From the President . . .

PCBA President Nathan Overberg

Help us maintain the positive momentum on the Courthouse!

If you are like me, it is incredibly exciting to see visible progress being made on the Justice Center (the former Wellmark/JC Penny building), which is targeted to house juvenile, traffic, and small claims court for Polk County. The Justice Center, which is Phase II of the five-phase courthouse construction project (restoration of the exterior of the historic Courthouse was Phase I), is currently scheduled to be completed in April 2016. The priority now is to make sure that the Justice Center has the furniture and equipment necessary to fully open for business upon completion.

Under Iowa Law, the counties are responsible for providing the physical facilities to house court functions. Polk County and it citizens have done their part by approving an $81 million bond referendum to fund the construction/remodeling of the Justice Center, the Criminal Court Building (retrofitting the former jail), and the historic Courthouse. As noted above, Phase II of that project is well under way. Under Iowa law (Iowa Code sections 602.1302 and 602.11101, to be exact), the State of Iowa is responsible for providing funding to the judicial branch to allow it to purchase the furnishings, supplies and equipment necessary for the judicial officers and staff to effectively operate within the buildings supplied by the County. That is where we need your help. Read more.


Hear the latest from the Bench

Chief Judge Arthur Gamble

Chief Justice Mark Cady

Chief Justice Mark Cady

Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at noon for our annual Bench and Bar Luncheon featuring Chief Justice Mark Cady from the Iowa Supreme Court and Chief Judge Arthur Gamble, 5th Judicial District of Iowa. They will provide updates on the State of the Judiciary and the status of the construction on Polk County Courthouse complex.

The luncheon will be held at the Downtown Marriott Hotel. Please note that seating is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible – but no later than Friday, Feb 5. It may not be possible to accommodate walk ins.

Click here for complete details and a reservation form . . . and be sure to indicate on your reservation if you would like the vegetarian lunch option.


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.)


Our New Year’s gift to you is here

The updated Polk County Court phone chart is now available and we have it here on our website for you! This new chart includes changes from the recent district court move and the changes for the district associate from the Jan. 8 move.  Click here to access it (member login 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.


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.