Juror notification process goes digital
The Iowa Judicial Branch has launched a new juror notification process. As of Monday (Dec. 3), prospective jurors in Iowa no longer receive a paper juror questionnaire in the mail with a summons to report for jury duty. Instead, prospective jurors will receive a post card with information on how to complete the questionnaire online.
The goal of the new process is to make it easier for prospective jurors to complete the juror questionnaire on their phones or computer 24 hours a day 365 days a year, says State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio. The new process should precipitate a better response rate.
More details are available on the judicial branch webpage.
Associate judge seat open in 5C
As the result of the appointment of the Honorable Joseph W. Seidlin to the district court, applications are now being accepted for an open district associate judge seat in Polk County (District 5C).
Anyone who wishes to be considered for appointment to fill this vacancy must complete and submit a written application by 4 p.m. Dec. 20. Application forms may be obtained from Jennifer Webster in person at the Polk County Courthouse or by email request.
Interviews with the nominating commission will be held on Dec. 28. View the full notice of vacancy here.
Reminder: Fill out the gender bias survey by year-end
If you haven’t already, please fill out the gender bias survey sponsored by the ISBA’s Federal Practice Committee. The responses will help the committee learn more about the impact of gender bias in Iowa’s legal profession.
Even if you have not personally experienced an instance of bias, please include any stories you have heard from a close friend or relative. The information is completely anonymous.
Deadline for filling out the online survey is Dec. 31.
Marion home school team wins Middle School Mock Trial state tournament
A team of homeschoolers from Marion walked away with the championship trophy at this year’s Middle School Mock Trial tournament. The team of 10 out-performed a team from Bergman Academy in Des Moines to take the top honors Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29.
Marion Home School – Tick Tock beat a team from Johnston Middle School in the semi-finals held earlier in the day. Bergman Academy topped a team from Merrill Middle School, Des Moines, to advance to the finals. This was only the second year that Bergman sponsored a mock trial team.
A total of 160 teams from across the state participated in this year’s middle school program. Thirty-two of those teams competed in the state tournament that started Tuesday, Nov. 27. Each team competed in three rounds of competition.
Complete results can be found here. Photos of the students participating can be accessed at the Center for Law and Civic Education Facebook page.
Federal Practice Seminar brings judges and attorneys together
Frances M. Haas, Chair, Federal Practice Committee
On behalf of the Federal Practice Committee, I encourage all of you to attend the upcoming Federal Practice Seminar on Dec. 14. The seminar serves as a valuable opportunity for attorneys to acquaint themselves with Iowa’s federal judges, who are taking time to meet with and speak to members of the bar at the seminar.
Both practitioners and the judges find this seminar to be a great opportunity to understand each other’s perspectives and enhance the relationship between the federal bench and the bar.
The content of the upcoming seminar is also useful for all attorneys, whether or not they practice in federal court. For example, Judge Amy St. Eve, who was recently appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, will be speaking with one of her former law clerks on a topic that interests all litigators: “What Jurors Really Think: Practical Guidance for Trial Lawyers.” Judge Mark W. Bennett will be moderating a panel discussion about a complex products liability case recently tried in the Northern District of Iowa. The trial lawyers in that case, Bruce Braley and Greg Lederer, will be on that panel.
The keynote speaker, Iowa native Professor Sonja West, will speak on a timely topic: “Protecting the First Amendment in an Anti-Press Age.” Another Iowa native, Anne Brafford, will speak about attorney wellness. We also have a criminal panel set for our lunch program, and panels with Iowa’s magistrate and Article III judges—a perennial favorite for attendees.
Please join us for this seminar.
Latest tax reform limits what can be used in like-kind exchanges
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last December limited the types of property that can be used for like-kind exchanges. Exchanges of personal or intangible property such as machinery, equipment, vehicles, artwork, collectibles, patents and other intellectual property generally don’t qualify for nonrecognition of gain or loss as like-kind exchanges under the new law.
Like-kind exchange tax treatment now applies only to exchanges of real property that’s held for use in a trade or business or for investment. Real property, also called real estate, includes land and generally anything built on or attached to it. An exchange of real property held primarily for sale still doesn’t qualify as a like-kind exchange.
More information is available on the IRS website here.
|SUPREME COURT OPINIONS - NOV. 3
State of Iowa v. Darryl B. Shears Jr.
Darryl Shears Jr. seeks further review of an order requiring him to pay restitution.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED
Susan E. Cox and Edward A. Cox v. Iowa Department of Human Services
Petitioners appeal district court judgment affirming agency ruling imposing Medicaid long-term care eligibility penalties based on their transfer of assets to a pooled special needs trust.
An incarcerated parent appeals an order by juvenile court terminating her parental rights.
DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; JUVENILE COURT DECISION REVERSED AND REMANDED
|IN OTHER NEWS
Bail industry battles reforms that threaten its livelihood
In New Jersey, the Arnold Foundation is a named defendant, alongside Porrino and then-Gov. Chris Christie, in a wrongful death suit that also seeks to halt the use of the PSA. The complaint alleges that Christian Rodgers, 26, was fatally shot by a man released under the risk assessment regime. He had been arrested on weapons charges before his release.
Fraternities, sororities sue Harvard, saying penalizing those in single-sex clubs violates Title IX
A group of fraternities and sororities filed a federal lawsuit Monday that challenges Harvard University’s recent policy prohibiting students who belong to unrecognized single-gender organizations from holding campus leadership positions or competing for some post-graduate scholarships and fellowships.
Jailed parents must be included in hearings on their kids' fate, Iowa Supreme Court rules
Parents in prison or jail must be allowed to fully participate in hearings on whether their parental rights will be taken away, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled.
The Des Moines Register
Why we still need bar associations — perhaps more than ever
Bar associations are more than just buildings, committees and CLE seminars. They are the heartbeat of the legal profession.
New York Law Journal
TIPS & TRICKS
5 ways to engage with your client on their terms
An A.I. jJust outperformed 20 top lawyers (and the lawyers were happy)
How to overcome the three challenges of maintaining professional relationships
How to disagree productively and find common ground
5 things under 30 law associates should do to make partner
Associate Attorney - Rawlings Law Firm, Sioux City, IA
Corporate Counsel - Mittera Group, Des Moines, IA
Family law/Transactional Attorney - Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., Waterloo, IA
Associate Attorney - Petersen Law PLLC, Council Bluffs, IA
Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA
Business and Estate Planning Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA
Associate Attorney - Jordan & Mahoney Law Firm, P.C., Boone, IA
Associate Attorney - Shafer & Shafer Law Office, Waukon, IA
Associate General Counsel/ Compliance Director - Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Des Moines, IA
Attorney II (Assistant County Attonrey) - Pottawattamie County, Council Bluffs, IA
Staff Attorney-Water Program - Iowa Environmental Council, Des Moines, IA
Assistant City Attorney - City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, IA
Associate - Telpner Peterson Law Firm LLP, Council Bluffs, IA
General Practice/Litigation Attorney - Clemens, Walters, Conlon, Runde & Hiatt, LLP, Dubuque, IA
Real Estate Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels, Des Moines, IA
Managing Trial Attorney - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA
ADMISSION ON MOTION
The following individual applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:
Blake Jameson Brockway
Natural Futures Association
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: 515-348-4670.