Scam Alert: Wasden Issues Warning over Charitable and Attorney Solicitations Following Rigby School Shooting

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is warning Idahoans about scam fundraisers related to the recent shooting at Rigby Middle School. Victims and their families also should be cautious if they receive legal representation solicitations about filing lawsuits or joining potential class actions.
Idaho’s charity laws prohibit misleading charitable solicitations and authorize the Office of the Attorney General to investigate and bring legal actions against organizations or people who misrepresent the purpose of charitable donations or who misuse charitable assets. Consumer protection laws help protect Idahoans from deceptive advertising of goods and services, including legal assistance.
 “Unfortunately, some people take advantage of tragedies to exploit victims’ pain and capitalize on the public’s generosity,” Wasden said. “I encourage individuals to file a complaint with my office if they become aware of suspicious fundraising attempts or misleading legal solicitations.”
 Donors who have lost money or who want to report a scam charity, solicitation, or legal representation advertisement may file a complaint through the Attorney General’s website at, or by calling the office’s Consumer Protection Division at 208-334-2424 or 1-800-432-3545 (toll free in Idaho).
 Shootings nationwide have prompted scores of lawsuits, including class actions. Within days of these tragedies, victims or their families may be pressured into signing representation contracts.
 Attorney solicitations are governed under the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers, which recognize that targeted in-person, telephone, or real-time electronic communications of potential clients can be abusive. Lawyers may not solicit professional employment through such methods unless the person contacted is a lawyer or has a family, friend, or prior professional relationship with the soliciting lawyer.
 Written communications soliciting professional employment must be marked as “Advertising Material.” Advertising that misrepresents the sender’s qualifications, the purpose of the ad, or the status or effect of a legal action violates the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and should be reported to the Attorney General.
 When deciding whether to donate money to a charity or contribute towards a fundraising campaign, donors should consider the following tips: Research before giving. Important background information about charities is available online. Donors can review the charity’s tax-exempt status and IRS financial filings at Financial records inform the public about a charity’s mission and show how a charity spends its money. Giving to an organization that spends most of its money on furthering its charitable purpose is better than donating to one that spends the bulk of its funds on administrative costs and employee compensation. Other websites that rate charities include the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance and Guidestar. Question telemarketers and don’t give money over the phone. Charities sometimes use paid “telefunders” to help them raise money. Donors should ask questions and request written information from such callers before deciding whether to donate. Never agree to donate over the phone and hang up on callers who use pressure tactics to get immediate contributions. It is often best to ignore calls from unknown numbers. Don’t click links in email solicitations and watch out for “look alike” websites. Links in unsolicited emails, or spam, can be very dangerous. They may contain malware that harms digital devices or takes the recipient to unsecure or fraudulent websites. Always visit a charity’s website directly to donate money. Fraudulent websites with slightly different web addresses than the legitimate charity’s website can scam donors out of their personal information or install malware or spyware on devices. Be wary of crowdfunding campaigns and social network fundraising. Crowdfunding can be a great way to fundraise, but it also is an attractive tool for scammers. Before donating to a crowdfunding campaign or through a social network solicitation, donors should question the person collecting the funds and find out (a) what percentage of donations will be used for the charitable purpose, (b) the amount of any added fees, and (c) what percentage of a donation goes to the platform website. Remember, donations to individuals are not tax-deductible. Protect personal identifying and financial information. Never give Social Security or driver’s license numbers, birthdates, or other private information to a solicitor. When donating to an organization through its website, use a credit card with a low credit limit and that protects against fraud. Read the charity’s privacy policy to find out how the charity may use donors’ personal information. Don’t send money orders or buy gift cards. Never donate to a person or organization that asks for money orders or gift cards. Reputable charities accept checks or credit cards. They do not instruct donors to buy gift cards.

Applicants for Magistrate Judge Positions in Third Judicial District

            Third Judicial District Administrative District Judge George A. Southworth announced today that twenty-seven persons applied to fill a magistrate judge vacancy in Canyon County created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge Jerold W. Lee and two newly created positions: 

Ruth A. Coose, Boise, Idaho; Dallin J. Creswell, Nampa, Idaho; R. Thomas Curl, Eagle, Idaho; Scott J. Davis, Caldwell, Idaho; Michael D. Dean, Boise, Idaho; Raymond G. DeFord, Jr., Nampa, Idaho; Shari A. Dodge, Nampa, Idaho; Ryan K. Dowell, Meridian, Idaho; Kathy J. Edwards, Nampa, Idaho; Mary F. Gigray, Nampa, Idaho; Randall S. Grove, Nampa, Idaho; Rachel M. Hamilton, Mountain Home, Idaho; Hyrum T. Hibbert, Caldwell, Idaho; M. Scott Keim, Meridian, Idaho; Gabriel J. McCarthy, Boise, Idaho; Kerry E. Michaelson, Nampa, Idaho; Jeffrey L. Phillips, Homedale, Idaho; Tyler J. Rands, Twin Falls, Idaho; Matthew B. Schelstrate, Boise, Idaho; Kurt H. Schwab, Rathdrum, Idaho; Lary G. Sisson, Middleton, Idaho; Randy W. Smith, Middleton, Idaho; Matthew K. Steen, III, Meridian, Idaho; Matthew R. Thompson, Nampa, Idaho; Eric E. Wannamaker, Moscow, Idaho; Douglas A. Werth, Boise, Idaho; and Teri A. Whilden, Nampa, Idaho.

Evaluation questionnaires on the applicants will be sent to attorneys throughout the State of Idaho.  Public comment on the applicants is also solicited.  Forms for making comments will be available starting May 21, 2021 at the Office of the Trial Court Administrator for the Third Judicial District, Canyon County Courthouse, 1115 Albany Street, Room 336, Caldwell, Idaho 83605, or by sending an email request to

Comments must be returned to the Office of the Trial Court Administrator no later than June 10, 2021.

Idaho Supreme Court Advisory: Maintenance Outage for Electronic Court Case Management System- May 15-16

Newly Formed Idaho Legal History Section Organizational Meeting – June 8

The ISB Board of Commissioners has approved the formation of the Idaho Legal History Section.  The organizational meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (MT) via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting ID: 988 2971 8670

Passcode: 008624

For telephone audio, dial (253) 215-8782

All Bar members and members of the Idaho Legal History Society are invited to participate. Agenda items include the procedure for the selection of Officers, adoption of By-Laws, and discussion for design and development of Section activities. 

For questions about the new Idaho Legal History Section, please contact Chris Graham.  

Idaho Young Lawyer Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates

The Idaho State Bar Board of Commissioners invites nominations of individuals interested in serving as the Idaho young lawyer delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. Qualified individuals will be an ABA member in good standing or will become an active due paying member upon appointment.  The term is effective at the close of the 2021 ABA Annual Meeting and will expire when the 2023 Annual Meeting concludes.

Individuals will have been admitted into his or her first bar within the past five years OR is less than 36 years old at the beginning of his or her term. Some financial assistance will be provided for traveling expenses; however, individuals will be responsible for a portion of costs associated with attendance at meetings of the ABA House of Delegates.

Letters of interest should be submitted by June 4, 2021, to

New Idaho State Bar Commissioner

The voting members in the Eastern Districts of the Idaho State Bar elected one new member of the Board of Commissioners.  Pocatello attorney Gary Cooper will represent the Sixth and Seventh Districts, replacing President Donald Carey.   Mr. Cooper will serve a three-year term, beginning in July 2021. 

ISC Electronic Filing Extension Due to Outage

Odyssey File & Serve Issues

Odyssey File & Serve is experiencing issues this morning. The system may not be available to users while the Court Service Desk addresses the problem.

Watch for further updates here as they are available.