Sample Letter and Best Practices Protocol for Re-Opening a Law Office in the Time of COVID-19

One of our members has generously shared a document he put together regarding considerations and possible best practices protocol for re-opening his law office in order to adapt to COVID-19 concerns.   He has allowed us to adapt the document so that other law firms can use it. See sample letter to law firm personnel with recommended guidelines here:

The LCBA welcomes members to submit similar suggestions, documents or other members that may be shared with members of our organization.  Please email  webmaster@linncobar.org with submissions.

Notice of Annual Meeting & Elections June 18, 2020

Members:
Each year in June the LCBA votes on the slate of officers for the next year. Due to Covid-19, our June meeting will be held electronically over Zoom. Please see the Notice of Annual Meeting below.

To permit members to cast their votes on the proposed slate of officers and not delay the meeting, an Electronic Poll will be sent out the day before the meeting. This will be similar to the lunch RSVPs emails you have received in the past.
In addition to voting on the slate of officers there will also be votes to ratify the Board of Governors decisions to conduct the annual meeting and the election via electronic means.
Voting will be open from June 17, 2020 at 11am until June 18, 2020 at 11am. The results will be announced during the meeting on June 18, 2020.
If you have further questions, please contact the Linn County Bar at linncobar@gmail.com.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF LINN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION VIA ZOOM

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Linn County Bar Association will be held via Zoom in Linn County on Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. The speaker will be Rob Sand, Auditor of the State of Iowa. Business to be conducted at the annual meeting shall include the following:

  1. Ratification of the Board of Governors decision to conduct the annual meeting of the Linn County Bar Association via electronic means, specifically Zoom; and,
  2. Ratification of the Board of Governors decision to conduct the election of new officers and members via electronic means, specifically Google forms with voting open from 11:00 AM on June 17, 2020, until June 18, 2020 11:00 AM. Results will be announced during the Annual Meeting of the LCBA on June 18, 2020.
  3. Announcement of the election results.
    The Linn County Bar Association’s Nominating Committee has selected a slate of nominees to be placed on the ballot for election at the Annual Meeting, which is normally held on the third Thursday of June (June 18, 2020). Due to COVID-19, the Board of Governors has approved a motion to conduct the annual meeting of the Linn County Bar Association via electronic means, specifically Zoom. The Board of Governors also approved a motion to conduct the election via electronic means, specifically Google forms.
    Details will be sent at a later date with information for members to participate in the LCBA annual meeting via Zoom; and information for members to participate in the election via Google forms. The Proposed Nominees are:

    President-Elect (term of presidency 2021-2022): Laura Hyer, Bradley & Riley, PC

    Treasurer (two-year term 2020-2022): Erin Grabe, Hills Bank and Trust Company

    Board of Governors (three-year term 2019-2022):
    Lisa Gavin, Iowa Legal Aid
    Shannon Powers, Lederer Weston, Craig, PLC
    Holly Corkery, Lynch Dallas, P.C. (completion of year three of three-year term for Laura Hyer)

    Current President-Elect Megan Merritt, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C., will become President at the Annual Meeting.

    In addition to the names submitted by the Nominating Committee, any member of the Association may have his or her name placed upon the ballot for a position by submitting to the LCBA a petition with at least ten (10) LCBA members’ signatures. Nomination petitions shall be submitted to LCBA President Phillip Seidl (pseidl@sccrlaw.com) by no later than May 21, 2020, a date at least four weeks prior to the June 18 Annual Meeting date. Members will vote on and elect the officers and governors for the open positions through Google forms with balloting conducted commencing June 17, 2020 until 11:00 AM June 18, 2020 with results announced at the Annual Meeting

COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline training sessions offered 4/28, 5/1, 5/5, 5/8

Iowa Legal Aid, The Iowa State Bar Association, and the Polk County Bar Association are partnering to provide recurring training on Covid-19/coronavirus-related legal issues.  If you are interested in the training, please see the information for the next four COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline training sessions below.  Opportunities for volunteering will also be discussed.

  • Tuesday, April 28 – 10:00 am Central
  • Friday, May 1 – 10:00 am Central
  • Tuesday, May 5 – 10:00 am Central
  • Friday, May 8 – 10:00 am Central

The training sessions will be presented via Zoom.

To join the April 28 training session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92281282464

Meeting ID: 922 8128 2464 Password: 010909

To join the May 1 training session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83621971704

Meeting ID: 836 2197 1704 Password: 002897

To join the May 5 training session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81689086723

Meeting ID: 816 8908 6723 Password: 030762

To join the May 8 training session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82681807718

Meeting ID: 826 8180 7718 Password: 006343

LCBA Summer Outing postponed

The LCBA Board of Governors has voted to postpone the LCBA’s Summer Outing, previously scheduled for Thursday, July 9. The plan for now is to “wait and see” our community’s progress toward reopening as the pandemic subsides and then hold a celebration or some other event to welcome LCBA members back.  We know members had looked forward to our annual summer event and will keep you updated with future plans. Stay safe!

LCBA COVID-19 notice re upcoming bar association events

Your Board of Governors remains engaged in furthering all business of our organization which may be conducted in safety. We are dedicated to safeguarding the health and well-being of our membership in the decisions we make and actions we take.

Gov. Reynolds rightly placed Iowa under a declared State of Disaster Emergency on March 16, which has now been extended through April 30. Group meetings of virtually any size are not just inadvisable, but are illegal. More to the point – such meetings risk unnecessary exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

This Update both confirms and expands somewhat upon LCBA’s notifications from The Scriptum of March 18, 2020.

  1. The April 16, 2020 LCBA meeting remains CANCELED.
  2. LCBA at Cedar Rapids Kernels (May 20, 2020 at 12 o’clock noon) CANCELED. We will be considering the options to reschedule after June 25, 2020.
  3. The June 18, 2020 LCBA meeting remains TENTATIVE.
  4. LCBA Summer Outing: Thursday, July 9, 2020 – Planning still in progress, Subject To Change.

    The LCBA thanks you for your patience during this trying time. 

Sixth Judicial District issues Supplemental Orders Providing Detailed Procedures due to COVID-19 Virus (last updated with April 1, 2020 Order)

On April 1, Chief Judge Grady released a Supervisory Order re Use of Online Parenting Classes. It can be viewed here:

On March 18, Chief Judge Grady released a Supplemental Order Providing Detailed Procedures Due to COVID-19 Virus. It can be viewed here:

On March 19, Chief Judge Grady issued a Second Supplemental Order Providing Detailed Procedures Due to COVID-19 Virus. It can be viewed here:

The Sixth Judicial District has also issued the following form to be used for Waiver of Appearance in criminal cases:

Governor signs new proclamation suspending foreclosures, allowing remote notarization and witnessing

On March 22, 2020, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration.  Included in the proclamation are a number of provisions affecting the legal community.  These include Suspension of Foreclosures (Section 2) and allowing for “Remote Notarization and Witnessing” (Sections 16 and 17).  The latter sections state:

SECTION SIXTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6(6), I temporarily suspend the personal appearance requirement in Iowa Code § 9B.6, but only to the extent that the notarial act complies with the requirements of section 6 of 2019 Iowa Acts chapter 44 (Senate File 475) and any additional guidance provided by the Iowa Secretary of State regarding approved communication technology.

SECTION SEVENTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code § 29C.6(6) and Iowa Code § 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code §§ 144B.3, 633.279, and 633B.105, to the extent that they require the physical presence of a testator, settlor, principal, witness, or other person, if the person is present in a manner in which the witness or other person can see and hear the acts by electronic means, such as video conference, Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or other means, whether or not recorded.

Sixth Judicial District issues Supplemental Orders Providing Detailed Procedures due to COVID-19 Virus; Criminal Waiver of Appearance form (last updated with March 19 Order)

On March 18, Chief Judge Grady released a Supplemental Order Providing Detailed Procedures Due to COVID-19 Virus. It can be viewed here:

On March 19, Chief Judge Grady issued a Second Supplemental Order Providing Detailed Procedures Due to COVID-19 Virus. It can be viewed here:

The Sixth Judicial District has also issued the following form to be used for Waiver of Appearance in criminal cases: