January 15, 2020  Past Issues

Acting Chief Justice Wiggins to retire
Iowa Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins announced his retirement on Friday, Jan. 10, effective March 13. Acting Chief Justice Wiggins was appointed to the supreme court in 2003. Under Iowa law, his vacancy will be filled by appointment from the Governor after a list of three nominees is submitted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.

Wiggins this morning spoke to a joint session of the Iowa House and Senate for the annual Condition of the Judiciary Address. The speech can be found here, and further coverage will be in the next issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine.

Three finalists selected for vacant Iowa Supreme Court seat
After interviewing applicants last week, the State Judicial Nominating Commission chose a judge and two attorneys as finalists for the position left open on the Iowa Supreme Court by the passing of Chief Justice Mark Cady.

Joel Barrows is a district court judge in Bettendorf, Matt McDermott is an attorney at Belin McCormick in Des Moines and Dana Oxley is counsel at Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, PLC in Cedar Rapids. Gov. Reynolds now has 30 days to choose one of them.

January People's Law School focuses on home buying and selling
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, The Iowa State Bar Association will host a free public event as part of the "ISBA People's Law School" series. The event will focus on the basics of buying and selling a home in Iowa. The team of speakers will provide information on Iowa Title Guaranty, the abstracting process, closing requirements, mortgages, underwriting, financing and issues related to realtors, brokers and real estate agencies.

Scott Hall, Partner, Carney & Appleby Law
Lindsey Guerrero, Director, Iowa Title Guaranty
Teesha Groen, Owner, Key Closing Services, LLC
Mike Kentfield, Legacy Bank Mortgage Originator
Megan Hill-Mitchum, Realtor, Century 21

This event will be held at the ISBA Headquarters at 625 E. Court Ave. in Des Moines from 5:30-7 p.m. and live-streamed to local communities throughout the state. Details on future People's Law School events can be found here, and you may contact for more information.

"Use it or lose it" - Final days of voting for judicial nominating commissioners
The voting period for the election of district judicial nominating commissioners is open until this Friday, Jan. 17. You should have received an email from State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio, who administers the voting process, which describes the steps to vote electronically.

According to ISBA Chief Legislative Counsel Jim Carney, it is extremely important you exercise your right to vote in nominating commission elections. During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers proposed a bill that would strip from attorneys the ability to vote in these district elections, instead giving that power to political leadership. "Use it or lose it," said Carney, warning of potential future efforts to change Iowa's judicial nominating process beyond what happened during the 2019 session.

Should you have any questions about the voting procedure, you may contact State Court Administration at or call 515-348-4880.


State Public Defender traveling to Nevada and Marshalltown to visit with local attorneys
The State Public Defender, Jeff Wright, will be in Nevada this week to introduce himself and address any questions, comments or concerns from court-appointed defense attorneys. SPD contract attorneys from the area are encouraged to attend at noon on Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Story County Courthouse - Jury Room B.

Additionally, Wright will be in Marshalltown on Thursday, Jan. 23 at noon, at the Marshall County Courthouse – Jury Room. All contract attorneys from the Marshalltown area are invited to attend that event. Future events throughout the rest of the state will be announced in the Iowa Lawyer Weekly newsletter.

IRS issues standard mileage rates for 2020
The Internal Revenue Service has issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

As of Jan. 1, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
• 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019,
• 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019, and
• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

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. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

Read more here.

Corporate Counsel Institute scheduled for Jan. 31
All in-house attorneys or attorneys who work with in-house lawyers are encouraged to attend the 2020 Corporate Counsel Institute. The event, sponsored by the ISBA Corporate Counsel Section in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel – Iowa Chapter, takes place Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Attendees may participate in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or via the live webinar option.

Highlighted topics include:
• Risk management and compliance streamlined for small legal departments
• Intellectual property and employee work product in websites, publications and social media
• Best practices in non-solicit, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements

The ISBA has applied for 5.50 state hours of CLE credit. For complete program details, visit the event page.

No. 18-0294
State of Iowa v. Earnest B. Bynum Linn
A defendant appeals his conviction for falsely reporting a criminal act.

No. 18-1199
Roy Karon and Peddler LLC v. Elliott Aviation, James Mitchell, Wynn Elliott, Elliott Aviation Aircraft Sales, Inc., and Elliott Jets
The plaintiffs appeal a district court order dismissing their claims without prejudice based on a forum-selection clause.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller appoints new consumer advocate
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has appointed Jennifer Easler as consumer advocate for regulated utility issues. Easler replaces Mark Schuling, who retired Jan. 10 after serving as consumer advocate since January 2011.

Man requests 'trial by combat' with Japanese swords to settle custody battle with ex-wife
A Kansas man asked an Iowa court to grant his motion for trial by combat, so he can meet his ex-wife and her attorney "on the field of battle where (he) will rend their souls from their corporal bodies."
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Real Estate & Tax Attorneys
Bradley & Riley PC

Vice President Legal, Secretary, and General Counsel
Grinnell Mutual

Assistant Ethics Counsel
State of Iowa Judicial Branch

Experienced Associate
Harrison Moreland Webber Simplot & Maxwell, P.C.

Attorney/Associate - Maahs & Walleck, Spirit Lake, IA

Associate Director, Legal - Cambridge Investment Research, Fairfield, IA

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

Litigation Attorney - Crary Huff Law Firm, Sioux City, IA

Assistant City Attorney - City of Iowa City, Iowa City, IA

Health Associate - Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Minnesota

Associate General Counsel - Wright Service Corp., West Des Moines, IA

Associate Attorney - Dobberstein Law Firm, LLC, Brookfield, WI

Staff Attorney - Iowa Legal Aid, Des Moines, IA

Assistant Attorney General - Iowa Department of Justice - Attorney General, Mason City, IA

Assistant Crawford County Attorney - Crawford County Attorney, Denison, IA

Staff Attorney - Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA), Des Moines, IA


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