Committees

The Polk County Bar Association invites you to join its more than 1500 members in supporting activities to benefit the Bar and the community. The PCBA Board and its committees are working to improve the practice of law, serve the legal needs of the poor, and provide some fun for members. Membership in a PCBA Committee gives you a unique opportunity to participate in these efforts. Won’t you join us? Just click on a committee name to sign up.

  • BENCH AND BAR COMMITTEE. Co-Chairs Hon. Larry McLellan and Ryan Koopmans. The Bench and Bar committee is composed of lawyers and judges who work together on matters affecting the delivery of legal services in Polk County. The committee addresses issues such as facility needs, communication and changes in procedure. Annually the committee sponsors a Bar Association luncheon to recognize the efforts of the judges. Receptions to celebrate new judges and retirements have also been sponsored by the committee. Promoting civility and professionalism through other events and social activities is another important task of the committee so that the positive relationship between the bench and the bar is enhanced.
  • CLE COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Kris Ensign and Adam Zenor. The CLE committee arranges and conducts an annual one-day CLE conference that provides Polk County Bar Association members with free CLE credit in a wide variety of legal topics, including ethics, real estate, torts, family law, bankruptcy, social security, and others.
  • FAMILY LAW COMMITTEE, Chairperson Tim Pearson. The Family Law committee consists of Polk County family law attorneys. The committee gets together every 4-6 weeks, with the Polk County family law judges, to discuss family law related issues. These issues include legislative updates, mediation and collaborative law, PCBA VLP, custody evaluations and what is “happening” on the 4th floor (family law court). The committee also tries to assist the judges in establishing administrative procedures and policies.
  • FEE ARBITRATION COMMITTEE, Chairperson James Sayre Sr. The Polk County Bar Association Attorney Fee Arbitration committee is constituted of attorneys appointed by the PCBA to arbitrate fee disputes between clients and attorneys. While constituted by the PCBA, the committee entertains complaints from the entire State of Iowa, it being my understanding from the Attorney Disciplinary Board that we are the only functioning committee in the State.
  • JUDICIAL RETENTION COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Bill Miller and Tom Levis.Established in November of 2010, this committee’s focus is on advancing the PCBA’s commitment to eliminating politics from the selection and retention of Iowa’s judges. The committee is charged with taking all appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity of the judicial retention process is maintained.
  • LAW DAY COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Gail Sheridan-Lucht and Dan Saar. The Law Day committee plans activities for the observance of Law Day. For the past several years, the committee has held an annual poetry and visual arts competition for middle school and high school students in Polk County. In 2014, the topic for the competition was “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”
  • MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE. Co-Chairs Maggie Hanson, Amber Fricke and Dawn Boucher. The Membership committee encourages and recruits attorneys for membership to the Polk County Bar Association.  An integral part of the Committee’s responsibilities includes developing ideas and hosting events to promote membership and participation within the Bar Association.
  • PCBA/YLD COMMITTEE. Co-Chairs Amos Hill and Erin Lain. The purpose of the PCBA/YLD committee is to provide young lawyers in Polk County with an opportunity to make connections through social events and to foster the professional development of its members. After several years of inactivity, the PCBA/YLD was restarted in 2004 and has held numerous events since that time, including periodic after-work social events, luncheon meetings focusing on professional development issues and topics relevant to young or new attorneys, as well as social lunches with no speaker to provide for more interaction among the attorneys.  The group has also had several socials and outings with other groups such as the Young Des Moines Social Club and Drake law students.
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Kathryn Johnson and Lisa Allison. The objective of the Public Relations committee is to inform and educate the general public about the roles attorneys play in the community and the various services attorneys provide. To achieve this objective, the committee prepares informative publications, develops video presentations, and assists in the administration of the Polk County Bar Association’s Speaker’s Bureau. The Speaker’s Bureau is a free service in which local attorneys and judges volunteer to speak for civic organizations, schools, and community groups on a variety of legal topics.
  • SMALL FIRM/SOLO PRACTICE COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Elizabeth Kellner-Nelson and Debra Hockett-Clark. This is a newly created committee. We are looking for members to identify needs and interests that are unique to solo and small firm practices.
  • SOCIAL EVENT & GOLF COMMITTEE, Co-Chairs Miki McGovern, Andrew Johnson, Joseph Moser, and Anjela Shutts. Social gatherings, such as receptions for new judges in Polk County are planned by the committee. The annual Bench and Bar Golf Outing is also planned by the committee. The goal of the golf outing is to raise funds for the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project by soliciting sponsorships and other donations.The 2014 event raised nearly $27,000.

Click here for Committee Chairs contact information.