Announcements

  • Register for Next Week's Bloethe Tax School

    Bloethe Tax School is the foremost CLE conference for Iowa’s tax professionals and the program attendees look forward to all year. Participate Dec. 1-3 in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or attend via the live webinar format to hear discussions on these highlighted presentations:

    • Tax Rates and Tables - Prof. Roger McEowen, Professor of Agricultural Law and Taxation at Washburn University School of Law
    • Tax Forms and Examples - Daniel Fischer, Kohorst & Fischer Law Firm PLLC and Brandon Buck, Moore McKibben Goodman & Lorenz LLP
    • Iowa Department of Revenue Update - Kurt Konek, Iowa Department of Revenue
    • Planning During Times of Uncertainty - Paul Morf, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC and Kyle Wilcox, Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC
    • Impact of Recent Legislative Changes on 2021 Returns - Kristine Tidgren, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation
    • Asset Protection Planning - David Repp, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C.

    Register today and earn 15 state CLE hours which includes 1 diversity and 1 ethics hour. 
  • November Iowa Lawyer now available online

    The November 2021 issue of The Iowa Lawyer magazine has been posted to the ISBA’s website. The cover article is entitled “Moving targets: Vaccine mandates in the Iowa workplace” and discusses COVID-19 and what attorneys need to know to counsel employer clients. It also discusses how Iowa’s vaccination laws interface with federal laws.

    The issue also features “Potential in the pandemic” and what that means for law firms, particularly regarding diversity. In addition, there are articles on the Secretary of State’s Fastrack Filing system and the updates coming to it, and the ISBA Board of Governors’ fall quarterly meeting. President Anjela Shutts talks about the impact COVID-19 has had on women, especially working women, and urges women attorneys to be kind to themselves and to be authentic in their personal and professional lives.

    You can read the November issue here. The printed magazine is scheduled to be mailed next week.


  • CLE: Navigating Risk in Law Practice (Nov. 30)

    A mistake may damage an attorney’s case and might also threaten the relationship with a client or even a position at a firm. But failing to respond appropriately to a mistake will jeopardize a legal professional’s license and career.

    This live webinar presentation will examine an attorney’s duties related to error disclosure, what those duties require and why attorneys should take these duties seriously.

    REGISTER HERE


    SPEAKERS
    Theresa Garthwaite, Risk Control Specialist, Lawyers Professional Liability, CNA Global Specialty Lines
    Tracy Kepler, Risk Control Consulting Director for Risk Control Consulting Director, Global Specialty, Lawyers Professional Liability at CNA Insurance

    SPECIAL OFFER
    ISBA members who attend this CLE and are CNA policy holders are eligible to receive up to a 7.5% credit on their policy premium for two policy years. The discount is per lawyer and will be applied at the next insurance renewal.

    If you are insured by CNA please remember to include your CNA policy number when you are registering for this webinar. You can find your policy number at the top of your declaration page of your policy.

    CLE CREDIT (approved)
    2 state hours which includes 2 ethics hours

    REGISTRATION FEES
    ISBA Members  - $70
    ISBA YLD Members (Years 1-3) - $40
    Non-ISBA Members - $85
    Law Students - Free

    Sponsored by Lockton Affinity, CNA and The Iowa State Bar Association

  • Chief judges appointed for state's district courts

    Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen has appointed the following district court judges as chief judges for a two-year term, beginning Jan. 1:

    • First Judicial District - Kellyann M. Lekar, Waterloo
    • Second Judicial District - James M. Drew, Hampton
    • Third Judicial District - Patrick Tott, Sioux City
    • Fifth Judicial District - Michael D. Huppert, Des Moines
    • Sixth Judicial District - Lars G. Anderson, Iowa City
    • Seventh Judicial District - Marlita A. Greve, Davenport
    • Eighth Judicial District - Myron Gookin, Fairfield


    Judge Jeffrey L. Larson was appointed chief judge of the Fourth Judicial District by Iowa Supreme Court Justice Edward Mansfield. His two-year term also begins on Jan. 1.

  • Federal Practice Seminar offers in-person and remote attendance in 2021

    This year’s ISBA Federal Practice Seminar will take place on Friday, December 10. After an all-virtual event in 2020, this year’s attendees may choose to participate in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or virtually.

    The all-day CLE program is designed for Iowa attorneys new to federal practice as well as experienced attorneys looking to brush up on the basics. Attendees will hear from experts in the field about ESI discovery challenges, working with expert witnesses and communicating with jurors in the COVID era. Members of Iowa’s federal judiciary will provide their words of wisdom during Article III and Magistrate Judge panels.

    The seminar has been approved for 7 state CLE hours including 1.5 ethics hours.

    QUESTIONS?
    Contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.

  • Registration open for Bloethe Tax School

    Registration for one of The Iowa State Bar Association’s most popular CLE events, the Bloethe Tax School, is open for registration. The ISBA Taxation Section has scheduled this year’s conference for Dec. 1-3. Attendees may participate in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or online.

    Hear from local and national speakers on the latest tax legislation, tax forms and examples, medicaid eligibility for long-term care, estate planning issues and more.

    The three-day event has been applied for 15 state hours which includes one diversity and one ethics hour. Learn more and register at iowabar.org/taxschool. 
  • Judges still needed for middle school mock trial

    With the Iowa Middle School Mock Trial Program regional competitions starting next week, the need for volunteer judges is critical. Regional competitions will be held Nov. 3-22, and the state tournament on Dec. 1-2.

    ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Director John Wheeler says there are openings at all regional locations and times. Click on the "Register" link on this page to volunteer. Questions can be directed to Wheeler at 515-697-7882 or jwheeler@iowabar.org.

    Mock Trial
  • Second Annual Cady Day of Public Service block party set for Oct. 22

    The ISBA and Drake University Law School invite you to the Cady Day of Service Block Party, Friday, Oct. 22, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Law School (2621 Carpenter Avenue). The party is to celebrate all the volunteers and service done in honor of Cady Day. Enjoy a beverage (beer, wine or soda) compliments of the ISBA and Drake Law School. Food will be available for purchase from the Roadside Tacos food truck. Click here to RSVP

    If you haven't already committed to a public service project, there's still time to do so. Visit the Mark S. Cady Day of Public "Service webpage for suggestions on projects you can do, and to register a project. While on the webpage, consider taking the "22 in 22 Pro Bono Pledge" in honor of the Cady Day of Service. Click on this link on the webpage to be taken to the pledge sheet.
  • Family Law Seminar - Oct. 21-22

    The ISBA Family and Juvenile Law Section is presenting its annual seminar on Oct. 21-22. As in the past, the 2021 Family Law Seminar will consist of a wide variety of topics for the family law attorney, both new to the practice and those with substantial experience, including the following highlighted topics:

    · Family Law Update
    · Arbitration in Family Law Cases: A Look at Legislation
    · Changes to the Child Support Guidelines
    · Decision-Making When Joint Legal Custodians Disagree
    · Considerations for Dividing Retirement Assets in a Divorce

    Fifteen state CLE hours which includes 1 ethics, 2 juvenile and 1 wellness hour have been applied for. Attendees may participate either in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or online. View the event page to register and for additional information.

    QUESTIONS?
    Contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.

  • Volunteer today to be a mock trial judge

    The Iowa Middle School Mock Trial Program is looking for volunteer judges for its 2021 state tournament. This year's middle school regional competitions will be held Nov. 3-22, with the middle school state tournament scheduled for Dec. 1-2.

    You can register for a single regional competition, multiple rounds or both the regional competitions and state tournament. Volunteer judges will be asked to assess student performances as they take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses.

    Click on the "Register" link on this page to volunteer. Questions can be directed to ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Director John Wheeler at 515-697-7882 or jwheeler@iowabar.org.
  • Safe Harbors and Calm Seas: Navigating Risk in Law Practice

    A mistake may damage an attorney’s case and might also threaten the relationship with a client or even a position at a firm. But failing to respond appropriately to a mistake will jeopardize a legal professional’s license and career. This live webinar presentation will examine an attorney’s duties related to error disclosure, what those duties require and why attorneys should take these duties seriously.


    SPEAKERS
    Theresa Garthwaite, Risk Control Specialist, Lawyers Professional Liability, CNA Global Specialty Lines
    Tracy Kepler, Risk Control Consulting Director for Risk Control Consulting Director, Global Specialty, Lawyers Professional Liability at CNA Insurance

    SPECIAL OFFER
    ISBA members who attend this CLE and are CNA policy holders are eligible to receive up to a 7.5% credit on their policy premium for two policy years. The discount is per lawyer and will be applied at the next insurance renewal.

    CLE CREDIT (approved)
    2 state hours which includes 2 ethics hours

    REGISTRATION FEES
    ISBA Members  - $70
    ISBA YLD Members (Years 1-3) - $40
    Non-ISBA Members - $85
    Law Students - Free

    Sponsored by Lockton Affinity, CNA and The Iowa State Bar Association

  • Join the "22 hours in 2022" pro bono pledge to honor Chief Justice Cady

    This year, as the Iowa legal community celebrates Pro Bono Month and Cady Day of Service in October, the Iowa Judicial Branch is encouraging all attorneys to pledge to provide at least 22 hours of pro bono service in 2022 in honor of the late Chief Justice Mark Cady. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen, on behalf of the Iowa Supreme Court, has written a letter to Iowa attorneys about this pledge that you can read here.

    Lawyers wishing to make the pledge can do so on the Cady Day of Service website. Registration forms completed on this website will be provided to the Iowa Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (for attorneys practicing in Polk County). Attorneys will be able to select the areas in which to volunteer and when to volunteer. Lawyers in government or corporate practice may serve on special panels. Professional liability insurance will be provided through the VLP programs at no cost to participating attorneys. 
  • You are invited to Iowa Legal Aid's annual fundraiser

    Iowa Legal Aid’s annual event, Equal Justice After Hours, is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14, from 5-7 p.m., at the Surety Hotel in downtown Des Moines. The event will highlight Iowa Legal Aid’s work in securing income and basic needs and preventing evictions during the COVID pandemic.

    Money raised through sponsorships and donations will be used to assist Iowa Legal Aid in its mission to help low-income Iowans achieve a stable income, safe and sustainable housing, freedom from domestic violence and access to health care. Even if you cannot attend, you can make a donation here.

    Contact Terri Bennett with questions at 515-400-3596 or tbennett@iowalaw.org.
  • ISBA Family Law Seminar - Oct. 21-22

    The ISBA Family Law Seminar is set to take place Oct. 21-22.  Attendees may participate either in-person at the ISBA Building in Des Moines or online.  The ISBA Family and Juvenile Law Section looks forward to this year’s seminar as they have organized a wide variety of topics for the family law attorney, both new to the practice and those with substantial experience. Highlighted topics include:

    • Family Law Update
    • Changes to the Child Support Guidelines
    • Immigration and Family Law Issues
    • CINA and TPR Mediation
    • Considerations for Dividing Retirement Assets in a Divorce
    • How Recent Tax Changes are Complicating Divorce Attorneys’ Lives


    Fifteen state hours which includes 1 ethics, 3 juvenile and 1 wellness hour have been applied for. View the event page to register and for additional information. 

    QUESTIONS?
    Contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.

  • Renew now or lose out on ISBA member benefits and services

    By Dwight Dinkla, ISBA Executive Director
    Our goal is to make membership in our state bar association indispensable to the Iowa-licensed attorney. The ISBA supports you in your practice with numerous member benefits, connections with colleagues and the public and learning opportunities to help you keep pace with changes in the law. In addition to the many services provided, you as an association member have a strong voice at the state capitol because of the bar's legislative program.

    Recognizing that you are not mandatorily obligated to belong to the ISBA, we thank you for belonging to the bar association and promise to do our best in service to you.

    For those members who haven't renewed yet for fiscal year 2021-2022, the final deadline is tomorrow, Sept. 30. Starting Oct. 1, ISBA services will be cut off.

     

    Please renew your 2021-2022 membership today online at iowabar.org for uninterrupted service. If you have any questions about the renewal process, please contact our membership director Mary Hill at 515-697-7870 or mhill@iowabar.org.

  • ABA releases ethics opinion on passive investment in alternative business structures

    On Sept. 8, the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released a formal opinion that marks its first guidance for the legal profession on how existing ABA model rules might affect whether and how lawyers can invest in alternative business structures (ABS) when those lawyers practice in non-ABS jurisdictions. Read the opinion here.

     

    The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility periodically issues ethics opinions to guide lawyers, courts and the public in interpreting and applying ABA model ethics rules. Other recent ABA ethics opinions are available on the ISBA website here.

  • Busy ISBA CLE schedule in September

    During the last half of September, The Iowa State Bar Association is offering various high-profile CLE programs which organizers believe appeal to both the newest member of the profession and the most-seasoned attorney. Highlighted CLE programs taking place this month include:
    • Sept. 21 – Ag Law Seminar
    • Sept. 22 – Federal Practice Primer
    • Sept. 23 – Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Seminar
    • Sept. 24 – Corporate Counsel and Trade Regulation Seminar

    These events offer both an in-person and online attendance option and have been approved for CLE credit. To view all upcoming ISBA CLE programming, including additional September seminars and the free Fastcase webinars, visit the ISBA CLE Calendar.
  • CLE: Women Navigating Life and the Legal Profession

    Women Navigating Life and the Legal Profession
    Sept. 13
    12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
    Live Webinar

    A multi-generational panel of women attorneys provide insights and perspectives on practicing law pre-pandemic, during the pandemic and post-pandemic. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives make this balancing act easier to navigate. Panelists will suggest to attendees best practices and strategies moving forward.


    SPEAKERS
    Marlene Garvis, Marlene Garvis, LLC (view bio)
    Megan Merritt, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. (view bio)
    Lisa Reel-Schmidt, Assistant Attorney General, Iowa Attorney General's Office
    Kristen Shaffer, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll P.L.C. (view bio)

    MODERATOR
    Emily Chafa, Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee Chair

    CLE CREDIT (approved)
    1 state hour which includes 1 diversity and inclusion hour

    REGISTRATION FEES
    ISBA Members - $40
    ISBA YLD Members (Years 1-3) - $25
    Non-ISBA Members - $55
    Law Students - Free

    Sponsored by The Iowa State Bar Association Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee
  • September CLE Opportunities

    From now until the end of September, the ISBA has 12 CLE opportunities available for you to choose from. Highlights include the Bridge the Gap Seminar (Sept. 9-10), Ag Law Seminar (Sept. 21), Federal Practice Primer (Sept. 22), Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Seminar (Sept. 23) and Corporate Counsel and Trade Regulation Seminar (Sept. 24). View all upcoming programs, including the free IowaDocs and Fastcase webinars, at www.iowabar.org/calendar.

    QUESTIONS?
    Please contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.
  • Seeking volunteers to serve on ISBA Bar Insurance Committee

    ISBA leadership is currently accepting applications to serve on the Bar Insurance Committee. The committee, chaired by Cedar Rapids attorney Phil Brooks, is currently comprised of six bar association members. The ISBA desires to add three more members with particular attention to geographical diversity, so bar members practicing west of I-35 are encouraged to apply.

    The ISBA has endorsed insurance programs covering professional liability (malpractice), medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, life and accidental death. Committee members receive and review the reports provided by endorsed insurance brokers. During the upcoming year, the Bar Insurance Committee will also study whether the ISBA should adopt an association health insurance plan, commonly referred to as an “AHP,” and make a recommendation to the ISBA Board of Governors.

    The initial term of service on the committee is until June 2024. Meetings for the foreseeable future will be conducted in a hybrid format (in-person and Zoom options), and the number of committee meetings over the next calendar year will be no more than three (most meetings last 90 minutes or fewer).

    If you are interested in being considered for appointment to the committee by ISBA President Anjie Shutts, please contact Executive Director Dwight Dinkla at ddinkla@iowabar.org.
  • Iowa Supreme Court reissues mask requirement in court-controlled spaces

    On Friday, Aug. 27, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a supervisory order requiring face coverings for all people entering court-controlled areas in all 99 counties, regardless of a person’s vaccination status or a county or area’s positivity rate or transmission status.

    The order specifies that signage in court-controlled areas shall be modified to reflect this change, and states “judges, in their discretion, may permit the removal of face coverings by participants or take other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in court proceedings.” The court states it will continue to monitor circumstances and update this order as necessary.
  • COVID-19 update regarding in-person events and ISBA office protocol

    A message from Executive Director Dwight Dinkla
    The ISBA takes the health and safety of our members, guests and staff seriously. Out of concern for the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Iowa, the ISBA will re-institute its face mask policy for visitors who come to the ISBA headquarters in Des Moines, effective immediately. A sign reminding visitors to mask up, as well as disposable masks for public use, are now placed at the entrance to the building.

    We plan to continue offering in-person CLE events and meetings at the bar office, with capacity restrictions in mind, but ask that all attendees wear masks for the safety of themselves and others. We will also continue to make events accessible remotely when possible. Please view the ISBA COVID-19 in-person meeting disclaimer, and note that the ISBA reserves the right to cancel or reschedule an event or convert it to a virtual event if health and safety restrictions require it. ISBA members who attend off-site in-person CLEs will also be expected to follow the COVID-related policies specified by the venue.

    We monitor a variety of sources, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal, state and local health guidance for the latest public health updates, as well as applicable restrictions on events and gatherings, and will update policies as needed.
  • Second Annual Cady Day of Public Service planned for Oct. 22

    The Second Annual Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service will take place on Friday, Oct. 22. Cady Day of Public Service is dedicated to the late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, who passed away in 2019. Members of the state’s legal community are invited to participate in some form of public service or pro bono work to honor Cady’s devotion to the pursuit of justice.

    This event is a collaboration between Drake University Law School, The Iowa State Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Division, Iowa Legal Aid, the Polk County Bar Association and the Polk County VLP Project. Last year’s inaugural Cady Day of Public Service saw hundreds of volunteers throughout the state unite for community service events, free legal clinics and educational programming.

    Visit the Mark S. Cady Day of Public Service website for more information or to register an event or project for 2021. For more information, contact Theresa Howard at theresa.howard@drake.edu.
  • ISBA wins Harrison Tweed Award for providing legal services to underserved

    The Iowa State Bar Association was honored with the 2021 Harrison Tweed Award for its work to boost legal services for the underserved during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award was presented at the virtual business meeting of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) on Friday, Aug. 6, during the 2021 ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting.

     

    The Harrison Tweed Award was created in 1956 to recognize the extraordinary achievements of state and local bar associations that develop or significantly expand projects or programs to increase access to civil legal services for persons in poverty, or criminal defense services for indigents. The award is named for the late Harrison Tweed, a leader in the promotion of free legal services to the poor, and is presented annually by SCLAID and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, a nonprofit association devoted to the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel.

     

    Both the ISBA and the New York State Bar Association were selected for their exemplary work in responding to legal needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa bar, in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid and the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project, developed a free legal hotline for individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19, providing a source of information and legal assistance to Iowans and addressing a wide array of legal needs arising out of the pandemic.

  • Fulfill Your CLE Requirements at the Bridge the Gap Seminar

    The Bridge the Gap Seminar is a unique two-day conference (Sept. 9-10) full of valuable information which will benefit new Iowa attorneys throughout their careers. Sponsored by the ISBA Young Lawyers Division and originally developed to “bridge the gap” between the theory of law school to the practice of law, the annual Bridge the Gap Seminar has morphed into a grab-bag of general practice subjects that appeal to the transactional and litigation attorney alike. Attendees also enjoy the all-in-one subject matter structure which allows practitioners to satisfy their entire CLE requirements in one seminar.

    The seminar will be held Sept. 9-10 at the West Des Moines Marriott in West Des Moines. A live webinar option will also be made available to those who prefer to attend virtually. 

    CLE CREDIT (approved)
    15 state hours which includes 1 ethics, 1 wellness, 1 diversity and inclusion and 1 juvenile hour (juvenile credit is pending)
  • New date for Cady Cup Golf Tournament

    The annual Cady Cup Golf Tournament is an event for law school graduates, faculty, staff and students of Drake University Law School and the University of Iowa College of Law. All are invited to participate - regardless of skill level - to show support for their law schools and raise funds for Iowa Legal Aid.

    Heavy rains in mid-May left the Echo Valley Golf Course in Norwalk too wet to play on the original scheduled date of May 17, disappointing the 104 golfers registered for the Cady Cup event. A new date of Monday, Sept. 20, has now been reserved at Echo Valley.

    The Cady Cup, formerly known as the Dean's Cup, was renamed in 2019 in honor of the late Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady. Click here to view the registration form.
  • REMINDER: Renew your ISBA dues now or lose out

    If you have not yet renewed your ISBA dues for 2021-2022, you risk losing access to the many crucial member benefits, services and programs that help you succeed in your legal practice. You should have recently received a hard-copy membership renewal form with instructions on how to renew in the spring, but you may renew your membership online at any time by visiting  iowabar.org. Click the “Sign In” link at the top of the homepage and, once you are logged in, you will see a “Renew Your Membership Now” prompt on your Manage Profile page.

    You may contact the ISBA with any questions about your membership at membership@iowabar.org.
  • Advertise your ISBA membership to your clients

    Take advantage of the ISBA Member Mark Program to advertise your ISBA membership to potential clients. Use the Member Mark or Member Firm Mark on your business cards, website, letterhead, email signature or anywhere you advertise to show the public your commitment to the profession.

    Using the Member Mark is a completely free benefit included in your ISBA membership. Simply fill out and submit the ISBA Member Mark License Agreement online. More details can be found here.
  • Secretary of State launches expedited notary renewal through Fast Track Filing

    Iowans can now renew their Notary Commissions online through the Fast Track Filing system. Notaries can file an Application for Renewal of Appointment through the site and utilize the Fast Track Filing Dashboard to view all their completed renewals.

    This latest addition to the Fast Track Filing system is just one of many in recent years. In January 2020, biennial report filings launched on the website. In April 2020, six new types of filings were made available. Fast Track Filing users can also form a business entity, change their registered agent, file fictitious names, complete UCC filings and more.

    To view the Fast Track Filing system, click here. For more information about Iowa notaries, click here.
  • ISBA debuts new succession planning guide as member benefit

    In order to assist Iowa's aging population of attorneys with succession planning questions and concerns, the ISBA has debuted a new handbook, entitled "Succession Planning Guide for Iowa Lawyers." This guide is intended to assist Iowa practitioners in implementing Iowa Court Rule 39.18, Iowa Court Rule 45.11 and Iowa Rule of Professional Conduct 32.1.3, which deal with attorney death or disability, and to prepare a practice for maintenance, closure or sale.

    The primary focus of this guide is on planning by sole practitioners. However, it also offers guidance for a firm to ease the transition when an attorney member or employee becomes disabled or dies. Click here to view the guide.
  • Special LawPay offer for ISBA members ends soon




    LawPay
    , the ISBA's preferred online payment solution, is committed to helping lawyers get paid faster and more securely by providing billing and payment resources alongside client-first service. LawPay also ensures your payments are accepted in compliance with IOLTA guidelines.

    During the month of June, LawPay is running a special offer to firms that come on board. Sign up by June 30, and pay no monthly fee for the rest of the year plus the first three months of 2022 as an ISBA member benefit.

    Take advantage of this member benefit today! 

  • ISBA members invited to attend upcoming Annual Meeting of the Corporation


    Each year during the ISBA's Annual Meeting in June, all ISBA members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting of the Corporation, which occurs as part of the Board of Governors' June quarterly meeting. Because the in-person annual meeting was cancelled this year due to the pandemic (and the CLE portion was held virtually last week), members are invited to instead attend the business meeting of members on Wednesday, June 23, online.

    This meeting will convene at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Please click this link to join the meeting. The agenda includes outgoing President Jerry Schnurr’s remarks and the passing of the gavel to incoming President Anjie Shutts, remarks by Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen, reports from the two law school deans and a report on the activities of the Iowa State Bar Foundation. View the full agenda here.
  • Still time to register for Annual Meeting CLE program and social event

    Iowa’s legal community will gather virtually for the 2021 ISBA Annual Meeting CLE program beginning next week. From June 7-11, live CLE presentations will be held each day in various practice areas including probate, family law, real estate, commercial and bankruptcy, ag law and more. Special educational tracks are also planned specifically for judges and young lawyers. The complete CLE program can be found here. To register, visit the here.

    IN-PERSON ANNUAL MEETING SOCIAL EVENT
    On Thursday, June 10, from 4-7 p.m., the ISBA invites all 2021 Annual Meeting CLE attendees to join their colleagues and ISBA staff in-person at Truman's KC Pizza Tavern (400 SE 6th St., Des Moines) for complimentary appetizers and beverages. Please indicate attendance when registering for annual meeting.

    If you are already registered to attend the annual meeting CLE program, contact ISBA Meetings Coordinator Lisa Hanson at lhanson@iowabar.org to RSVP for Thursday's social event.

    Free parking is available at the ISBA Building (625 E. Court Ave., Des Moines), which is a short walk from the restaurant.

    To learn more, visit the official annual meeting event page.
  • OPR seeks attorneys to serve on boards and commissions

    The Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) has begun the process of making board and commission recommendations to the Iowa Supreme Court for terms beginning July 1. The selection process begins June 3, so applications are due as soon as possible.


    Lawyer members are needed on the Grievance Commission in the following districts: 1B, 2B, 3A, 4, 5A, 5B, 5C, 6, 7 and 8B. Lay members are needed in 1B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5C, 6, 8A and 8B. There are also openings on the Attorney Disciplinary Board, Continuing Legal Education Commission and the Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Most positions are for a three-year term. More details and an online application form can be found here.

  • Last chance to weigh in on future of pandemic-era court changes

    The deadline for Iowa attorneys to provide comment on whether pandemic-related court rules, policies or practices should be retained, modified or discontinued is this Friday, May 21.

    This Summary of Current Iowa Court COVID-Related Processes Form summarizes changes implemented between March 12, 2020, and Nov. 30, 2020, in response to the pandemic. ISBA members are invited to comment via the fillable PDF, then email it to Lessonslearned@iowacourts.gov.

    The Iowa Supreme Court 
    established the "Lessons Learned Task Force" to make recommendations to the court by June 4.
  • Join your colleagues in bettering the profession with the ISBA YLD Diversity Pledge

    The Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD) recently launched its “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Pledge,” encouraging Iowa's legal employers to do their part to make the legal profession in Iowa more diverse, equitable and inclusive. The feedback so far has been very positive, with many firms signing on.

    "Thank you very much for developing this Diversity Pledge and publicizing it to the Iowa bar. I can’t tell you how moved I am by your action," wrote one retired attorney in response to the pledge rollout. "Your actions give me hope that our profession can change in meaningful and very needed ways."

    The pledge consists of voluntary, concrete action items that you and your legal employer can take, with a checklist to track your progress. The pledge concludes on April 1, 2022, so you have until then to complete the required number of items based on the size of your firm or office.

    “I have no doubt that most employers want to make DEI a priority, but many simply don’t know where to start,” said Abhay Nadipuram, YLD Diversity Committee co-chair. “The pledge is a great place to start for those employers who are looking for tools to make DEI a priority in their workplace."

    Legal employers that complete the pledge will be recognized in the Iowa Lawyer magazine, on the iowabar.org website and at ISBA Annual Meeting 2022.

  • How to participate in 2021 ABA Lobby Day

    Iowa attorneys who are ABA members are invited to join ABA President Patricia Lee Refo and bar leaders from across the country for a free annual lobbying event taking place April 20-21. ISBA leaders typically travel to Washington, D.C. for ABA Day, but this year it is all happening virtually, providing a unique opportunity for all attorneys to advocate on issues important to the legal profession from their home offices.

    The ABA's advocacy efforts this year focus on the pressing need for additional Legal Services Corporation funding due to the pandemic and proposed legislation to strengthen judicial security. Find out how you can get involved by clicking here.
  • Reminder: Email security made easy now free to members

    Emailing your client is convenient, but are you confident that it is safe? The ISBA has partnered with Trustifi to provide members a military-grade security service to better protect their firms and all communications. Beginning in 2021, the ISBA provided Trustifi email encryption free of charge to ISBA members. Support staff emails can be added for $25 per email annually.

    Click here to sign up for this service now. Members who have already registered for the service will have it renewed without any future invoices. For more information, visit the Trustifi FAQ page, or request a demonstration.
  • YLD launches "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Pledge" for Iowa's legal employers

    The Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is committed to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion within Iowa’s legal profession. Many lawyers want to be part of the solution but lack direction on what attorneys can do to help make the profession more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

    Therefore, the YLD Diversity Committee has created a new “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Pledge,” consisting of voluntary, concrete action items that legal employers can take to be part of this important work. The pledge will begin tomorrow, April 1, and will conclude on April 1, 2022. You or your legal employer can start at any time, and those who complete the pledge will be recognized at the ISBA Annual Meeting in 2022.

    Click here to view the pledge action items and guidance for completion.

  • Iowa Supreme Court authorizes informal referrals to ILAP

    In order to help lawyers and judges who may be struggling with wellness, mental health and alcohol/substance abuse, the Iowa Supreme Court has authorized informal referrals from the Attorney Disciplinary Board to the Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program.

    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased the stress on Iowa attorneys and judges both personally and professionally. The Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program exists to help attorneys and judges in dealing with sources of stress.

    See details in the order dated March 11. This order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until further notice.

    The Iowa Lawyer Weekly has been publishing a weekly "Lawyer Wellness Corner" written by the director of the Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program. This week's column is entitled "What does a lawyer in need of help look like?" Please click here to view the Lawyer Wellness Corner page.
  • CLE and Client Security Reports Due March 10

    Active Iowa lawyers are required to file two reports, a CLE report and a Client Security report, by March 10 annually to maintain their law licenses. Both reports are filed via the online portal at the Iowa Court Admissions professional regulation site. Learn more about annual reporting requirements here.

    To aid you in completing your CLE report, the ISBA has compiled a list of all ISBA-sponsored CLEs, with credit information and activity ID numbers, that can be viewed here.

    Contact the ISBA CLE Department at (515) 697-7874, or email cle@iowabar.org, for questions concerning CLE credit of ISBA-sponsored events.
  • Place the 2021 ISBA Annual Meeting on Your Calendars

    The 2021 ISBA Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 7-11. Event organizers are working diligently to provide attendees the sensational collection of presentations the ISBA Annual Meeting is known for. Each day, live CLE presentations focusing on various practice areas will take place via a live webinar format.

    PROFESSIONAL TRACKS AVAILABLE

    • Ag Law
    • Attorney Wellness
    • Business Law
    • Case Law
    • Commercial and Bankruptcy
    • Diversity and Inclusion
    • Elder Law
    • Ethics
    • Family and Juvenile Law
    • Litigation
    • Probate
    • Real Estate

    SPECIAL PROGRAMMING for judges and the ISBA Young Lawyers Division

    Participants can attend one or multiple days of the conference to hear from some of the most acclaimed legal minds in Iowa and beyond – all while earning CLE credit from the comfort of their own home or office. 

    QUESTIONS?
    Please contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.

  • The need for meaningful connection has never been greater! Sign up as an ISBA leader

    By Anjie Shutts, ISBA President-elect
    Did you work remotely over the past year and miss the connections with your professional colleagues? Did you observe changes to your practice that made you wish you could help steer the legal profession to meet future challenges? Is your 2021 resolution to make new connections and further your career? Your best first step to accomplish these goals is to apply to serve on an ISBA section council or committee.

    The Iowa State Bar Association is currently accepting applications to serve on section councils and committees for 2021-2022. You can view the list of sections by visiting iowabar.org/sections; and the list of committees by visiting iowabar.org/committees. These small but incredibly influential groups, which span many practice and interest areas, are the lifeblood of our association. It is through them that we provide the services that are important to our members. These groups help put together CLE programs, propose legislation, create manuals and practice guides, and help the ISBA serve its members in countless other ways.

    Please go to iowabar.org/SectionSignUp to submit an online application for up to three section councils or committees by April 1. Please note that you must first be a member of a section to apply for a section council position. Each application will be evaluated, and I will make the appointments for these positions later in the spring, to take effect after the ISBA Annual Meeting in June.
  • Attorneys needed to serve as judges for virtual high school mock trial tournament

    By Jerry Schnurr III, ISBA President
    The Iowa High School Mock Trial Tournament is quickly approaching, and this year it is easier than ever for attorneys to serve as judges because the tournament will be conducted virtually.

    This year's high school preliminary rounds of competition will be held March 1 through March 13 (except Sunday, March 7), with the high school state tournament scheduled for March 23-26. Click here to view available judging slots for the regional tournament(s) and/or for the state tournament.

    All rounds will be conducted via Zoom and ballots will be done electronically. Volunteer judges will be asked to assess student performances as they take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses. Last year, more than 600 members of the bar assisted as judges and coaches in tournaments held throughout Iowa.

    You can volunteer by clicking on the "Register" link or by contacting ISBA Center for Law & Civic Education Director John Wheeler, at 515-697-7882 or jwheeler@iowabar.org.

  • New Iowa CLE requirements in 2021

    The Iowa Supreme Court has adopted the recommendation of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education that attorneys be required to take one hour of attorney wellness or diversity and inclusion each year. This adoption comes in light of national efforts, particularly by the American Bar Association, to encourage all states to require their lawyers to take courses in diversity and mental health and substance abuse. Learn more about the new CLE requirements here.

    Under Iowa Court Rule 41.3(2) attorneys will be required to take one hour of attorney wellness CLE or one hour of diversity and inclusion CLE as part of their 15-hour annual CLE requirement. Attorneys will also be required to take one hour of “traditional” legal ethics.

    The new requirement is in effect for the calendar year 2021 reporting period, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, and ending Dec. 31, 2021. No courses offered or activities taken prior to Jan. 1, 2021, will be eligible for the new attorney wellness or diversity and inclusion CLE requirement. Attorneys will submit the CLE they attended in calendar year 2021 on their 2022 CLE Reports, which must be filed on or before March 10, 2022.
  • Safe Harbors and Calm Seas: Navigating Risk in Law Practice (Live Webinar)


    REGISTER ONLINE

    A mistake may damage an attorney’s case and might also threaten the relationship with a client or even a position at a firm. But failing to respond appropriately to a mistake will jeopardize a legal professional’s license and career. This live webinar presentation will examine an attorney’s duties related to error disclosure, what those duties require and why attorneys should take these duties seriously.


    SPEAKERS
    Theresa Garthwaite, Risk Control Specialist, Lawyers Professional Liability, CNA Global Specialty Lines
    Matthew Fitterer, Risk Control Attorney, CNA Insurance

    SPECIAL OFFER
    ISBA members who attend this CLE and are CNA policy holders are eligible to receive up to a 7.5% credit on their policy premium for two policy years. The discount is per lawyer and will be applied at the next insurance renewal.

    If you are insured by CNA please remember to include your CNA policy number when you are registering for this webinar. You can find your policy number at the top of your declaration page of your policy.

    CLE CREDIT (approved)
    2 state hours which includes 2 ethics hours

    REGISTRATION FEES
    ISBA Members  - $65
    ISBA YLD Members (Years 1-3) - $35
    Non-ISBA Members - $80
    Law Students - Free

    Sponsored by Lockton Affinity, CNA and The Iowa State Bar Association

  • 2020 ISBA CLE credit information now available

    To assist attorneys with the reporting of their 2020 CLE credits, the ISBA has created this event list which includes CLE titles, state, ethics and juvenile credit and activity numbers for each program. Credit information for ISBA On-Demand CLE and Fastcase events can also be found on this page. The information should be used to calculate CLE hours when attorneys file their CLE report with the Commission on Continuing Legal Education. Annual reports are due by March 10.

    The Commission on Continuing Legal Education requires Iowa’s lawyers and judges to complete a minimum of 15 hours and two ethics hours (ethics reporting required in 2021) of legal education accredited by the commission each calendar year. This requirement helps ensure that lawyers and judges keep abreast of the latest legal developments.

    Contact the ISBA CLE Department at (515) 697-7874 or email cle@iowabar.org for questions concerning CLE credit of ISBA-sponsored events.

    Learn more about annual reporting requirements.
  • Special 13-week Mediation CLE Event Begins Feb. 4

    Join nationally-recognized mediators, authors and educators Richard Calkins, Joe Happe and Case Ellis for Mediation and Arbitration Techniques: 40 Hours of Insights, a 13-week live webinar series accredited for 40 hours of state CLE.

    The series takes place Feb. 4 - Apr. 29, meeting every Thursday from 3-6:15 p.m., via Zoom. It will include an introduction to mediation, the caucus form of mediation, qualities of a peacemaker, ethical considerations, mediating by Zoom, other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, advanced mediator techniques and arbitration. The program has considerable hands-on training and requires each participant to complete two full mediations as a mediator.

    Event organizers encourage interested parties to register early as attendance is limited to the first 21 registrants. 

  • What to expect out of the 2021 legislative session

    The 2021 Iowa Legislative Session begins on Monday, Jan. 11, the same day that you are invited to join the ISBA Legislative Counsel team for a preview of priorities and expectations for the legislative year ahead.

    A free 2021 legislative preview live webinar event is scheduled for the noon hour on Monday, Jan. 11, sponsored by The Iowa State Bar Association Government Practice Section. Click here to register for this free event.

    Speakers include ISBA Assistant Legislative Counsels Doug Struyk and Jenny Dorman, of Carney & Appleby PLC. They will discuss the ISBA Affirmative Agenda, potential issues that may emerge during the session and the impact of the state budget. The seminar is approved for one hour of state CLE credit.
      
  • Greater value in 2021! Trustifi email encryption now offered free to members

    By Dwight Dinkla, ISBA Executive Director
    Never before have we been so ready to turn the page to a new year. Now that 2020 has finally come to an end, The Iowa State Bar Association is more committed than ever to help our members succeed. Our New Year’s resolution is to provide you even more value in 2021.

    As part of fulfilling this commitment to our members, we wish to announce that in 2021, we will begin to offer our email security service provided by Trustifi free to all members. (Licenses for support staff can be purchased for $25 annually.) Click here for more information and to learn how to sign up.
  • ILAP is here for you - Please reach out!

    From Dan Moore, President, Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program Board of Directors


    Please know that the Iowa Lawyers Assistance Program (ILAP) has always been, and especially now at this time of world-wide crisis, ready, willing and able to offer our help to Iowa lawyers, judges and law students who may be struggling.

    The members of the board of directors offer to share their experience, strength and hope with others. Additionally, members of The Iowa State Bar Association’s Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee are available. These services are in addition to contacting our ILAP Director Hugh Grady. Please remember that all communications are confidential. Click here for information about who to contact if you are struggling.

  • Notice of pending elections for State Judicial Nominating Commission

    Nominating petitions are now available for those who wish to have their names listed on the ballot to fill State Judicial Nominating Commission positions with terms that will expire on June 30, 2021. Click here for details.

    To obtain a nominating petition, or for more information about the upcoming vacancies, the legal requirements to serve on a commission and the elections, visit the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission website.

    If you wish to learn more about becoming a State Judicial Nominating Commissioner, read Article V, sections 15 and 16 of the Iowa Constitution and Iowa Code Chapter 46.

  • Meet your CLE requirements with the ISBA

    The ISBA is dedicated to meeting member’s CLE needs as the year comes to an end. With the bar’s upcoming schedule of live webinars and more than 30 on-demand courses available, look to the ISBA to satisfy your CLE requirements of 15 state hours and two ethics hours (ethics reporting required in 2021).

    End-of-year live webinars include:
    • Federal Practice Seminar – Dec. 11
    • Furloughs, Reductions in Force and Layoffs – Dec. 29
    • Avoiding the Ditches of Zealous Advocacy: A Review of the Rules and Cases – Dec. 31

    Visit the ISBA CLE Program overview page for all available options. For additional information regarding CLE requirements, visit the Office of Professional Regulation website.

    QUESTIONS?
    Please contact the ISBA CLE Department at cle@iowabar.org or 515-697-7874.