December 13, 2017  Past Issues

ISBA BOG votes on succession planning designation

Under the Iowa Court Rule 39.18, Iowa lawyers must take steps to prepare for their own disability or death. On Dec. 11, the ISBA Board of Governors authorized the ISBA to serve as a “qualified attorney-servicing association,” for attorneys in private practice for the purposes of meeting the Iowa Court Rule 39.18 designation requirement.

The rule has two tiers. Under the first, mandatory tier, an active Iowa lawyer in private practice must take several actions by Dec. 25. These actions must be certified via the Annual Client Security Questionnaire by the Iowa Client Security Commission, due in March 2018. They include, but are not limited to, the identification and authorization of a “designated representative.”

Attorneys who select the ISBA as their designated representative must be ISBA members and sign an agreement with the ISBA. The state bar association will charge a nominal annual fee for the service; attorneys in practice for less than three years will be required to pay $25 annually and all other attorneys will be required to pay $100 annually. The ISBA intends to offer two free hours of continuing legal education (CLE) to the bar members who have a signed agreement with the ISBA and have paid the servicing fee.

The ISBA reserves the right not to enter into an agreement to serve as a "qualified lawyer servicing association" for the purposes of Court Rule 39.18.

When the ISBA serves as a designated representative, it will determine on a case-by-case basis whether it will:

1. Act as an in-house trustee to return trust funds and files as well as find or, as needed, store or destroy unreturned files;
2. Act as a hybrid where the ISBA locates a voluntary attorney to act as either a trustee or successor;
3. Outsource the ISBA’s trustee obligations to an outside attorney to return trust funds and files to the planning attorney’s clients, and handle unreturned files.

More information, including the agreement that is required in order to select the ISBA as a designated representative, will be made available to ISBA members in the coming days. Resources with more information about Rule 39.18 are available on the ISBA website’s homepage and by clicking here. Be sure to review the requirements that must be met by Dec. 25 and certified in March 2018.

Bar Foundation launches capital campaign

The Iowa State Bar Foundation has launched a capital campaign to increase the size of its endowment so it can continue supporting ISBA programs and projects that enhance citizenship and the public’s understanding of justice and the law. Contributions made before the end of the year to the 501C(3) organization can be deducted on 2017 income taxes, subject to certain limitations.

Entitled “For the People: Civic Education for All Iowans,” the goal is to increase the current endowment to more than $3 million, which entails raising slightly more than $1 million. Earnings from an endowment of that size would fund today’s priority programs and those in the future.

There are several ways to contribute to the campaign (see materials here). Contributions can be in cash or through gifts of stock or other hard assets. Matching gifts from an employer or community foundation are also encouraged. Those who contribute $1,000 or more will have their names permanently recognized on the “For the People” donor display outside of the CLE Center in the ISBA headquarters, and on the foundation’s web page.

Click here to download a pledge form that can be printed out and returned. Pledges of $1,000 or more can be paid over 10 years or as a lump sum. Gifts under $1,000 should be paid in full by May 2019.

YLD task force focuses on future of profession of law

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division is creating a task force to examine future issues that may impact the profession of law in Iowa. The task force members will meet through the winter, and will report back to the Board of Governors and the bar association membership at the March Board of Governors meeting.

The idea for this task force comes in response to growing concerns about competition, specifically from internet competitors and low-cost, simulated legal advice providers. These threats are summarized in a YLD report presented to the Board of Governors on Monday, Dec. 11. In accordance with the report, the YLD task force shall (1) make “recommendations for specific actions that should be taken to communicate the value of Iowa attorneys to the public;” (2) “provide a list of specific statutes, regulations or other rules that would prevent Iowa attorneys from competing with alternative legal service providers, multi-disciplinary practices or other competition, along with recommendations for changes to those legal authorities;” and (3) “With the approval of the Board of Governors … at its March Quarterly Meeting, … thereafter immediately act to seek the implementation of its recommendations.”

If you have any ideas or questions about this process, please contact ISBA YLD President Tom Hillers at


ISBA staff “adopts” children through Mentor Iowa

The Iowa State Bar Association staff participated in an “Adopt-a-Family” program through Mentor Iowa this holiday season. Dozens of gifts purchased and collected by bar staff were delivered to the organization's office on Monday, Dec. 11.

Mentor Iowa is a Des Moines-based program that provides trained volunteer mentors to abused, neglected and delinquent children who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The gifts will be distributed to the children at Mentor Iowa's annual holiday party this weekend.

Federal Practice Seminar starts Friday

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 Civil 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.


No. 17-0287
In the Interest of L.M., Minor Child, K.L., Mother
The guardian ad litem for a child whose parents’ had their parental rights terminated seeks further review of the court of appeals decision reversing the mother’s termination.


Investiture ceremony held for United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan Jr.
A formal investiture ceremony was held today for United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. at the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Chief United States District Judge Leonard T. Strand presided over the ceremony which was attended by several members of the legal and law enforcement communities. United States District Judge Linda R. Reade administered the ceremonial oath of office.

And the legal technology word of the year is...
After announced “complicit” as its word of the year for 2017, a friend asked what I considered to be the legal technology word of the year.
Above the Law

Iowa lawmakers want to tax online sales
Several key legislative leaders Friday said they expect to discuss taxing online sales during the 2018 session, as do businesses physically residing in Iowa.
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

Florida Bar says former president can't represent startup in suit claiming anti-competitive conduct
The Florida Bar argues that a former bar president should be disqualified from representing a Florida startup in its antitrust suit against the bar.
ABA Journal



3 ways you're letting work ruin your holidays (and how to stop)

10 things to know about clerking in the federal district

3 ways lawyers can get and keep more clients

How much employee monitoring is too much

iMac Pro will be available Dec. 14


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

Corporate Counsel/Licensing - DuPont Pioneer, Johnston, IA

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

Executive Officer 3 - Iowa Department of Commerce Credit Union Division, Des Moines, IA

Director of Advocacy/ Staff Legal Counsel - Iowa Hospital Association - Des Moines, IA

Assistant Director of OPR - Office of Professional Regulation, Des Moines, IA

Assistant City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

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

Associate Attorney - Leff Law Firm, LLP, Iowa City, IA

Appellate Court Staff Attorney 1 - Iowa Court of Appeals, Des Moines, IA

Assistant General Counsel-Agri/Farm Insurance - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Davenport, IA

Trial Attorney III - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA


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

Brenda K. Smith, Dvorak Law Group LLC, Omaha, NE

Peter J. Wilder, Godfrey Kahn SC, Milwaukee, WI

Grant A. Forsberg, Forsberg Law PC, LLO, Omaha, NE

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.


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