Save the Date! LCBA Summer Outing July 10

Got the winter blues? It’s not too early to start thinking about golf and bike rides. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, July 10, 2008, for the annual Linn County Bar Association Summer Outing. There will be a bike ride, a golf tournament at Hunters Ridge Golf Club with a 1:00 shotgun start, followed by social hour and a catered dinner afterwards. Plans are underway for a CLE seminar in the morning. Questions or comments, call Dave Thinnes at 363-3185.

LCBA CLEs approved for 2007

The following is a list of CLEs presented by the LCBA in 2007:

November 2007 Bar Meeting – November 15, 2007
Program Name: Appellate Court Update
Total CLE Hours Approved: .5 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0
Activity Number: 46950

Summer Outing CLE – July 12, 2007
See agenda here: Summer Outing CLE Agenda
Total CLE Hours Approved: 3.25 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 1.25
Activity Number: 44655

Federal CLE of .5 hours has also been approved for Prof. Tung Yin’s presentation on enemy combatant handling by the United States at the Summer Outing.

June 2007 Bar Meeting – June 14, 2007
Program Name: Legislative Update

CLE Hours Approved: 0.5 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0
Activity Number: 44278

April 2007 Bar Meeting – April 19, 2007
Program Name: The Role of Legal Education

CLE Hours Approved: 0.5 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0
Activity Number: 43432

March 2007 Bar Meeting – March 15, 2007
Program Name: Juvenile Court overview

Total CLE Hours Approved: 0.5 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0
Activity Number: 43164

February 2007 Bar Meeting – February 15, 2007
Program Name: Federal Practice Pointers: A View From The Bench

CLE Hours Approved: 0.5 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0

Activity Number: 42182

*The February program has also been approved for .5 hours of federal CLE, approval number 07-165.

LCBA Bench/Bar Conference – January 3, 2007
Program Name: 2007 Linn County Bar Association Bench Bar Conference
CLE Hours Approved: 1.0 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0.0
Activity Number: 41216

2008 LCBA Bench-Bar Conference & 50 year honoree pics

The Linn County Bar Association’s 2008 Bench-Bar Conference and 50 year honoree reception held January 8 was a rousing success, with more than 130 members in attendance. Those honored for their 50 years of service to the LCBA and the practice of law included Hon. William R. Eads, Arthur “Bud” Kudart, David S. Marner, Sr., James Nemmers, and Byron “Buck” Riley.


Pictured from left: honoree David Marner Sr., presenter Mona Knoll, presenter Jim Affeldt, presenter Gary Streit, honoree Hon. William Eads, honoree Jim Nemmers, presenter Guy Booth, honoree Arthur “Bud” Kudart, presenter Jim Bradley, and honoree Byron “Buck” Riley.

Continue reading “2008 LCBA Bench-Bar Conference & 50 year honoree pics”

CLE approved for 2008 Bench-Bar Conference held Jan. 8

State and Federal CLE credit in the amount of one (1) hour has been approved for the LCBA Bench-Bar Conference held January 8.  The information regarding the state CLE credit is as follows:

Program Name: 2008 Bench Bar Conference
Start Date: 1/8/2008
End Date: 1/8/2008
City: Cedar Rapids
Class Type: Standard(live)
Total CLE Hours Approved: 1.0 (includes ethics hours)
Ethics Hours Approved: 0
Activity Number: 48147

Thornhill in Iraq–X

LCBA Member Ian Thornhill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids has been deployed to Iraq as a member of the Navy Reserve. He is going to be working on a task force that is helping to re-establish the Iraqi criminal court system. The LCBA will be posting his email updates, with permission.

Hello all!

I know it’s been a while since I have written. Believe it or not, things have been extremely busy around here. At least when you are away from family, you don’t feel so guilty about working 12+ hours a day! I’m still doing fine. I will catch you up on some stuff that has been going on.

On Christmas Eve we had a Christmas party for the entire task force. We held it outside on the basketball court and had one of the Iraqi civilians who works with us cater in athentic Iraqi food. It was good – many thought it was great. I’m just not much into trying new/exotic foods. I had a bad experience with lamb once and those things are hard to forget!

I have attached a photo of me from the party. I am holding a book I received in the ‘white-elephant’ gift exchange. I’ll tell you why I no longer have the book in a minute. As you can see, I am proudly displaying the colors. Many of my colleagues joked that they were happy to see me in such bright, sniper-enticing clothing! Don’t worry, we’ve had no snipers since I’ve been here and the party was not in the line of sight of any tall structures. Besides, there can’t be that many Iowa State fans living in Baghdad!

Back to the gift exchange. Many of you have probably done this – we have done it in the past at my office. Everyone anonymously wraps a gift. It could be a good gift, it could be a not-so-good gift. Then everyone draws a number from 1 to whatever. Number 1 picks a gift and opens it. Everyone who follows can either choose to pick a gift or take a gift that has already been unwrapped and displayed. If the gift that you opened gets taken by someone, you then get to choose whether to open a new gift or take one from someone else and so on. We included a rule (because we are lawyers, etc. and like rules) that once a gift was ‘stolen’ twice, it was off the market and the 2nd theif got to keep it. Anyway, this wonderful book was taken from me…and so were two other ‘good’ gifts that I got thereafter. In the end I got stuck with a fruitcake and some candy! One of the local vendors was watching the festivities with his young daughter (about Donovan’s age) so when we were done, I gave the little girl the candy and the fruitcake. I’m not sure if giving her the fruitcake will help or hurt our image with the locals!

You may be wondering what gift I put into the mix. Well, as luck would have it, my wonderful co-workers at the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent me a care package that arrive a few days before Christmas. In amongst the many great things they sent me was the horrible white elephant gift I got stuck with there last Christmas! It was a candy dot maker. Believe it or not, that thing got stolen twice! By the way, I have a pretty good idea who included that in the care package and I will get even!

New Years here was uneventful. I didn’t even stay up until midnight. Good thing too as the local custom is to shoot off their guns into the air to ring in the new year. Those rounds have to come down somewhere! I did not want to be roaming around outside for that.

The other picture attached here is me standing in front of a wall that separates the farthest perimeter of our compound from ‘the Red Zone.’ There is a busy street on the other side, I know because I looked over it. Notice the coat – it’s been cold here. The forcast for tonight calls for snow! During the same day this photo was taken (between Christmas & New Year’s) I got to tour the prison which is also part of the complex in which I live. It is an Iraqi prison, not a Coalition prison. Being in coalition custody is certainly better, but there are international advisors that are working with the Iraqi prison system to make it better. There are a lot of people being held by the Iraqis for local crimes who have not yet seen a judge for the first time. Some of them have been in ‘pretrial’ confinement longer than the maximum sentence for their alleged offenses. Our task force is also working on that problem and having some good successes. It really is a sad reality.

I have also taken a few more trips outside the wire to either go to the IZ (International Zone) or other military bases. I just cannot get used to wearing body armor and traveling in an armored vehicle in order to get anywhere. I am really looking forward to hopping in the car and driving my kids to Dairy Queen, with the windows down, when I get home. With a little luck, I should be able to do that in a little over 4 months!

Talk to you soon,


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Photo 2

Thornhill in Iraq–IX

LCBA Member Ian Thornhill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids has been deployed to Iraq as a member of the Navy Reserve. He is going to be working on a task force that is helping to re-establish the Iraqi criminal court system. The LCBA will be posting his email updates, with permission.

Hello All!
Everything is going well here.  I just wanted to send out a quick ‘Merry Christmas’ to all of you.  I hope you have a great holiday.  I have attached a photo of my work trailer all lit up for Christmas – it brings a little bit of the season to us here.
Again, Merry Christmas!!!


Thornhill in Iraq–VIII

Hello all,
It’s been a while since I sent you an update of what is going on here.  The problem is, other than the long work hours, there is not a lot else that I do on a daily basis.  Having said that, however, I have been on a couple of interesting trips outside the wire recently that may interest you.  I have attached a recent photo of me all geared up for one of these trips.  The only thing missing in this photo is the kevlar helmet.  I know some of you have seen this equipment already from photos I sent while in training in South Carolina.  For those who have not, the total ensemble (including helmet) weighs about 50 pounds.  The vest has a large metal plate in the front and the back and a smaller plate on each side.  The ‘wings’ on the arms and the remainder of the vest is made up of shrapnel-resistant material.
Forgive me if I have mentioned this before, but traveling from one place to another here is a major undertaking.  It requires putting on all the gear and jumping into a convoy of armored vehicles.  In addition to the uparmored suburbans like the one I rode in when I first arrived here, our security also has bigger, more menacing armored vehicles that we use.  The good news about these is that they provide greater protection than the suburban.  The bad news (if you can call it that) is when I get in one and have the helmet on, I’m about 2 inches too tall to sit completely upright.  I manage to slouch in my seat or get into some other manageable position.  In this environment, comfort is overrated!
One of the trips I took recently was to the U.S. Embassy.  It is located inside the IZ (International Zone a/k/a Green Zone).  The Embassy is currently housed inside another Saddam palace, although I do not know the palace’s history.  This is a temporary location as a new Embassy building is currently under construction.  Of course the security is quite tight but once inside, it’s hard to tell there is a war on.  It really looked like any other government building you’ve been in.  There were a lot of people working there including many civilians.  The building itself is very ornate and I must admit, after walking on dirt and rocks here at the FOB, walking on those nice smooth marble floors was a joy!  Oh yes, I can’t forget to mention the swimming pool.  That’s right, there is an outdoor swimming pool there.  Unfortunately I did not have the time, or the interest, to go swimming.  As I was leaving the Embassy I ran into a good friend of mine from my active duty Navy days.  He is a civilian and was visiting the Embassy on business for his civilian job.  What a small world.  As an aside in the ‘small world’ category, one of the Air Force attorneys that showed up at my task force a couple weeks after I did is from my same home town – yes, Ida Grove, Iowa, population 2200.  He was a year behind me in school (total high school size – approx. 200) and I haven’t seen him in about 20 years.  I have attached a photo of him and I in front of the task force Christmas (palm)Tree.
Another of my recent trips took me to a U.S. detainee detention facility.  Not too much to say about it – prison is prison.  Even if there was more to say, obviously I could not.  But I will say this, the place was very clean and professionally run.  I think, in general, there are two types of detainees here – the one’s who are suspected of committing crimes and the one’s who otherwise present a security risk.  In my job here, I am focused on the criminal suspects.  Soon I should be getting a tour of the Iraqi prison that is here near our facility.  I will let you know what that is like in a future update.
Time for me to go for now – it’s mail call.  Always a great day!  We have to pick up our mail at a central place outside of our FOB and bring it back here (another convoy).  When it returns, we all pitch in to unload and distribute the packages.  I hope there is something for me!
Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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LCBA Bench-Bar Conference & 50 Year Recognition Ceremony January 8

Please join the Linn County Bar Association at its 2008 Bench-Bar Conference and Ceremony to recognize 50-year members of the LCBA on Tuesday, January 8, 2008  from 4:00 6:30 pm at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Carnegie Library (main level).   The CLE consists of two sessions:

4:00-4:30:    U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles on the new Local Rules going into effect in January
4:305:00:   6th Judicial District Judge Nancy Baumgartner on Separation of Powers/Judicial Independence/Limiting the Court’s Jurisdiction

CLE credit has been applied for. 

At approximately 5:00, a recognition ceremony will be held for this year’s class of 50-year members of the Linn County Bar Association.  Members of this year’s class include William Eads, James Nemmers, Byron Riley, Arthur Kudart, and David Marner, Sr. A reception catered by Winifred’s will follow, with music provided by Carlis Faurot and Mike Maas, and the LCBA’s own Thomas Wolle.  Please plan to attend this important event!  This event is free of charge to LCBA members and guests of the 50 year honorees.  QUESTIONS?  Contact Scott McLeod via email or at 365-9101 regarding the Bench-Bar Conference in general.  Contact Steve Pace via email or at 365-9461 regarding the 50-year-member recognition ceremony. 

Iowa Legal Aid VLP Potpourri CLE December 6

Iowa Legal Aid’s VLP Potpourri CLE seminar takes place on Thursday, December 6 from 8:30 am to 12:45 pm in Cedar Rapids, at the Cedar Rapids Community School District Offices, 346 Second Avenue, SW, Room 150 (with 9 other sites around Iowa also joining via the ICN). Applications will be submitted for 4 hours State and 2 hours Federal CLE Accreditation. Sponsored by Iowa’s Volunteer Lawyers Projects, the session includes:*   “Effective Trial Strategies in Family Law Cases” with Hon. Marsha Beckelman, 6th Judicial District
*   “Employment Law: A Primer and Non-Compete Agreements” with Kelly R. Baier of Bradley & Riley PC in Cedar Rapids
*   “Obligations to Provide for Fair Housing” with Corey Luedeman, Iowa Legal Aid Senior Staff Attorney
*  “How Landmark Litigation of Iowa Legal Aid Impacts Your Practice” with Frank Tenuta, Managing Attorney of Iowa Legal Aid’s Northwest Iowa Regional Office.

For details including all site locations and a registration form, go to