From the President . . .

PCBA President Debra Hockett-Clark

I am continuing my practice of beginning my message with a joke.

A man in his 70s calls his son to tell him he and his mother are getting a divorce. “Dad, you can’t do this! You’re not thinking straight.” The son calls his sister to talk about it, and she is in agreement; their parents cannot do this. “Dad, we’re flying out there tomorrow. Do not sign any papers, contact any lawyers, or even think about going down to the courthouse.” After the dad gets off the phone, he looks over at his wife and says, “It worked. They’ll be here for Christmas and are paying their own airfare.”

I am sure that we would all agree that at the end of the day there is nothing more important than our family. As a family law attorney, the holidays can be a very stressful time for clients and their children. It can be difficult for parties to experience their first holiday being with their children only part of the time. This is why it is especially important that low-income clients have access to attorneys who can help them create a parenting schedule that maintains their relationships with their children. Read more.


Take the ’22 in 22′ Pro Bono Pledge

The Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, and Iowa Legal Aid, with the support of the Iowa Supreme Court, are proud to announce the 2022 Pro Bono Pledge, a new campaign created to increase access to legal services throughout the state. Attorneys statewide are encouraged to pledge to provide at least 22 hours of pro bono service in 2022. Information collected will be provided to the Iowa Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (for attorneys practicing in Polk County). Click here to take the pledge.


Don’t miss this important administrative law CLE

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Jan. 18, at noon, and plan to join us for a virtual CLE brought to you by the PCBA Bench & Bar Committee. The topic is “Selected Developments in Administrative Law,” and the featured speaker will be Hon. Henry Hamilton, III, federal administrative law judiciary. This event has been approved for one hour CLE credit. Click here for details.


Support the VLP and 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.

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.


Fall CLE seminar materials are now online

PCBA members gathered virtually on Nov. 5 to network and stay on top of their profession at the Fall general practice seminar. 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 CLE credit, including 1 hour of Ethics and 1 hour of Diversity. Click here to download the materials (member login required).


PCBA members hit the links for a good cause

Some 120 players hit the links on June 4 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 more than $35,000 for the cause.

And the winners are …. Men’s team, with a score of 54: Brad Epperly, John Clendenin, Cory Harris, and Ben Roach. Mixed team, with a score of 60: Ross Gibson, Whitney Judkins, Laura Lockwood, and Kara Eischen. Longest putt: Andrew Steffenmeier. Longest Drive: Stephen Brown. Closest to the Pin #2: Dustin Mueller. Closest to the Pin #10: Laura Cilek. Closest to the Pin #13: Brian Carlson

A special thank you goes to Laura Cilek, who won the circle game but donated her $410 winnings back to PCBA VLP. And a very big thank you goes to the Golf Committee and the following volunteers who helped on the day of the event: Corrin Hatala and Abigail Wallace, Golf Committee Co-Chairs. Amanda Adams, David Barajas, Maria Brownell, Phil Bubb, Emily Chafa, Nicholas Cooper, Matt Dixon, Tracy Eaton, Zach Eubank, Van Everett, Drew Gentsch, Debra Hockett-Clark, Kelli Huser, Jesse Johnston, Michael Kuehner, Laura Lockwood, Cole Mayer, Miki McGovern, Julie Johnson McLean, Nathan Mundy, Julie Seidlin, Kayla Sproul, and Elizabeth Van Arkel. Click here to see photos of the event.


We couldn’t do it without our generous sponsors

The sponsors listed below helped make the 2021 Bench and Bar Golf Outing such a huge success:

Gold Sponsors: Ahlers & Cooney, PC; Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, PC; Brick Gentry; PC, BrownWinick Law Firm; Carney & Appleby, PLC; Dentons Davis Brown, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, PC; Drew Law Firm, PC; Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP; Finley Law Firm, PC; Fredrikson & Byron, PA; Galligan Law, PC; Grefe & Sidney, PLC; Mark Hinshaw Law Offices; Iowa State Bank; LexisNexis; Macro & Kozlowski, LLP; McKee, Voorhees & Sease; Nyemaster Goode, PC; Northwestern Mutual; Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese, PC; Timmer & Judkins, PLLC; Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller, PC; Whitfield & Eddy Law; and Zenor Kuehner.

Silver Sponsors: Emily Chafa & Miki McGovern; Dorsey & Whitney, LLP; Hansen, McClintock & Riley; Hopkins & Huebner, PC; Laden & Pearson, PC and Feuerhelm Law Office; Miller, Zimmerman & Evans, PC; Parrish Kruidenier; Patterson Law Firm, LLP; Peddicord Wharton; Sullivan & Ward, PC’ The Weinhardt Law Firm; and Wilson, Deege, Despotovich, Riemenschneider & Rittgers, PLC

Lunch Sponsor: Roxanne Conlin & Associates, P.C. Other Sponsor: McCormally & Cosgrove, PLLC


Do you have the latest orders?

In an effort to maintain court services 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.


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.


A special message from the Polk County Bar Association

The Polk County Bar Association joins the American Bar Association and many state and local bar associations in condemning the acts of violence at the U.S. Capitol during the certification of the Electoral Vote. The PCBA is committed to justice and upholding the rule of law. The actions of the rioters are the antithesis of our mission as an association. Let it be a call to re-dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of justice, safeguarding the rule of law and upholding our democracy.