December 12, 2018  Past Issues

Board approves new member benefit
At its quarterly meeting this week (Dec. 10), the ISBA Board of Governors approved the association’s newest member benefit – a military-grade-level email encryption program designed to make sure your email correspondence always remains private and secure, while also being easy to use.

Called Trustifi, the email encryption program analyzes all incoming emails to authenticate legitimacy and displays an alert when they’re not. It also protects against spam, malware and sophisticated Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud threats.

The bar association has partnered with Trustifi to offer the program to members for the discounted price of $25 per email account, per year. Additional details will be released beginning in January.

In the meantime, if you have questions about the need for email encryption or about Trustifi, contact Harry Shipley at

Applications for part-time 3B judicial magistrate vacancy due Jan. 2

The Woodbury County Judicial Magistrate Appointing Commission will meet Jan. 4 to appoint a part-time magistrate to serve in Woodbury County for the four-year term that commenced Aug. 1, 2017.

Applications and the instructions for submitting them are available electronically through District Court Administration by contacting Pam Calhoun at Applications must be submitted no later than Jan. 2.

All applicants must be residents of Woodbury County or residents of a county contiguous to Woodbury County during the term of office. Woodbury County magistrates serve within the 3B judicial district, as directed by the chief judge, and may be assigned by the chief judge to hold court outside of Woodbury County. Applicants must be attorneys licensed to practice law in Iowa and must be under the age of 72 at the time of appointment.

ISBA offering last-minute CLE opportunities

Beginning Dec. 13 and ending Dec. 31, the ISBA is offering nine CLE opportunities to help members meet the minimum 15 hours of legal education required each year. Up to 6 hours of the requirement may be attended “on-demand” through unmoderated CLE events. The minimum three ethics hours is not required until the end of 2019.

For the complete list of upcoming live events, visit the ISBA CLE Calendar. To see on-demand selections, visit the ISBA On-Demand Catalog. Contact the ISBA CLE Department at or 515-697-7874 with any questions.


Substitute ‘passphrases’ for ‘passwords’ to protect tax accounts

The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are urging tax preparers to consider using passphrases instead of passwords to protect their online accounts against savvy cybercriminals taking over their identities and accessing sensitive tax and financial data.

During the 2018 tax filing season, the IRS received five to seven reports per week from tax firms that experienced a data theft. Through Nov. 5, the IRS received 234 reports for the year. That’s a 29 percent increase from the 182 reports received during the same time in 2017. Generally, these are reports filed by firms, which means hundreds more tax practitioners and tens of thousands of clients are affected.

A favorite line from a movie, or a series of associated words such as “SunWalkRainDrive,” that can be remembered easily work best. Passphrases should be words that can go together in your head, but no one else would ever suspect. Good example: Items in your living room such as BlueCouchFlowerBamboo. Bad example: Names of your children.

Use a different password or passphrase for each account; suggest the IRS and its partners. Use a password manager, if necessary, for multiple accounts. Also replace the factory-set passwords for wireless devices such as printers and routers with strong passphrases to protect access to these devices.

2018 Bloethe Tax School door prize winners

Six lucky individuals attending the 2018 Bloethe Tax School last week (Dec. 5-7) left a little richer – and not just in the knowledge they gained from the speakers. Their names were drawn as the winners of door prizes contributed by vendors and the ISBA. One recipient was twice blessed.

Winners (shown in the photo), the prizes they won and the prize donors included, from left: Brad Rutherford, Marshalltown, Facebook Portal from ISBA Membership Appreciation; Brian Eddy, Independence, Facebook Portal from the ISBA and $50 gift card from Credit Bureau Services of Iowa; Norma Meade, Marshalltown, one-year subscription to the Advanced Logic document production system from Advanced Logic; Bill Frye, Charles City, $50 gift card from Security National Bank.

Also receiving prizes, but not available for the photo, were Patty Reeve, Des Moines, $50 gift card from Security National Bank; and Walter McNamara, Cedar Rapids, bottle of Crown Royal from WahlTek, Inc.

Nearly 600, excluding speakers, attended this year’s tax school.

No. 18-1267
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Michael Jon Jacobsma
The grievance commission found an Iowa attorney violated the rules of professional conduct and recommended a thirty-day suspension of the attorney’s license.

No. 18-1582
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Melissa Nine
Grievance commission recommends the suspension of an attorney’s license for thirty days for a violation of ethical rules.


Sioux City federal judge Bennett retiring from bench to teach full-time
Most of us would count ourselves fortunate to have a career that we enjoy and are successful in.
Sioux City Journal

Iowa attorney general working with other states to fight robocalls
Iowa's chief lawyer is teaming up with 38 other states and the District of Columbia to curb the amount of robocalls.

Already making impact, collective bargaining law headed before Iowa Supreme Court
Iowa’s new collective bargaining law has a date this week with the Iowa Supreme Court.
Sioux City Journal



New report identifies four factors women look for in the workplace

5 big ideas to differentiate your law firm, straight from the experts

How to collaborate with people you don't like

Struggling to get motivated? Don't ask for advice - give it

How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace


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 - 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

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

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

Deputy General Counsel - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE

Legal Administrator - Paralegal - The Weitz Company, Des Moines, IA


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

Michael D. Schwartz, Schwartz Law Firm, Oakdale, MN

Colleen Konicek-Hannigan
, Fletcher & Sippel LLP, Chicago, IL

Sean Michael Sturdivan,
Sanders Warren Russell & Scheer LLP, Overland Park, KS

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.


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