will join Judge Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge Sean W. McPartland and Judge John D. Telleen as business court judges.

The primary aim of the Iowa Business Specialty Court is to move business or complex commercial cases through the court system expeditiously, with lower costs for litigants, and with more efficient use of judicial branch resources.

You can read more here.

Attorney General's Office announces new tracking system for sexual assault kits

Iowa will launch a tracking and reporting system for sexual assault evidence kits, which will provide transparent status updates to survivors of rape as well as to law enforcement and medical professionals.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division has chosen STACS DNA, a sample-tracking software company, to develop the system. The company’s Track-Kit system will be rolled out to all regions of the state by July 1, 2020.

The Crime Victim Assistance Division received a $796,985 grant from the National Institute of Justice to develop and implement the system. Read more here.

Department of Revenue updates withholding tax tables; withholding calculator

The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) is issuing updated income tax withholding tables for 2020, along with an updated withholding calculator to assist individuals in determining the amounts to be withheld from their paychecks. The updates are designed to align Iowa withholding with recent changes in state tax laws brought about by the state tax reform bill Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law in the spring of 2018.

For individuals, the tax law changes mean that employers will be reducing the amount of Iowa tax withheld from employees’ paychecks, beginning on Jan. 1.

Prior to 2019, withholding tables had remained unchanged since 2006. Since 2019, and over the next two years, the IDR will continue to adjust the withholding tables as needed to reflect the phasing in of the Iowa tax reform.

Employers can find the new Iowa 2020 withholding formulas and tables online. Individuals can use the online Withholding Calculator to calculate their 2020 withholding amounts. Questions? Contact the IDR at 515-281-3114 or 800-367-3388.


Last ISBA People’s Law School this year focuses on guardianships and conservatorships

The ISBA is hosting a free public event on the basics of guardianships and conservatorships as part of the “ISBA People’s Law School” series. This free public event will be held at the bar association headquarters at 625 E. Court in Des Moines on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m., and is also being live-streamed to public libraries in Iowa communities. The event will focus on the types, differences between, and alternatives to guardianships and conservatorships. Additional topics include the creation of guardianships and conservatorships and the powers of guardians and conservators.

The ISBA People’s Law School provides free, educational events where members of the public can find answers to life’s legal questions. Speakers present information on a variety of legal topics and answer general questions. This month’s speakers are Jennifer Donovan, Public Guardian, Iowa Department on Aging, and Breanna Young, Attorney, Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C.

Please help spread the word about this ISBA public service initiative. If you have ideas for future topics and speakers, please contact:

Federal Practice Seminar brings judges and attorneys together

The ISBA Federal Practice Seminar is designed for attorneys new to federal practice as well as experienced attorneys looking to brush up on the basics. Attendees will network and learn from members of Iowa’s federal judiciary during the judges’ panels scheduled, as well as the presentations focused on settlement ethics, judicial advocacy and leveraging new attorney talents.

The all-day seminar takes place Friday, Dec. 13, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Des Moines. Visit the event page for the complete schedule and registration opportunities.

This seminar has been approved for 6.25 state hours of CLE credit, which includes one ethics hour.

LSA publishes new Judicial Officer Qualifications guide

The Legal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) recently published a new guide entitled "Judicial Officer Qualifications.” The purpose of this guide is to provide a general overview of the unified trial court system in the state of Iowa. The guide focuses on the newly updated nomination and retention process for the various types of judgeships.

You may view the guide here.

Supreme Court Opinions

No. 18-0566
Marsha Whitlow v. Ron McConnaha, Jodi McConnaha, and Timothy Newton

Defendant exonerated in jury trial seeks further review of court of appeals decision including him in retrial necessitated by error in the verdict form affecting the other defendant.

No. 18-1353
State of Iowa v. Juan Daniel Salcedo

A defendant challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress.

No. 19-0155
In the Matter of the Application of Coe College for Interpretation of Purported Gift Restrictions v. Coe College

A college appeals a district court judgment denying its request for declaratory relief as to the terms of a 1976 charitable gift.

Bondurant-Farrar to hire attorney as it seeks to recoup funding lost in taxing error on Facebook building
The Bondurant-Farrar Community School District is hiring an attorney as it seeks a way to recoup part of the nearly $900,000 loss in its budget due to a valuation error on one of Facebook's data center buildings.
Des Moines Register

Safety violations found after attacks at Iowa psych hospital
Regulators have recommended a nearly $73,000 fine against the Iowa Department of Human Services after finding serious workplace safety violations at a state-run psychiatric hospital where several employees have been assaulted by combative patients.

Far from Washington, 'quid-pro-quo' controversy entangles Creston mayor-elect
While Washington debates the impeachment investigation focusing on an alleged "quid pro quo" by President Donald Trump, another political case involving a this-for-that arrangement has landed the newly elected mayor of a southwest central Iowa town in trouble.
Iowa City Press-Citizen


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Improving efficiency: Finding the best legal tech solutions

The benefits of having a mentor as a young professional

Getting over your fear of talking about diversity


Corporate/Transactional Attorney - Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Bankruptcy/Debt Restructuring - AG & Business Legal Strategies, Hiawatha, IA

Litigation Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Iowa Title Guaranty Deputy Director - Iowa Title Guaranty, Des Moines, IA 

Subrogation Attorney - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE

Litigation Family Law Attorney - Mossman Law Firm, Vinton, IA

Litigation Attorney - Personal Injury - Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Coverage Attorney - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE

Business Development Director - McKee, Voorhees and Sease, PLC, Des Moines, IA


The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:

Camron Hoorfar, Law Office of Camron Hoorfar, PC, Lee's Summit, MO

Timothy Andrew Rye, Larkin Hoffman, Minneapolis, MN

Paul Connell Nylen, Milwaukee, WI

Elizabeth Willrich Ream, Intoxalock, Des Moines, IA

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicants should contact Dan Saar at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-348-4670.


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