From the President . . .


PCBA President
Emily Gould Chafa

I admit it. I’m a diehard Cubs fan. Therefore, I am usually unrealistically optimistic. Just wait until next year. We’ve heard it all before. Right now, there’s a real glimmer of hope. The team’s future is very bright. Only time will tell.

Thank goodness, I have every reason to be optimistic about the Polk County Bar Association and its foreseeable future, right now, this year. We have a strategic plan. It’s not fully implemented, of course. The entire process should take a few years to complete. The plan includes five general goals with a number of corresponding specific action items. We’re making progress on some action items. You will hear more about each of these goals and our progress in the next few President’s messages.

The strategic planning process included a survey. Many of you participated by completing the survey. Thank you for participating. Your survey responses helped us shape the plan. Most of the PCBA board members spent a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning on this process. Many thanks for all of you for spending your time and talent with us. Read more.


Need to fulfill your CLE requirements?

The PCBA will host its annual Spring CLE program – which is FREE to current PCBA members – on Friday, Nov. 21, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave. Among the cutting edge topics to be explored are employment law, federal pratice, worker’s compensation, and family law, just to mention a few. This seminar has been approved for ?? hours of State CLE credit, including ? hours of Ethics and ?? hours of Federal CLE credit. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program begins at 8 a.m. Click here to download the agenda and reservation form.


Special year-end family law meeting

The Family Law Committee, chaired by Tim Pearson, will hold a special year-end meeting for all family law attorneys and staff members on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse, courtroom 302. Among those scheduled to appear will be Judge Gamble, Judge Hanson, Judge Hutchison, Judge Rosenberg, and Judge Huppert along with courthouse staff. Discussions will focus on Family Law EDMS filing, potential changes in forms for family law filing, and the transition between 2014 and 2015 4th floor family law administration. All family law attorneys and at least one staff member are strongly encouraged to attend.


Members hit the links for a great cause

A group of 102 spirited golfers enjoyed near-perfect weather at this year’s PCBA Bench and Bar Golf Tournament on June 6 at the Waveland Golf Course in Des Moines. In addition to providing the opportunity to play golf, eat a delicious barbeque dinner, and socialize with friends and colleagues, this event is the primary fundraiser for the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. This year, some $27,000 was raised for the PCBA VLP. Because of recent cutbacks, the success of this event has become essential to the services provided by the PCBA VLP. Click here to view photos of the event.


Support our VLP and get a tax deduction to boot!

As 2014 enters the home stretch, our attention turns to year-end tax planning. Don’t forget that contributions to the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project are tax-deductible. The PCBA VLP is a charitable organization established with the mission of providing legal services to low income residents of Polk County. With your help, PCBA VLP is one of the most successful volunteer lawyer programs in the country, with Polk County lawyers donating approximately 5,000 hours of their time annually.

Unfortunately, the tough economic conditions have severely impacted the PCBA VLP. Demand for services has never been higher while our funding continues to decline. The PCBA VLP now offers you the ability to make donations on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis – all you need to do is check the appropriate option on your PCBA membership renewal form. And don’t forget that the PCBA VLP is a tax-exempt, charitable organization which means any donation you make is tax deductible. You can also designate the PCBA VLP as the recipient on your United Way donation. Click here to learn more from PCBA VLP President Alexander Johnson.