October 16, 2017

The best funeral and resting place is often the one that you plan before you die.  Preplanning your funeral is a way to ensure your wishes are met and spares your family the stress of making these decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions.  A few questions to consider: 1) Do you want […]


October 12, 2017

Over the next few newsletters, we will be doing a series on “The Basics” of a variety of things in our practice areas, including Trusts, Residential Real Estate Transactions, Probate, etc. In this Newsletter, we are starting with business structures and how they each differ from one another. Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietor is […]


October 10, 2017

What is the Iowa Supreme Court? It is the highest court in the Iowa state court system. It is comprised of 7 justices and is an appellate court—meaning that is reviews cases that have already been heard by a lower level court.  Appellate court hearings do not involve witnesses, juries, or new evidence.  An appellate […]

After 57 Years in Practice, Thomas Carpenter Retires

October 9, 2017

Thomas “Tom” Carpenter has been a mainstay at Grefe & Sidney since the firm began in 1971.  His sage advice, caring nature, and highest ethical standards have provided an excellent example for all attorneys at the firm and within the Iowa Bar.  It is with appreciation and best wishes that we announce that Tom is […]

What is “Contempt” or “Show Cause”?

September 29, 2017

  What is “Contempt”? What happens if your teenager does not want to visit his father?  What if you get laid off and can’t pay child support?  What if your child’s parent files for contempt? In Iowa, a contempt, or Rule to Show Cause, occurs when a party fails to follow a court order. The […]

Your Son Just Graduated From High School – How Do You Terminate Your Child Support Obligation?

September 27, 2017

  There are three main reasons to terminate a child support obligation: the child has phased out, the child is emancipated, and the child is now living with the noncustodial parent. The child has phased out. A child support obligation can be terminated once the child at issue phases out, or is no longer eligible. […]


September 25, 2017

  Iowa is an equitable distribution state, which means that that courts divide all of the property of the parties at the time of divorce, except “separate property”, in an equitable manner in light of the particular circumstances of the parties. It is the general rule that the inheritance (whether money or property) you receive […]

Iowa Court of Appeals Holds Contraband Found on a Vehicle’s Passenger Alone Does Not Provide Probable Cause to Search Entire Vehicle

September 21, 2017

  The Iowa Court of Appeals recently reversed two drug convictions and ordered a new trial for Shannon See, holding that the contraband found during a warrantless search of her person and vehicle should have been suppressed for lack of probable cause.  The Court’s opinion relied heavily on the particular factual circumstances. On February 15, […]

Iowa Court of Appeals Holds Accelerating Effective Resignation Date Does Not Amount to ‘Involuntary Termination’ Under Employment Contract

  Opinion Summary In Bradshaw v. Cedar Rapids Airport Comm’n, No. 16-1639, Plaintiff Bradshaw sued his former employer, the Cedar Rapid Airport Commission, arguing the Commission owed him severance pay pursuant to his employment contract.  The contract provided for twelve months’ severance if the Commission involuntarily terminated Bradshaw.  Conversely, Bradshaw would receive no severance if […]

Iowa Court of Appeals Holds Injured Employee Failed to Timely File Petition Relative to Cumulative Back Injury

  In Myers v. R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co., No. 17-0306, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that an employee failed to file his claim for worker’s compensation within the statutory two year period, and as a result dismissed his claim. Under Iowa’s Worker’s Compensation laws, injured employees must file a claim within two years […]