September 27, 2017  Past Issues

Supreme Court requests comments on changes to court rules on professional conduct

The Iowa Supreme Court is asking for comments on its proposed amendments to Division III of the court rules, which comprise chapters 31-49 of the rules pertaining to judicial branch professional regulation. While the majority of the amendments are technical in nature and address only stylistic changes, a number are substantive.

For example, the office of professional regulation (OPR) recommends lifting two of the reasons prohibiting deferrals in matters before the attorney disciplinary board. Those recommendations are spelled out in Rule 35.14(1). A proposed amendment to Rule 45.1 adds a geographical requirement to the locations of trust accounts as per interpretation and practice.

The order announcing the amendments and the request for comments, along with instructions on how to submit comments, can be found here. The list of Division III chapters affected by the amendments, including an executive summary of the changes, can be found here. Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 20.

Two new judges selected for Iowa Business Specialty Court

The Iowa Supreme Court announced its selection of District Judge Sean W. McPartland, Cedar Rapids, and District Judge Lawrence P. McLellan, Des Moines, as Iowa Business Specialty Court judges Sept. 22.

The two were chosen following the retirement of Judge Annette Scieszinski, one of the court's original judges. They were selected based on educational background, judicial and trial practice experience in complex commercial cases and personal interest in the project.

Since its inception in 2013, the Business Specialty Court has accepted 48 cases. McLellan and McPartland will join Michael Huppert, Des Moines, and John Telleen, LeClaire, the other two original judges.

ABA’s legal fact check program weighs in on national anthem controversy

The American Bar Association’s legal fact check program received a new challenge over the weekend when numerous NFL players either took a knee or stayed in the locker room while the national anthem was performed prior to their games. Heightening the controversial actions by the players were remarks made by President Donald Trump at a political rally in Alabama on Friday.

The legal issues raised by President Trump in his remarks are essentially twofold. The first deals with whether a business owner can mandate certain conduct in a private workplace. The second speaks to whether government can force conventional conduct, such as putting one’s hand over the heart while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Trump’s comments highlight both constitutional and contractual issues, according to the ABA. More details on the legality of the two can be found at ABA Legal Fact Check.

Voting rights issues to be discussed during Oct. 10 events at UI and Drake Law Schools

The Iowa Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society and the Voting Rights Institute are together sponsoring two upcoming discussions at the University of Iowa College of Law and Drake University Law School on Oct. 10.

The events feature J. Gerald Hebert, the executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, and Jason Kander, the president of Let America Vote. They will be discussing the Supreme Court's 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively nullified a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most effective civil rights laws ever enacted. Event information is below:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
12:00 p.m.
University of Iowa College of Law
130 Byington Rd
Iowa City, IA 52242

5:30 p.m.
Drake University
The Olmsted Center
2875 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311


District 5A accepting applications for judicial vacancy

Judicial District 5A is accepting applications for a vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Gregory Hulse. A notice released by the court provides instructions for interested attorneys and requests applications be submitted no later than Oct. 26.

To qualify, attorneys must be licensed in Iowa, reside in District 5A and be able to complete one six-year term prior to age 72. Interviews before the full nominating commission will be held Nov. 2 at the Warren County Court Facility.

Further details can be found in the notice. Application forms may be secured from the District Court Administrator’s Office by e-mailing or or Julie Mertz at

IRS publishes per diem rates, effective Oct. 1

The Internal Revenue Service has published special per diem rates effective Oct. 1, which taxpayers may use to substantiate the amount of expenses for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses when traveling away from home. This notice provides the special transportation industry rate, the rate for the incidental expenses-only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method.

Details are available on the IRS website at this link.

ISBA celebrates Constitution Day by collaborating with students and the court

The ISBA partnered with the Iowa Supreme Court to bring two oral arguments to Iowa students around the state on Constitution Day, Sept. 20.

Students either attended at the Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines or live-streamed two cases: City of Cedar Rapids v. Marla Marie Leaf and State of Iowa v. Danielle Brown, which both featured constitutional issues.

Iowa Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges visited with the students before and after the arguments to teach them about Iowa's judicial process.

Click here to view photos from the oral arguments on the ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Facebook page.


Victims of sexual abuse in Iowa can ask court for civil protective order before suspect arrest
In the past, victims of sexual abuse might have waited weeks or months for an arrest before feeling safe at home or in the workplace. A new law, enacted July 1, allows victims to ask a judge for a civil protective order before an arrest or even if no arrest or police report is made.
The Gazette

All rise: Iowa Supreme Court hears cases at Hoover High School
The Iowa Supreme Court is taking its case(s) to the people. Occasionally the court hits the road in a deliberate effort to raise Iowans’ consciousness of how their state’s judicial system goes about its work.
Des Moines Public Schools

Law professors oppose curtailment of arbitration rule
More than 500 law school and university professors from all 50 states today sent a letter to the U.S. Senate opposing efforts to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new arbitration rule. "Class action lawsuits are an important means of protecting consumers harmed by violations of federal or state law," the professors wrote. "Class actions enable a court to see that a company's violations are widespread and to order appropriate relief."
Business Record

Iowa Supreme Court hears woman's $75 speeding ticket case
An Iowa woman who says she was wrongly ticketed by an automated traffic camera when she wasn’t speeding has accomplished the unusual feat of getting the state Supreme Court to consider her $75 small-claims case.
The Washington Post

Broderson's lawyers seek to stop city's case before Iowa Supreme Court
Lawyers for Mayor Diana Broderson are asking the Iowa Supreme Court to deny an appeal from the city of Muscatine, so that a final ruling on the mayor's removal can be made before the November election.
Muscatine Journal



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Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

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

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

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

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

Executive Director of the Legal Clinic and Experiential Programs - Drake University, Des Moines, IA

Attorney - Hartung & Schroeder, L.L.P., Des Moines, IA

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

Trial Attorney - Confidential employer, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Confidential employer, Boone, IA

Business Litigation Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA

Executive Director - Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, IA

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

Product Liability & Environmental Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA


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

Matthew J. Bialick, Hellmuth & Johnson, Edina, MN

Ronald P. Gossett, Gossett & Gossett, P.A., Hollywood, FL

Bryce A. Pashler, Belin McCormick, P.C., Des Moines, IA

John A. Cooney, ACT, Iowa City, IA

Anyone with questions or comments on the above should contact: Tre Critelli at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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