November 15, 2017  Past Issues

Editor's note: There will be no weekly next week due to the holiday. We will resume publishing on Wednesday, Nov. 29.


The Legislative Services Agency (LSA) is publishing the new annual Iowa Court Rules as a one-volume book updated through December of this year for the reduced price of $40, a bargain when compared to the Thomson Reuters publication.

Practitioners may order the Iowa Court Rules by credit card, Automated Clearing House (ACH) funds transfer, or by returning a printed form with payment by mail. Other printed publications available for purchase include the archived version of the 2017 Iowa Code, the new 2017 Iowa Acts, the new 2017-2018 Iowa Official Register or “Redbook," and the 2018 Iowa Law Infobase as a download from the Internet. 

To order a printed legal publication or the Iowa Law InfoBase, visit the LSA website. Practitioners can obtain updates to the Iowa Court Rules, free of charge, either by accessing on a subscription basis or by accessing anytime.

Gender bias survey closing soon; attorneys asked to share experiences

The ISBA’s Federal Practice Committee is seeking to learn more about the impact of gender bias in the legal profession, and invites Iowa attorneys to share their thoughts by taking this online survey. The survey will be closing on Monday, Nov. 20.

This survey has been retooled from a previous version you may have seen in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly in August. Even if you already completed the previous similar survey, please retake this improved version. The Federal Practice Committee plans to use the results during a Federal Practice Seminar panel discussion on this topic in December.

Even if you have not personally experienced an instance of bias, please include any stories you have heard from a close friend or relative. This information will remain completely anonymous.

Serve year-round from anywhere, anytime through IA Free Legal Answers

Last month, ISBA Leaders, IA Free Legal Answers Volunteer Attorneys and University of Iowa College of Law Citizen Lawyer Program Law Student Volunteers in the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids area challenged and learned from one another as they answered each and every legal question posted on the IA Free Legal Answers website. The collaboration took place during The ISBA’s 2017 National Pro Bono Week Celebration Event at the University of Iowa College of Law. 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.

The ISBA’s Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website is the online portal for IA Free Legal Answers. From July 1 – Sept. 30, nearly 4,000 site visitors accessed information about low-income legal assistance resources. Questions posted to IA Free Legal Answers by qualified individuals in need of civil legal assistance increased by nearly 100 percent. There are currently seven questions in the area of family law, two in housing / property and one in debts and purchases awaiting answers from volunteer attorneys.

Attorney volunteers can and do continue to make immediate, positive impacts year-round when they perform pro bono service anywhere, anytime through IA Free Legal Answers

Attorneys who 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 be considered pro bono publico service pursuant to Iowa Supreme Court Rule 32: 6.1.
• Can participate in a new, anonymous listserv that connects them 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



If you have not yet signed up to be listed on the ISBA’s Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website, you are missing a free opportunity to get your name in front of potential clients.

The website contains a database of Iowa attorneys searchable by practice area and region, as well as dozens of free legal guides and videos geared toward the public. The ISBA marketed this website extensively through the summer: online, on social media, on the radio and on the sides of buses, with visible results. Since July 1, the number of visits to the Iowa Find-A-Lawyer website has increased by 58 percent. The number of page views on the site has almost doubled since it was re-designed and re-launched in the spring.

Signing up to be listed on this website is free and simple. Please see this guide on how to do so.

ISBA staff is also consistently updating the free legal resources and FAQ videos contained on the site. If you have ideas for additional video or guide topics that may assist members of the public looking for legal help, please contact ISBA Communications Director Melissa Higgins at

Reminder: Submit names of adoptive families for Adoption Saturday celebration, Dec. 2

Organizers of central Iowa’s 17th Annual Adoption Saturday Celebration on Dec. 2 are encouraging attorneys to please let them know if they have client families far enough along in the adoption process that the adoptions can be finalized at the celebration.

Approximately 10 judges from the Fifth Judicial District will spend from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on that Saturday making it possible for several dozen children to have forever families. The judges will finalize the adoptions in courtrooms decorated with helium balloons and lined with stuffed toys at the Polk County Justice Center, 222 5th Avenue, Des Moines.

Free and open to the public, the event will also feature numerous booths staffed by organizations that can provide information on adoptions.

Contact Erin Mayfield at, or at 515-244-1172 for more information and to submit names.

Full slate at 2017 Federal Practice Seminar

John H. Moorlach, Federal Practice Committee Chair
Do not miss this year’s Federal Practice Seminar. Linda Greenhouse, 1998 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Beat Reporting (United States Supreme Court), headlines the seminar as keynote speaker.

A crowd favorite, panels of Iowa’s Article III and Magistrate Judges, will open the day addressing issues facing Iowa’s federal courts. Judge Linda Reade will offer her Retrospective on the Practice of Law in Iowa over the lunch hour. Later in the day, recently appointed U.S. Attorneys, Peter E. Deegan, Jr. (ND) and Marc Krickbaum (SD) will discuss new administration policies. Civil law practitioners will hear Stephen D. Susman share his experiences with the Civic Jury Project.

The day will conclude with a panel on “Gender Bias in the Iowa Legal Profession,” moderated by the Hon. Helen C. Adams, and an ethics presentation by Patrick Krill, former director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Legal Professionals Program.

The seminar offers 6.25 state hours which includes 1 ethics and 6.25 federal hours. Registration and a detailed schedule is available online.


Iowa sees increase in law students passing the bar exam
Iowa Judicial Branch data shows that more than three-fourths of those who took Iowa's bar exam passed this year.

Overdue court debt costing Iowans millions of dollars in collection fees
Iowans in a third of the state’s 99 counties are paying much more to satisfy overdue court debt than those in other parts of the state, a problem deepening poverty for thousands, Iowa legal experts say.
Iowa City Press-Citizen

AARP Foundation sues nursing home to stop illegal evictions
A California judge could decide Tuesday if Gloria Single will be reunited with her husband, Bill. She's 83 years old. He's 93. The two have been married for 30 years. They lived in the same nursing home until last March, when Gloria Single was evicted without warning.
Iowa Public Radio

Why are women lawyers leaving the profession mid-career? ABA initiative hopes to answer the question
An ABA initiative to study why women are leaving the profession mid-career kicked off last week with a summit at Harvard Law School.
ABA Journal



3 ways to automate client intake

5 habits that'll free up room in your schedule to work on your side gig

7 things to do (and not do) before giving notice

Four considerations when simplifying transactional legal services

3 personality traits with the biggest impact on teamwork


Attorney I - Scott County, Davenport, IA

Associate Attorney - Davis Brown Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Trial Attorney - Confidential Employer, Des Moines, IA

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

Associate Director, Procurement - Cambridge, Fairfield, IA

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

Corporate Counsel/Licensing - DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA

Corporate/Transactional Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Litigation Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Health Law Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Estate Planning/ Tax Attorney - Whitfield & Eddy Law Firm, Des Moines, IA


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

Andrew R. Chilson, National Litigation Law Group PLLC, Oklahoma City, OK

Brian F. Keit, Noyes Law Firm, Fairfield, 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.


Tweet with us on 

Be our fan on
Connect through
Follow us on

Watch us on