From the President . . .

PCBA President Donna Miller

In February, I envisioned my final months as PCBA Board President consisting of mingling at the Drake Law Ice Cream Social, introducing talented speakers at the spring CLE, and passing the gavel to incoming President Nick Cooper with appropriate pomp and circumstance. Instead, like we’re all experiencing, this year’s wrap-up included virtual meetings and administrative duties, without flourish or fun.

While PCBA had to cancel all of its meetings and gatherings, Carol Phillips, Sonja Diener, and Charles Tamay have worked diligently to maintain services for members. They have continued to provide vital VLP services and were integral in setting up the Covid-19 Legal Hotline in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid and the State Bar Association. Not only did they successfully tackle working from home due to the virus, they did so after already being displaced by a large pipe leak at the Bar building. Julie Seidlin has navigated the mediation program through dramatic change. We owe them a huge “thank you” for their commitment and work this year. I commend them.

In addition to the hard-working staff, the PCBA will greatly benefit from the leadership of its new president, Nick Cooper. Read more.

Mark your calendar for expanded Fall CLE

Because of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, our Spring General Practice CLE, which was planned for April 3, has been rescheduled for November 12 and 13. It will be a two-day seminar. The total hours for both days will be 15 hours CLE credit. We will post on this website and email more details about the CLE as soon as they are available.

Do you have the latest orders?

In an effort to maintain court services as much as possible while preventing the spread of Covid-19, both the Iowa Supreme Court and the District Court have issued modifications to certain court functions. Your PCBA is committed to getting this information out to you as soon as possible so be sure to watch your email messages for important updates from us. Meanwhile, click here to see recent supervisory and administrative orders. Member login required

Hotline created to help with COVID-19 legal issues

Iowa Legal Aid, The Iowa State Bar Association, and the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (PCBA VLP) have partnered to a create The COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline – 1-800-332-0419. This Hotline is a free service available to Iowans who are experiencing legal issues due to the public health crisis.

The Hotline operates between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Iowans experiencing any type of legal problem related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, such as facing eviction, being denied unemployment benefits, experiencing employment issues, or being a victim of identity theft, can call 1-800-332-0419. Callers will leave a message and Iowa Legal Aid staff will call them back. Those who meet Iowa Legal Aid’s guidelines will be connected with an Iowa Legal Aid attorney; those who are outside of Iowa Legal Aid’s guidelines will be connected with volunteer attorneys through The Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Attorneys from a broad range of practice areas are needed to assist in this effort. If you are interested in taking cases pro bono that arise from this hotline, please contact ISBA Director of Innovation and Outreach Virginia Sipes at or contact PCBA Executive Director Carol Phillips Please indicate your practice areas in the email.

Click here to see how the Hotline works.

New notary rules and resources available to small businesses

Remote notarization is now in effect. In addition, the state and federal governments are taking action to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read important information from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Also, a state fund has been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers eligible small businesses grants ranging from $5,000-$10,000. Click here for details.

Helpful links, articles, and other COVD-19 resources

In response to the developing situation surrounding COVID-19, the Iowa State Bar Association has compiled a variety of resources to assist and educate. Click here to learn more.

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