Iowa Association for Justice webinars on new civil rules (10/21, 11/11)

The Iowa Association for Justice (IAJ) will be presenting two webinars on the Iowa Supreme Court’s new discovery rules and trial procedures (October 21) and new rules for expedited civil actions (November 11).  The webinars feature three attorneys (two IAJ leaders and a leader from the Iowa Defense Counsel Association) who are members of Justice Mansfield’s Civil Justice Reform Task Force advisory committee.  The IAJ is also holding a day-long, hands-on trial advocacy summit for IAJ members on January 9, 2015, to show its members how to provide superior representation to their clients who elect to pursue claims in the expedited civil actions system.

Click here for more information.

Click here to register.

Next Bar Meeting Thurs., Feb. 21 @ C.R. Art Museum

The next meeting of the Linn County Bar Association will be held on Thursday, February 21, 2013, from 12 – 1 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art on Third Avenue SE across from Greene Square Park.  The meeting room is located on the third floor.  Parking is available behind the building on the Second Avenue side.  The speakers will be LCBA President-Elect (and newly appointed District Judge for the Sixth Judicial District) Mary Chicchelly of Seidl & Chicchelly, PLC and Jacob Koller of Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman, PLCThey will be speaking on collaborative law divorce.  CLE credit will be sought.

Lunch is $8.00.

RSVP’s are required only if you plan to attend.  If you are planning to attend, please respond to the email sent by the Attendance Committee.

If you have recently changed your e-mail address, or you know of an LCBA member whose e-mail address has changed, please notify me so that we may keep our e-mail list as accurate as possible.

REMEMBER: your RSVP’s are very important!  Thank you so much for your assistance in helping to provide an accurate attendance count for the caterers.

Kids First Law Center Cocktail Party & Fundraiser this Friday, May 11 – LIST OF AUCTION ITEMS!

Kids First Law Center will be holding its annual Cocktail Party & Fundraiser Friday, May 11 from 4:007:00 pm at at the newly renovated CSPS/Legion Arts building at 1103 3rd Street SE!  Once again, there will be many great auction items to bid on.  Entry is free and your first drink is on  Kids First, thanks to the generosity of this year’s sponsors:  Bradley & Riley, Bankers Trust and United Fire Group. Come, bid, and support our mission to help children of divorce. Friends and family are welcome.

This year, Kids First’s auction promises to be bigger and better than ever with more than 50 exciting items!  Auction items include:

Live Auction Items

  • Private party for 80 at Campbell Steele Gallery, catered by LJs + bar tab
  • Chicago Getaway: 2 nights at the Four Seasons, dinner at the Paris Club, two CityPass cards
  • Mother of the Year: order declaring Mother of the Year, Mother’s Day brunch for 4 at The Class Act, and more!
  • A Mediterranean Evening – Dinner for 10 in your home served by Nick & Cristiane Abou-Assaly
  • Eagle Ridge Getaway in Galena – customizable to your liking

Silent Auction Items

Sports & Outdoors

  • Chicago Cubs v. Pittsburgh Pirates game tickets (Aug 1 at Wrigley)
  • Iowa v. UNI football club tickets (Sept 15), with parking
  • Iowa v. Central Michigan football tickets (Sept 22), with parking
  • Kernels private suite, including 20 tickets
  • Golf for 3 at CRCC with Tom Peffer
  • YMCA family membership for 1 year
  • Private golf lessons from Elmcrest pros
  • Personal trainer at Elmcrest

Gourmet Gifts

  • Party poolside at Lynn Hartman’s home
  • Tuscan dinner for 8 delivered to your home by Tiffany & Melanie O’Donnell & Melanie DiBernardo
  • Magnum bottle of wine
  • Case of award-winning Zinfandel
  • Home brew and snack package
  • Gourmet cookie baskets
  • Share Wine Lounge gift card & electric wine bottle opener
  • Cupcakes for Six Months:  20 Lil’ Baby Cupcakes delivered monthly by Wright Touch Bake Shoppe
  • Templeton Rye glasses, DVD documentary and bottle of whiskey
  • Homemade bread courtesy of Mark Ogden
  • Mexican fiesta package: Tequila, margarita mixers, glasses, Rick Bayless cookbook and salsas
  • Dinner in Asia:  gift certificates from local Asian restaurants
  • Last Chance Girl Scout Cookies
  • Early Bird gift card

Art & Music

  • Brucemore Classics tickets (Night of the Iguana) with picnic dinner
  • Paramount Theatre architectural tour & Orchestra Iowa tickets
  • TCR’s “Hairspray” and backstage tour – tickets for 4
  • Tulip painting by Gary Connors-Boe
  • Framed watercolor by Darrel Wahlstrom & Art Museum membership
  • 8 hand-made Zentangle cards, including a 1 one-hour Zentangle instruction with artist
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (4 tickets) at the Linn County Fair, June 29
  • Dried foliage arrangements
  • Things with Wings art

Family Fun

  • CR Fire Truck Ride
  • Year long passes to Coral Ridge Ice Arena and Carousel; 2 passes to Iowa Children’s Museum
  • Hancher’s The Gizmo Guys (4 tickets), May 20 & anytime family day pass to Iowa Children’s Museum
  • Hand-embroidered baby onesies, knit hat, baby books, ready to gift!
  • Handmade baby quilt

Health & Beauty

  • Cosmetic Solutions basket: Obagi skin products, facial, brow/lash tinting, $100 gift certificate
  • Zoom teeth whitening
  • Verbena Chair Massages
  • Palace Barbershop Salon and Spa men’s gift card and professional hair care products
  • Two haircuts at Palace Barbershop Salon and Spa
  • Norwex product package

Unique Items/Experiences

  • 2 tickets to Des Moines Civic Center performance of your choice,  night at Embassy Suites, dinner at Centro ($100 gift card)
  • Millstream Private Brewery Tour for 10, plus beer/meat/cheese in biergarten
  • NewBo Market Membership, NewBo Books gift card, kolaches, The Blue Toad gift card

Family Law Committee meeting Feb. 3

The next Family Law Committee meeting will be held Thursday, February 3, 2011 from 12-1 p.m. at Mr. Bean’s, in the Alliant Tower.

The speaker is Jake Koller.  The topic is “Collaborative Ways to Divorce.”  State CLE credit will be sought (between .75-1 hour).

November bar meeting 11/18; City Councilman Pat Shey to speak

The November meeting of the Linn County Bar Association will be held Thursday, November 18, 2010, from 12 – 1 p.m.  at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art on Third Avenue SE across from Greene Square Park  The meeting room is located on the third floor. Parking is available behind the building on the Second Avenue side.  The speakers will be Cedar Rapids City Councilman Pat Shey.  Pat will be discussing issues that include PCI, downtown parking, FEMA, flood protection, and attracting businesses back to downtown.  Lunch will be catered by Kristeena’s.  The cost is $7.

RSVPs are required only if you plan to attend.   Rebekah Isbell, assistant to LCBA Attendance Chair Corinne R. Butkowski, will send all LCBA members a RSVP-request email in early October  Please respond to Rebekah’s email by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday,October 20, 2010.

PLEASE make sure to RSVP if you are attending so that we order sufficient food from the caterer.  Also, if you DO RSVP but discover last minute you cannot attend, please try to send one of your colleagues in your place.  We have had trouble ordering the correct quantity of food  for our meetings because members often fail to RSVP and then show up for the meeting, or RSVP but do not attend.  Unfortunately, the number of members in these two categories often invariably do not even out, resulting in us running out of food sometimes (which isn’t fair to those in attendance) or ordering too much food thereby wasting both food and bar association money.

LCBA Summer Outing set for July 9

The LCBA Summer Outing is set for Thursday, July 9.  Members should have already received their registration materials in the mail.  If you did not, please contact Outing Chair Darin Luneckas at 294-8777 or email him at

There is a terrific agenda planned, from the morning 3.25 hour CLE, to the afternoon bike and golfing events, to the evening supper and other festivities at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course.  Please remember, members must have paid their LCBA 2008-2009 dues to attend Summer Outing activities. Paid members may bring summer law clerks to Summer Outing events, but will be charged $15 per person for attendance at the evening Hunter’s Ridge supper.

The CLE will be held from 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at Dows Fine Arts Center at Coe College. Registration will be from 7:30-8:00 a.m., and a continental breakfast will be available. At agenda will be available at a later date. Application will be made for 3.25 credit hours, including 1 ethics hour. Contact CLE Chair Bob Teig at 363-0091 for any questions.

The golf and biking events will both take place in the afternoon following the CLE.  Details regarding both events will be sent to those who register for the events. For more info on the golfing event or to register, contact Dave Thinnes at 363-3185 Golf registration is 11:30-12:45, and shotgun start is at 1 p.m.

bike ride will be a  25-30 mile route starting at 1:30 p.m, complete with refreshments and sag wagon.  For more information, contact Stephanie Hinz at or

Supper will follow at Hunter’s Ridge Golf Course, with refreshments served at 5:30 p.m. and supper catered by Catering by L.J.’s beginning at 6:30 p.m.

For any general questions about the Summer Outing, contact Darin Luneckas at or at 294-8777.

Iowa Supreme Court issues Order requiring seven court closure days between March-June

Below is the text of a press release issued by the Iowa Supreme Court today:

Today, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a Supervisory Order requiring all court offices, including clerk of district court offices and the office of the clerk of the supreme court, to be closed for seven days before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. The move is in anticipation of a $3.8 million reduction in the FY 09 Iowa Judicial Branch operating budget. The closures are in addition to the February 16, 2009, closure required in an earlier supervisory order.

With the order, all court staff will take unpaid leave March 20, April 10, April 24, May 8, May 22, June 5 and June 19, 2009. One day of unpaid leave for all judicial employees except judges and magistrates (1,600 people) reduces expenditures by $335,009. Judges and magistrates are not subject to the unpaid leave order because the legislature sets their salaries and the supreme court lacks the statutory authority to change these salaries. On days the court offices are closed, judges and magistrates will work in their chambers to maintain a minimal level of access to the courts. 

The order also reduces the public hours of all offices of the clerk of district court. Clerks’ offices will be closed to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to closing

 “While this change in our customary public business hours is an unwelcome reduction in public access to the courts, it is necessary to help minimize other problems that will result from court closure days,” State Court Administrator David Boyd said. “By providing the clerk of district court offices with some uninterrupted work time each week, we hope to maintain productivity and thereby minimize delays in case processing.”

Additionally, the supreme court canceled its April 28-30 oral arguments to save travel expenses. The supreme court justices will remain in their home counties and consider only cases submitted without oral arguments. The court of appeals will also modify its April oral argument schedule. A panel of judges residing in the Des Moines area will hear oral arguments in the Judicial Branch Building and a second panel of judges living in Northwest Iowa will hear cases in the Dickenson County Courthouse in Spirit Lake. A third panel of judges will remain in their home counties and consider only cases submitted without oral argument.

Today’s order clarifies the earlier supervisory order reducing judge and court reporter travel expenses and gives chief judges the flexibility to assign a judge to preside over a trial outside the official domicile when the compelling interest of justice requires it or when the trial is held in a county where the judge resides.

 In addition, to further reduce expenses, the judicial branch will no longer post videos on its website, including supreme court oral arguments. For more information, go to,

New Orleans firm’s presentation at the Flood Seminar

The LCBA is extremely fortunate to have three members of New Orleans law firm Sher, Garner, Cahill, Richter, Klein & Hilbert, LLC speaking at the Flood Seminar today.  In panel, question & answer format, Leopold Sher, James M. Garner, and Elwood Cahill are sharing a wealth of information likely to be of tremendous help to Linn County attorneys facing a multitude of flood issues.  

For those of you who are unable to attend the seminar, you will be able to view the presentation online, thanks to the Iowa State Bar Association, which will be posting a video of the entire seminar online at its website.

ISBA Disaster Assistance Task Force Established

From the Iowa State Bar Association:

ISBA President Dan Moore has established a task force to assist the law firms and attorneys who have been displaced by the tornadoes and floods this spring.

An estimated 40 firms and 250 attorneys have had to seek alternate arrangements in Linn County alone. Other areas of eastern Iowa also have been affected by the flooding.

Made up of a cross section of members, the task force has already set up a special section on the ISBA website (see here) where attorneys in the state can submit information about displaced attorneys, search for contact information about those displaced and offer help in the form of office supplies, office furniture, computers, office space, etc. One of the most pressing needs right now is for conference rooms for meetings and depositions.

The task force has also set up a Legal Community Relief Fund to receive monetary contributions. The fund is administered by The Iowa State Bar Association. Contributions should be made to the Iowa State Bar Foundation, a 501C3 corporation.

Forms for making donations of materials or money can be accessed here.

In addition to serving as a clearing house for those needing assistance and those wishing to provide assistance, the website lists a host of resources for displaced attorneys. Among those resources are temporary e-mail and fax solutions, and the ISBA-endorsed offsite backup system for electronic files. Other resources center primarily on publications that contain information on such topics as salvaging wet books and files, rebuilding the practice and disaster recovery.

Additional items will be added to the website as the need arises and as they become available.