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    April 5, 2017
Past Issues  

2017 Annual Meeting registration now available; free CLE for newest attorneys

Attorneys interested in attending this year's ISBA Annual Meeting can now register online through the annual meeting event page. The event, once again held in conjunction with the Iowa Judges Annual Conference, will take place June 19-21 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

The theme for this year's program is T.E.A.M.: Transform your practice, Exchange ideas, Advocate for the profession, Motivate others. Through the planned social events and CLE programming, organizers hope attendees walk away from the event with a renewed sense of community and further-developed practice skills.

In addition to such social events as the Law School Luncheons (Creighton, Drake and Iowa), Joint Presidents' Reception and Annual Awards Gala, new activities added this year include an ISBA I-Cubs outing on June 19 at Principal Park and a YLD Tailgate at the ISBA Headquarters on June 20. For the tailgate, attendees are encouraged to show their school spirit by sporting their favorite collegiate gear.

Also, new this year is the opportunity for YLD members in their first three years of practice to attend annual meeting CLE programming free of charge. Event organizers and ISBA leadership encourage all ISBA members who fall into this category to attend the event for its educational and networking opportunities.

Full details, including cost, schedule of events and material information, can be found on the event page.

YLD launches new anonymous question forum

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division created a new “Ask an Advocate” anonymous question forum that launched this morning. It provides a mechanism for young attorneys to ask questions without fear of embarrassment or intimidation.

Young lawyers are encouraged to use it to ask questions that will help them understand how better to practice law. Anonymous questions may involve queries about law firm environments, court rules, legal research, procedural rules, practical applications of the law, client relations issues and other topics that may be unclear to a new or inexperienced attorney.

All members of the ISBA YLD received an e-mail this morning with more information, including forum guidelines and opt-out instructions. Please send your forum questions to, and they will be posted anonymously to the listserv by the moderator.

Iowa Legislature enters home stretch

It is the 13th week of the 2017 Iowa legislative session, and lawmakers are heading into the home stretch. Last week's second funnel deadline weeded out some of the remaining policy bills, but there are still several issues of ISBA interest that are alive this session.

Those include Senate File 465, which aims to limit medical malpractice lawsuits by enacting caps on non-economic damages. It has passed the Senate and sits on the House unfinished business calendar.

You can view the latest ISBA Affirmative Legislative agenda chart here, which indicates the most recent developments on the bills approved by the Board of Governors this year. You can also view the latest ISBA weekly Legislative Report, which indicates all action related to any bill that the ISBA registered on this session.

For additional information about bills that are still alive or now dead after the second funnel, please see this coverage in the Des Moines Register.

The 100th calendar day of the 2017 session is April 18, which is when per-diem expenses will run out for lawmakers. That is typically the goal date to end the session, though the exact schedule will depend on how quickly lawmakers get through the remaining bills and finalize the state budget for fiscal year 2018.

February 2017 Bar Exam results released

The Iowa Judicial Branch recently published the February 2017 Bar Exam results on its website. The information released includes the list of successful applicants and the passage rate statistics for each law school represented.

Of the 75 people who sat for the exam on Feb. 21 and 22, 52 of them passed the test, representing a 69 percent total passage rate. Seventy-eight percent of first-time test-takers passed.

Drake University Law School stats:
88% (14) of those taking the exam from Drake University for the first time passed.
72% (21) of those taking the exam from Drake University passed.

University of Iowa College of Law stats:
86% (6) of those taking the exam from University of Iowa for the first time passed.
82% (9) of those taking the exam from University of Iowa passed.

The 52 successful applicants will be sworn-in during a ceremony at 2 p.m. at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines this Thursday, April 6.


Cedar Rapids-area team wins 2017 Mock Trial State Championship; three inducted into mock trial hall of fame

A team from Robins took the top spot in the 2017 High School Mock Trial State Championship last week, and will be heading to the national tournament in Harford, Connecticut, next month. Another Cedar Rapids-area team, Marion Home School, was the runner-up. And, three teacher coaches were inducted into the Mock Trial Educator Coach Hall of Fame.

Those were the events culminating the 2017 High School Mock Trial season last week. A total of 32 teams won regional contests around the state in order to compete in the state tournament, March 27-29 in Des Moines. The mock trial program is administered by the ISBA’s Center for Law & Civic Education in cooperation with the Young Lawyers Division and with financial support from the Iowa State Bar Foundation.

This was the sixth time the Robins team, which is made up of students from Xavier Catholic High School in Cedar Rapids, garnered the top state title in the 35 years of the high school program. This year’s team was coached by attorney Tim Semelroth with assistance from Debbie Neumeyer and attorneys Emily Anderson and Chad VonKampen.

Sarah Cooper, Waverly-Shell Rock High School; Heidi Redmond, North Scott High School; and Tim Magill, Pocahontas Area High School, received plaques inducting them into the mock trial hall of fame. They join four other teacher coaches, who have received hall-of-fame status for their work coaching mock trial.

The hall of fame award is sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). ABOTA President Semelroth conferred the awards during a ceremony at the conclusion of the state tournament preliminary rounds on Tuesday evening, March 28. The hall of fame award recognizes the vital role that educator coaches play in teaching Iowa’s youth about the American jury system. New Hall of Fame inductees will also be recognized at the Iowa ABOTA chapter’s annual dinner in October in Des Moines. At this dinner, each new inductee will be presented a $500 honorarium.

April Iowa Lawyer now available online

The April issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. This month’s feature story is about the Iowa Judicial Branch's 47 specialty courts that could be at risk due to state budget constraints. The April issue also gives an insider perspective to the Chinese legal system and features an Iowa attorney who is legally blind, but continues to maintain a successful solo practice.

Those who elect to receive the print version of the magazine should see it in mailboxes this week. Those who no longer wish to receive the printed version of the magazine can elect to receive it electronically by navigating to their ISBA account settings and selecting "yes” for the "Iowa Lawyer Magazine Online” option.

UI Law hosts Access to Justice event April 21

On Friday, April 21, the University of Iowa College of Law is hosting a summit on Access to Justice in Iowa. Lack of access and limits on legal representation in the civil court system are major issues in the legal system. This event seeks to bring together pre-law students and advisors, law students, lawyers and judges to learn more about the justice gap, engage with each other to explore possible responses and introduce the work of the Iowa Supreme Court's new Access to Justice Commission.

The session is free and will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on April 21 at Boyd Law Building in Iowa City. Presenters include Anjela Shutts, co-chair of the Iowa Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission; the Hon. Kevin McKeever, judge of the Sixth Judicial District; and Eric Goers, chair of The Iowa State Bar Association's Legal Access Committee.

For additional details and the tentative agenda, please visit the event website. To register, please complete this online form by April 19.


No. 15-1813
Plaintiff seeks further review of court of appeals decision vacating award of punitive damages for illegal eavesdropping.

Iowa State Public Defender announces mandatory furlough days
In addressing a state budget shortfall, 223 Iowa State Public Defender employees have been informed they must take five unpaid furlough days before the end of June.
Cedar Rapids Gazette

White House tells ABA it won't be asked to review lower court judicial candidates before nomination
The White House has notified the ABA that President Donald Trump's administration doesn’t intend to ask for a review of possible judicial nominees to the lower federal courts before their names are announced.
ABA Journal

Mark Stringer named new ACLU of Iowa Executive Director
A Unitarian Universalist minister has been named the new executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.
ACLU of Iowa

Iowa Supreme Court meets in Charles City to hear high school baseball case
The Iowa Supreme Court wrestled the issue of risk in high school baseball during a special session in Charles City on Tuesday. Before an audience in the North Grand Building, justices heard oral arguments in the case of former Muscatine High School second baseman Spencer Ludman's case against Davenport Assumption High School.
Mason City Globe Gazette



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McGrath North, Omaha, NE

City Attorney
City of Bettendorf, Bettendorf, IA


Child's Attorney
Kids First Law Center, Des Moines

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

Corporate Counsel
Midco, Sioux Falls, SD

Associate Attorney
Baylor, Evnen, Curtiss, Grimit & Witt, LLP, Lincoln, NE

Experienced Attorney
Redfern, Mason, Larsen & Moore P.L.C., Cedar Falls, IA


Boliver Law Firm, Marshalltown, IA


Full/Part-time Attorney
The Sayer Law Group, P.C., Waterloo, IA


Corporate Associate

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA


Corporate Counsel

Cambridge, Fairfield, IA

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

Steven Michael Karcher, Law Office of Idleman & Karcher, Omaha, NE

Jacob Davis Johnson,Wells Blue Bunny, Orange City, IA

Joseph McRea Bromeland, Unknown, Jackson, MN

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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