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Iowa Supreme Court Holds Special Session at Drake Law School

March 7, 2008
News PhotoFirst-year students at Drake University Law School will hear oral arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court at 9 a.m. in the courtroom of the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center, 2400 University Ave.

The court will hear arguments in two cases. The first involves the use of cameras to detect speeding automobiles as a means of enforcing traffic laws. The second concerns issues of  attorney-client privilege and protected work product. 

Following the arguments, the justices will participate in a question-and-answer session for the students. This special event is designed to help law students become more familiar with appellate court procedure and arguments.

Proceedings will be streamed live from the Law School Web site , allowing anyone interested to experience an Iowa Supreme Court argument. Video recordings of oral arguments normally are available a week later on the Supreme Court Web site.  

Summaries of the two cases

  • CITY OF DAVENPORT, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. THOMAS J. SEYMOUR, Defendant-Appellant. The court granted Thomas J. Seymour's application for discretionary review from a district court decision finding him guilty of violating the City of Davenport's Automated Traffic Enforcement Ordinance. Seymour argues the ordinance, which imposes liability on an owner instead of an operator of a speeding automobile, conflicts with the provisions of Iowa Code chapter 321, which places the burden upon the State to prove that the operator, not simply the owner, exceeded the speed limit.
  • JAMES KEEFE AND KATHY DEE KEEFE, Plaintiffs-Appellees vs. RENALD BERNARD and MCFARLAND CLINIC, P.C., Defendants-Appellants. The supreme court granted interlocutory appeal of a district court ruling ordering the defendants to produce to the plaintiffs a four-page memorandum prepared by the defendants' attorney summarizing a conference held with a Dr. David Sneller, an employee of McFarland Clinic, one of the named defendants.  The defendants claim the memo is protected by the attorney-client privilege and is protected work product. 

Hearing is a highlight of Law School's Supreme Court Celebration



The hearing at Drake is part of the Law School’s 71th Annual Supreme Court Celebration, which also will include a breakfast before the hearing for students and justices of the Iowa Supreme Court. The justices will have lunch with Drake Law School faculty that day.

As part of the Supreme Court Celebration, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady will visit a class on Friday, March 7, to talk with first-year students about professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. Cady received his bachelor's and law degrees from Drake.

The Supreme Court Celebration also includes a moot court competition in which four law student finalists will present oral arguments to the court at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Iowa Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Ave.

The celebration culminates that evening with a banquet honoring the court, students and alumni. Robert Grey Jr., past president and the first African-American officer in the American Bar Association, will give the keynote address at the banquet, which will start with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Downtown Marriott, 700 Grand Ave.