December 19, 2018  Past Issues

Editor's Note: There will be no weekly newsletter the next two weeks due to Christmas and New Years Day. ISBA staff wishes you happy holidays!

Act now! Five spots remain for ISBA trip to Cuba
There are five spots remaining to sign up for The Iowa State Bar Association’s first-time-offered trip to Cuba, but you need to act quickly. Join 35 other individuals in the ISBA delegation, including ISBA President Tom Levis and his wife, to explore Havana’s rich and varied cultural heritage.

The tour takes place from Feb. 1–5, and features an itinerary designed for bar members and their guests (spouses and friends welcome). It also provides six hours of CLE credit.

The ISBA teamed with Cuba Cultural Travel to create the trip. View more information, including the tentative itinerary, cost details and how to register in the event brochure.

Law appointed to State Judicial Nominating Commission

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday (Dec. 14) announced the appointment of Kathleen Law to serve as an appointed member of the State Judicial Nominating Commission. Law fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Dr. Christina Taylor the previous day.

The State Judicial Nominating Commission is made up of 16 members plus a chairperson, who is the longest-tenured Supreme Court justice, not the chief justice. Eight of the members are appointed by the governor. The other eight are lawyers elected by their peers. Click here for a list of all commission members.

Law, of Des Moines, is an attorney at Nyemaster Goode PC. She received her undergraduate degree from William Penn University and her law degree from Drake University. She has served in numerous leadership roles in The Iowa State Bar Association and in 2014 received the Award of Merit from the association’s Young Lawyers Division.

Law’s appointment is effective immediately. She will participate in the current process to select nominees for appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court to fill the vacancy that occurred when Justice Daryl Hecht resigned.

Digital version of December/January Iowa Lawyer now available

The digital version of the December/January Iowa Lawyer magazine is now available on the ISBA website.

The December 2018-January 2019 issue features District 5C Senior Judge Robert Blink on the cover, who has turned a woodworking hobby into a way to commemorate the adoptions of Iowa children. Also in this issue, ISBA President Tom Levis asks you to consider one more gift this holiday season. You can read substantive articles regarding the authentication of social media evidence, and changes to marital dissolution laws in the new year. This issue also looks back on the history of the Iowa State Bar Foundation as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Those who receive the magazine in printed form should see it in their mailboxes later this week or the beginning of next.

Small number of tax manuals still available
The ISBA still has nearly 20 copies of this year's tax manual available for purchase for $200 plus tax and shipping costs. Those interested can also add speaker outlines from the Bloethe Tax School for an additional $100.

Due to the limited supply, these will all be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. To order the manual, visit the ISBA store and click on "Manuals" (log-in required).


ISBA adds new t-shirt for purchase to support LawPAC

Show your lawyer pride by sporting the latest ISBA t-shirt and at the same time support the ISBA’s lobbying efforts. With an Iowa LawPAC contribution of $20, donors will receive this t-shirt designed by the ISBA. There are a limited number available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Iowa LawPAC is the political action committee of the ISBA which contributes to state legislative races. Its first priority is to support lawyer-legislator candidates, especially those who are members of the ISBA and have supported Iowa LawPAC prior to running for office.

Front: Iowa Lawyers: Hate Us Until You Need Us.
Back: ISBA Logo (White)
Color: Navy
Material: 100% cotton
Shirt Sizes Available (Women’s): Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, XXXL (shirt sizes run small)

Visit the ISBA store to place your order (log-in required). Once in the store, click on the “Misc.” category to locate this and all previously created t-shirts.

New data shows law school enrollment is up

There has been a nearly three percent increase of first-year law students in the last year, according to new data from the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The recent data showed a 2.9 percent increase of first-year students at ABA-accredited schools between 2017 and 2018, and a 1.2 percent increase in law students overall. A greater percentage increase was in non-JD enrollment, which includes LLMs, masters and certificate programs. There was an 8.2 percent increase in those programs.

Read more in the ABA Journal online.

IRS issues 2019 mileage rates

Last Friday (Dec. 14), the Internal Revenue Service issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
• 58 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018;
• 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up two cents from the rate for 2018;
• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged

The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicles rather than using the standard mileage rates. Information for calculating those costs can be found at this link.

No. 17-0395
State of Iowa v. Sean David Gordon
The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing the sentence of the defendant.

No. 17-0589
State of Iowa v. Montez Guise
The State seeks further review of a court of appeals decision reversing the sentence of the defendant.

No. 17-1750
State of Iowa v. Mitch Buesing
A defendant appeals his sentence claiming the sentencing factors relied upon by the district court violated his due process rights.

No. 18-0097
Lowe's Home Centers, LLC v. Iowa Dept of Revenue and Courtney M. Kay-Decker
Taxpayer appeals district court judgment upholding department of revenue’s assessment of sales tax on labor installing home improvements.


Former prosecutor's disbarment for anonymous online posts is lesson for other lawyers, court says
A former federal prosecutor has been disbarred for posting anonymous online comments about cases being handled by himself or by his office.

Changes to judicial nominations in Iowa on the table for legislature
Iowa has used the same judicial nominating process for over five decades but some are pushing to change that.

Senate approves criminal justice reform bill championed by Grassley
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan overhaul Tuesday night of both criminal sentences and the prison system.
Omaha World-Herald



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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

Attorney II (Assistant County Attonrey) - Pottawattamie County, Council Bluffs, IA

Associate - Telpner Peterson Law Firm LLP, Council Bluffs, IA

General Practice/Litigation Attorney - Clemens, Walters, Conlon, Runde & Hiatt, LLP, Dubuque, IA

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

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

Corporate Counsel - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE

Associate Attorney - Wetsch Abbott Osborn Van Vliet PLC, West Des Moines, IA

Assistant Legal Counsel - State of Iowa Judicial Branch - State Court Administration, Des Moines, IA

Special Assistant United States Attorney (HIDTA/ Iowa Attorney Genereal's Office) - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Counsel, Commercial Product Legal Team - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA

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

Coverage Attorney - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE


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

Dan Scott Matzdorff, Biker Lawyers, MN

Jacqueline L. Church,
Church Crop Insurance Services, Des Moines, IA

Karl Benjamin Goodman,
Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, IA

Michael John Orsi,
Heyl Royster, Peoria, IL

Francis Michael Maggio Jr.,
Gislason & Hunter, Des Moines, IA

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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