August 30, 2017  Past Issues

Iowa Supreme Court seeking attorney to serve on Language Access Committee

The Iowa Supreme Court is looking for a practicing attorney to serve on the Language Access Courts Advisory Committee, pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 47.9. The purpose of the committee is to provide guidance to the state court administrator regarding language access policies in the courts and to assist the Office of Professional Regulation in administering the continuing education and disciplinary systems for court interpreters and translators.

Other members on the committee, which is being reinvigorated at the direction of the Access to Justice Commission, include judges, interpreters, district court administrators and staff members, as well as a representative from various other state agencies and non-profits.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please send a brief bio of pertinent experience as soon as possible to ISBA Executive Director Dwight Dinkla at with the subject line 'Language Access Committee.' The ISBA will compile a list of names to send to the Iowa Supreme Court, and a selection and appointment will be made in September.

U of Iowa’s College of Law dean to step down

Gail Agrawal, who has served as dean of the University of Iowa College of Law since 2010, will step down from the dean’s role at the end of the current academic year that ends in May 2018.

“Serving on this faculty as dean has been a privilege and a joy,” Agrawal wrote in an article published in The Daily Iowan. “…I am proud of all the law school community has accomplished since I joined you in 2010.”

Among the accomplishments she noted in the article are the “addition of numerous talented scholars as faculty members,” who have “all achieved tenure and promotion and have already taken on important leadership roles in the law school and the university,” and the expansion of learning opportunities, including an advanced-standing program for international lawyers and a new master’s program and doctor of judicial science.

Read the full article here.

September 5 is deadline to apply for federal administrative law judge exam

The federal government’s Office of Personnel Management is accepting applications through Tuesday, Sept. 5 for the administrative law judge (ALJ) examination. ALJs are employed in a number of agencies throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico to serve as independent, impartial triers of fact in formal proceedings requiring a decision on the record after the opportunity for a hearing.

Applicants who successfully complete the examination are placed on the ALJ register to receive employment consideration at ALJ hiring agencies, not for an ALJ position with the federal government. Details about job requirements, qualifications, travel, salary and what’s involved in the examination can be found at this link. Information about the application process is available here.

Iowa Supreme Court to hear oral arguments at Des Moines Hoover High School

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at the Des Moines Hoover High School auditorium, 4800 Aurora Avenue. The oral arguments are open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.

The court will hear attorneys argue the case of State of Iowa v. Bion Blake Ingram, from Jasper County. In this case, defendant Bion Ingram appeals his conviction for possession of methamphetamine, arguing that law enforcement's warrantless search of a closed container during an inventory of his impounded vehicle violated his right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure under the Iowa Constitution. In a 1981 case, State v. Roth, the Iowa Supreme Court found no reasonable expectation of privacy in a paper sack under similar vehicle inventory circumstances. The container in this case was a black cloth bag similar to a container for holding sunglasses or other small items.

A public reception with the supreme court justices will follow the oral arguments in the high school cafeteria. More information can be found here.


Survey: Majority of Americans see jury duty as good citizenship

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in April found that two-thirds of U.S. adults consider serving on a jury as part of what it means to be a good citizen. However, the percentages vary with age, ethnicity and education.

Seventy-eight percent of adults 65-plus years of age believe jury service is part of being a good citizen. The number drops to fifty percent for individuals between the ages of 18 to 29. Seventy-one percent of whites fall into the jury-duty-is-good-citizenship category, while sixty-one percent of Hispanics and fifty-eight percent of Blacks feel that way, according to the survey. Seventy two percent of Individuals with a college degree or some college feel that jury duty is good citizenship, compared with fifty-nine percent of individuals with a high school diploma or less.

It is estimated that approximately fifteen percent of U.S. adults receive a jury summons each year, and fewer than five percent of those who are summoned end up on a jury. Read the full report.

Drake hosting public celebration of Neal Smith

Drake University Law School recently announced 'A Celebration of Congressman Neal Smith,' an event honoring the former U.S. congressman and alumnus on Sept. 21.

The free event will feature selections of a video interview with former Drake Law Dean David Walker discussing Smith's life and career. He graduated from Drake Law in 1950 and was the longest-serving Iowan in Congress.

Further details on the event can be found on Drake's website. Questions should be directed to Theresa Howard at 515-271-3985 or

Bridge the Gap offers full-spectrum programming

By Christine Halbrook and David Grooters, event co-chairs
The Young Lawyers Division of The Iowa State Bar Association brings you yet another exciting line up of speakers for the annual Bridge the Gap Seminar Sept. 14-15.

Conveniently located at the West Des Moines Marriott, this seminar provides all of your required 
continuing education hours in one location over two days. The topics covered are varied and unique – intending to address many legal issues. This year, we are presenting the topics of 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. Looking forward to seeing you there!

For further information including a schedule of both days' activities and registration, visit the event page.  


Transgender nurse files discrimination lawsuit against state
The ACLU of Iowa has filed what is believed to be the first transgender rights lawsuit in Iowa since the state amended the Iowa Civil Rights Act in 2007 to include gender identity protections.
Iowa Public Radio

Gundersen to replace Moeser as leader of National Conference of Bar Examiners
Judith A. Gundersen, director of test operations at the National Conference of Bar Examiners, has been tapped to serve as the organization’s president and chief operating officer.
ABA Journal

Courtroom study finds women lawyers eclipsed in complex cases
A study of New York courtrooms shows women attorneys account for only 25 percent of lead counsel roles. The study’s findings were released Thursday in a report by the commercial and federal litigation section of the New York State Bar Association.

The problem with legal tech
I write about legal technology on the internet. That means I get contacted a lot by people who want me to write about and review their awesome new product. I also get contacted a lot by lawyer consumers who want to know what is the best new thing out there. I love when I can play matchmaker, but it rarely happens. Because a lot of legal tech sucks.
Above the Law 




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Litigation Paralegal - Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

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

Attorney - Brady Preston Gronlund PC, Cedar Rapids, IA

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

Staff Counsel - Homesteaders Life Company, West Des Moines, IA

Corporate Health Law Attorney - Hy-Vee, Inc., West Des Moines, IA

Paralegal - Board of Regents, State of Iowa, Urbandale, IA

Claims Attorney - BITCO Insurance Companies, Davenport, IA

Legal Assistant/ Paralegal - Kum & Go, West Des Moines, IA

Assistant City Attorney I - City of Des Moines, Des Moines, IA

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

Legislative Legal Counsel - Legislative Services Agency, Des Moines, IA

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

Associate Attorney - Stanley, Lande & Hunter, Muscatine/Davenport, IA


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

Stephen Joseph Rynn, Fletcher & Sippel, Chicago, IL

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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