October 9, 2019  Past Issues

Client File Retention Guide now available as resource for members

What do I do with closed or dormant client files? How long do I have to keep them? Which contents belong to the client? These are questions lawyers may wonder about, but not know where to turn for guidance.

A new Client File Retention Guide, approved by the ISBA Board of Governors at its September meeting, is now available to help answer these questions. Drafted by the ISBA Client File Retention Committee, this document provides guidance related to confidentiality of files, sample language for providing notice to clients and detailed instructions for closing, transmitting or destroying a file. It also summarizes ethics responsibilities related to electronic correspondence and "cloud" storage of files. Additionally, a detailed appendix provides the recommended length of retention for each particular type of case.

Click here to view the guide on the ISBA Practice Tools page.

Pro bono over lunch: RSVP now for Thursday's virtual legal clinic

Looking for a convenient way to provide pro bono help to Iowans in need this National Pro Bono Month? It is not too late to RSVP for this Thursday’s IA Free Legal Answers Virtual Legal Lunch Clinic.

Bring your friends (and your laptop) to the ISBA headquarters on Oct. 10 to join fellow volunteer attorneys over lunch and make an immediate, positive impact for Iowans in need of legal help. Virtual legal lunch clinics are part of the ISBA's IA Free Legal Answers service, where qualified clients post-civil legal questions to a secure website to be answered by ISBA volunteer attorneys.

Any Iowa-licensed attorney is invited to attend either in-person at the ISBA headquarters in Des Moines from 11:30-1:30 p.m., or via video conference. You will be guided through the process by experienced volunteer attorneys.

Attorneys who volunteer with IA Free Legal Answers:
• Remain anonymous to clients (with limited exceptions)
• Are covered by the ABA and ISBA’s malpractice insurance
• Perform limited scope representation (within the website)
• Report that it takes 10-25 minutes to answer one question
• Can have their volunteer hours be considered pro bono publico service pursuant to Iowa Supreme Court Rule 32: 6.1.

You can learn more about the program via this link or in this recent article in The Iowa Lawyer. IA Free Legal Answers Virtual Legal Lunch Clinics will also take place on Thursday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Dec. 12. If you are interested in signing up, please send an email to Attorney-IA-FLA@iowabar.org.

Travel with the ISBA! New "CLE Abroad" opportunities

Registration is now open for spring and summer 2020 "CLE Abroad" trips, sponsored by The Iowa State Bar Association.

These immersive and culturally rich programs provide a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience designed for lawyers and companions. You will engage with local scholars, attorneys and artists offering expert commentary on the country's legal and political systems, international relations, art history, architecture and religion. The ISBA is partnering with several other state bar associations to offer these trips, so space is limited.

Register now for spring-summer 2020 programs:
Cuba, March 14-18, 2020
Portugal, March 26-31, 2020
London, June 8-13, 2020
Scotland, June 15-19, 2020

For fall 2020 programs, you may pre-register to hold a spot:
Portugal, Oct. 11-16, 2020
Morocco, Oct. 22-30, 2020
Morocco, Nov. 12-20, 2020

For questions concerning registration, contact Laura Adams (laura@cle-abroad.com). For questions concerning program itineraries and special requests, contact Dani Perez (daniel@cle-abroad.com) or 858-336-5749.


Newest Court of Appeals judge to be sworn in Oct. 17

The Hon. Julie A. Schumacher will be sworn into the Iowa Court of Appeals on Thursday, Oct. 17. The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. in the Iowa Judicial Building's Supreme Court chambers.

Judge Schumacher previously served as a district court judge in District 3B. Click here to learn more about her background and career.

ISBA People’s Law School focuses on basics of wills and trusts next week

The ISBA is hosting its next "People's Law School" seminar on the basics of wills and revocable trusts. This free public event will be held at the bar association headquarters at 625 E. Court in Des Moines on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 5:30 p.m., and is also being live-streamed to 16 public libraries in Iowa communities.

The event will focus on the powers and limitations of a last will and testament, the basics of probate, information on how court costs are calculated and provide an overview of how trusts work and when they may be helpful. The speakers are Matthew Gardner, Gardner Law Firm, P.C., and Hope Wood, Hope Wood JD.

The ISBA People’s Law School provides free, educational events where members of the public can find answers to life’s legal questions. If you have ideas for future topics for this series, please contact: peopleslawschool@iowabar.org.

Reminder: 2018 tax extensions due next Tuesday

If you have clients for whom you filed a six-month extension on their 2018 federal taxes, next Tuesday, Oct. 15, is the deadline for making sure those taxes are filed. About 15 million taxpayers filed for an extension this year, according to the IRS.

Taxpayers who did not request an extension and have yet to file a 2018 tax return can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any taxes owed.

Members of the military and others serving in a combat zone, as well as individuals in federally-declared disaster areas have later deadlines.

Iowa Republicans select Rep. Pat Grassley to be new House Speaker when Legislature returns in January
Iowa House Republicans picked Rep. Pat Grassley on Monday to serve as the new Speaker of the House, putting a young, rural leadership team in place before the Legislature convenes for its 2020 session in January.
Des Moines Register

State to try new pilot program for dealing with opioid abuse
The state of Iowa will use a U.S. Department of Justice grant to try a new approach to dealing with the impact of opioid addiction.
Radio Iowa

Objection overruled! Is Barbie's new legal career more interesting than yours?
Mattel has unveiled a new Barbie doll that carries a gavel and comes dressed in a black robe with a lace collar.


How to set up a matter numbering system at your law firm

Two essential questions for stepping outside you comfort zone

Google's best leaders stretch and grow their teams in these 4 savvy ways

Five tips to running a laptop law firm

What NOT to do when you start a law firm


Corporate Counsel, Officer - Hills Bank, Hills, IA

Corporate/Transactional Attorney - Nyemaster Goode, P.C., Des Moines, IA

Litigation, Real Estate & Tax Attorneys - Bradley & Riley PC, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, IA

Employment/Labor Law Attorney - Germaine Law Firm, PLLC, Cedar Rapids, IA

Director of the Entrepreneurial/Transactional Law Clinic and Clinician in Residence - Drake University Law School, Des Moines, IA

Assistant Attorney General - Iowa Attorney General's Office, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Schnell & Hancock, P.C., Davenport, IA

Staff Attorney - Waterloo Community Schools Project - Iowa Legal Aid, Waterloo, IA

Director, Center for Writing and Academic Excellence - The University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA

Health Attorney - Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Bankruptcy/Debt Restructuring - AG & Business Legal Strategies, Hiawatha, IA

Health Associate - Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Des Moines, IA

Corporate Counsel (In-House) - SHINE Media Technologies, Janesville, WI

Associate Attorney for Personal Injury Firm - Warner & Zimmerle, Rock Island, IL

District Court Administrator - State of Iowa Judicial Branch, Cedar Rapids, IA

Litigation Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Associate Attorney - Confidential Employer, Urbandale, IA


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

Joseph Kellmeyer, Thompson Coburn LLP, St. Louis, MO

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicant should contact Dan Saar at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-348-4670.


Tweet with us on


Be our fan on
Connect through
Follow us on

Watch us on