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    March 22, 2017
Past Issues  

Rolland Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award: Selection committee seeking your nominations

The Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award is awarded annually to an attorney who has enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering pro bono legal services for those who for one reason or another are unable to afford a lawyer. Any member of The Iowa State Bar Association is eligible for nomination. The selection committee is asking that you nominate an Iowa lawyer who would be a fitting recipient of this year’s award.

The award recipient will be selected based on commitment to pro bono publico and the delivery of legal services to the poor in the community and around the state. The Iowa Rule of Professional Conduct 32:6.1 clearly lays out the aspirational expectation for every attorney in Iowa and this award recipient should exemplify that rule. The award will recognize a legal professional who commits his or her talent and training to improve the quality of justice for those unable to afford a lawyer.

Send your nominations along with a brief description to Brett Toresdahl at the ISBA Public Service Project by April 7.

ISBA President expresses concern over elimination of low income legal funding

ISBA President Skip Kenyon joins a growing list of bar association representatives nationally who are speaking out about the proposed elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which coordinates legal assistance for low-income Americans including veterans, senior citizens, disaster victims and domestic abuse victims.

In President Donald Trump’s first federal budget blueprint released last Thursday, he proposed cutting the $366 million in annual funding for the LSC, one of 19 agencies in line for total elimination of funding.

LSC is an independent non-profit that was established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid. It is a grant-making organization, distributing more than 93 percent of its federal appropriation to non-profits, including Iowa Legal Aid.

Iowa Legal Aid in Fiscal Year 2016 received $2,508,655 in funding through LSC, and used that to staff 10 offices statewide and serve 33,489 Iowans with free legal help. You can learn more about the annual funding appropriations from LSC to Iowa Legal Aid at LSC's website.

“Iowa lawyers have a long history of providing legal pro bono work to the most vulnerable members of our society. The elimination of the LSC greatly hinders the work that our member attorneys do every day on behalf of low-income Iowans who need help,” said President Kenyon.

Kenyon noted that a delegation of six individuals from The Iowa State Bar Association, including Executive Director Dwight Dinkla, are traveling to Washington, D.C. in several weeks to meet personally with Iowa’s elected officials in hopes of preserving the funding for Legal Services Corp. and Iowa Legal Aid.

Get your copy of the new Iowa Court Rules

The new two-volume softbound publication of the Iowa Court Rules is now available through the Iowa Legislative Services Agency.

Volume I includes chapters 1-16 and should be most useful to practitioners and judges and those interested in rules of practice and procedure. Volume II includes chapters 17-52 and should be most useful to the judicial branch and those interested in judicial administration and professional regulation.

The new publication can be purchased through LSA’s new online storefront. The cost for the two volumes is $50.


Help support Iowa Legal Aid by attending fundraiser event

In 2017, Iowa Legal Aid is celebrating 40 years of seeking justice and improving lives. The organization will kick off its celebration with its annual event, Equal Justice After Hours. The 2017 event will be held Thursday, March 30, from 5-7 p.m. at American Enterprise Group, 601 6th Avenue in downtown Des Moines.

This event will highlight how Iowa Legal Aid helps ensure that everyone is treated fairly in the justice system – regardless of how much money they have – by providing access to legal help for thousands of Iowans to protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families.

Tickets to Equal Justice After Hours are $50 each, and can be purchased at the door or online. Various levels of sponsorship are also available. Please contact Terri Bennett at 515-243-2980 ext 1611, or by email at for tickets or information about sponsorships.

"Breakfast with the Bar" event brings together ISBA leaders and lawmakers

Iowa legislators gathered at the ISBA headquarters this morning for the annual "Breakfast with the Bar" event ahead of the March Board of Governors meeting happening today in Des Moines.

Bar leaders discussed with lawmakers issues of priority for members, including the workers' comp. bill, medical malpractice reform and statute of repose, as well as the judicial branch budget concerns.

Look for a complete recap of the March Board of Governor's meeting in the next issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine and the Iowa Lawyer Weekly newsletter.

Dig through those file cabinets! LSA seeks help in search for rules documents

The Iowa Legislative Services Agency (LSA) is looking for an original version of the May 1989 3rd Edition Iowa Court Rules that has not been updated with later Supplement pages. The 1996 - 2001 Iowa Court Rules Supplements are also needed. If any of these Court Rules can be loaned to LSA, they would be scanned and returned as soon as possible. You may contact LSA at the address below for further information:

Craig Cronbaugh
Director, Legislative Information Office
Iowa State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319

Register today for the ISBA Construction Law Section’s annual CLE

Brenton Soderstrum, Construction Law Section Chair

The Construction Law Section’s annual CLE event will be held on April 7 at the ISBA headquarters in Des Moines. We are also pleased to offer this CLE by live webinar. This year’s program, “Construction 101: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know,” is designed for both the construction law veteran and those attorneys who get a construction law issue every now and then. 

This year’s program will appeal to a broad spectrum of practices, from those who practice mainly in real estate to those who litigate or arbitrate construction law disputes. The speakers will cover topics including the basics of construction law issues, what mechanic’s liens are and how to file and resolve them, dispute resolution methods outside of litigation and a case law update with changes to insurance coverage that have resulted. I have no doubt that potential changes to the construction law landscape are also likely to be discussed. 

This event has been approved for 2.75 state CLE hours. For complete information and discounted early registration, click here.


No. 15-0683 - Amended March 20
Property owners seek further review of a court of appeals decision
that found a farm tenancy existed and therefore reversed a district court
judgment granting them possession of this property.

Limits on medical malpractice lawsuits passes Iowa Senate
Legislation aimed at limiting medical malpractice lawsuits won approval in the Iowa Senate Monday after a heated debate over the rights of patients hurt by negligent health care against the need to help Iowa attract more physicians.
Des Moines Register

Iowa House OKs bill shortening time for discrimination suits
The Iowa House passed legislation Monday that would shorten the deadline for filing discrimination lawsuits in the state from two years to 90 days.

Want to know if work data is secure? Examine your own practices first
Technology can help you keep data secure, but the first step in preventing a cyberattack is personal behavior, according to Shamla Naidoo, IBM’s global chief information security officer.
ABA Journal

Seven takeaways from Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation hearing
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faced 10 hours of questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
USA Today



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Associate Attorney

Aspelmeier, Fisch, Power, Engberg & Helling PLC, Burlington, IA


McGrath North, Omaha, NE

City Attorney
City of Bettendorf, Bettendorf, IA

Banking & Finance Attorney
Goosmann Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Child's Attorney
Kids First Law Center, Des Moines

Associate Attorney

Gruhn Law Firm, P.C., Cedar Rapids, IA

Assistant Dean-Career Services

University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA

Assistant County Attorney

Civil Division-Johnson County Attorney's Office, Iowa City, IA

Corporate Counsel
TaxAct, Cedar Rapids, IA

Part Time Legal and Compliance Assistant Homesteaders Life Company, West Des Moines, IA

Assistant Counsel
Ruffalo Noel Levitz, Cedar Rapids, IA

Associate Attorney
Klinger, Robinson & Ford LLP, Cedar Rapids, IA

Attorney Advisor(General)
Social Security Administration, Omaha, NE

City Administrator

City of Fayette, Fayette, IA

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

Jonathan A. Stump, Quinn Johnston, Peoria, Ill.

Sharbel A. Rantisi, Stephens Fiddes McGill & Associates, P.C., Peoria, Ill.

Alexander James Geocaris, McHenry County State's Attorney's Office, Woodstock, Ill.

Anyone with questions or comments on the above should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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