From the President . . .

Bridget Penick, president

Always stay Humble and Kind

So much has happened in this world – this country – this state—this county—since my last president’s message in early October. I’ll refrain from political commentary on the presidential election, but focus on the positive and express gratitude at the results of the judicial retention election. Thank you to each of you who helped educate a friend or family member on the purpose of our judicial retention election process. Thanks to all who attended the ribbon cutting for the Polk County Justice Center. Congratulations to the National Bar Association for the groundbreaking on “A Monumental Journey.”

Anyone who knows me knows that music is important to me. Only a handful of you who know me well may recall that I was a country music DJ at KCUI while attending Central College. Blame it all on my roots, but country song lyrics speak to me. As we are in the midst of the holiday season, yet also in the midst of a very divided and embittered country, (and yes, as I tried but was unable to get great tickets to the Soul 2 Soul concert coming to Des Moines next summer), I find myself singing these lyrics of late:

“When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind.”

– From “Humble and Kind”, written by Lori McKenna and performed by Tim McGraw

As lawyers, we dutifully attend CLEs and amass our ethics credits. We hear speeches about civility. We know we are duty-bound to act with “professional courtesy and professional integrity in the fullest sense of those terms.” Iowa Standards for Professional Conduct, Rule 33.1(1). Are we collectively fulfilling this obligation? Are you personally living it? Or, has the negativity and turmoil in the last few months led us astray? Read more ….


Fall CLE materials are now online

Some 275 PCBA members gathered at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott on November 18 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 hours of State CLE credit, including 1 hour Ethics and 3 hours Federal. Click here to download the materials (member log-in required).


Students invited to take part in Law Day contest

Each year, the Polk County Bar Association teams up with ARAG to give Polk County students a chance to get creative with the law as part of our Law Day celebration. Chief among the activities is the visual arts, music, essay and poetry competition for students in grades 6 through 12.

This year’s theme, The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy, provides the opportunity for students to explore the many ways that the Fourteenth Amendment has reshaped American law and society. Through its Citizenship, Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, this transformative amendment advanced the rights of all Americans. It also played a pivotal role in extending the reach of the Bill of Rights to the states. Ratified during Reconstruction a century and a half ago, the Fourteenth Amendment serves as the cornerstone of landmark civil rights legislation, the foundation for numerous federal court decisions protecting fundamental rights, and a source of inspiration for all those who advocate for equal justice under law.

Click here for complete details. The winning students will be honored at the PCBA Annual Meeting and Law Day Luncheon on Tuesday, May 9.


Do you have the latest Polk County Courts phone chart?

The latest Polk County Court phone chart is now available and we have it here on our website for you! Click here to download the new chart, which includes the new law clerks and three new judicial specialists. Member login required.


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.

And, as a bonus, first-time PCBA members and those who renew their membership for 2016 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 Phillips. 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 for details.