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    November 18, 2015
Past Issues   

Editor's Note: Due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the next Iowa Lawyer Weekly newsletter will be published on Wednesday, December 2.

Notice of election for district judicial nominating commissioners

Eligible resident members of the Iowa Bar, who are interested in nominating themselves or someone else to their district nominating commissions, must file a nominating petition in the state court administrator’s office on or before Jan. 1. Elections take place in January.


The person elected in Districts 1A, 1B, 3A, 3B, 5A, 5B and 7 shall be a female. The individual elected in Districts 2A, 2B, 4, 6, 8A and 8B shall be a male. Eligible members of the bar in District 5C are to elect two electors – one male and one female.


Individuals elected begin their terms on Feb. 1, 2016 and serve until Jan. 31, 2022. During their terms, they "shall hold no office of profit of the United States or of the state,” according to Article V, section 16 of the Iowa Constitution. The constitution also specifies that commissioners shall serve for six-year terms and be ineligible for a second six-year term on the same commission.


A list of the electors whose terms expire this January can be seen here.


To obtain blank nominating petitions, contact the state court administrator’s office at: David K. Boyd, State Court Administrator, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-281-5241.

New legal advice clinic established in Johnson County

Immigrants and undocumented individuals now have an opportunity to get legal advice from volunteer attorneys in the Iowa City, Iowa area. The first clinic was held on Tuesday, Nov. 17th.  Several community organizations have partnered to create the once-per-month legal advice clinic called "New Iowans Legal Advice Clinic."


This clinic, modeled after the HOLA clinic hosted by the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project in Des Moines, Iowa, is designed to reach out and provide legal advice to immigrant, non-English-speaking, or undocumented individuals in the community.  The goal for the clinic is to provide access to justice to people who are unable to receive legal assistance from any other source.  Each month volunteer attorneys and interpreters will meet with clients to review their cases or questions and provide them with the advice necessary.


The clinic is being sponsored by the Johnson County Bar Association and was developed in cooperation with the ISBA Access to Justice Committee. Community partners for the clinic include the Center for Worker Justice, IC Compassion, Proteus, University of Iowa College of Law Legal Clinic, Iowa Legal Aid, and the University of Iowa College of Law Citizen Lawyer Program. The clinic will be run with the help of volunteers from all of these partnering groups.

November/December issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine now available online

The November/December issue of the Iowa Lawyer Magazine is now available online. In this issue, Judge Annette Scieszinski shares her goals as chair of the ABA Judicial Division's National Conference of State Trial Judges, the Iowa Supreme Court’s Family Law Task Force and Guardianship and Conservatorship Reform Task Force share recent progress updates and State Public Defender Adam Gregg explores a number of changes to keep fairness in mind.

Members interested in viewing the online version of the magazine can do so by clicking here or by navigating to, clicking on "Publications,” then "Iowa Lawyer Magazine.” Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.

The Iowa Lawyer is free online or in print to ISBA members as part of their annual dues. The magazine informs members on issues, events and developments in the law specific to Iowa that impact their practices and their lives as attorneys. Questions regarding the Iowa Lawyer Magazine can be directed to the ISBA Communications Department at or 515-697-7898.


Justice Not Politics celebrating fifth anniversary

One of the organizations that formed to protect Iowa’s fair and impartial courts from political attack during the retention election in 2010 is celebrating its fifth anniversary tomorrow, Nov. 19, with a reception and fundraiser.


The event will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. at the home of Roxanne Conlin, 2900 Southern Hills Circle, in Des Moines, Iowa. Sally Pederson and Joy Corning, both former lieutenant governors in the state and co-chairs of Justice Not Politics, will be the special guests.


To RSVP or make a contribution, click here.

New resource tells how judges are selected in all states

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALs) has a new resource that details how each state selects and retains its judges across all three court levels – trial, intermediate appellate, and supreme.


The 11-page document is divided into three categories: Formal methods of selecting state judges, informal methods, and methods of retaining state judges. Side-by-side columns labeled with different methods of selection, such as the commission-based gubernatorial appointment method used in Iowa, contain the names of the states that use that method.


The comparison method is designed to make judicial selection easy and understandable, say IAAL spokespeople.


To view the document, which is entitled "Selection & Retention of State Judges: Methods from Across the Country,” click here. To learn more about IAALS, go to its website.

Tax school just around the corner

The 2015 Bloethe Tax School is two weeks from today. There is still time to register, but the early bird rate ends Dec. 1.


In addition to the always-popular review of tax law changes in the tax manual, this year’s school includes a presentation on the Affordable Care Act, federal estate tax return issues, recent developments in planning for retirement benefits, and recent rulings and what’s new at the Iowa Department of Revenue.


Attendees can earn up to 15.5 state hours of CLE credit, which includes two ethics hours and 9.5 federal hours.


For a complete listing of topics to be covered and to register, click here, then click on the "Register” link. You can also download a printable registration form from the same page. Registering after Dec. 1 adds a $35 late fee to the early bird registration fee.


In Other News ...

Ames Middle School participates in mock trial
Two teams from Ames Middle School competed this year in the Mock Trial Regional Competition held in Mason City on Nov. 5. Mock Trial is an interscholastic competition designed to introduce students to the legal system while offering them the opportunity to develop important skills in critical thinking, public speaking, research, presentation and teamwork. Students analyze a legal case provided by The Iowa Bar Association and play the roles of attorneys and witnesses as they prepare and present the case as prosecutors and defenders.
Ames Tribune

Board members quit, blast Washington State Bar in fight over UPL, legal technicians
Washington state’s Practice of Law Board has been hit with mass resignations and departures as a result of a long-running feud with the bar association’s leaders. On Monday, former board members released an 11-page letter (PDF) accusing the executive director of the state bar of pursuing "a campaign to eliminate the Practice of Law Board” over differences in philosophy on how to bridge the access-to-justice gap in the state. According to the letter—signed by four former members of the POLB, including ex-chairman Scott Smith—there have been multiple clashes between the POLB and the bar over the POLB’s role in regulating the unauthorized practice of law.
The ABA Journal

Iowa veterans share experiences through oral history project

Some central Iowa veterans shared their stories ahead of Wednesday's Veterans Day Holiday. The Veterans History Project was established by the Library of Congress to collect the stories of American war veterans by recording and transcribing interviews with them. Harold Cline, a World War II Navy veteran from Marshalltown, said he has one hope for those who hear his story., Shenandoah

Free legal advice for sexual abuse victims
The news of even more sexual assaults on college campuses is serving as motivation for attorneys in our area to offer legal advice for free. On Tuesday, the University of Iowa announced three more sexual assaults occurred on campus, with the suspect still at large. Groups like the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault say they’ve been working with campuses across the state to advocate for victims if they need legal help., Mason City

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