October 25, 2017  Past Issues

Supreme Court adds Cedar Falls to tour stops

The Supreme Court announced last week that it will hear oral arguments in the Cedar Falls High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

Attorneys will argue in State of Iowa v. Jason Gene Weitzel, case no. 16-1112, from Floyd County District Court, on further review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. A public reception with the justices will follow the arguments.

Briefs for the case and a guide to oral arguments are available here. Full details are available in the court's release. Cedar Falls High School is at 1015 Division Street.

Nominations opening soon for ABA award for women attorneys

The ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession has announced it will soon start accepting nominations for the annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

The award honors up to five outstanding women lawyers each year who have achieved professional excellence within their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for other women lawyers.

Those interested in nominating someone can begin with the nomination form available online. They must also include a resume, narrative on the nominee and up to ten articles or five letters supporting their nomination.

The application for nomination, when it becomes available, as well as full details on the criteria and standards are available on the ABA's website.

EDMS back to normal; clerks no longer accepting paper filings

Last Friday afternoon, state court administration authorized clerks of court to stop accepting paper filings and require all incoming business to be handled through EDMS. Administrators said they received confirmation from Judicial Branch Information Technology that EDMS is stable. The system went down a week ago during a software update.

The authorization to accept paper filings, unless directed otherwise by the state court administrator, was contained in Chief Justice Mark Cady’s Oct. 17 supervisory order.

The ISBA celebrates National Pro Bono Week with IA Free Legal Answers

On Monday, Oct. 23, The ISBA celebrated 2017 National Pro Bono Week with the second IA Free Legal Answers Young Lawyer Division Mentoring Program /Virtual Clinic Event. During the event, ISBA Young Lawyer Division leaders, IA Free Legal Answers Volunteer Attorneys and University of Iowa College of Law Citizen Lawyer Program Law Student Volunteers from the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids area celebrated together by answering clients’ civil legal questions. The attorneys and students made an immediate, positive impact in a short time as they answered each-and-every question in the IA Free Legal Answers question queue.

You can still celebrate 2017 National Pro Bono Week by signing up to be an IA Free Legal Answers Volunteer Attorney. IA Free Legal Answers is part of a nationwide, ABA pro bono initiative, and is designed like a virtual walk-in legal clinic where qualified clients post civil legal questions to the secure website.

Attorneys who want to volunteer:

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

In conjunction with 2017 National Pro Bono Week, IA Free Legal Answers will offer a new, anonymous listserv. The listserv will connect volunteer attorneys who want to answer questions via the website with volunteer “mentor” attorneys who are experts in high-need areas of practice.

If you are interested in signing up to volunteer, want to co-host a virtual legal clinic event or would like more information, please send an email to The ABA is encouraging bar associations to participate in this year's National Pro Bono Celebration, October 22-28. The annual pro bono event is a strategic tool for enhancing and expanding local efforts to increase access to justice for all.


U.S. Supreme Court electronic filing begins Nov. 13

The U.S. Supreme Court is now accepting registrations for its electronic filing system that will begin Monday, Nov. 13. In order to register for an account, attorneys must be members of the Supreme Court Bar or appointed under the Federal Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. §3006A(d)(6).

Parties who are represented by counsel will be required to submit electronic versions of documents through the electronic filing system even though official filings will continue to be on paper in all cases. Filings from parties appearing pro se will not be submitted through the electronic filing system, but will be scanned by court personnel and made available for public access on the electronic docket.

Once the system is in place, virtually all new filings will be posted to the court’s docket and made available without cost to the public and legal community.

Click here for information about registering. For information about the court rules, guidelines for submitting documents to the electronic filing system and frequently-asked questions, go to this link and click on the desired topic.

Guardianship Association of Iowa Network to hold annual conference

Attorneys interested in guardianship issues are invited to attend the Guardianship Association of Iowa Network (GAIN) at its annual conference on Nov. 3 at Living History Farms.

This year's conference is The Aging Mind: Navigating Life's Decisions. Speakers will present on:

• The neuropsychology of the aging brain and how these changes affect decisions
• Navigating the healthcare system
• Elder abuse prevention and issues on exploitation
• Capacity issues to consent to sexual expression

There will also be a review of recommendations from the Guardianship and Conservatorship Reform Taskforce report issued this year.

Please follow this link to register.

Chief Justice appoints district court chief judges

In an order filed last Thursday, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady appointed eight district court judges to serve as chief judges in their respective districts for two-year terms beginning Jan. 1. Click here to see the list.


No. 15-1630
Appellant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the district court’s imposition of sentence under an enhancement for repeat offenders.

No. 15-2126
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF MARGARET E. WORKMAN, Deceased, DENNIS WORKMAN vs. GARY WORKMAN, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Margaret E. Workman
A will contestant seeks further review of a court of appeals decision affirming the district court judgment entered in the will proponent’s favor.

No. 16-1290
Defendant convicted of sex offense appeals district court ruling requiring him to register as a sex offender while he appealed his conviction after posting an appeal bond.


Iowa withdraws request to leave Obamacare market
With just over a week until the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment season begins, Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa said Monday that she had withdrawn the state’s request to opt out of the law’s insurance marketplace next year by offering customers a single plan with lower premiums and a high deductible.
New York Times

Improving federal accountability for higher education
In 2008, Congress passed its most ambitious effort in a decade to boost scrutiny of colleges that leave students struggling with debt. It toughened standards that remove institutions of higher education from participating in the federal student aid programs if too many of their borrowers default after leaving school.
Center for American Progress

Iowa teachers association loses another battle in court
A judge has dismissed the Iowa State Education Association’s lawsuit, which challenged Iowa’s new collective-bargaining laws, saying the changes violate the state constitution.

Iowa's high court rules that despite appeals, sex offenders must register
People convicted of sex crimes are still required to register as sex offenders in Iowa even if they’re appealing their convictions, according to today's ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court.
Iowa Public Radio



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