September 23, 2020  Past Issues

Join your colleagues for a day of service to honor the late Chief Justice Mark Cady

The first annual Cady Day of Public Service, to be held on Oct. 23, will bring the state legal community together to honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Chief Justice Mark Cady and his commitment to public service, access to justice and civil rights.

Visit the Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service webpage for more information, project ideas, volunteer opportunities and to register your project/participation plan. Whether you organize an event or spend time on a project for a pro bono client, Drake University would like to recognize your contribution to the inaugural Cady Day. Please register your project here.

The Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service is sponsored by Drake Law School, The Iowa State Bar Association, The Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Iowa Legal Aid, the Polk County Bar Association and Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project.

YLD to participate in 21-Day Equity Challenge, and you can too!

The ISBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is committed to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In partnership with its Diversity Committee, the YLD will participate in United Way of Central Iowa's 21-Day Equity Challenge from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2. Participants receive an email each weekday with links to relevant articles, podcasts and videos. The challenge, which is completely free, is aimed to teach participants about racism and inequity in Iowa's communities and will include topics like privilege, housing and redlining, justice system inequities and allyship.

"I’ve come to understand that the most important job I have is to be a good listener and to be willing to learn, even when the content of the conversations are tough and uncomfortable," said Gabe Walsh, chair of the YLD Diversity Committee. "The 21-Day Equity Challenge will allow our members to listen and learn from these conversations, and hopefully take something that will help make our legal community more open, inclusive and understanding of issues involving race, and how they impact the important work we do.”

To participate in the challenge, please visit the United Way's website and sign up with 'Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division' as your designated organization.

Family Law Section Chair invites members to upcoming seminar

The annual Family Law Seminar will take place Oct. 21-23 via a live webinar format. The three-day seminar provides an opportunity to learn from family and juvenile law experts from around the state, earning you 15 state CLE hours which includes two ethics and three juvenile law credit hours.

ISBA Family and Juvenile Law Section Chair Ellen Ramsey-Kacena recorded a special video invite highlighting the presentations that will be of interest to both new attorneys and the most seasoned family law attorneys, including:

• Appropriate Parenting Plans for Geographically Separated Parents - David Cox, Bray & Klockau PLC
• Attorney Burnout/Compassion Fatigue - Hon. Fae Hoover-Grinde, District Court Judge, District 6
• Positive Programs in Iowa: What’s Working – Family Law Panel

Visit the event page for registration and complete details.

Chief Justice Christensen issues statement on passing of Justice Ginsburg

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen issued the following statement on Sept. 19 on the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

"I am truly saddened by the passing of Justice Ginsburg. On this day, one cannot help but reflect on her many accomplishments and marvel at her dedication to individual rights and the rule of law. As a woman in a legal community dominated by men, she was a true pioneer and a strong, clear voice for the rights of women and other underrepresented groups. The country is indebted to Justice Ginsburg for her work to champion civil rights and her service as a justice of the United States Supreme Court. I will miss her deeply and wish comfort to her family. May she rest in peace."


Newly-formed Iowa Center for Children's Justice receives challenge grant

The Iowa Center for Children’s Justice recently received a $10,000 challenge grant from the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation to help support the organization’s work in Central Iowa.

The Iowa Center for Children’s Justice received non-profit status on June 30 to ensure the voices of central Iowa children are heard in high conflict divorces and custody cases. Attorneys work one-on-one with children to listen, support and advocate for child-focused resolutions. Previously this work was done in affiliation with Kids First Iowa based in Cedar Rapids.

The challenge grant will help leverage needed gifts to begin the organization’s work in supporting Des Moines-area children experiencing a divorce in their families. Those interested in contributing to the challenge can donate at

"State of U.S. Small Law Firms" report available

The Thomson Reuters annual report on the "State of U.S. Small Law Firms" is now available and details challenges and opportunities for small law firms. You can download a copy of the report for free here.

LawPay publishes free pandemic-related resources

LawPay, the ISBA's endorsed payment technology provider, has compiled a list of helpful resources for Iowa attorneys.

Free downloadable guides and E-Books:
Returning to the Office: A Guide for Attorneys
Going Off on Your Own: Your Guide to Running a Modern Firm
Getting Paid in 2020: What Lawyers Need to Know
Law Firm Guide to Cybersecurity
More free downloadable resources here:

Working Remotely: 5 Tips for Law Firm Success
Returning to the Office: A Guide for Attorneys
Remote Online Notarization
Cash Flow during COVID-19: How Law Firms are Adjusting
More blog posts here:

Learn more about LawPay as an ISBA member benefit.

IRS provides final regulations on deductions for estates and non-grantor trusts

The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations Monday, Sept. 21, that provide guidance for decedents’ estates and non-grantor trusts clarifying that certain deductions of such estates and non-grantor trusts are not miscellaneous itemized deductions.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) prohibits individuals, estates and non-grantor trusts from claiming miscellaneous itemized deductions for any taxable year beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2026. Specifically, the final regulations clarify that the following deductions are allowable in figuring adjusted gross income and are not miscellaneous itemized deductions:

• Deductions for costs paid or incurred in connection with the administration of the estate or trust, which would not have been incurred if the property were not held in such estate or non-grantor trust.
• The deduction concerning the personal exemption of an estate or non-grantor trust.
• The distribution deductions for trusts distributing current income.
• The distribution deductions for trusts accumulating income.

In addition, the final regulations provide guidance on determining the character and amount of, as well as the manner for allocating, excess deductions that beneficiaries succeeding to the property of a terminated estate or non-grantor trust may claim on their individual income tax returns.

President Donald Trump to announce Supreme Court nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on Saturday
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will disclose his new nominee for the Supreme Court on Saturday, triggering an historic battle for the high court's future in the last six weeks of a presidential election.

Insanity defense planned for man accused of killing Fort Dodge pastor
The attorney representing the man accused of killing a Fort Dodge pastor in 2019 said the defendant will use the insanity defense in his trial.

Does age and gender affect judges’ sentences? New study suggests nuanced answer
Researchers who studied nearly 3,000 sentences imposed over a 16-year period in Colorado found that judges' age and gender correlated with differences in sentence length—but only for serious crimes.


Online security tips for people working from home

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Creating a better normal for your law firm

5 easy steps to redact sensitive information in Adobe Acrobat Professional

6 things you can do right now to increase your job security during the pandemic (and beyond)


JBE Program Director - Nebraska State Bar Association, Lincoln, NE

Attorney - Personal Injury Law - Franklin D Azar & Associates, Aurora, CO

Attorney - Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty & Folta, P.L.C., Decorah, IA

Associate Attorney - Moore, Corbett, Heffernan, Moeller & Meis, LLP, Sioux City, IA

Attorney - Peters & Longmuir, PLC, Independence, IA

Associate Attorney - Newbrough Law Firm LLP, Ames, IA

Law Clerk 1 - State of Iowa Judicial Branch, Des Moines, IA

Staff Attorney 1 - State of Iowa Judicial Branch, Des Moines, IA

Public Law Attorney (Bond Counsel/Public Finance) - Ahlers & Cooney, Des Moines, IA


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

Lara Mary-Jean Guscott, Guscott Law, Kansas City, MO

Anyone with questions or comments on the above applicant should contact Dan Saar at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-348-4670.


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