February 27, 2019  Past Issues

High School Mock Trial judges needed

The ISBA is looking for volunteers to serve as judges for the Iowa High School Mock Trial competition – both the regionals, which begin Friday and continue through March 20, and for the State Tournament in Des Moines on April 4 and 5.

Judges will be asked to assess student performances as they take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses. More than 2,000 students from across Iowa participated in mock trial last year, and more than 600 members of the bar assisted as judges and coaches in tournaments held throughout Iowa. Without the assistance of volunteer judges, these competitions would not be possible.

You can volunteer by clicking on the "Register" link here or by contacting ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Director John Wheeler at 515-697-7882 or

Second ISBA People’s Law School event draws a crowd

On Thursday, Feb. 21, The Iowa State Bar Association hosted its second seminar in the “People’s Law School: Older Iowans” series. The event, held at the bar’s headquarters in Des Moines, drew a crowd of more than 50 members of the public. The presentation included an overview of Medicaid eligibility for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities by Scott Hartsook, the former managing attorney of the Legal Hotline for Older Iowans, a special project of Iowa Legal Aid.

The ISBA plans to continue hosting these “People’s Law School” events into the future. If you have any ideas for topics or speakers, please contact:

Judicial Nominating Commission to select nominees for two court of appeals vacancies

The State Judicial Nominating Commission, which is responsible for selecting nominees for appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals, will begin accepting applications to fill Judge Christopher McDonald’s seat on the Iowa Court of Appeals.  He will begin serving as a justice on the Iowa Supreme Court on March 7.

As previously announced, the commission will meet March 28 to 29 to interview applicants for the court of appeals vacancy created with the retirement of Chief Judge David Danilson. With the Judge McDonald vacancy, the commission will now interview candidates for both vacancies March 28 to 29 and send a slate of six candidates to the governor for the two appointments.

For more information, and details on how to apply, click here.

Legislative update: Three bills of interest this week
There are three particular bills of interest that the ISBA’s legislative team are closely following this week. Please watch this video (recorded Monday, Feb. 25) of Chief Legislative Counsel Jim Carney and Assistant Legislative Counsel Doug Struyk discussing HF503 / SF237 (the Judicial Selection bills), SF313 (related to commercial title insurance) and SF327 (consistent calculation of court costs).

Are you concerned about any of these bills? Please contact your lawmaker. Additional information and resources (including those referenced in the video) can be found on the ISBA'S legislative website.


Lawyers appointed/reappointed to cabinet positions

Governor Kim Reynolds has appointed/reappointed the following lawyers to cabinet posts: 

  • Reappointment – Geri Huser as chair of the Iowa Utilities Board. Prior to her tenure on the utilities board, she served as director of Iowa Title Guaranty.

  • Appointment – Larry Johnson, Jr., as director of the Department of Inspection and Appeals, effective March 1. Previously, he served as the State Public Defender.

  • Appointment – Kraig Paulsen as head of the Department of Revenue, effective Feb. 25. Previously, he was director of both Supply Chain Initiatives and Business Analytics Initiatives at Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business.

  • Re-appointment – Janet Phipps as head of the Department of Administrative Services. A retired Brigadier General with the Iowa National Guard, she previously served as director of the Iowa Department of General Services.

  • Re-appointment – Beth Townsend as director of Iowa Workforce Development. A retired U.S. Air Force Reserves Lieutenant Colonel, she was previously director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

  • Appointment – Jeff Wright as the State Public Defender beginning March 1. He was chair of the Iowa Board of Parole prior to his current appointment.

See a more complete description of each appointment at this link.

ISBA’s Engage program is listservs on steroids

If you haven’t taken advantage of the ISBA’s “Engage” program, initially launched last June to provide a private, online professional community for the association’s sections and committees, you’re missing out. Engage is basically a listserv program with additional bells and whistles. Engage has taken the place of the listservs that formerly were the means of communicating within sections and committees.
Among other features, all questions and answers posted to a given section or committee are archived, so you can look back for information on topics whenever you want that information even if it has been months since it was posted.
When someone in a section or committee that you belong to posts a question or answer, you receive an email. You can view the post and respond from the email, or by going to the Engage community page.
The email notifications about postings come to your inbox in real-time, or as a consolidated digest at the end of the day or at the end of the week. You simply go to the “My Profile” tab on the Engage community page (link above) and click on “My Email Settings” to select your preference.
For more information about all the benefits of Engage and directions on how to download the mobile app, please visit the website,, and click on the heading, “Engage.”

Annual Juvenile Law Seminar set for April 3
Ellen Ramsey-Kacena, Juvenile Law Seminar Committee Chair

The Iowa State Bar Association Annual Juvenile Seminar is coming up on Wednesday, April 3. You won’t want to miss this year’s seminar as there are some exciting new changes in the future for juvenile court. The committee has worked to put together some phenomenal and timely content for the juvenile law practitioner.

Some of the highlights will include: DHS Director, Jerry Foxhoven, presenting on the Families First Prevention and Services Act and what that will mean for juvenile court; Youth from AMP to provide the child’s perspective; Dr. Amy Shriver to provide information about nutrition in brain development; and Hon. Joseph Seidlin to present on Trauma Informed Care: What Works. We will also have a presentation from Steve Nylin from the 24/7 Dads program to talk about how to engage fathers in the juvenile process. Dale Woolery from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy and Rod Courtney, Director of CRUSH of Iowa, will present on Substance Abuse Cases: Special Needs/Special Knowledge. We would never have a juvenile seminar without including everyone’s favorite - the Case Law Update with Prof. Brent Pattison, Director of the Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, Drake University Law School.

This year’s seminar is being offered as a live webinar, as well as an in-person event, allowing attorneys from throughout the state of Iowa to participate and learn from the location of their choosing. In-person attendance will take place at the ISBA Building in Des Moines.

We expect 7.25 state hours of CLE credit, which includes one ethics and 7.25 juvenile hours, to be approved. Visit the Juvenile Law Seminar event page to learn more. Early-bird registration is available until April 2.

ISU hosting lecture on immigration issues

Iowa State University is hosting a free public lecture on immigration, which will feature Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller as one of the speakers. Miller and Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy will discuss immigration laws and the current immigration narrative in “Law and Story: Reframing the National Conversation about Immigration.” The lecture begins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room on the ISU campus.

More information can be found here.


No. 17-1466
Todd Morris  v. Steffes Group, Inc.
Plaintiff seeks further review of a decision affirming an adverse summary judgment.

'A solution in search of a problem': Iowa GOP seeks bigger court advantage
Seeking to change the way applicants for the state Supreme Court have been vetted for nearly six decades, Iowa Republicans are embracing a plan that could increase the party’s sway beyond the more than 2-1 advantage it now has over Democrats in deciding which finalists to present to the governor.
Globe Gazette

Downsizing hits legal education
For nearly a century and a half, Valparaiso University in northwestern Indiana has been training Midwestern lawyers. But soon the school won't be teaching law to anyone.

Google ends mandatory arbitration of workplace disputes and ban on employee class actions
Google will end mandatory arbitration of employment disputes beginning March 21, expanding its previous decision to end forced arbitration only in cases of alleged sexual harassment or assault.
ABA Journal



The five w’s for a data-driven law practice

3 prime examples that prove you were born to be a leader

Dark web: what is it and how could it affect your company?

What is the meaning of work?


Staff Attorney - Muscatine Legal Services, Des Moines, IA

Director, Career Development Office - Drake Law School, Des Moines, IA

Liability Insurance Defense Attorney - Hopkins & Huebner P.C., Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Harned & McMeen, Marengo, IA

Associate Attorney - Rawlings Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

Law Clerk - Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Attorney - Pasley and Singer Law Firm, LLP, Ames, IA

Assistant United States Attorney - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Carmoney Law Firm PLLC, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Bruner, Bruner, Reinhart & Morton, LLP, Carroll, IA

Associate Attorney - Confidential Employer, Davenport, IA

Managing Attorney - Kids First Law Center, Des Moines, IA

Administrative Services Coordinator to the Associate Vice President for Legal Affairs - University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, IA

Associate Attorney - McEnroe, Gotsdiner, Brewer, Steinbach & Rothman, P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Assistant United States Attorney - Civil - United States Attorney's Office, Cedar Rapids, IA

Assistant City Attorney - City of Iowa City, Iowa City, IA

Associate Attorney - McDonald, Woodward & Carlson, P.C., Davenport, IA

Iowa Title Guaranty Director - Iowa Finance Authority, Des Moines, IA

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

Andrew David Cardon, Alliant Energy, Cedar Rapids, IA

Jesse Roy Dill, Ogletree Deakins, Milwaukee, WI

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


Tweet with us on

Be our fan on
Connect through
Follow us on

Watch us on