October 31, 2018  Past Issues

New attorney toolkit offers sample documents for improved attorney-client relationships

The ISBA’s professional liability insurance carrier recently published a lawyer’s toolkit that provides numerous sample forms to enhance the attorney-client relationship.

Entitled “Lawyers’ Toolkit 4.0: A Guide to Managing the Attorney-Client Relationship,” the CNA-produced document contains sample engagement agreements for contingent, hourly and flat fee arrangements; additional engagement letter clauses addressing such things as late payment and failure-to-pay scenarios; non-engagement/declination letters; and sample termination/withdrawal letters.

The toolkit was assembled “to assist attorneys in creating documents that will enable them to better manage their interactions with potential and actual clients,” according to the toolkit introduction. “Documentation of the scope of the representation and the mutual responsibilities of the attorneys and their clients can often be a deciding factor in determining the responsibilities of both parties,” it stated.

Kazakhstan judges, court administrators visit the ISBA

ISBA President Tom Levis, Executive Director Dwight Dinkla and Center for Law and Civic Education Director John Wheeler met with a delegation of judges and court administrators from Kazakhstan last Thursday, Oct. 25. The delegation was in Iowa to learn more about the judicial rule of law as practiced in the state.

Sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center, the two-and-a-half-hour visit at the ISBA headquarters featured short presentations by bar representatives on the make-up and purpose of bar associations, continuing legal education opportunities and youth activities. Much of the visit was taken up with questions from the delegation members. Delegates wanted to know how judges are selected and retained in Iowa. They also had numerous questions about the structure of bar associations, especially about how committees and sections are set up.

“Dwight, John Wheeler and I had a delightful afternoon with the four judges and a court administration official from Kazakhstan,” President Levis said. “During the course of our conversations, it was clear that the representatives from Kazakhstan were particularly interested in how Iowa selects its judges and how the Iowa Bar uses its mock trial program to educate children about the judicial system. Kazakhstan judges are appointed by the president who may or may not select a judge based on the judge’s merit. When we described Iowa's mock trial program, the representatives from Kazakhstan were clearly delighted in our program and wanted information from John Wheeler to help them set up a similar program in Kazakhstan.”

Click here to see photos of the event.


Renew your Preparer Tax Identification Number by end of the year

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2019. All current PTINs will expire Dec. 31. Presently more than 768,000 federal tax return preparers are on record with the agency.

Anyone who prepares or helps prepare any federal tax return, or claim for refund, for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on returns prepared. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.

For those who have a 2018 PTIN, the renewal process takes a few moments online. Those who cannot remember their user ID and password can find online tools to assist them. Preparers can get started at If registering for the first time, the PTIN application may also be completed online. There is no fee for obtaining or renewing a PTIN.

Exceptional programing scheduled for the ISBA Labor and Employment Law Seminar

Raymond R. Rinkol Jr., Chair, ISBA Labor and Employment Law Section
The ISBA Labor and Employment Law Seminar will take place Friday, Nov. 16. This year’s seminar will contain timely updates including:

• Labor Law Update - Charlie Gribble, Parrish Kruidenier
• U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Update - Melissa Wright, U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
• Opening Statements - Hon. Mark Bennett, United States District Court Northern District of Iowa
• #MeToo Movement - Roxanne Conlin, Roxanne Conlin & Associates PC and Jill Jensen-Welch, Dickinson Mackaman Tyler & Hagen PC
• Ethics for Labor and Employment Attorneys - Tara van Brederode, Attorney Disciplinary Board

Interested persons may attend in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or via the live webinar option. For more information, visit the event page.



Iowa State attorney hires special counsel before approval, records show
Iowa State university counsel Michael Norton may have violated the law by hiring outside counsel without proper authorization, according to a legal expert.
Iowa State Daily

Keep good judges on the bench
Don’t fail to do your part in keeping Iowa’s courts first-rate.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Critics: Computer era 'intruding' on bail decisions, producing 'devastating results'
As the use of risk assessment to make pre-trial decisions like bail increases across the country, concerns over the tools used and their potential to hinder judicial discretion and perpetuate racial biases have also grown among criminal justice researchers, leaders and organizations.
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Associate - Telpner Peterson Law Firm LLP, Council Bluffs, IA

Associate Attorney - Rawlings Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Associate Attorney - Trotzig & Bauerly, P.L.C., Le Mars, IA

Corporate Counsel - Mittera Group, Des Moines, IA

Trust Officer - Iowa State Bank, Urbandale, IA

Associate Attorney - Califf & Harper, P.C., Moline, IL

Associate Attorney - Harned & McMeen, Marengo, IA

Family law/Transactional Attorney - Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., Waterloo, IA

Associate Attorney - Petersen Law PLLC, Council Bluffs, IA

Municipal Attorney - Hopkins & Huebner P.C., Des Moines, IA

Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

Senior Counsel - Transamerica, Cedar Rapids, IA

Senior Associate Attorney - Ag & Business Legal Strategies, Hiawatha, IA

Business and Estate Planning Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Law Clerk (Full-time) - Hupy and Abraham, S.C., P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Assistant County Attorney - Jasper County, Newton, IA

Associate Attorney - Jordan & Mahoney Law Firm, P.C., Boone, IA

Associate Attonrey - McEnroe, Gotsdiner, Brewer, Steinbach & Rothman, P.C., West Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Confidential Employer, West Des Moines, IA

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

Ryan M. Wiesner, Davis Kuelthau, Milwaukee, WI

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicants 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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