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Master Calendar

1/26/2015 » 1/26/2016
Find-A-Lawyer Renewal/Sign-Up

2015 Juvenile Law Seminar

61st Annual Spring Tax Institute

Frequently Asked Questions by the Public
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• How can the ISBA help me find an attorney?
• How do I go about selecting an attorney?
• How can I file a complaint against an attorney?
• What does the ISBA do for the public?
• How can I be exempted or deferred from jury service?
• Can I represent myself in court?
• How do I pay my fines?
• Does The Iowa State Bar Association offer legal forms?

How can the ISBA help me find an attorney?
ISBA Find-A-Lawyer service is a directory provided by The Iowa State Bar Association to assist its members and the public in locating an attorney. All lawyers listed in FIND-A-LAWYER are members of The Iowa State Bar Association.

Visit to start your search. For a list of other Iowa legal assistance organizations, please visit our Legal Assistance page.

How do I go about selecting an attorney?
It is important to select an attorney who can help with the specific legal problem. Most lawyers practice in certain areas, and only take cases in their practice areas. An attorney who cannot help you may still be able to refer you to an attorney or law firm that does handle your type of legal matter. If you call a law office and learn they do not practice the type of law you need help with, ask them if they can recommend another firm. More information, including important questions to ask an attorney, can be found at this link.

How can I file a complaint against an attorney?
If you ultimately believe that an attorney may have violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, you can call the Iowa Board of Professional Ethics at (515) 725-8017. They will help you work out a solution with your lawyer. In addition, the Iowa Judicial Branch attorney discipline page will give you further information if wanting to file a complaint against an attorney.

How can I find out more about what the ISBA does for the public?
The Iowa State Bar provides a variety of information and services for the public -- from consumer legal information to information about the attorney grievance process. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve this page, please send an e-mail to

Visit the ISBA's public information page to learn more about the ISBA's public outreach activities.

How can I be exempted or deferred from jury service?

This is one of those times when the community comes to you and interrupts your normal routine for a brief period for the good of everyone. If only people with lots of leisure time were on juries, those juries would not be truly representative of the community.

We are all equally likely to be asked to serve on a jury--your busy neighbor or competitor no less than you. Inconvenience is not an excuse to avoid jury duty--but just think for a moment how inconvenient it would be to live in a country where you had no right to a jury trial!

Inconvenience doesn't get us off the hook, but genuine hardship is another matter. Again, the court or commission on your jury summons document is the best source of information, but in general, the law provides that some people can be excused if necessary. You may be exempted or deferred from jury service if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Engaged in work necessary to the public health, safety, or good order;
  • A full-time student in a college, university, vocational school, or other post-secondary school;
  • Primary caregiver having active care and custody of a child six years of age or younger, with no reasonably available alternative childcare;
  • A primary teacher in a home study program who during the week of trial is actively engaged in teaching and no reasonable alternative for the child or children is available;
  • A person 70 years of age or older may request that his/her name be removed from the jury list of the county; or
  • A service member on ordered military duty, or the spouse of such service member, upon presentation of a copy of official military orders or a written verification signed by the juror's commanding officer.

For more information on jury duty, please visit the Iowa Judicial Branch's Jury Service webpage. To view a overview video of the jury process, please click here to watch "A Jury of Our Peers."

Can I represent myself in court?
Yes you can represent yourself in court. However, The Iowa State Bar Association always recommends Iowans seek legal counsel to represent them in legal settings.

If you do decide to represent yourself, visit our How to Represent Yourself webpage for basic, but important, information you should know before you go to court.

How do I pay my fines?
Payment of fines is handle through the Iowa Judicial Branch.

Does The Iowa State Bar Association offer legal forms?
The ISBA does offer some legal forms. Please note that The Iowa State Bar Association always recommends seeking assistance from an attorney for help with your legal issues and that some of the forms, which can be located here, are located on third-party website and are not property of the ISBA. Use of these forms is not substitute for legal advice. Iowa's laws and court rules are complex and it is always advisable to talk to a lawyer before proceeding on your own.




The Iowa State Bar Association • 625 East Court Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50309
Ph. (515) 243-3179 • Fax (515) 243-2511