President’s Message: February/March 2015

It’s that time of year again. We recently witnessed a real Iowa snowstorm and all the neighborliness that comes with it. Early on Sunday morning, I began systematically shoveling the 10 or more inches of lovely fluffy snow from my driveway, determined to get out (of my driveway and successfully make my way to church) and give back (by singing one of my favorite hymns in the worship service). Without warning, two of my young neighbor boys and their mother walked over and started shoveling my driveway and sidewalks. What a genuine example of “Iowa Nice.” What a great example of spontaneous cooperation and collaboration to accomplish a clear goal. I’m guessing that many of us have similar stories to tell.

In 2015, I’m still asking all of you to get out and give back. No, I’m not necessarily asking you to help your neighbors shovel snow, but I am asking you to actively participate in the Polk County Bar Association’s upcoming events and projects.

This time, I’m focused on another goal of our strategic plan, strengthening the relationship between the bench and bar.

Goal number four: To further develop our relationship with the Bench for the mutual benefit of the bench and the bar.

The first action item for meeting this goal was activating the Bench-Bar Committee. We’ve nearly met that goal. The Bench-Bar Committee Co-Chairs, Judge Larry McLellan and Ryan Koopmans, recruited additional committee members to include a broad cross-section of lawyers, judges on the Polk County bench, and administrative law judges. The Bench-Bar committee presented a CLE program last fall on a timely topic, the judicial selection process here in District 5C. The Bench-Bar committee is presenting another CLE program on February 27, to foster discussion on current hot topics. The Bench-Bar committee also planned a judicial reception on April 9, to bid farewell to retiring judges and to welcome new judges. All are truly welcome to attend these events! You’re also welcome and encouraged to join the Bench-Bar Committee and keep up the momentum.

Please join us at the annual Bench-Bar luncheon meeting on Tuesday, February 10, and listen to our distinguished speaker, Chief Justice Mark Cady. We hope to see you there. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

The Polk County Bar Association’s leadership has also been involved with Polk County Courthouse staff regarding the PCBA mediation program and the plans for the new court facilities. We thank District Court Administrator Beth Baldwin and Chief Judge Arthur Gamble for including the PCBA in these discussions, and for our continued presence and participation in judicial investiture ceremonies. We greatly appreciate this continued spirit of communication and cooperation.