September 6, 2017  Past Issues


In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order permitting attorneys licensed in other states, including Iowa, to provide legal services to victims of Harvey under the auspices of a legal aid program serving those victims. ABA Free Legal Answers is one legal services vehicle providing assistance to the victims of Hurricane Harvey via Texas Free Legal Answers. ABA Free Legal Answers is a national pro bono initiative that is active in many states including Texas and Iowa. Qualified clients can post questions to the secure websites which are designed like virtual walk-in legal clinics.

Attorneys in Texas are putting together a manual and other resources to support pro bono attorneys in their work; these will be available shortly via the Texas Free Legal Answers website, In addition, the Practicing Law Institute is providing a free CLE to help prepare volunteer attorneys. To learn more about providing disaster-relief-focused legal services through Texas Free Legal Answers, click here. To read the Texas Supreme Court Order permitting out-of-state lawyers to practice Texas law temporarily after Hurricane Harvey, click here. If you have questions about how to sign up to help with disaster relief, email

The ISBA’s public-facing Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website,, serves as the portal for If you have questions about how to sign up to serve via IA Free Legal Answers, email

Berkeley law dean to speak at Drake’s Constitution Day

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, will discuss the issue of free speech on campus at this year’s Drake Constitution Day. The 2017 Constitution Day Lecture will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Cartwright Hall, room 213.

Sponsored by the Drake Constitutional Law Center, one of only four constitutional law programs established by the U.S. Congress and funded by the federal government, the Constitution Day Lecture is held each year to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. The event is free and open to the public.

The issue of free speech on college campuses has been a topic of national discussion in recent years. Colleges are under pressure to censor hateful and bullying expression and to protect students by ensuring an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other hand, some claim these efforts coddle students and threaten their free speech rights, according to Chemerinsky. In his lecture, he will discuss the importance of providing a supportive learning environment for a diverse student body, while respecting the free expression of ideas.

Dean Chemerinsky comes from a university that has made national news because of its internal disagreements over this topic, so this is not just an abstract issue to him, says Mark Kende, director of Drake’s Constitutional Law Center. Contact Kende with questions at

Supreme Court grants/denies applications for further review

The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued orders granting or denying applications for further review in 72 cases. The court granted a review of six cases, and denied a review of 66 others. An additional 56 applications are under consideration by the court.

Click here for the list of cases.

September Iowa Lawyer now available online

The September issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available online. This month’s cover story features outgoing State Court Administrator David Boyd, who is retiring after 40 years with the Iowa Judicial Branch. Other topics in this issue include: the opioid epidemic in the legal profession, practical applications of Iowa’s new Succession Planning rule and tips for pre-mediation planning.

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.



The ABA announced the launch of a new online resource, ABA Legal Fact Check. The website is intended to be a resource for the public, including the news media, to be informed of what the law says about the issues surrounding current events.

“In a world with multiple sources of information, it is often difficult to distinguish between fact and opinion,” said ABA President Hilarie Bass in a press release. “Through our new ABA Legal Fact Check, the American Bar Association will use case and statutory law and other legal precedents to help set the record straight by providing the real facts about the law.”

Bass has made ABA Legal Fact Check one of her first initiatives as ABA president.

IRS ‘Don’t Take the Bait’ campaign adds more steps to reduce cyber crimes directed at tax professionals

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in conjunction with state tax agencies and the tax industry, has released nine of the 10 steps in its “Don’t Take the Bait” campaign. The 10-part campaign is designed to help tax preparers fight against the increased efforts by cybercriminals to breach tax professionals’ systems and steal client data.

The IRS has seen a significant spike in scams to steal client data this year. As of June 1, the agency noted a 250 percent increase in cybercriminal activity compared with the entire 2016 calendar year.

Steps that have been released thus far include: Avoid Spear Phishing Emails, Be Alert to Account Takeover Tactics, Defend Against Ransomware and Protect e-Services Accounts and EFINS (electronic filing identification numbers).

A listing of the steps in the campaign can be found at this link. Click on the highlighted links associated with each step for more details. Also, check out the white paper entitled “Small Business Information Security” from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


By Ed Mansfield, Trade Regulation Section Chair
The Corporate Counsel and Trade Regulation Sections will present their annual joint seminar on Friday, Sept. 22 at the ISBA Headquarters in Des Moines. The program will begin at 8:45 a.m. and run through 4:15 p.m., with lunch provided.

As usual, this seminar will try to put forth the latest information on a number of topics relevant to corporate counsel and trade regulation attorneys. Topics will include: 1) an update on class action litigation, 2) an Iowa Supreme Court review focusing on cases of interest to business attorneys, 3) the latest developments in antitrust, 4) an update on the Affordable Care Act, 5) hot topics in immigration law, 6) a franchise law update, and 7) internal corporate investigations (presented by former U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt).

We are honored to have Attorney General Tom Miller as our keynote speaker. He will speak on antitrust and consumer fraud enforcement in Iowa, looking back and looking ahead.

Finally, the seminar day will conclude with the always-popular one-hour ethics panel. To register visit the event page.  


New Iowa law puts limitations on lawsuits filed over home defects
When you build a house, you expect it to last a lifetime but there are no guarantees.

Polk County Jail's growing inmate numbers threaten safety, director says
Officials at the Polk County Jail say it's time to open three housing units that have remained empty since the facility opened in 2008.
Des Moines Register

Iowa lawmakers, advocates see little support for gadget that shows if you've been texting while driving
Supporters of an Iowa law adopted earlier this year to curb distracted driving say privacy concerns likely will prevent law enforcement from using technology to determine if drivers were texting while operating their vehicles.
The Gazette

Attorney could lose license over bank fraud conviction
Three years after Boone County lawyer Jason Springer and a group of Des Moines area businessmen were indicted by a grand jury for an illegal property-flipping scheme, Springer is facing the potential loss of his law license.
Des Moines Register




3 ways accounting software can make managing your law firm easier

How to handle big clients that don't want to pay your bill

Top five free legal apps for your smartphone

In-house interviewing tips

15 questions to determine if your LinkedIn profile is perfect or pathetic


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

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

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.


Tweet with us on 

Be our fan on
Connect through
Follow us on

Watch us on