June 3, 2020  Past Issues

ISBA leadership issues statement on death of George Floyd and resulting unrest

The following statement is issued jointly by the elected officers of the ISBA: Bill Boyd, President; Jerry Schnurr III, President-elect; Anjie Shutts, Vice President; Henry Hamilton III, Vice President-elect; Abhay Nadipuram, YLD President.

"We are deeply disturbed by the tragic death of George Floyd in our neighboring state at the hands of police — ruled a homicide by medical examiners — and other acts of violence and police brutality against people of color in recent days. We take great pride that our state has been a pioneer in the advancement of civil rights, but we recognize there is much more work to be accomplished.

“We acknowledge that most people involved in law enforcement and our justice system carry out their jobs with honor, integrity and fairness. Likewise, most protesters exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, speak out and demand accountability in a peaceful manner. The rule of law is essential for our society to function, and a key principle is that all persons, institutions and entities are accountable to laws that are equally and fairly enforced.

“Last summer, the late Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered the inaugural address at the Iowa National Bar Association’s annual diversity celebration held at the Monumental Journey sculpture in Des Moines. The sculpture was erected to honor the courageous African-American attorneys who, after being denied entry to the American Bar Association, started their own legal organization in 1925. Chief Justice Cady began his remarks by stating that of all the values expressed in our Constitution, none is more important or more enduring than equality. It embodies the foundation of our hope and aspirations as a people. It is our self-evident truth.

“As lawyers, we must hold ourselves accountable to the cause of righting injustices of the past and present. Now is the time to do all we can to help bring equality to our communities by serving as leaders as we work to rebuild trust and faith in our justice system and legal institutions."

You're invited! First-ever virtual annual meeting of the members on June 24

Each year during the ISBA's Annual Meeting convention in June, all ISBA members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of the Corporation, which occurs as part of the Board of Governors' June quarterly meeting. Because the in-person annual meeting was cancelled this year due to the pandemic (and the CLE portion was held virtually in May), members are invited to instead attend the business meeting of members on Wednesday, June 24, online.

This meeting, expected to last less than an hour, will be held via GoToMeetings beginning at 10 a.m. Please click this link to register. The agenda includes remarks from Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen, the deans of the two Iowa law schools, the ISBA Executive Director, and a report on the election of new officers which will include the passing of the gavel to new president Jerry Schnurr III.

The Board of Governors quarterly meeting begins at 9 a.m. and members are welcome to sign in early on June 24 to attend virtually in advance of the 10 a.m. annual business meeting of the members.

Incoming ISBA president featured in June magazine

The June issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now online, featuring the incoming ISBA president on the cover. Jerry Schnurr III is a solo practitioner from Fort Dodge, and he outlines his goals for the 2020-2021 year in the cover story.

Other articles in this issue include: Transformation in child welfare, by Judge Mary Tabor from the Iowa Court of Appeals; The benefits of a legal practice specialty, by Hope Wood; and Anxiety in the time of Corona, by Iowa attorney and mental health counselor Lawrence Scanlon. You will also learn about the importance of email encryption and how the ISBA can help you secure your email correspondence. The printed version of the magazine will be mailed in the coming weeks.

Supreme Court appoints members to 2020 Iowa Child Support Guidelines Review Committee

Every four years, the state of Iowa is required to review its child support guidelines to ensure their application results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts, pursuant to the Federal Family Support Act of 1988. In compliance with this requirement, Chief Justice Susan Christensen has signed an order appointing members of the 2020 Iowa Child Support Guidelines Review Committee.

The committee is tasked with studying current data concerning child-raising costs and other economic measures and comparing Iowa's guidelines with other states, among other things. The committee must submit a final report to the court by April 1, 2021.



ISBA People's Law School event offers free information on pandemic legal issues

On Tuesday, June 16, The Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Legal Aid and the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project are co-hosting a free public information session focused on COVID-19-related legal issues including employment and housing. The virtual event begins at 5:30 p.m., and the speaker will be Alex Kornya, Iowa Legal Aid Litigation Director & General Counsel.

Click here to register for the free event. For more information about the ISBA People’s Law School series, visit here.

Summer Tax School focuses on timely subjects

Rebecca A. Miller, Member, ISBA Taxation Section Council

The Iowa State Bar Association Taxation Section’s annual spring/summer CLE event will be held June 16 from 9 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer tax school will be presented by live webinar only.

This year’s program features the topical issues of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, Form 1041 and Form 706, IRS liens and probate, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE) Act and more.

Please join us for this engaging seminar to hear from several leading practitioners in these areas. For a complete schedule and to register, visit the official event page.

Judicial vacancy in District 1B

Applications are being sought for a judicial vacancy in Judicial District 1B. District Judge George L. Stigler has submitted his resignation effective July 30. Nominations will be open until Tuesday, June 30. Any interested member in District 1B is encouraged to apply.

Click here to view the official judicial vacancy notice and here to view the application instructions.

No. 17-1650
Romoke Olutunde v. Iowa Department of Human Services, Charles M. Palmer, Director
Plaintiff appealed a district court decision affirming on judicial review a decision of the Iowa Department of Human Services that plaintiff had committed dependent adult abuse. The court of appeals affirmed, finding the DHS had properly interpreted the term "caretaker" in Iowa Code section 235B.2(1) and properly concluded plaintiff was a caretaker of the patient during the relevant time frame. The court of appeals found substantial evidence supported the finding that plaintiff had committed dependent adult abuse by not properly training and supervising employees, resulting in the patient not receiving all of her medication as prescribed. Plaintiff seeks further review.
The court, McDonald, J., taking no part, being evenly divided, declares this case affirmed by operation of law. See Iowa Code @ 602.4107 (2019).

No. 18-0189
Julie Pfaltzgraff v. Iowa Department of Human Services
DHS seeks further review of a court of appeals decision.

No. 18-1329
Terri Endress v. Iowa Department of Human Services
DHS seeks further review of a court of appeals decision.

No. 19-1139
State of Iowa v. Mercedes JoJean Damme
Defendant appeals sentence imposed after conviction based on guilty plea, and State argues lack of good cause to appeal under Iowa Code section 814.6 (2019).

No. 19-1425
State of Iowa v. Bryan Dwight Henderson
Defendant appeals sentence imposed after conviction based on guilty plea, and State argues lack of good cause to appeal under Iowa Code section 814.6 (2019).

Iowa Legislature returns Wednesday to tackle budget uncertainty, coronavirus response
Iowa lawmakers return to the Capitol building Wednesday to rush through an abbreviated legislative session, where they will try to pass a budget, wrap up a few policy priorities and get back home.
Des Moines Register

Judge rules Joshua Pendleton competent to stand trial in death of pastor
The man accused of killing a Fort Dodge pastor has been deemed competent to stand trial.

Changes made to help with confusion about federal relief debit cards
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says discussions with the U.S. Treasury Department have led to some changes to address issues with the debit cards sent out as federal relief money payments.


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Associate Attorney - Foss, Kuiken, Cochran & Helling, P.C., Fairfield, IA

Litigation Attorney - Telpner Peterson Law Firm LLP, Council Bluffs, IA

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

Litigation Associate Attorney - Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA


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