CNN's Michael Smerconish on the power of the civil justice system
Don't lower strip-search standard
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?
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"
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
Careful analysis needed before rewriting laws
This is also how lawmakers load the Iowa criminal code with ill-considered criminal penalties when passions are running high following a particularly heinous crime. Sometimes those decisions have to be corrected later. Whether popular or not, every proposal for tougher criminal penalties should be carefully scrutinized to assess the effect on the courts, prisons, public safety and criminal behavior... read more
Fort Madison attorney is living her dream
Gray is a lifelong resident of the area. “I grew up right here in Fort Madison,” she says. “I’m an original. My mother and father are from Iowa, and my brother and I were born and raised in Fort Madison.” ...read more
Questionable taser use in Iowa
The lawsuits have resulted in individual payouts by taxpayers of as much as $150,000, but all eight of the law enforcement agencies involved determined their officers followed policies, and no officer in any of the cases was disciplined, a Des Moines Register investigation shows.
Still, a law enforcement consultant and a civil liberties advocate both told the Register that the cases expose a mindset in law enforcement that accepts extensive use of the weapons as harmless... read more.
IAJ 40th Annual Convention