From the President . . .

Bridget Penick, president

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.

“The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”

Bart Giamatti so perfectly expressed the heartache that is major league baseball in October (at least for all of us non-Cubs midwestern baseball fans!). Playoff season means autumn is here! Kids are back in the swing of school. Sports fans flip channels to enjoy (and bemoan) college football, the NFL, and post-season major league baseball all at the same time. Pumpkin patches, bonfires, hayrides, and sweater weather make so many people content.

This autumn is particularly important for the Polk County Bar Association and our members. If you join us for our next luncheon on October 11, you’ll find out more about the upcoming judicial retention election from Guy Cook, one of the leaders of the judicial retention efforts in recent years. Several Polk County judges are up for retention. Read more . . .


Get your Fall CLE materials online

Some 275 PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on November 18 to network and stay on top of their profession at the Fall general practice seminar. As always, the CLE provided a full day of thought-provoking presentations covering a wide array of topics pertinent to the practice of law in Iowa. The program, which was offered FREE to members, was approved for 7.5 hours of State CLE credit, including 1 hour Ethics and 3 hours Federal. Click here to download the materials (member log-in required).


Winning Law Day contest students honored at luncheon

The Polk County Bar Association (PCBA) and ARAG® once again co-sponsored the annual Law Day Competition for students in grades K-5 and 6-12 in the Polk County metro area. This year’s theme was Miranda: More Than Words, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. Participating students were encouraged to explore the importance of the Miranda warning to protect every citizen’s right to remain silent (self-incrimination, 5th Amendment) and the right to an attorney (6th amendment) during police interrogations through visual arts, music, essay and poetry. Elementary school students participated in a coloring and poster contest.

The winning students were honored at our Law Day luncheon which featured guest speaker Judy Bradshaw, former Des Moines chief of police and current director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Click here to learn more.


Do you have the latest Polk County Courts phone chart?

The latest Polk County Court phone chart is now available and we have it here on our website for you! Click here to download the new chart, which includes the new law clerks and three new judicial specialists. Member login required.


Have you renewed your PCBA membership?

One of the best things you can do for your career is to belong to the Polk County Bar Association. Your PCBA membership entitles you to FREE CLE seminars to sharpen your skills, monthly luncheons to explore current issues, access to the court-sponsored mediation program, news and information you can’t get anywhere else, discounts on programs and services, and much, much more. Click here to learn more and to download the renewal form.

And, as a bonus, first-time PCBA members and those who renew their membership for 2016 are entitled to attend one of our informative and timely PCBA Luncheons on us – FREE of CHARGE – No strings attached! If you have questions about your membership, contact PCBA Executive Director Carol Phillips. Click here for details and to download the membership form.


Support our VLP and get a tax deduction to boot!

Did you know 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.