ISBA legislative team provides update in fourth week of session
The ISBA legislative team has been hard at work in the first weeks of the 2020 session pushing the priorities of the ISBA's Affirmative Legislative Program. Chief Legislative Counsel Jim Carney discusses the rapid pace of the first few weeks in this video update.
This session, the ISBA has five affirmative legislative proposals -- three from the ISBA Business Law Section and two from the ISBA Probate Section. One major piece of the legislative program this year is a complete update of Iowa’s Model Business Corporations Act, which is summarized here. Another major piece of legislation is the Probate Section's Calculation of Probate Court Costs bill, which addresses how the clerk determines charges in connection with services provided in probate matters. The goal of the bill is to make the process consistent throughout the state. The ISBA will also be lobbying hard for additional increases to indigent defense contract attorney pay.
The ISBA annually monitors approximately 400 legislative bills. You can follow along at this link which will provide a continually-updated list of all bills the ISBA is monitoring. Additional coverage of the ISBA's legislative program can be found in the February issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact your lawmakers to oppose "Caps on Damages" bills
The Iowa State Bar Association opposes arbitrary caps on damages that can be awarded to an injured citizen, and as such opposes recently introduced bills SSB 3085 and HSB 596.
This legislation creates a cap of $250,000 on “non-economic damages” against a healthcare provider that is both arbitrary and punitive. A young child who is the victim of medical malpractice with an 80-year life expectancy will be limited to a $250,000 recovery. An 80-year-old with a five-or-six-year life expectancy would potentially be receiving the same amount in damages.
The ISBA has opposed caps on recovery consistently since 1975, because of the belief that every Iowa citizen should have an opportunity to have his or her case decided on its own merits. If damages are to be awarded, a jury of the parties’ peers should determine an appropriate award, based upon the actual facts of the case.
Here is a link to the current data on civil filings in Iowa, and here is data related to medical malpractice premiums. Please share this information when you contact your legislators to oppose these bills.
ISBA leadership hosts annual Lawyer-Legislator Dinner
The ISBA's annual Lawyer-Legislator Dinner was held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Wakonda Golf Club in Des Moines. This dinner is an annual event that invites all of the currently serving lawyer-legislators to enjoy an evening of food and conversation. There are 20 lawyer-legislators serving in the 2020 session.
“It is an opportunity for the lawyer-legislators, as Republicans and Democrats, to merge together and have the opportunity to share some common goals and thoughts as they relate to the challenges they face in dealing with their colleagues on bar issues and legislation that effect the practice of law, “ explains Jim Carney, chief legislative counsel for The Iowa State Bar Association.
“I heard several comments from legislators saying the dinner was one of their favorite events. It also provides a great opportunity for us to connect and strengthen our ties with the lawyer-legislators in a setting other than the Capitol or a political fundraiser,” said ISBA President Bill Boyd.
Newest Court of Appeals judge to be sworn in next Friday
On Friday, Feb. 14, Gov. Kim Reynolds will administer the oath of office to Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Paul B. Ahlers in a public ceremony in the Iowa Supreme Court Courtroom. The event will take place at 3 p.m. at the Iowa Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines. Additional details can be found here.
February Iowa Lawyer focuses on ISBA legislative program
The February 2020 issue of The Iowa Lawyer is now available online. This issue provides a summary of the ISBA’s legislative program for the 2020 session, as well as coverage of the Condition of the Judiciary and the court’s priorities in 2020. Also included: New ethics opinions, a wrap-up from the latest Board of Governors meeting, and “Gender matters: How practitioners and judges can address and eliminate bias, harassment and discrimination in the Iowa legal profession."
The printed version of the magazine will be mailed in the coming weeks.
Iowa Supreme Court to hold evening session in Des Moines next week
The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Karen Cohen v. David Clark and 2800-1 LLC, during a special evening session in Des Moines on Monday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.
The evening session will be held in the Iowa Supreme Court courtroom on the fourth floor of the judicial branch building. A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments. Click here for details on the case.
Volunteer judges needed for national trial advocacy competition
The American College of Trial Lawyers National Trial Competition is holding the Region 12 tournament (for Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota) in Iowa. The regional tournament will be held in Cedar Rapids at the Linn County Courthouse on Feb. 7–9, 2020.
The competition still needs local trial attorneys to serve as judges (see time slots below). If you can volunteer your time, please contact Hayleigh Hansen-Boardman at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, 319-365-9461 or by email: email@example.com.
The competition times are as follows:
Friday, February 7: 4:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 8: 8:15 a.m. – noon
Saturday, February 8: 12:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 9: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 9: 11:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The top trial advocacy students from the region’s law schools will be vying for a chance to compete in the national tournament in Texas in April.
SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
In the Interest of B.H.A., Minor Child
Appellant appeals the juvenile court’s denial of her petition to terminate the father’s parental rights as not in the best interest of the child, despite finding appellant had proven the elements of abandonment of the child by clear and convincing evidence.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND REMANDED.
State of Iowa v. Jeffrey Alan Meyers
Defendant appeals from the district court judgment and sentence entered on his conviction for boating while intoxicated. Defendant contends the court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence obtained after he was stopped on Lake Panorama for operating a vessel with a blue light in violation of Iowa Code section 462A.12(4). Defendant argues Lake Panorama is a private lake exempted from section 462A.12(4) and the officer thus had no basis for initiating the stop.
State of Iowa v. Dewayne Michael Veverka
The State was granted discretionary review of the district court’s March 3, 2019, order that excluded a recorded interview of a child disclosing sexual abuse to a forensic interviewer. The State argues the district court erred when it refused to follow State v. Rojas, 524 N.W.3d 659 (Iowa 1994), in excluding the recorded forensic interview.
ORDER VACATED AND REMANDED
TIPS & TRICKS
Best tech gadgets for law students
A Navy SEAL's new book reveals a 4-point communication plan all leaders should follow
Productivity tools and tips to jump-start your year
6 ways leaders stay focused at work
How to listen to podcasts on your Amazon Echo
Real Estate & Tax Attorneys
Bradley & Riley PC
Attorney/Associate - Maahs & Walleck, Spirit Lake, IA
Litigation Associate Attorney - Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA
Litigation Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA
Health Associate - Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Minnesota
Associate General Counsel - Wright Service Corp., West Des Moines, IA
Associate Attorney - Dobberstein Law Firm, LLC, Brookfield, WI
Staff Attorney - Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, IA
Assistant Attorney General - Iowa Department of Justice - Attorney General, Mason City, IA
Assistant Crawford County Attorney - Crawford County Attorney, Denison, IA
Staff Attorney - Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA), Des Moines, IA
General Counsel - Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System, Des Moines, IA
Staff Attorney - Iowa State Education Association, Des Moines, IA
Litigation Attorney - Finley Law Firm, P.C., Des Moines, IA
Corporate/Transactional Attorney - Finley Law Firm, P.C., Des Moines, IA
Associate Attorney - McEnroe, Gotsdiner, Brewer, Steinbach & Rothman, P.C., West Des Moines, IA
ADMISSION ON MOTION
The following individual applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:
Anna Frederick, West Chester, PA
Kelly B. Nyquist, Fitch Johnson, Plymouth, MN
Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicant should contact Dan Saar at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-348-4670.