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Iowa Supreme Court held special session at Drake Law School

March 17, 2008
photo of Supreme Court Judges
Iowa Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments in the courtroom at Drake Law School.

First-year Drake law students
recently heard oral arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court in the courtroom of
the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center as part of the Law School's 71stAnnual Supreme Court Celebration.

The court
heard arguments in two cases. The first case, which received widespread media
coverage in Iowa, involved the use of cameras to detect speeding automobiles as
a means of enforcing traffic laws. The second case concerned issues of attorney-client privilege and protected work product. 

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

Proceedings were streamed live
from the Law SchoolWeb site, allowing anyone interested to
experience an Iowa Supreme Court argument. 

Summaries of the two cases
appear below:

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. 



The hearing at Drake was part of the Law School’s 71st Annual Supreme Court
Celebration, which also included a breakfast before the hearing for students
and justices of the Iowa Supreme Court. The justices had lunch with Drake Law
School faculty that day.

As part of the Supreme Court Celebration, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady,
LA'75, LW'78, visited a class on March 7, to talk with first-year students
about professionalism and ethics in the practice of law.