From the President . . .

PCBA President Donna Miller

New Family Law and Guardianship Mediation Training Program

For our members who practice in family law, juvenile and now guardianship cases, mediation is a significant (and often required) component of their cases. The right mediator can mean the difference between an effective resolution or ongoing disputes that further harm families. The Supreme Court rules require all family law mediators to complete forty hours of training specifically focused on family law. The new statute governing minor guardianships also includes a mediation component that requires specialized training.

We are excited to roll out a new mediation training program this March. Participants will learn through in-class presentations, shadowing experienced mediators, and “live” mediation training. Ashely Tollakson and Amy Skogerson, who also teach mediation at Drake Law School, will be joined by Rob Evans to provide class participants with mediation basics and skills. With three experienced mediators, and their professional “war stories” (grandma’s cake plate? — it happens), the class will provide the right balance of presentations and hands-on learning. Participants who complete the training are automatically qualified for addition to the PCBA roster of mediators.

The family law class will begin in late March with in-class days March 30 through April 1 at the Bar building. In a separate session, attorney Kristin Hall will be providing guardianship-focused training for those involved in minor guardianship cases. Look for more details and registration options soon. Read more.


Don’t miss this free ‘Lunch & Learn’

The PCBA Bench & Bar Committee invites you to a free Lunch & Learn seminar on “Revising the Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure” on February 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse (Historic Courthouse. The speakers are: Justice Edward Mansfield, Judge Porter, Criminal Defense Attorney Jake Feuerhelm, Asst. Polk County Attorney Jaki Livingston, Aaron Rogers from the Attorney General’s Office, and ) Mary Conroy from the State Appellate Defender’s Office.

This seminar should qualify for 90 minutes CLE credit. Lunch will be provided, but please RSVP to ensure that a lunch will be available for you. Click here for complete details and to register.


Save the date: Spring CLE is April 3

Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss our Spring General Practice CLE on Friday, April 3, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel. This event is FREE for current members. (There is a $25 charge for printed materials, but they will also be posted in the Members Only area of our website following the event). We anticipate approval for 7.5 hours of CLE credit with some Ethics.


Test your trivia knowledge and support VLP

Tables are sure to sell out fast for our upcoming Trivia Challenge nights to benefit the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, so mark your calendars for July 16 and October 15. Details to follow.


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


Support the VLP; get a tax deduction

Don’t forget that you can make a contribution to the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project 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.


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 require