From the President . . .

PCBA President David Nelmark

Ever feel overwhelmed?

I do.

Frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed right now—trying to meet the deadline for this letter while resisting a Motion for Summary Judgment on one matter, prepping for trial in another, and addressing various firm management issues.

Practicing law is a noble profession, but it’s not an easy one. No matter how busy we are, we generally say “yes” to new clients or new projects because we’re afraid to turn away work. Then, despite the challenges of the job, we act like superheroes because we feel we have to appear strong for our clients.

It’s no secret, and really no surprise, that lawyers have high rates of addiction and mental health issues including depression. This holds true for both seasoned attorneys and those new to the profession. Even if we avoid those issues, we’re at a high risk for other problems including divorce and burn out. That’s probably not the cheery holiday message you were expecting, but I think it’s important that we keep these issues in mind as we face the additional pressures of the giving season.

If you are feeling overwhelemed, I suggest two things that might help. Read more….

 

Ring in the new year at our January luncheon

Jeff Chelesvig

Join us on Tuesday, Jan. 8, for our first luncheon of the new year. Our guest speaker will be Jeff Chelesvig, president and CEO of Des Moines Performing Arts (DMPA) The PCBA has been a long-time supporter of DMPA and we are looking forward to hearing his “behind the scenes” look at the upcoming season and Broadway theater.

The event will be held at noon at the Iowa State Bar Association Conference Center, 625 East Court Avenue, in Des Moines. The cost is $17 in advance and $19 at the door. But keep in mind that seating is limited and we may not be able to accommodate walk-ins. So, please make your reservation by Thursday, Jan. 3, if possible. Click here to download the reservation form. Please let us know if you would like the vegetarian lunch option.

 

Support the VLP, get a tax deduction

As 2018 draws to a close, our attention turns to year-end finances and tax returns. Don’t forget that you can make a contribution to the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project before the end of the year and get a tax deduction.

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, demand for PCBA VLP services has never been higher while our funding continues to decline. To help make it easier to support our efforts,

And it’s never been easier to donate. The PCBA VLP now offers you the ability to make donations on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis and you can use a credit card. Click here for more information and the donation form.

 

It’s membership renewal time

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 enrollment form. And don’t forget that you or you firm can use a credit card or send us a to pay your dues.

 

Fall CLE materials are now online

Some 250 PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on November 16 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 Iowa CLE hours, including 1 hour of ethics. Click here to download the materials. Member login required.

 

Calling all educators for Law Day competition

PCBA and ARAG Legal Insurance hold a Law Day competition every year for elementary, middle school, and high school students in Polk County. The annual Law Day celebration highlights the role of law in our society to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. This year’s theme is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society. Click here for complete details and entry forms.

 

Golfers hit links and support good cause

Twenty-eight groups of 110 golfers hit the links on June 1 at the annual bench and bar golf outing to benefit the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. The event, which was organized by the PCBA Golf and Social Committee, was held at the Waveland Golf Course.

The winners in the Mens Flight were: Luke Mohrhauser, Thomas Mohrhauser, Levi Slings, and Greg Woods (59). The Mixed Flight winners were: Hon. Eliza Ovrom, Mark Schuling, Hon. Douglas Staskal, and Tom Levis (62). The following are individual winners: Madelyn Mauk, Women’s Longest Drive; Hon. Douglas Staskal, Men’s Longest Drive; Abhay Nadipuram, Closest to the Pin; and David Shinkle, Longest Putt. Click here to see photos.

 

A special thanks to our sponsors

The following sponsors helped make the 2018 Bench and Bar Golf Outing such a huge success:

GOLD Sponsors: Ahlers & Cooney, PLC; Belin McCormick, PC; Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, PC; Brick Gentry, PC; Brown Winick, PLC; Davis Brown Law Firm; Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, PC; Drew Law Firm, PC; Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP; Finley Law Firm, PC; Fredrikson & Byron, PA; Galligan & Reid, PC; Grefe & Sidney, PLC; Iowa State Bank; Macro & Kozlowski, LLP; McKee, Voorhees, Sease, PLC; Nyemaster Goode, PC; Law Offices of David A. Morse; Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese PC; Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller, PC; The Weinhardt Law Firm; and Whitfield & Eddy Law.

SILVER Sponsors: ARAG North America, Inc.; Baker Group; Bob Brown Auto; CashattWarren Family Law, PC; Dorsey & Whitney, LLP; Gislason & Hunter, LLP; Hansen, McClintock & Riley; Hopkins & Huebner, PC; The James Law Firm; Laden & Pearson PC and Feuerhelm Law Office; Sullivan & Ward, PC; Wandro & Associates; and Wilson, Deege, Despotovich, Riemenschneider & Rittgers

Dinner sponsored by Roxanne Conlin & Associates. Hole-In-One Sponsor:Willis Auto Campus. Additional Sponsors: Carney & Appleby, PLC; Holmes Murphy & Associates, LLC; and Lederer, Weston, Craig, PLC.

 

Winning students celebrate Law Day at Judicial Building

The format was decidedly different, but the end result was the same – the winning students and their families in this year’s PCBA/ARAG Law Day competition and celebration came away with a unique appreciation of the law and its impact on our society.

PCBA partners with ARAG each year to celebrate Law Day by giving Polk County students a chance to learn about the law through artistic expression. Students in grades K through 12 create essays, poetry, works of visual art, technology, or performing art relating to a legal theme. This year’s Law Day theme was Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.

In past years, the awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the May PCBA luncheon. This year, however, it was held on May 1 – the actual Law Day – at the Iowa Judicial Branch Building. Special guests from all three branches of Iowa’s state government were on hand to give remarks and mingle with the students, their families, and their teachers. They were: Justices Bruce Zager, Edward Mansfield, and Brent Appel on behalf of the Judicial Branch; Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver on behalf of the Legislative Branch; and Roxann Ryan, Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, on behalf of the Executive Branch. Click here to see the winning entries and to view the photo album.

 

Attend a luncheon on us!

New PCBA members and those who renew their membership are entitled to attend one of our informative and timely PCBA Luncheons on us — FREE of CHARGE — No strings attached! Attend one of our luncheons and find out for yourself why we are the premiere organization for Polk County attorneys, judges, and other members. Click here to download our certificate and return it to us before the luncheon you want to attend in order to receive your credit or contact Sonja Diener. Member login required.