Idaho State Bar & Idaho Law Foundation Announcements

The following announcements have been published within the past six (6) months.


ABA Legal Professionals Survey

The American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation are pleased to announce their collaboration on a groundbreaking research project to survey the current rates of substance use, depression and anxiety among legal professionals in the United States. 

The anonymous, confidential survey is designed to capture current, reliable and credible data on these issues, data which will impart numerous benefits to virtually all sectors of the legal profession.  All responses will be anonymous and go directly to the Butler Center for Research which maintains the confidentiality of all data.  No identifying information will be asked and all data will be de-identified including IP addresses. 

To participate in the study, please select: ABA Legal Professionals Survey.

You may direct any questions regarding the survey to: Audrey A. Klein, Ph.D., Butler Center for Research, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, (651) 213-4106 or

Judicial Election Qualifications Survey - Due 10/14

Idaho State Bar members have until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th to return a questionnaire about qualifications of those judicial candidates for whom they have personal or professional knowledge. Results will be released to the public on Oct. 21 in a press release and on the ISB website. The General Election will decide two district court runoff elections.
The ISB membership passed a resolution in 2003 that requested a survey be developed for use in contested judicial elections. A committee of lawyers and judges developed the four-question survey. The ISB has conducted the survey for every contested judicial election since then. Attorneys are asked to vote only if they have personal and/or professional experience with the candidate. The survey was sent via e-mail with electronic security so each member can vote only once. The small number of attorneys and judges who don’t use e-mail were sent the survey in the mail.

If there are questions, please contact ISB Communications Director Dan Black at 955-8866.

Welcome New Members!

On October 2, 2014, the Idaho State Bar welcomed 87 New Members.


ISB Diversity Section Accepting Nominations for "Justice for All" Award - Due 10/3

The Idaho State Bar Diversity Section annually recognizes a lawyer, a member of the judiciary or a citizen connected with advancing the causes of people of color, women, religious or ethnic minorities, those of marginalized social groups, and the poor in Idaho’s justice  system. Those who have been honored in the past through 2013 are Ernesto Sanchez, retired director of Idaho Legal Aid; Leslie Goddard, retired counsel and director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission; Nicole LeFavour, Idaho’s first openly gay state legislator and civil rights activist; and Linda Pall, Idaho civil rights lawyer who has been recognized for her advocacy of human rights throughout the northwest as a recipient of the Rosa Parks Award in Latah County, the Sheikh Community Unity Award in Moscow and the Lassman Stand Against Hate Award from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA.

The Diversity Section intends to present the 2014 “Justice for All” Award in Boise at the October 30th CLE, 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Widening the Circle.  You are cordially invited to nominate someone who has played a long-term, deep commitment to civil and human rights. Please send your letter of nomination for the 2014 “Justice for All” Award by 5 PM, October 3, 2014 to Mahmood Sheikh, ISB Deputy Executive Director.

Thank you for your help in identifying a distinguished supporter of civil and human rights from the ranks of lawyers, judges and citizens of Idaho for this important recognition. We hope you will plan to join us for the CLE and the Award Luncheon on Thursday, October 30th – additional details will follow!

July 2014 Bar Exam Successful Applicants

The list of Successful Applicants from the July 2014 bar examination was released on September 11, 2014. The Admission Ceremony will be held on October 2, 2014 in Boise.

Idaho Association of Defense Counsel to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

The Idaho State Bar wishes to congratulate the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) on its upcoming 50th anniversary! IADC members and former presidents will celebrate at their annual meeting in Sun Valley, September 12-13.

Proposed Amendments Published for Public Comment

On August 15, 2014, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules published proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment.  The proposed amendments, Rules Committee reports explaining the proposed changes, and instructions on how to submit comments are posted on the federal Judiciary's website. To view, select: JUDICIAL CONFERENCE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS. The public comment period end February 17, 2015.


Comments Sought on Idaho Rules of Family Law Procedure

The Idaho Supreme Court and the Children and Families in the Courts Committee are seeking input on the implementation of the Idaho Rules of Family Law Procedure (IRFLP).  A copy of the rules can be found on the court’s website at  Send your suggested corrections, amendments or problems with implementation via email to Deena Layne at by January 2, 2015.  Please send a separate email regarding each rule that you suggest be changed, and identify the rule in the subject line of your email.  This will assist court staff with efficiently organizing all responses.  Thank you.

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendment to I.M.C.R. 9.4

The Court is considering an amendment to I.M.C.R. 9.4 which would require a certification from the alcohol-drug evaluator that the recommendation complies iwth the conflict of interest provision in the statute, and provide a sanction (or means of enforcement) if a judge learns thatan evaluator is violating the statute. To view the full text of the proposed amendment, select: I.M.C.R. 9.4 AMENDMENT. Comments regarding the proposed amendment may be sent to by September 1, 2014.


U.S. Courts Hold Symposium to Address Descamps

The U.S. District Court and the U.S. Probation Office are sponsoring a one-day "Descamps Symposium" on Friday, August 22nd at the U.S. District Courthouse in Boise. For additional information regarding the symposium and Descamps, view the Symposium Brochure, Descamps v. United States syllabus, and the Descamps Analysis.

Call for Nominations: Richard C. Fields Civility Award

The Idaho State Bar Professionalism & Ethics Section and Concordia University School of Law are honored to invite nominations for the Richard C. Fields Civility Award. Dick Fields was consistently recognized for his service, professionalism, and leadership within the Idaho State Bar and was known in the legal community as an advocate for civility in the practice of law. Dick received the Idaho State Bar’s Distinguished Lawyer award in 2000 and chaired the Dean’s Advisory Council at Concordia Law since its inception in 2009.

In honor of Dick’s memory and the legacy he left for future generations of lawyers in Idaho, we invite you to nominate an Idaho lawyer who demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and civility in the profession. To do so, please send an email to Dean Cathy Silak or Gene Petty with the name of the attorney and a paragraph describing the attorney’s commitment to civility in the profession by August 4, 2014. The Richard C. Fields Civility Award will be presented at Concordia Law’s Professionalism & Ethics Orientation, a program Dick helped create, on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

U.S. District & Bankruptcy Court – Lawyer Representative Vacancy

The U.S. District & Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho is accepting applications for a three-year term as a lawyer representative.  The term of service will commence October 2014.  In addition to being a lawyer in good standing of the Idaho State Bar, the individual’s law practice must be within the Third or Fifth District.  For information including additional qualifications, the application process and position responsibilities, please select:  US District & Bankruptcy Court-Lawyer Representative.  You may also wish to speak with current or past lawyer representatives regarding their experiences in this capacity.

Persons interested in applying should submit a letter setting forth their experience and qualifications, no later than August 29, 2014, via email to Diane K. Minnich, Idaho State Bar Executive Director.

Legal Rate of Interest Now Available for FY2015

From the Idaho State Treasurer’s Office ... The rate of interest on money due on judgments for fiscal year 2015 is 5.125%. Computation: Idaho Code 28-22-104. For the breakdown of the computation and the history of past rates, select: Idaho State Treasurer's Office - Legal Rate of Interest. Questions may be directed to:

This rate of interest will be in effect from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. The new rate will be announced by July 1st of each succeeding year.


Proposed Amendment on Discretionary Jail Time (ICR 33)

The Idaho Supreme Court is seeking comments on a proposed new subsection to I.C.R. 33 on Discretionary Jail Time.  The proposed amendment can be found at Comments may be submitted to Cathy Derden by July 11.

Achenbach Email - Not Affiliated with Idaho State Bar or Casemaker

Idaho State Bar members may have recently received an email from Dave Achenbach indicating his product QuaeroLex Desktop Organizer integrates with Casemaker to “fully automate the download, naming and storage process.” That email is not affiliated with the Idaho State Bar or Casemaker. Members should be cautious of emails from unknown entities and to avoid opening links or downloads that could be malicious.


Board of Commissioners Election Results

The results for the 2014 Board of Commissioners elections show that Michelle Points (Boise) will represent the Fourth District and Dennis Voorhees (Twin Falls) will represent the Third and Fifth Districts. Their terms will begin in July at the ISB Annual Meeting.

The Board of Commissioners is the elected governing body of the Bar which consists of five commissioners, elected from Idaho’s seven judicial districts.  Two commissioners represent the Fourth District, one represents the First and Second Districts, one the Third and Fifth Districts, and one the Sixth and Seventh Districts. Commissioners serve staggered three-year terms. The Commissioners meet 8-10 times a year to oversee the various functions and programs of the Bar.  Pursuant to Idaho Bar Commission Rule 900, member input and recommendations are generated through the fall resolution process.  This process allows members of the bar to have the opportunity to recommend changes in rules of the court statutes, policies or rules of the Bar, and to discuss issues of interest or concern.  The Idaho State Bar cannot take a position on legislation unless the members have approved the issue during the resolution process.

Congratulations Michelle and Dennis!

2014 Contested Judicial Election - Attorney Survey Results

The Idaho State Bar recently conducted a survey of its members on the qualifications of candidates in contested judicial elections. The Idaho State Bar conducts this survey and disseminates the survey results to help voters learn more about the judicial candidates. The May 20th primary election will include eight (8) contested judicial elections.

The Idaho State Bar does not interpret or express any opinion about the results of these surveys. These results show the number of surveys sent to Idaho State Bar members in Idaho and the number and percentage of surveys returned. The information presented is limited to the responses received. The Idaho State Bar makes no endorsements.

The Idaho State Bar membership passed a resolution in 2003 that requested a survey be developed for use in contested judicial elections. A committee of lawyers and judges developed the four-question survey and the Idaho State Bar has conducted the survey for every contested judicial election since 2006.

The survey rates candidates on four criteria:

  1. Integrity and Independence
  2. Knowledge and Understanding of the Law
  3. Judicial Temperament and Demeanor
  4. Legal Ability and Experience

Attorneys were asked to vote only if they have a personal and/or professional experience with the candidate. Results for the Idaho State Bar attorney survey of those running for contested judicial elections are below:

For further information, including the original text of the survey, please email Dan Black, Communications Director, or contact him at (208) 955-8866.

Welcome New Members!

On May1 and 2, 2014, the Idaho State Bar welcomed 60 New Members.


Board of Commissioners Election Ballots – Due May 6

Ballots were mailed to all active members and judges of the Idaho State Bar the week of April 21st. Candidates include:

DISTRICT 4 (Central Division) - Howard A. Belodoff / Michelle R. Points
DISTRICTS 3 & 5 (Western Division) - Laird B. Stone / Dennis S. Voorhees

Each completed ballot must be enclosed in a sealed envelope marked “ballot.”  To validate your ballot, you must sign and print your name on the ballot envelope.  All completed ballots must be received in the ISB office by 5:00 p.m. (MT) on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Comments Sought on Proposed Amendment of Discretionary Jail Time

The court will be considering a proposed amendment to Idaho Criminal Rule 33 that addresses the imposition of discretionary jail time.

To view the proposed rule, select ISC PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO CRIMINAL RULE 33. Please send comments and suggestions to Cathy Derden by May 5, 2014. Committee minutes may be found following the proposed amendment. 

Support Civic Education through Idaho Gives - May 1

On Thursday, May 1st, the Law Related Education Program will be participating in Idaho Gives to help raise funds for mock trial and other important Law Related Education Programs. This is your opportunity to help Law Related Education and make a difference for civic education and the Idaho students who participate. Visit the Law Related Education's Idaho Gives page, become a fan, consider supporting LRE’s work statewide, and tell others why you support us in the comments section.

2014 Mock Trial Courtroom Artist Contest Results

The following students received top honors in the Second Annual Mock Trial Courtroom Artist Contest:

  • First Place - Autumn Cole, Lewiston High School
  • Second Place - Irene Hong, Logos School (Moscow)
  • Third Place - Chloe Mashburn, Firth High School

The Law Foundation’s Law Related Education Program awarded a total of $175 in prize money to the three artists - donated by an anonymous donor to the Idaho Law Foundation - to recognize the accomplishments of the top three courtroom artist entries.

The Courtroom Artist Contest is open to students in grades 9 to 12, to allow artistically talented students the opportunity to participate in the mock trial program. Artists observe trials and submit sketches that depict actual courtroom scenes. Participants can be part of a team or enter on their own. The top six finishers from regional contests are invited to participate in the state mock trial competition.

Winning drawings will be displayed at the offices of the Idaho Law Foundation in Boise and reproduced for inclusion in the State Bar’s magazine, The Advocate, as well as on the Law Foundation website.

For more information about the Mock Trial Program or the Courtroom Artist Contest, contact Carey Shoufler, Law Related Education Director, at 208.334.4500.

February 2014 Bar Exam Successful Applicants

The list of Successful Applicants from the February 2014 bar examination was released on April 10, 2014. The Admission Ceremony will be held on May 1, 2014 in Boise.

Nominations Sought for 25th Annual Family Law Section Award of Distinction

Twenty-five years ago, just after the Family Law Section was reorganized, the newly revitalized Family Law Section inaugurated the Family Law Section Award of Distinction, to be presented to a member of the bar, the judiciary, or the public who has provided outstanding service in the realm of family law.

Twenty-five years later, nominations are currently being sought for the 2014 award, which will be presented at a reception to be held in conjunction with the ISB Annual Meeting. The reception will take place from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. on Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Pocatello.

The Family Law Section is pleased to accept your letter of nomination of a lawyer, judge, or citizen connected with family law who has distinguished themselves during their career in the advancement of family law in Idaho. Section membership is not a requirement to nominate or to receive the award, though support of the Family Law Section might well be one of the elements of the nominee's distinction on behalf of family law.

Please review the Family Law Award of Distinction Recipients List to avoid nominating someone who has previously received the award. If you would like to nominate someone for the award, please email a short letter of nomination to Mahmood Sheikh at the Idaho State Bar, which will them be forwarded to the committee for consideration. If you have questions, please email Committee members Tom Dial, Michael Kraynick, or Linda Pall.

All nominations must be received on or before Monday, April 28 at 5:00 P.M. MDT.

Idaho Supreme Court Seeks Letters of Interest for Public Defense Commission - Due April 30

The Supreme Court is accepting letters of interest for appointment to the newly established Public Defense Commission. Pursuant to HB 542 relating to the Idaho Public Defense Act, the Supreme Court shall appoint one member to the seven member State Public Defense Commission, established by I.C. § 19-849. No one who is currently employed as a prosecuting attorney or who is a current employee of a law enforcement agency may be a member of the Commission. The member appointed by the Supreme Court shall serve a term of two (2) years. The members of the Commission shall be compensated as provided for in I.C. § 59-509(b). The powers and duties of the State Public Defense Commission are set forth in I.C. § 19-850.

Please submit your letter of interest to: Patricia Tobias, Administrative Director of the Courts, Idaho Supreme Court, PO Box 83720, Boise, ID  83720-0101 or

PDF File - Get Acrobat Reader Get Acrobat Reader