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    March 29, 2017
Past Issues  

Catch up on ISBA legislative action during funnel week

This Friday is the second funnel for the 2017 Iowa legislative session, which means it's the final date for Senate bills to be reported out of House committees and House bills out of Senate committees. It has been a fast-moving session and you can expect a report on what bills of ISBA priority are still alive after Friday’s funnel in next week’s newsletter.

In the meantime, to learn about actions on any bills the ISBA has registered on this session, please view the weekly Legislative Report, which is linked on the right-hand side of the Iowa Lawyer weekly newsletter that is sent to members each Wednesday. Bills of interest are broken down by section, with the latest activity reported under each bill and the option to write comments. For those who are unfamiliar, you can learn about the process by which the ISBA establishes its legislative positions here.

For additional information about legislative priorities, bar advocacy and how to contact the ISBA legislative team, visit the ISBA's legislative website.

Help show support for funding for civil legal aid

At the ISBA Board of Governors Spring Quarterly meeting last week, the Board of Governors signed a resolution expressing support for full funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which is facing an elimination of funding. All ISBA members can show their support as well, by signing this online petition that will be presented to Iowa lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

ISBA President Skip Kenyon is leading a small ISBA delegation to Washington, D.C. on April 26 to speak with Iowa’s two Senators and Congressmen, urging, among other matters, adequate funding for Legal Services Corp.

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

LSC provides civil legal aid to people who desperately need help to navigate the legal process. Their offices are in every congressional district and they help almost 1.9 million people annually. Iowa Legal Aid receives approximately $2.5 million annually from LSC and is able to help more than 16,000 Iowa families.

Please share this online petition with colleagues in your office or on your social media pages in an effort to get as many signatures as possible before the D.C. trip.

Updates to ISBA Lawyer Death and Disability Planning seminars

A new date has been confirmed for the ISBA's upcoming succession planning seminars to explain to attorneys the requirements of Iowa Court Rule 39.18 that go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The seminars will also walk attorneys through a process for creating a written plan suggested in Rule 39:18(3) that supplements the designations made in the annual questionnaire and addresses more specifically the numerous issues that may arise in attorney succession.

The newly added broadcast will be at the Marina Inn Hotel & Conference Center in South Sioux City, Neb. on May 23.

Registration for the event, as well as for the others scheduled in Des Moines and Clear Lake, is available on the CLE page. A second event in Council Bluffs is tentatively scheduled for May 24 and additional information will be made available when details are confirmed. Seminars in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque are planned for early summer.

Sample documents accompanying the seminars have also been updated, and are being offered in both PDF and Word formats for convenience. Information on future seminars and updates will be provided as they become available.


Notice of website construction: New coming soon

The ISBA is preparing to launch a brand new website this summer, with more streamlined pages and a modern look. In anticipation of this launch, please be aware that ISBA staff will begin making some organizational changes on the current website. You may see some pages moved under new tabs, but the website will remain fully functional during the transition.

Please look to the Iowa Lawyer Weekly for future updates regarding specific changes, in anticipation of a June 2017 launch of the new website.

Interested in serving on an Iowa Supreme Court board or commission? Deadline is April 1

The Iowa Supreme Court’s Office of Professional Regulation is looking to fill upcoming vacancies on the Attorney Disciplinary Board, the Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Grievance Commission.

Since this announcement was made, some ISBA members have asked for additional details about the time commitment involved in serving on these bodies. The Director of the Office of Professional Regulation, Tré Critelli, provided the following information:

"Generally speaking, the UPL Commission and the ADB meet four times a year. The duration of the meetings vary depending upon the agenda. Most UPL meetings last approximately two hours. ABD meetings will run three to four hours. Members are expected to attend the meetings in Des Moines in-person, as we've found it better facilitates discussion of the complaints. Mileage is reimbursed and lunch is provided. Each member is also expected to have read the materials prior to the meetings.

The Grievance Commission time commitment depends upon a number of factors, the most important of which is the number of hearing panels to which you are appointed. The majority of hearings take one day, with a few taking longer. Hearings usually take place in the county where the respondent resides. There are usually pre-trial briefs to read and scheduling conferences to attend prior to the hearing. The chair obviously has a greater role and time commitment than does the rest of the panel. After the hearing, the panel drafts the Findings of Fact and Recommendation on Sanction. Unlike the other two, the Grievance Commission matters aren't on a set schedule and are initiated by the filing of the grievance complaint."

To express interest in serving a three-year term on the Attorney Disciplinary Board and/or one of the other two commissions, use the subject "Supreme Court Board/Commissions" in an email to Please include the following information:

• For which board or commission are you applying?
• Judicial election district number
• Name
• Mailing address
• Telephone number
• Email address
• Brief biographical information

Please send your expression of interest by April 1, then bar association leadership will proceed to make nominations to fill the vacancies for the fiscal year beginning July 1.


No. 15-0296
An affiliated group of companies challenges the determination of the Iowa Department of Revenue that the group’s parent company could not be included with its subsidiaries in an Iowa consolidated tax return because it did not receive taxable income under Iowa Code section 422.33(1).

How a comma could cost you
Few people actually remember all those pesky grammar rules we learned in school. But you can bet that a company in Maine will not be forgetting its comma rules anytime soon.
JDSupra Business Advisor

Bill cutting workers' compensation benefits goes to Branstad
Legislation aimed at reducing Iowa workers' compensation costs received final passage in the Iowa Senate on Monday after a heated debate over the importance of Iowa's business climate versus the interests of injured workers.
Des Moines Register

Judge blocks Iowa governor's deposition in firing of agent
Gov. Terry Branstad praised a judge Monday for ruling that he does not have to face deposition in a lawsuit filed by a fired state agent who accuses the governor of defamation.
Telegraph Herald

Attorney General orders crackdown on 'Sanctuary Cities,' threatens holding funds
The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.
Iowa Public Radio



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