Monthly Archives: July 2016

Supreme Court Issues Decision Denying Felons’ Voting Rights

July 11, 2016

In Griffin v. Pate, et al., the Supreme Court considered whether delivery of a controlled substance is an “infamous crime” under the voter disqualification provision of the Iowa Constitution. The lawsuit challenged the 1994 law that defined all felonies as “infamous crimes,” unless restored by the governor. The Court held the term “infamous crime” was […]

Supreme Court Finds Violation of Local Ordinance Constitutes Negligence Per Se

July 8, 2016

The Supreme Court of Iowa ordered a new trial in a wrongful-death action arising from a fatal fall from an apartment balcony. The case presented several issues on the applicability of the negligence per se doctrine to an alleged municipal housing code violation. In 2011, Shannon Potts was drinking with friends in a Des Moines […]

Insurer Beware:  Defective Workmanship Claims and CGL Implications

The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued an important decision as it relates to coverage of defective workmanship claims.  In National Surety Corp. v. Westlake Investments, LLC., an owner of an apartment complex (Westlake) and its excess carrier (National Surety) squared of as to who was obligated to pay, if anyone, for water penetration into Westlake’s […]

New Iowa Civil Jury Instructions are in Effect

The Iowa State Bar Association’s Jury Instructions Committee updated the civil jury instructions, which are now in effect. The changes in the civil instructions impact instruction 100.2 related to juror biases. The new instruction includes the following language: As you consider the evidence, do not be influenced by any personal sympathy, bias, prejudices or emotions. […]