Dubuque goes overboard with sledding ordinance
DES MOINES REGISTER - JAN 10, 2015
Claiming fear of lawsuits, the Dubuque City Council recently banned sledding at all but two of its 50 city parks. The city must be facing an avalanche of litigation, right? Actually, the city of Dubuque has never faced a sledding lawsuit — which is not at all surprising.

As far as we can tell, there have been only three sledding lawsuits against Iowa cities in history. These were not cases of bruises or broken bones, but sledders permanently paralyzed after slamming into dangerous obstacles that were placed at the bottom of designated sledding hills by city employees who should have known better... read more

IAJ installs new officers and board members, and honors award winners
IAJ - NOV 6-7, 2014
The Iowa Association for Justice held its annual two day seminar November 6-7, 2014 at the Marriott Downtown Des Moines. At the event IAJ installed new executive officers and members of its Board of Governors. IAJ’s newly installed leaders will serve the 2014-15 term. IAJ also honored its 2014 award winners and completed its year-long Justice In Deed fundraising campaign to place a fully trained therapy dog at On With Life in Ankeny. Follow the link above to see full details from the event. To see photos from the two-day convention, click here

CNN's Michael Smerconish on the power of the civil justice system
CNN - APR 4, 2014
In "One Last Thing," Smerconish recaps his week, and reflects upon the power and importance of the civil justice system.

Don't lower strip-search standard
Cedar Rapids Gazette - MAR 14, 2014
The Iowa Legislature should drop consideration of a bill that would lower the legal threshold for strip searches in county jails and municipal holding facilities.

A bill approved by the Iowa House would allow officers to strip-search anyone in a jail's general population if they have "reasonable suspicion" that detainee is in possession for contraband. That includes offenders arrested for low-level misdemeanors, such as traffic violations and public intoxication. read more

Who should decide the outcome of civil disputes?
Sioux City Journal - MAR 7, 2014
The defamation lawsuit of State Sen. Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, against his former campaign opponent Rick Mullin and the Iowa Democratic Party brings up an important question about our courts: Who should decide the outcome of civil disputes?

For hundreds of years in America the answer was simple. Local jurors decided disputes between parties and complicated cases were then reviewed by appellate judges. Our founders fought for this system. They demanded it in our Bill of Rights with the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury in civil cases. This system ensured that citizens would hear all the facts of each individual case, weigh the arguments of each party, and come to a common-sense solution. James Madison went so far as to say that, “trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.” read more 

Two former nurses suing Finley Hospital for "blacklisting"
Cedar Rapids Gazette - FEB 25, 2014
Two former Finley Hospital nurses in Dubuque claim they were blacklisted from getting another job with other Unity Point Health hospitals, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dubuque County District Court. 

Former nurses, Lisa Flanagan and Ellen Rath claim in the suit their former employer put messages into a database discouraging prospective employers to hire the women, which is "blacklisting" according to state law... read more

Physician numbers in Iowa not simple as politicians say
Des Moines Register Editorial - FEB 6, 2014
The governor has proposed initiatives to retain and attract doctors, including loan forgiveness and money to support medical residencies. Those are fine. But he also supports "efforts to reform medical malpractice litigation," including a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. This is another example of wide misunderstanding about why physicians make decisions about where to locate... read more

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

IAJ's "New Rules" Training for Law Firm Staff

April 9, 2015
Holiday Inn West Des Moines-Jordan Creek

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IAJ's Members Only Seminar (1.5 day)

April 9 & 10, 2015
Holiday Inn West Des Moines-Jordan Creek

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