– Nominees for Vacant District Court Judge position announced

The Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission has announced its two nominees for the vacant District Court Judge position:  Andrew Chappell of Iowa City and Michael LaHammer of Mount Vernon.

The nominees will be submitted to the governor, who will make the appointment to the bench.

The vacancy is due to the retirement of Hon. Robert Sosalla.

– List of Applicants for 6th Judicial District Judge Vacancy Released

The Sixth Judicial District has released the names of the 19 applicants for the vacant District Court Judge position.  The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge Robert Sosalla.  The list of applicants and interview schedule can be viewed here.

The Sixth Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Thursday, January 12, 2017 to interview and nominate two individuals for the position of District Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial District.

– Applications sought for 6th Judicial District Judge Vacancy

Applications are being sought for the position of District Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial District due to the retirement of Judge Robert Sosalla.  Applications are available at the office of the District Court Administrator, Linn County Courthouse, Third Avenue Bridge, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Applications and any supporting documentation must be completed and returned to the office of the District Court Administrator no later than 3:00 p.m. on January 9, 2017.  Individual copies shall be sent to the individual commission members.  Click here for a copy of the official Notice of Vacancy containing the list of commission members and  Applicant Questionnaire.

The Sixth Judicial Nominating Commission will meet Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. to interview and nominate two individuals for the position of District Court Judge for the Sixth Judicial District.  The meeting will take place at the Linn County Courthouse, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Nominees shall be members of the bar of Iowa, shall be residents of the state or district of the court to which they are nominated. The person appointed to the position will serve an initial term of office and will stand for retention at the next general election held not less than one year following appointment.  If retained in office at that time, the person will serve a regular term of six years and may stand for retention in office every six years thereafter.   Retirement of District Judges in Iowa is mandatory at age seventy-two.  The person appointed must be able to serve the initial term and one regular term before reaching age seventy-two.

– Annual Last Chance for Ethics Seminar to be held Dec. 8

The Linn County Bar Association’s Annual Last Chance for Ethics Seminar will be  held Thursday, December 8, 2016 at Dublin City Pub, 415 1st St. SE. Doors open at 3:30 pm and the presentation will begin at 4:00 pm. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be available. Cash bar for drinks. The CLE is worth two hours of state ethics credit and is free to any dues paid LCBA member.

If you have not paid your 2016 – 2017 dues, please do so now! To check your dues payment status (there is a possible $25 late fee) contact Leigh Van Dee at lvandee@lwclawyers.com or phone (319) 365-1184.  The dues policy can be viewed at this link.


4:00 PM, Karen Erger, JD, Vice President and Director of Practice Risk Management with Lockton Companies, will present “How to Mess up Your Professional Liability Insurance Coverage without Really Trying”

5:00 PM, Dr. Andrew Hosmanek, JD; Managing Attorney HawkeyeLaw, PLC; Adjunct Assistant Professor Henry B. Tippie College of Business University of Iowa, will present “Punishment in Practice”.

– Linn & Johnson Counties to have new Case Management Conference System starting Jan 2017

The Sixth Judicial District has announced that beginning in Linn and Johnson Counties on January 2, 2017, it is going to initiate case management conferences (CMCs) to manage criminal cases in a more effective manner.  By eliminating the traditional pretrial conference and managing criminal cases via a CMC system, the court will schedule an initial CMC earlier in the pendency of the criminal case, allowing more effective Judicial management in order to avoid last-minute discovery issues and avoid clogging the docket up with unrealistic trial dates for criminal cases and enhance firm trial dates for both criminal and civil cases.

Proposed CMC Procedures:

As of this time, the following chronology will take place in felony* cases when CMCs are implemented:

  1. Filing of Trial Information; scheduling of arraignment within 14 days.
  2. At arraignment, whether in writing or in court, the court will schedule a CMC for approximately 40 days after arraignment. The court will also schedule a trial date 70-80 days from the filing of the Trial Information when speedy trial is demanded; and 110-120 days out when speedy trial is waived.  At a CMC, judicial management in cases becomes critical.  All counsel and parties must appear at a CMC.  The judge addresses how the case is progressing, including the status of discovery and whether a plea offer has been extended, communicated to the defendant, and whether the case can proceed to disposition at that time.  The judge then can take one of the following actions:
    a. Take the case to disposition at that point by taking a plea;
    b. Schedule a plea hearing within a short period of time;
    c. Schedule another CMC setting forth expectations;
    d. Confirming the trial date; if the trial date is not realistic, the court will reschedule a trial date to a realistic and firm date with input from counsel.

*In misdemeanor cases, the initial CMC will be scheduled approximately 21 days from arraignment.


Case management conferences will promote greater judicial involvement in management of cases at an earlier stage and ensure trial dates are firm and realistic.

– Next bar meeting Nov. 17; Speaker CR Mayor Ron Corbett

The next meeting of the Linn County Bar Association will be held on Thursday,
November 17, from 12:00 – 1:00 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 speaker will be Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett.

Lunch is $10.00 and will be catered by Need Pizza.

An RSVP request was emailed to LCBA members November 9. RSVPs are due 2 p.m., Wednesday, November 16 and are required only if you plan to attend.