It’s 2020, is Hemp legal yet?

By: Tess Pocock | 02.24.2020

Hemp is still illegal in Iowa. And while legalization is coming, it is unclear how exactly hemp and hemp-derived products, such as certain CBD (cannabidiol) products, will be regulated. The United States Department of Agriculture has yet to approve Iowa’s state plan for licensing and regulating the production of hemp, which is necessary for legalization. Read…

BW Wins Appeal in $30 Million Contract Dispute

By: Michael Dee | 02.18.2020

  The Iowa Supreme Court on February 7, 2020, held that BrownWinick client Homeland Energy Solutions, LLC (HES) had an enforceable contract with a former HES board member to repurchase the member’s units in HES.  In 2013, HES entered into a contract with then-board member Steve J. Retterath to repurchase Retterath’s units in HES for Read…

EPA Greenlights Ten Pesticides for Use on Hemp in Advance of the 2020 Growing Season

By: Amy Howells | 01.31.2020

Last month, the EPA approved 10 pesticides—including one conventional pesticide, or synthetic chemical, and nine bio pesticides, or naturally occurring bioactive organisms—for use on the cannabis plant. These are the first crop protection tools ever to be approved for the plant because, up until passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was classified as a Read…

Tax Update – Qualified Opportunity Zone Final Regulations and Highlights of Tax Provisions in Spending Bill

By: Maggie Simonson | 01.24.2020

Final Regulations for Qualified Opportunity Zones At long last, after two sets of proposed regulations, the IRS finalized its regulations with respect to investing in a “qualified opportunity zone” (“QOZ”). See previous articles on the tax benefits of such an investment and how to qualify for them here: Invest in Opportunity Zones and Updated Guidance on Opportunity Zone Read…

SEC Proposes to Expand Accredited Investor Definition

By: Brandon Cole | 12.19.2019

On December 18, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to expand the definition of accredited investor. The proposed amendments would ultimately allow more investors to participate in private offerings. More specifically, the proposed amendments to the accredited investor definition would: add new categories to the definition that would permit natural persons to qualify as Read…

Iowa Supreme Court Confirms Employers May Use Same Decision Defense in Discrimination and Retaliation Cases

By: Michael Dee | 12.06.2019

The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued an important decision for employers in employment discrimination cases. The Court confirmed that employers are entitled to raise the “same decision” affirmative defense, which states that even if a discriminatory factor played a motivating role in a decision to terminate an employee, the employer may avoid liability by presenting Read…

BrownWinick Medical Malpractice Defense Team Wins Defense Verdict in Allamakee County

By: Benjamin Merrill | 12.05.2019

Following a jury trial in Allamakee County, BrownWinick attorneys Loree Nelson and Benjamin Merrill received a defense verdict in favor of their client in a medical malpractice case involving allegations of failure to properly diagnose, evaluate and treat. In the case, BrownWinick represented a nurse practitioner who had treated a minor child in the emergency Read…

The Admissibility of Criminal Records in a Civil Case

By: Ingrid Johnson |

What if you find out your opponent has a criminal record? Can their criminal record be used against them in a civil case? Generally, a criminal record is not relevant to a civil action for such things as breach of contract or to defend an action for wrongful termination in an employment context. However, there Read…

Do I Need to Buy a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Before I Buy Real Property?

By: Ellen Hames | 11.22.2019

Purchasing contaminated real property can potentially bring significant liability upon a buyer. Conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (a “Phase I”) early in the due diligence process can provide a purchaser with a defense to such liability if done right. A Phase I is a relatively minor upfront cost to avoid potentially costly issues Read…

Planning for the 2019 Year-End and Upcoming Changes in Tax Law

By: Maggie Simonson | 11.21.2019

The end of the 2019 taxable year is quickly approaching, which means there are only a few weeks left for certain tax planning. This article discusses potential tax planning strategies for 2019, recaps some of the more significant changes that occurred in 2019, and also addresses upcoming changes you should be aware of for the Read…