August 9, 2017  Past Issues

ISBA YLD proposes changes to ABA accreditation

An Iowa YLD resolution proposing changes to the ABA group responsible for law school accreditation standards will be argued in Manhattan on Thursday.

ISBA YLD President Thomas Hillers will argue resolution C-2017-7 during the meeting, which is occurring alongside the ABA Annual Meeting in New York City. The Legal Ed Section is responsible for the law school accreditation standards, which are viewed by some critics as being causative in the rising cost of law school tuition.

The resolution seeks to guarantee that two of the 21 voting positions on the Legal Ed Section Council will be held for young attorneys. Ten of the 21 positions are typically filled with individuals who are members of law school faculties, and this resolution would supplant two of those reserved positions for young attorneys. Currently, one of the positions is reserved for a law student, and the other for an ABA YLD liaison who is entitled to attend open meetings, but does not have the authority to vote.

The director of the section recently submitted a proposal to the council to permanently remove the law student and ABA YLD liaison position. The Iowa YLD is leading the charge to guarantee that young attorneys have an active, voting voice when it comes to the law school accreditation standards.

ISBA On-Demand catalog now includes Rule 39.18 seminar

The ISBA catalog of on-demand CLE seminars has recently been updated to include a discussion on death and disability planning required by Iowa Court Rule 39.18.

The seminar offers two state hours of credit which includes two hours of ethics credit and features Tre Critelli and Paul Wieck, the current and former directors of the Office of Professional Regulation.

To view the seminar, members can order it here.  A form succession plan agreement is also available for use on the page. The rest of the on-demand catalog can be found here.

Responses sought in attorney gender bias survey

Last spring, the ISBA’s Federal Practice Committee sponsored “Gender Matters: Confronting Bias and Unprofessional Conduct Towards Attorneys,” a seminar that brought together lawyers and judges to engage in substantial conversations about the fact of continuing gender bias in the legal profession. At this year’s Federal Practice Seminar the Federal Practice Committee is putting together a follow-up panel to address the issues raised in the spring seminar, for a wider audience. In an effort to gain a better view of what is going on in Iowa, the panel members have created an online, anonymous survey for ISBA members on gender bias.

Even if you have not personally experienced an instance of bias, please include any stories you have heard from a close friend or relative. Also, be sure to include whether you or someone you know has changed jobs due to gender bias. Here is the link to the survey:

This information will remain completely anonymous and will only be used to assist in the committee’s preparation for the December meeting. Please respond to the survey before Thursday, Aug. 17.


Five candidates apply for District 8A judicial vacancy

District Judge Annette Scieszinski retired Dec. 31, 2016, and began her duties as senior judge for the 8th District on Jan. 1, 2017.

Following the retirement of Judge Scieszinski, Chief Justice Mark Cady, due to the state budget crisis, delayed the process for filling the vacancy until further notice. Chief Justice Cady lifted the delay and, on June 26, the Secretary of State gave the 8th Judicial District permission to begin the process of filling the vacancy.

Applications for the 8A judicial vacancy were closed at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3. Five candidates submitted their applications:

  • Robert E. Breckenridge, II
  • Crystal S. Cronk
  • Daniel P. Kitchen
  • Gary E. Oldenburger
  • Rebecca L. Petig

Interviews will be conducted on Friday, Aug. 11, at the Keokuk County Courthouse in Sigourney. The interviews will be open for public observation and listening, however commission deliberations and voting will not be open to the public.

The Commission will submit the names of two nominees to Governor Kim Reynolds who will then appoint one within 30 days.


Creighton University named Michael J. Kelly interim dean of the School of Law Aug. 1. Kelly, who has been a member of the school's faculty for 15 years, replaces Paul McGreal, who held the post since 2015.

Kelly is the author and co-author of five books and over 30 articles on international and Native American law, and his widely cited work is among the top three percent downloaded from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN). He is also president of the U.S. National Chapter of L’Association International du Droit Pénal.

The school said in its release announcing the selection of Kelly that it will provide updates in the coming year on the search for a permanent dean.

Registration still available for Justice fore all Golf OUting

Registration for the Central Iowa Justice Fore All Golf Outing, to be held at the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City, is still open until Aug. 31. The tournament, hosted by the ISBA Young Lawyers' Division, will begin at noon Sept. 7.

The four-person best ball tournament includes lunch, beverage tickets and prizes. Registrants can join as a team or as individuals to be placed with others. Sponsorships are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register as a golfer or sponsor, visit the event page.

Understanding S corporations among free webinars offered by IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering a number of free webinars for tax practitioners the rest of this month and early next month.

Included in the offerings are a two-part series entitled “Understanding S Corporations," and a two-part series on “Understanding Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) and the ITIN Renewal Process.” Both parts of the ITIN webinar are being offered tomorrow (Aug. 10).

All of the webinars are 60 minutes long. For more information and to register for any of the free webinars, click on this link, select the webinar(s) you want and fill out the required information.

In addition to the webinars listed at the above link, the IRS is offering a 30-minute webinar entitled “Reminders for Form 2290 – Heavy Vehicle Highway Use Tax Return” on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and Wednesday, Aug. 16. That webinar will focus on federal highway use tax responsibilities, advantages of e-filing Form 2290 and IRS resources for the trucking industry.

To register or to ask questions about the webinar: email and include your name, email address and the date of the session you want to attend.


Senate Judiciary Committee approved two nominees for Iowa's U.S. attorneys
Sen. Chuck Grassley announced Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two nominees to serve as Iowa’s U.S. attorneys.
Cedar Rapids Gazette

Thanks to shrinking class sizes, a greater percentage of new law grads find employment
The percentage of law grads obtaining jobs requiring bar passage has increased for the third year in a row, rising from 66.6 percent for the class of 2015 to 67.7 for the class of 2016, according to findings released Wednesday by the National Association for Law Placement.
ABA Journal

Chicago to sue feds over funding threats to sanctuary cities
Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government. On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.
Iowa Public Radio

Law Life: Lawyers and social media in 2017, by the numbers
Until recently, lawyers have been reticent to use social media, insisting that it was a passing fad. However, because social media has increasingly cropped up as important evidence in cases, lawyers’ attitudes have begun to change, as they realize that it can be a valuable tool, both in litigation and in marketing.
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Exchange Officer - IPE 1031, West Des Moines, IA

Litigation Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Intellectual Property, Data Security and Privacy Attorney - McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, Omaha, NE

Legal Secretary 2 - Iowa Department of Revenue, Des Moines, IA

City Attorney - City of Ames, Ames, IA

Administrative Assistant - City Attorney's Office - City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, IA

Estate Planning Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Staff Attorney - Disability Rights Iowa, Des Moines, IA

Attorney - Brady Preston Gronlund PC, Cedar Rapids, IA

Business Litigation Associate - Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Des Moines, IA

Real Estate Attorney - BrownWinick Law Firm, Des Moines, IA

Legal Assistant - Otto Law Office PLLC, Newton, IA

HR Compliance Manager - Heartland Financial USA, Inc., Dubuque, IA

Director of Policy and Legal Services - Iowa Association of School Boards, Des Moines, IA


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

Marina S. Grabchuk, Belin McCormick, Des Moines, IA

Anyone with questions or comments on the above should contact: Dave Ewert at the Office of Professional Regulation, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319; Phone: 515-725-8029.


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