From the President . . .

PCBA President Nathan Overberg

Thank You!

From time to time we need to stop and thank those friends and neighbors who are making a positive difference in our community. Although that list is long and distinguished in our community, in this President’s Message I want to focus your attention on two groups of people – those supporting the Polk County Bar Association’s Voluntary Lawyer’s Project and those making our new Courthouse complex a reality.

In the past year (2014-2015), attorneys in the Polk County community have donated at least 4380 hours to representing their neighbors who cannot afford to hire private attorneys. That is an increase of over 1300 hours from the prior year. If you apply a modest hourly rate of $150 per hour to those services, this amounts to $657,000 worth of donated legal services in a single year through the PCBA’s VLP program. More importantly, these services are helping our neighbors overcome legal obstacles related to basic human needs such as housing, employment, and family life.

During our next monthly luncheon on October 13, 2015, at the Iowa State Bar Association Conference Center, the Honorable David Wiggins of the Iowa Supreme Court will help us present outstanding volunteer awards to those individuals who have gone above and beyond in providing legal services through the PCBA VLP. We hope you can join us for that special event. Even if you cannot be there on the 13th, however, please join me in thanking every attorney who has selflessly raised his/her hand during the last year to take one of the 1026 new cases that were opened, or helped close one of the 1006 cases that were closed — you have all made our community a better and more just place to live.

I would also like to express my gratitude to those members of the bench and bar who are continuing to make our community’s dream for a new courthouse complex a reality. Read more.


Get your Fall CLE materials online now

A record-breaking crowd of nearly 300 PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on November 20 to network and stay on top of their profession at the Fall CLE 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, incl. 1 hour of Ethics and 3.25 hours of Federal. Click here to download. (Member log-in required.)


Law Day 2016 to explore Miranda warning

Miranda_GraphicIt’s not too early to begin thinking about the PCBA’s 2016 Law Day celebration scheduled for May 10 at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel. The theme is Miranda: More Than Words to honor the 50th anniversary of perhaps the nation’s best-known U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda Warning has become ingrained in law enforcement and has permeated popular consciousness through countless recitations in films and television shows. The theme will explore the procedural protections afforded to all of us by the US Constitution; how these rights are safeguarded by the Courts; and why the preservation of these principles is essential to our liberty. Contest forms and complete details will be posted soon. Click here to see last year’s winning entries.


Trivia teams compete for good cause

Members of the winning Trivia Challenge Team Branstad Law.

Back by popular demand, the PCBA hosted the 5th Trivia Challenge Night to benefit the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project on June 25 at the Iowa Bar Association building. A full house of 12 teams made up of eight players each showed off their knowledge of all things trivia while Master of Ceremonies, former Justice Michael Streit, once again kept the event moving and the crowd entertained! The night’s winning team was the Branstad Law’s “Inimicus Curiae.” More than $6,000 was raised through table sponsors and the popular “Double Down” option to benefit the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project. Click here to view photos of this great event.


And the winners are . . . .

mixed golf winnersOur golfers hit the links at the Bright Grandview Course in Des Moines on June 5 and raised nearly $30,000 for the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project!

Winners in the Mixed Flight category were: Stacey Warren, Brent Cashatt, Ross Gibsen, and Craig Jellings. Winners in the Men’s Flight were: J.T. Clendenin, Ryan Stefani, Cory Harris, and Christian Walk.

Many thanks to all of the sponsors, golfers, and the Golf Committee for making this event a huge success. Click here to view photos of all the winners.


Spring CLE materials are now online

PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on April 17 to network and stay on top of their profession at the Spring CLE seminar. As always, the CLE provided a full day of diverse 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 7.75 hours of State CLE credit, including 2.25 hours Ethics and 1.5 hours Federal. Click here to download the materials (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 2015 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 Burdette. 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. Click here to download the donation form.