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    December 10, 2015
Past Issues   

Updated probate manual now available

The 2015 Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Law Manual, which has been updated from the last edition published in 2013, is now available in the ISBA’s online store. Much has changed since the last publication, and the new edition incorporates updates resulting from case law and legislation through the year 2015.


The manual is designed to render assistance on a practical level and, if properly used, to reduce the amount of time the attorney must spend on the routine, repetitive matters present in the administration of every estate. This allows the attorney to spend a greater proportion of available time on those estate matters which require the exercise of judgment, experience and legal training. It is not designed to be a scholarly treatise on the substantive law for the administration of decedents' estates.


The manual also provides checklists to alert attorneys to deadlines, elections and alternate procedures in an effort to avoid problems in probating an estate. It contains the word "Duty” in red letters alongside those functions that must be performed. And, it contains the phrase "Best Practice” in purple type to identify the best court procedure determined by the Clerk’s Manual Committee as approved by State Court Administration. In addition, highlighted sections call the user’s attention to updates in the 2015 edition. And the term "New Practice” highlighted in purple identifies those practices that have been added to the current edition.


To purchase a copy of the manual, click here (must be logged into the ISBA website) or visit the ISBA Online Store at the "Store” tab at the top of the ISBA homepage, click on "Practice Manuals,” then click on "2015 Probate, Trust and Estate Planning Manual.”

A message from Iowa State Bar Foundation President Paul Tyler

I hope each of you have taken the opportunity to review the Iowa State Bar Foundation Annual Report contained in the most recent issue of the Iowa Lawyer magazine. In particular, I would call your attention to Bill Scherle's message as the outgoing ISBF President. Simply stated, the ISBF needs to significantly increase its assets if it is to continue to be a major source of support for the ISBA’s efforts in educating the public concerning legal concepts and fostering the improved administration of justice in the State of Iowa.


As noted in Bill's message, the ISBF is commencing a campaign to significantly increase the size of its assets and, as a centerpiece of that effort, is seeking 100 lawyers willing to contribute $10,000 to the ISBF (which amount can be paid at a rate of $1,000 per year). Each lawyer making such a gift will be recognized on permanent signage located near the ISBF Continuing Legal Education Center in the ISBA building. To date, we have firm commitments from at least 25 lawyers to make such a gift and tentative commitments from several more. The Iowa Judge's Association has also agreed to support this endeavor.


As you consider your year-end giving, please give serious consideration to becoming one of the 100 lawyers that we are seeking. If that is just not possible because of other outstanding obligations, please consider other more viable options such as: completing your initial pledge if you are an ISBF Fellow; stepping up your giving category if you are an ISBF Life Fellow; or if you are not an ISBF Fellow, letting us know of your interest in becoming one.


Pledge forms are included in the ISBF Annual Report and may also be obtained by clicking here or by contacting ISBF Liaison Mary Hill via email at Members of the ISBF Board of Directors and ISBF Fellows President Phil Garland welcome questions or concerns that you may have regarding the ISBF and the programs supported by it as do I. Please feel free to contact me directly via email at or by phone at 515-246-4513 with any questions or concerns you may have as you consider joining us in this important campaign.

Tax manual, planning for retirement benefits, door prizes highlight 2015 tax school

A discussion of the 1,200-plus-page tax manual, a presentation on recent developments in planning for retirement benefits and door prizes were among the highlights of the 2015 Bloethe Tax School held at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown last week. An estimated 600 individuals attended the annual event.


David Bibler, Lee Wilmarth and Dan Fretheim walked attendees through the tax manual, which has become a staple in the ISBA-sponsored school. Robert Kirkland from the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) brought attendees up to date on developments in retirement planning.


Eight individuals returned home a bit richer after receiving the door prizes presented by vendors and the ISBA at the end of the school on Friday. Beth Becker and K.O. Myers each received a legal directory from Security National Bank, which also sponsored the breaks during the three-day event. Ivan Miller received a dozen golf balls from Robert W. Baird & Co. John Greve, received a bottle of Templeton Rye from WalhTek, Inc. Phillip DeKoster received a $50 Visa card from Credit Bureau Services of Iowa. (The original winner was Richard Anderson, but he payed the gift forward and asked that a second name be drawn.) Timothy Reineke received software from Advance Logic. Brian Mensen and Reyne See each received an Apple iPad mini from the ISBA.


Tax manuals in hard copy or digital format may be purchased from the ISBA store.

Click here to access the store directly. Or, click on "Practice Manuals” under the "Store” tab on the ISBA’s home page.


The ISBA wishes to thank this year’s vendors. In addition to those mentioned above, Iowa Title Guaranty, Iowa Agricultural Development Division, IPE 1031, Smart Start, Iowa Legal Aid and Principal Financial Group provided information for tax school attendees.

Winners shown in the accompanying photo (from left) are Mensen, Reineke, Myers, Becker and See.


Iowa Supreme Court Lawyer Trust Account Commission accepting grant applications for FY2016

The Iowa Supreme Court Lawyer Trust Account Commission announced Dec. 4 that it is accepting applications for grants under the Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) program for the grant period beginning July 1, 2016. IOLTA program grants are awarded to public purpose projects that provide legal services to low-income persons in civil cases, to law-related education, and to other programs that improve the administration of justice in Iowa.


Pursuant to chapter 44 of the Iowa Court Rules, applicants must file one copy of their application in paper form, and one copy of their application in electronic form. Organizations may obtain a copy of the rules and grant application forms from the Lawyer Trust Account Commission, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, by calling 515-725-8029, or by emailing requests to Application forms also may be downloaded from the commission's web page on the Iowa Judicial Branch web site.


The Commission must receive completed grant applications no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2016. The Commission will review the applications and seek approval from the Iowa Supreme Court for awarding the grants. Grant recipients will be announced in late May or early June of 2016.

Iowa Economic Development Authority position available

The Iowa Economic Development Authority currently has a tax and compliance counsel and legislative liaison position available. The successful candidate will play a key policy making role on the Iowa Economic Development Authority Executive Team. The counsel/liaison will be required to work in a fast-paced environment and must feel comfortable advising and making recommendations to key executive personnel regarding the IEDA’s tax incentive programs and federal and Iowa tax law and rules.
The successful candidate will have experience: representing a state agency or business before the Iowa Legislature or another legislative body or the executive branch as a legislative liaison or otherwise; drafting laws and rules and providing guidance and direction regarding drafting rules and laws; negotiating, drafting and revising contracts regarding complex transactions; providing guidance and direction regarding contract compliance issues; and providing guidance and direction regarding compliance. The position will be housed in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Salary range is $90,064.00 to $128,065.60. 

For more information about the position, click here. To apply, send cover letter and resume no later than December 21 to


In Other News ...

Chemerinsky: 2 Texas cases before SCOTUS could have big implications for race in the US

During the week of Dec. 7, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two of the most high profile and likely most important cases of the term. On Tuesday, Evenwel v. Abbottwill be argued, which concerns how voting districts should be drawn for state and local elected bodies. On Wednesday, the court again will hear arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, which is about what public colleges and universities must prove in order to engage in affirmative action. Interestingly, in both cases, politically conservative challengers are asking the court to overturn actions by the state of Texas that have potentially great implications for race in the United States.

ABA Journal


Following family precedent at Iowa Law

When Hannah Shirey reflects on her lineage, it’s no surprise she wound up at the University of Iowa College of Law. But Shirey—who became the fifth generation of her family to attend the UI College of Law this fall—wasn’t always certain she’d be a Hawkeye. After graduating from Colgate University in central New York with a degree in both anthropology and Middle East and Islamic Studies in 2011, Shirey jumped in to nonprofit work in New York City. Though her experience was rewarding, she says she quickly found herself needing to qualify her statements to clients.


US Supreme Court to hear dispute between EEOC, Iowa company

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider a long-running dispute between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a major Iowa trucking company. The court granted a petition Friday by Cedar Rapids-based CRST Van Expedited Inc. to review a decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Des Moines Register

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.

December 4

No. 14-0284


On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven P. Van Marel, District Associate Judge.

Defendant seeks resentencing based on the prosecutor’s alleged breach of a plea agreement. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT SENTENCE VACATED; CASE REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.


No. 14-2042


On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Timothy O’Grady, Judge.

Defendant seeks further review of the court of appeals decision affirming the judgment and sentence following his guilty plea to delivery of a controlled substance. DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMED IN PART AND VACATED IN PART; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED AND CASE REMANDED WITH INSTRUCTIONS.


No. 15-1227


On review of the report of the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

An attorney contends the grievance commission’s recommended sanction for violation of disciplinary rules is excessive. LICENSE SUSPENDED.



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