July 26, 2017  Past Issues


In an order dated July 20, the Iowa Supreme Court approved several amendments to Chapter 9 (Child Support Guidelines) of the Iowa Court Rules. The amendments stem from recommendations made by the Child Support Guidelines Review Committee established by the court in 2016 and include public comments on those recommendations. The amendments become effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Among the changes, are:
• A clearer definition of the allowable children’s portion of the premium cost of health insurance to be used in calculating support;
• Allowing the amount of cash medical support to be the lesser of the actual cost of the Hawk-I premium or the amount calculated under rule 9.12(4);
• Adding a definition for gross monthly income and clarifying the treatment of spousal support in child support calculations.

Read the complete order. See the changes to Chapter 9, including adjustments to the applicable grids and worksheets.

Women still make up fewer than 35 percent of lawyers in U.S. law firms, survey says

Progress for women lawyers seeking greater representation in U.S. law firms is incremental at best, according to a “Glass Ceiling Report” by Law360.

Women made up only 34.8 percent of lawyers at surveyed law firms at the end of 2016, up from 34 percent the prior year, according to Law360. Its report is based on Law360’s survey of 300 law firms with at least 20 U.S.-based attorneys.

The percentage of equity partners who are women continues to hover just shy of 20 percent. Only 17 percent of law firms reported that at least 40 percent of their lawyers were women.

You can read more in the ABA Journal. The New York Times DealBook also reported on the findings.

Warning! Jury duty scam surfaces in Iowa

The Polk County Sheriff's Department and the Polk County Clerk of District Court received reports of a jury scam currently in operation in Polk County. 

In the scam, the perpetrators call the victim and falsely claim to be from the Polk County Sheriff's Department or a local police department wanting to verify the victim's home address. The caller then informs the victim that there is a warrant out for his or her arrest for failure to appear for a jury service. The caller gives specific amounts owed to the courts.

The public should be aware that the phone calls and notices are a scam. People who fail to appear for jury duty are not contacted by telephone. Also, law enforcement officers do not collect fines and fees. For more information, read the warning from the Iowa Judicial Branch.



The Iowa Supreme Court released an order July 20 requesting public comments on a proposed new rule on the supreme court clerk's retention of appellate records, and on moving rules on purging district court civil and criminal case files to a different chapter. 

The change to the supreme court clerk's policy addresses a concern of diminishing storage space throughout the Judicial Branch building. Appellate court records are currently housed there because the state archivist has been unable to accept them for a number of years.

A proposal is also included in the order to move rules 22.37 and 22.38--which focus on purging district court case files--into chapter 20, which is specific to court records of the judicial branch. 

Instructions on how to submit comments are included in the order, which is available for review online. The deadline for submission is Sept. 18.



Christine Halbrook and David Grooters, Bridge the Gap committee co-chairs

The Young Lawyers Division of The Iowa State Bar Association brings you yet another exciting lineup of speakers for its annual Bridge the Gap Seminar Sept. 14-15.

Conveniently located at the West Des Moines Marriott hotel, the seminar provides all of your required continuing education hours in one location over the two days. The topics covered are varied and unique. They include Labor and Employment and Workers’ Compensation from both the employee and employer legal perspectives, providing a wide and varied overview of those practice areas. A small sample of the other topics include case law updates, mediation, probate and forensic evidence. 

Registration is available on the event page. Looking forward to seeing you there!

The hottest field in law? Ranking the lawyers

Stroking lawyers’ egos has become big business, reports The Wall Street Journal.

A proliferation of attorney awards and rankings is inundating law-firm marketing departments, and an industry of consultants has popped up to guide firms through the submissions process.

An estimated 1,200 rankings and awards globally include lawyers—up from 700 a decade ago.


Court clerks store large amount of evidence due to Iowa law
Eastern Iowa court clerks have amassed a large collection of evidence from criminal cases due to a state law requiring all evidence filed in court to be held well after convictions in case of appeals or emerging technology that could test evidence in a new way.
US News

Iowa poll: Public support plunges for legal fireworks
After a booming, smoke-filled Fourth of July, Iowans are evenly split on whether legalizing fireworks was a good idea.
Des Moines Register

State patrol using several methods to catch texting drivers
The Iowa State Patrol is warning motorists that troopers are getting creative in efforts to enforce the state’s new distracted driving law.
Radio Iowa

Legal research services vary widely in results, study finds
Does the legal research platform you use matter to the results you receive? Turns out, it very much matters. Different legal research platforms deliver surprisingly different results.
Above the Law




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Finding graphics, photos, art and videos for presentations

Eleven must have apps for family lawyers


Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

Chief Deputy Clerk - United States District Court, Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA

Associate Attorney - Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, IA

Litigation Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Intellectual Property, Data Security and Privacy Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Surety Claims Attorney - Merchants Bonding Company, West Des Moines, IA

Utility Attorney 2 - State of Iowa, Iowa Utilities Board, Des Moines, IA

Attorney 1 - Iowa Department of Revenue, Des Moines, IA

Chief Operating Officer - State of Iowa, Iowa Utilities Board, Des Moines, IA

Legal Secretary 2 - Iowa Department of Revenue, Des Moines, IA

City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

Administrative Assistant - City Attorney's Office - City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, IA

Senior Casualty Claims Adjuster - York Risk Services Group, Johnston, IA

Estate Planning Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA


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