From the President . . .

PCBA President Donna Miller

Why the push to grow membership?

At a recent meeting, the (admittedly seasoned) PCBA board members discussed how we can encourage younger associates/attorneys to attend events, and more importantly, help them understand the value of networking and socializing with other members of the bar. We recalled when we were new attorneys and there was an expectation and affirmative push for associates to attend lunches, and in return, the partner or senior associate would introduce the newer members around the table.

It is generally agreed that if new attorneys do not have involvement with the bar association in their first two years of practice, the likelihood that they will ever join is greatly reduced. A total of 195 new attorneys just received the good news that they passed the Iowa bar exam. We want to encourage new members of the bar, whether they plan to strike out on their own or join a firm, to see the PCBA as a resource. Getting them involved early is key. To that end, we are going to reach out to you for help. We are working on a plan to match new admittees in the area with members of the PCBA. A formal announcement will be coming soon. Until then, if you know someone who has recently passed the bar exam, or is only a few years in, bring them along with you to the next lunch or social. Remember that all members get one free lunch per year! Read more.


Get inside scoop on new federal courthouse

Join us for our monthly luncheon on Tuesday, November 12, when our featured speaker will be Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Jarvey. He will provide an overview of the new Federal Courthouse, which is being constructed on the former site of the Riverfront YMCA and discuss the timeline and the design. The event will be held at noon at the Iowa State Bar Association Conference Center, 625 East Court Avenue, in Des Moines. Click here for details and to download the registration form.


Something for everyone at our Fall CLE

You won’t want to miss the PCBA Fall General Practice CLE on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Downtown Marriott Hotel. This CLE will truly offer something for everyone with a wide variety of sessions being planned. We anticipate approval for 7.5 hours of CLE credits with an hour of Ethics. This CLE is FREE to PCBA members. Click here for the agenda and to register.


Law teams test trivia knowledge

Fresh off their big Trivia Challenge win, “East Village People” team members from Fredrikson and Byron pose with their trophy.

The PCBA hosted another successful Trivia Challenge Night to benefit the PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project on July 25 at the ISBA Conference Center. Thirteen teams each showed off their knowledge of all things trivial while Master of Ceremonies Michael Kuehner of Grefe & Sidney, PLC, kept the event moving and the crowd entertained for the ninth installment of this wildly popular event.

Team East Village People (Fredrikson & Byron, PA) took home the winning trophy after beating out The Benchwarmers (Judges of the 5th Judicial District) by correctly answering the tie-breaking question: “In miles, what is the length of the Des Moines River?” The answer: 525 Miles.

But the real winners were the clients of the Volunteer Lawyers Project as the event raised more than $7,000 to support its efforts.

Other teams taking part were: Grefe & Sidney, PLC; Burgers & Acquisitions (Davis Brown Law Firm); Inimicus Curiae (Branstad & Olson Law Office); ABM150 (Emily Chafa & Friends); Ipse Dixiters (Whitfield & Eddy Law); A Firm Commitment to Trivia (Brown Winick Law Firm); What Happened to Benson? (Faegre Baker Daniels LLP); NYE-Masters of Trivia (Nyemaster Goode, PC); Wellmark-Insuring a Win! (Wellmark); Ahl-Stars (Ahlers & Cooney, PC); and Ruthless Ginsburgs (Hedberg & Boulton, PC).

Click here for details about Trivia Challenge Night X.



Golfers hit the links for a good cause

Some 100 golfers hit the links on June 7 at the annual Bench and Bar golf outing to benefit the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. The event, which was held at the Waveland Golf Course, raised nearly $25,000 for the cause.

The winners in the First Flight were: 1st Place – Joe Moser, Ted Stopulos, Erik Bergeland, and Rob Johnson; 2nd Place – Brant Leonard, Phil Bubb, Marc Ward, and Emily Pontius. The winners in the Second Flight were: 1st Place – Dustin Mueller, Sarah Kouri, Alison Stewart, and Nick Cooling; 2nd Place – Tyler Smith, Marshall Tuttle, Joe Barron, and Lee Hook. Other winners: Closest to the Pin (Hole Number 2) – Scott Riemenschneider; Longest Putt – Joe Moser; Longest Drive (Women) – Laura Lockwood; Longest Drive (Men) – Noah Stochl; Closest to the Pin (Hole Number 13) – Noah Stochl.

Two new contests were introduced this year. In one, which was sponsored by Van Everett of Northwestern Mutual, participants could pay to have golf pro Broc Everett hit their drives on Hole 7. In the other game, which was sponsored by Iowa State Bank, golfers paid $5 in the hope that they could hit the green with their first shot. Among those who did hit the green, one name was drawn at random to receive half of the prize. The winner was Christian Walker who donated his share of the winnings to the PCBA VLP.

Click here to see our photo gallery.


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 in 2019.

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