From the President . . .

PCBA Past President William Miller

I’ll always look back at our highly successful 2018 Law Day event with pride because we were able this year to make it bigger and better than ever. The Iowa Judicial Branch Building was the perfect backdrop for watching students, parents, and educators interact with the bench and bar alike. Thank you to the many sponsors who helped make it happen, as well as our partners at ARAG and the three branches of government who were integral to the program’s success.

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Our next bar luncheon, and last one until September, is on June 12. This is our annual law clerk luncheon, and we hope you will attend with your law clerks, interns, and other less seasoned colleagues. Our speaker will be Mike Draper of Raygun, who surely will engage us and exhibit the value of choosing Polk County to base your business and your practice.
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As we continue investing in the next generations of Iowa lawyers, it is vital to ensure that they enter into a welcoming legal community. One way for us build and sustain that community is to ensure our judiciary reflects the diverse society in which we practice.

A new justice of the Iowa Supreme Court will be selected soon. I don’t envy the selection committee’s or the governor’s task ahead as I’m certain they will have many excellent and qualified candidates from which to select. I hope that pool includes several female lawyers, lawyers of color, and lawyers from backgrounds that have not had significant (or any) representation on our supreme court historically. Read more


Get up close and personal with Raygun at our June luncheon

Join us on Tuesday, June 12, from noon to 1:30 p.m. for our annual law clerk luncheon. Our speaker is Mike Draper, Founder and Owner of Raygun. Raygun (”A printing, design & clothing company owned and operated by extremely attractive Midwesterners”) opened in the East Village in 2005. Raygun (“The Greatest Store in the Universe”) now has locations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Kansas City.

The luncheon will be held at the Downtown Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave., in Des Moines. Note that seating is limited and we may not be able to accommodate walk-ins, so please make your reservation early – or by June 7 at the latest. Click here to download the reservation form or call (515) 243-3904 for reservations. Please be sure to let us know if you prefer the vegetarian lunch option.

Golfers hit links and suppport good cause

28 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.


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.


Spring CLE materials are now posted online

Some 200 PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on April 20 to network and stay on top of their profession at the Spring 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, including 1.75 hours Ethics and 2.75 hours Federal. Click here to download the materials.


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 for details.


It’s time to renew 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.

If you have questions about your membership, contact PCBA Executive Director Carol Phillips. Click here for details and to download the membership form.


Playing games for a good cause

Rick Olson (right) accepts the Trivia Challenge Trophy from Master of Ceremonies Former Justice Michael Streit.

The PCBA hosted yet another Trivia Challenge Night to benefit the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project on June 29 at the ISBA building. Teams of eight players each showed off their knowledge of all things trivial while Master of Ceremonies, former Justice Michael Streit, once again kept the event moving and the crowd entertained for this seventh installment of this wildly popular event.

Rick Olson Law Firm’s team, “To be determined,” took home the winning trophy after correctly answering a tie-breaking question with the Branstad Law Firm’s “Inimicus Curiae” team. See if you can answer the tie breaking question: Science. At their closest points, how far is Mars from Earth in millions of miles?

But the real winners were the clients of the Volunteer Lawyers Project as the event raised more than $5,000 to support its efforts. Click here to view photos.