From the President . . .

PCBA President David Nelmark

Lately, there has been lots of talk and news coverage about Iowa judges. We’ve had recent retirements from the District Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Iowa Supreme Court. With those retirements come new applicants who put their credentials and personal lives out there for scrutiny by merit selection committees. Those who are appointed through this process take on a tremendous workload and are tasked with making difficult decisions that impact Iowans’ lives, rights, and freedoms.

To all those Iowans who wear and have worn the black robe, I say “Thank You!”

As a group, you are collectively held in high regard by the members of the Iowa Bar, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. In our adversarial system, almost every decision you make will leave (at least) one party unhappy. Nonetheless, you are respected and appreciated–even when attorneys caught in the throes of advocacy forget to mention it.

Read more….


Meet the man behind the Drake Relays

Blake Boldon

Join us for our monthly luncheon on Tuesday, April 9, when our featured speaker will be Drake Relays Director Blake Boldon. Mr. Boldon will provide insights to one of the nation’s most anticipated high school, intercollegiate, and elite track and field events, along with the community-wide celebration for Des Moines and Drake University that accompanies the Drake Relays.

The event will be held at noon at the Iowa State Bar Association Conference Center, 625 East Court Avenue, in Des Moines. Seating is limited and we may not be able to accommodate walk-ins, so please make your reservation by Thursday, April 4, if possible. Click here for details and a reservation form or call 243-3904. Please be sure to let us know if you want the vegetarian lunch option.


Mark your calendar for our Spring General Practice CLE

You don’t want to miss our Spring General Practice CLE on Friday, April 12, 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 State CLE credit hours. Watch our website for details on the agenda.


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.


Calling all educators for Law Day competition

PCBA and ARAG Legal Insurance hold a Law Day competition every year for elementary, middle school, and high school students in Polk County. The annual Law Day celebration highlights the role of law in our society to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. This year’s theme is Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society. Click here for complete details and entry forms.


Consider becoming a Law Day sponsor

For just $100, you or your firm can sponsor a winning student in our Law Day competition. In addition to the goodwill sponsorship generates, it also includes a variety of perks. For example, sponsors or their designee can present the award to their students during a special ceremony, which will be held on May 1 in the courtroom of the Iowa Supreme Court. Sponsors will also be recognized in the written program and receive a photograph with their sponsored student. And, sponsors are invited to network with students during a lunch in the Light Court prior to the awards ceremony. In addition to the awards presentation, the Law Day observance will include special guest speakers from the judiciary, legislative, and executive branch.

Click here for complete details and a sponsorship sign-up form. Sponsorship contributions must be received by April 20.


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.



Golfers hit links and support good cause

Twenty-eight groups of 110 golfers hit the links on June 1 at the annual bench and bar golf outing to benefit the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. The event, which was organized by the PCBA Golf and Social Committee, was held at the Waveland Golf Course.

The winners in the Mens Flight were: Luke Mohrhauser, Thomas Mohrhauser, Levi Slings, and Greg Woods (59). The Mixed Flight winners were: Hon. Eliza Ovrom, Mark Schuling, Hon. Douglas Staskal, and Tom Levis (62). The following are individual winners: Madelyn Mauk, Women’s Longest Drive; Hon. Douglas Staskal, Men’s Longest Drive; Abhay Nadipuram, Closest to the Pin; and David Shinkle, Longest Putt. Click here to see photos.


A special thanks to our sponsors

The following sponsors helped make the 2018 Bench and Bar Golf Outing such a huge success:

GOLD Sponsors: Ahlers & Cooney, PLC; Belin McCormick, PC; Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, PC; Brick Gentry, PC; Brown Winick, PLC; Davis Brown Law Firm; Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, PC; Drew Law Firm, PC; Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP; Finley Law Firm, PC; Fredrikson & Byron, PA; Galligan & Reid, PC; Grefe & Sidney, PLC; Iowa State Bank; Macro & Kozlowski, LLP; McKee, Voorhees, Sease, PLC; Nyemaster Goode, PC; Law Offices of David A. Morse; Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese PC; Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller, PC; The Weinhardt Law Firm; and Whitfield & Eddy Law.

SILVER Sponsors: ARAG North America, Inc.; Baker Group; Bob Brown Auto; CashattWarren Family Law, PC; Dorsey & Whitney, LLP; Gislason & Hunter, LLP; Hansen, McClintock & Riley; Hopkins & Huebner, PC; The James Law Firm; Laden & Pearson PC and Feuerhelm Law Office; Sullivan & Ward, PC; Wandro & Associates; and Wilson, Deege, Despotovich, Riemenschneider & Rittgers

Dinner sponsored by Roxanne Conlin & Associates. Hole-In-One Sponsor:Willis Auto Campus. Additional Sponsors: Carney & Appleby, PLC; Holmes Murphy & Associates, LLC; and Lederer, Weston, Craig, PLC.


Winning students celebrate Law Day at Judicial Building

The format was decidedly different, but the end result was the same – the winning students and their families in this year’s PCBA/ARAG Law Day competition and celebration came away with a unique appreciation of the law and its impact on our society.

PCBA partners with ARAG each year to celebrate Law Day by giving Polk County students a chance to learn about the law through artistic expression. Students in grades K through 12 create essays, poetry, works of visual art, technology, or performing art relating to a legal theme. This year’s Law Day theme was Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.

In past years, the awards ceremony was held in conjunction with the May PCBA luncheon. This year, however, it was held on May 1 – the actual Law Day – at the Iowa Judicial Branch Building. Special guests from all three branches of Iowa’s state government were on hand to give remarks and mingle with the students, their families, and their teachers. They were: Justices Bruce Zager, Edward Mansfield, and Brent Appel on behalf of the Judicial Branch; Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver on behalf of the Legislative Branch; and Roxann Ryan, Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, on behalf of the Executive Branch. Click here to see the winning entries and to view the photo album.


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 required.