Lawsuit filed over judicial selection reform legislation
A Cedar Rapids lawyer and a group of Democratic state lawmakers have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the judicial selection reform legislation voted into law by the legislature on the final day of the 2019 session. Two of the allegations involve how the bill was passed, and another claims the bill violates constitutional separation of powers.
Additional coverage of the lawsuit can be found in these articles in the Cedar Rapids Gazette and KCCI News. Click here to read the ISBA’s official statement regarding the lawsuit.
Free webinar will help attorneys provide pro bono disaster relief legal services
A free disaster relief training webinar will be offered Wednesday, May 22, to discuss current flood relief efforts in Western Iowa, common legal scenarios encountered by natural disaster survivors and how volunteer attorneys are crucial to the response. It will also cover identifying and referring survivors to available services and benefits, effective communication strategies for survivors, and dealing with common homeownership and landlord tenant issues. Click here for details and to register.
Victims of the recent Western Iowa floods can call a toll-free disaster hotline 833-885-9876, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, to request assistance. The hotline is a partnership between Legal Aid of Iowa, The Iowa State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. If you are interested in taking cases pro bono arising from this hotline, please contact ISBA Director of Innovation and Outreach Virginia Sipes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creighton University names new law school dean
A 2003 Tulane University School of Law graduate has been hired as the 11th dean of Creighton University’s School of Law. Joshua Fershee comes to Creighton from his position as professor of law and director of LLM programs in energy and sustainable development law at the West Virginia University College of Law.
Before joining the West Virginia College of Law, Fershee served in professorial and administrative positions at the University of North Dakota School of Law from 2007-2012, and as a visiting assistant professor of law at Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law from 2006-2007. He worked in private practice in New York and Washington, D.C., prior to entering the field of legal academia.
Read a more complete biography of Fershee here.
District 5B vacancy open for applications
Applications are now being accepted for a district court judgeship in District 5B as a result of the retirement of the Honorable John D. Lloyd.
To apply, a hard copy of the judicial application must be submitted to the chairperson of the Judicial Nominating Commission, District 5B, or his designee with a copy (email encouraged) submitted to each member of the commission.
Application forms are due by 4 p.m., June 14, and must be obtained from Jennifer Webster, Office of the District Court Administrator, by emailing Jennifer.email@example.com.
The official vacancy announcement can be found here.
Get email encryption now through the ISBA
Email privacy is crucial to a law firm, but few take email security seriously. According to the 2017 ABA TECHREPORT, only 36 percent of all attorneys and only 25 percent of sole practitioners use email encryption. Yet, it is one of the easiest steps lawyers can take to help protect themselves against cybercriminal activity.
As your partner in practice, the ISBA wants to help you protect your email. Bar leaders have spent the past 18 months reviewing a variety of services, and ultimately partnered with Trustifi Email Encryption. Trustifi was selected because it provides an easy to use interface for both the users and recipients.
The ISBA is committed to increasing the use of email encryption by Iowa attorneys and made this service available for $25 annually per email address. If you are interested in protecting your data, please visit iowabar.org/trustifi for more information. Additional tips to avoid phishing attacks can be found here.
ABA legal ed section's council to reconsider stricter bar passage standard
The ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will revisit a controversial proposal to tighten law school standards regarding bar passage rates when it meets in Chicago on May 17.
The current standard mandates a 75 percent pass rate for all graduates over the five most recent calendar years, or a 75 percent pass rate for at least three of those five years. However, meeting materials include a memo in support of a revision requiring at least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates who sat for a bar exam to pass within two years of graduation.
You can read more in the ABA Journal.
Five more counties granted extensions on state tax filings
The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) has granted an extension and suspension of any penalty or interest to taxpayers in five additional Iowa counties – Clinton, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott and Wapello -- affected by flooding on the Mississippi River. This means residents and business owners in three of those counties have until June 30 to file tax returns on all tax types except property taxes or other taxes administered by county or local governments.
Louisa and Scott and seven other counties – Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Woodbury – along the state’s western border have until July 31 to file tax returns.
Taxpayers impacted by the floods, but not residing in the counties included in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ disaster declaration, can file a penalty waiver request with the IDR.
More information about the IDR extensions, and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at this link.
|SUPREME COURT OPINIONS
The Carroll Aiport Commission (Operating the Arthur N. Neu Municipal Airport v. Loren W. Danner and Pan Danner Carroll County
A farmer seeks further review of a court of appeals decision declining to give preemptive effect to a no-hazard determination by the Federal Aviation Administration.
DECISION OF COURT OF APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED
Samuel De Dios v. Indemnity Insurance Company of North America and Broadspire Services, Inc. Northern District of Iowa
A federal district court certified a question of Iowa law in a bad-faith action brought by an injured worker against a workers’ compensation carrier and a third-party claims administrator.
CERTIFIED QUESTION ANSWERED
State of Iowa v. Jane Doe Polk County
Defendant appeals district court ruling denying motion to expunge record and rejecting equal protection challenge to requirement to pay costs assessed for court-appointed counsel.
Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Paul A. Caghan
Grievance commission recommends attorney be ordered to cease and desist practicing law in Iowa for one year.
ATTORNEY ORDERED TO CEASE AND DESIST FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN IOWA
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Business and Estate Planning Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA
Staff Attorney - Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, IA
Assistant United States Attorney - United States Attorney Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
Assistant City Attorney - Intergovernmental - City of Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
Assistant City Attorney - Litigation - City of Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
Manager, Corporate Coverage - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE
Public Law Attorney - Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., Des Moines, IA
Associate Attorney - Rawlings Law Firm, Sioux City, IA
Trial Attorney - Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines, IA
Legal Assistant - Affiliates Management Company, West Des Moines, IA
Labor Relations Counsel - Polk County, Des Moines, IA
Paralegal - Iowa Legal Aid, Council Bluffs, IA
Civil Rights Specialist - City of Dubuque Attorney's Office, Dubuque, IA
Manager, Subrogation - Great West Casualty Company, South Sioux City, NE
ADMISSION ON MOTION
The following individuals applied for admission on motion to the Iowa Bar:
John William Staunton, Staunton & Faglie, Clearwater, FL
Karen A. Haase, KSB School Law PC LLO, Lincoln, NE
Angela Yvonne Madathil, Goosman Law Firm, Omaha, NE
Kenneth C. Jones, Illinois Amerian Water, Belleville, IL
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.