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    May 3, 2017
Past Issues  

Two new ethics opinions now available

Two ethics opinions were recently published by the ISBA’s Committee on Ethics and Practice Guidelines. The opinions cover guidelines to follow when lawyers change firms and when law partners hold public office.

The new ethics opinions can be found in the list of all ethics opinions by clicking on the links below:
Ethics Opinion 17-01: When Lawyers Change Law Firms: Guidelines for Lawyers, Their Existing Law Firms, and Potential Future Law Firms; and
Ethics Opinion 17-02: When a Law Partner holds Public Office: Guidelines for the Conduct of Lawyers and their Law Firms When a Partner Holds Public Office.

Those interested in requesting ethics advice and viewing the mission of the ethics and practice guidelines committee can do so by clicking here to visit the committee’s web page, or by going to, navigating to “Practice Tools” on the top navigation, then “Ethics Opinions.”

IAGE Program pays attorneys to help low income individuals

The Iowa Guardianship Establishment Program is designed to assist low-income Iowans who have a documented medical condition establish substitute decision-making (guardianship or conservatorship) services to protect their personal health, safety, assets and dignity. Private attorneys in good standing with the Iowa Supreme Court who have primary practices located within Iowa may be paid up to $1,000 by the Iowa Department on Aging to establish substitute decision-making for low-income individuals in the state.

The purpose of the IAGE Program is to meet the needs of individuals who lack the means to secure legal services for guardianship/conservatorship proceedings but who have identified proposed guardians/conservators willing to serve. The Office of Substitute Decision Maker allocated $35,000 state dollars for the IAGE Program in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017). Through the program, individuals in need of substitute decision-making services who have identified a willing and able guardian/conservator may apply to receive a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to pay the legal fees associated with establishing a guardianship or conservatorship in Iowa.

Eligible individuals and their proposed guardians/conservators work with the Office of Substitute Decision Maker to identify a licensed attorney in good standing with the Iowa Supreme Court. (The office will not recommend any particular individual or firm, but will assist the applicant in locating potential attorney candidates.) Payment is made directly to the representing attorney upon determination that all required documents are provided and the work performed and invoiced by the attorney is supported.

To learn more about the IAGE Program, visit the IAGE Program page on the Iowa Department on Aging’s website by clicking here. Direct links to additional resources, including an IAGE Program Fact Sheet, IAGE Program Application Instructions and IAGE Program Application are available at the bottom of the IAGE Program page.

ISBA volunteers mark Law Day with school visit

Several ISBA members visited the McCombs Middle School Boys and Girls Club in Des Moines to present a program on the 14th Amendment in recognition of Law Day on May 1.

The presentation, organized by the ISBA Public Relations Committee, focused on the importance of due process in court proceedings. It was followed by small-group sessions that allowed attorneys and students to determine if due process was applied in three sample scenarios.

The American Bar Association selects a theme for Law Day each year and encourages attorneys and local bar associations to participate in educational activities to advance understanding of the legal system by the public.

President Dwight Eisenhower established the first Law Day in 1958 to mark the nation's commitment to the rule of law. Photos from the presentation are available on the ISBA Facebook page.


May Iowa Lawyer now available online

The May issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. This month’s cover story is about the new director of the Iowa Supreme Court’s Office of Professional Regulation and what attorneys can expect under new OPR leadership. The May issue also recaps the 2017 legislative session, introduces you to the group behind the new Inns of Mediation and discusses some new initiatives from the Young Lawyers Division. In addition, this issue includes the full schedule for the 2017 Annual Meeting.

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.

New, revised version of federal Local Rules effective May 1

The Local Rules for the Southern District of Iowa were revised November 9, 2016 and became effective May 1 pursuant to Public Administrative Order No. 17-AO-3-P. The revised rules may be accessed via direct link here.

Government Practice Seminar

Margaret Johnson, Government Practice Section chair

May 19 is the date for the annual Government Practice Seminar. The CLE will be held at the Iowa State Bar Association headquarters, starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until 4 p.m. This year's program will feature panels and speakers discussing legislative actions this spring in the areas of employment law and the effects of the changes to Iowa Code chapter 20 and collective bargaining.

Speakers include Rick Autry (Employment Appeal Board), Roger Kuhle (Polk County Attorney's Office), Nathan Overberg (Ahlers law firm), Administrative Law Judge Jasmina Sarajlija (Iowa Public Employees Relations Board), Hugh Grady (Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program) Deb Tharnish (Davis Brown law firm), and Emily Pontius (Fredrikson & Byron law firm).

You can attend the seminar in person, or by live streaming webinar. Lunch is included in the registration price for in-person attendees.

The event will provide 6.25 state credit hours, which includes 2 ethics hours and 3 federal hours.



No. 16-0380
Two brothers, beneficiaries of a family trust, filed competing motions for summary judgment in this declaratory judgment action. The district court granted summary judgment to David and denied summary judgment to Steven. Steven appeals.

No. 16-1441
Grievance commission recommended six-month suspension of attorney’s license.

Inner workings of Hawkeye athletics take center stage at bias trial
The University of Iowa Athletics Department’s strategic plan is to “Win. Graduate. Do it Right.” A civil trial entering its third week in Polk County calls into question whether the UI did it right when officials transferred an associate athletic director out of the department and then last fall fired her.
Cedar Rapids Gazette

Data shows productive, but not record, session
After the ballots were counted last November, Iowa Republicans promised to use their state government trifecta to advance a big, bold, history-making agenda.
Sioux City Journal

Victimized by ransomware, law firm sues insurer for $700K in lost billings
A Rhode Island law firm has filed a lawsuit against its insurer over coverage for a ransomware attack that locked down the firm’s computer files for three months.
ABA Journal

Appeals court rules employers can use prior salary to justify paying women less
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on Thursday that calculating salaries based solely on prior salaries does not violate the Equal Pay Act even when it results in women being paid less than men for the same job.



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

United States Marine Judge Advocate, United States Marine Corps, U.S.

Vice President and Trust Officer, Iowa State Bank, Urbandale, IA

Legal Intern, Confidential Employer, West Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney, Meardon, Sueppel & Downer, P.L.C., Iowa City, IA

Corporate Associate, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA


Associate Attorney, Buchanan, Bibler, Gabor & Meis, Algona, IA

Business and Estate Planning Attorney - Bangs McCullen Law Firm, Rapid City, SD

Attorney - DeKoter, Thole, Dawson & Rockman, P.L.C., Sibley, IA

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

Sean W. Pickett, Sean W. Pickett & Associates, Kansas City, MO


Joshua A. Tepfer, Exoneration Project of the University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL

Steven Scott Hand, ProAssurance Companies, Greenwood, IN

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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