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.


Attorneys to be honored for pro bono work

The American Bar Association has designated October as Pro Bono Month. Come help us celebrate at our luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when guest speakers Justice Brent Appel and Richard Lozier of Belin McCormick will recognize the Polk County Bar Association’s long history of pro bono work through the creation and support of the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project. In addition Justice Appel will honor the individual efforts of attorneys who have volunteered 50 hours or more in the past year.

The luncheon begins at noon at the ISBA Conference Center. Tickets are $17 in advance and $19 at the door, but keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate walk ins. Click here to download the reservation form


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.


You won’t want to miss our November luncheon

Join us on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at noon, for our monthly luncheon where our speaker, Dr. Brian Farrell of the Innocence Project, will discuss Common Causes of Wrongful Convictions. The Innocence Project of Iowa was founded in 2007 by a group of attorneys, professors, and students committed to the prevention of wrongful convictions and the exoneration of innocent persons. While the Iowa/Nebraska Innocence Project and other regional innocence organizations previously accepted Iowa cases, the Innocence Project of Iowa is the first innocence organization specifically focused on investigating Iowa cases and ensuring the integrity of the Iowa criminal justice system. Tickets are $17 in advance and $19 at the door, but keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate walk ins. Click here for complete details and a reservation form.


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.