profile headshot of Benjamin R. Merrill


My expertise is in effective and practical, yet efficient, solutions. 

As a litigator, my approach with my clients is to understand what is important to them and their business, what is at stake in their case, and how I can use my experience and skills to best serve their goals. I am experienced in the areas of business litigation, insurance defense, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, employment and labor, construction and agribusiness law. Throughout my career, I have advised clients and litigated in not only several areas of law but also a wide variety of disputes among a diverse client base. One of my strengths as a lawyer is my ability to adapt my strategy and style depending on each client's needs and desired outcomes. I am straightforward with my clients, hard-working with my cases, and I am never afraid to advocate for their best interests. No matter what your case involves, I will be prepared, passionate and pragmatic in my approach. 

I am a member at BrownWinick and previously served as a leader in firm's Litigation practice group.  I practice primarily in the area of litigation, including work predominantly in the medical malpractice and insurance defense areas. I have also assisted clients in all levels of litigation, including federal, state, and administrative proceedings.  I have been involved in trial work for my entire legal career. As a litigator, I have helped to secure favorable rulings for clients in several substantive areas, including, but not limited to, personal injury, business contract disputes, product liability cases and family law. A large part of my practice is devoted to general insurance defense, medical malpractice defense and professional licensing issues. I also counsel employers regarding liability with respect to human resource policies, OSHA, unlawful discrimination and harassment, and other workplace issues that may arise. 

I am a member of the Polk County and Iowa State Bar Associations. I was admitted to the Iowa Bar in 2008. I am also licensed to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, the United States Tax Court, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. 

After growing up in the Des Moines area, I graduated from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. I received my B.A. in Political Science, with Minors in French and Economics, in 2005. Prior to law school, I worked as an intern at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. in the Office of Justice Programs and Office of Communications. I received my J.D. in 2008, with honors, from Drake University Law School. During law school, I was Editor-in-Chief of the Drake Journal of Agriculture Law from 2007-2008 and an Editorial Staff Member from 2006-2007. I was active with the International Law Society, Environmental Law Society, and the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity. In the Spring of 2008, I was published in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law for my article regarding federal regulation of animal feeding operations. Upon graduation from law school, I worked as a judicial law clerk for the Eighth Judicial District of Iowa.  I am also a graduate of the Ankeny Leadership Institute, Class of 2016-2017.

In 2022, I was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers® 2023 in the area of Workers' Compensation Law (Employers). 

In my free time I like to golf, travel, and spend time at the family lake home in Maine.  I am a proud father of two beautiful children.  

Examining OSHA's Walkaround Rule

04-19-2024 In a recent development, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finalized a contentious proposed rule regarding the Worker Walkaround Representative Designation Process. Set to take effect on May 31, 2024, this rule has sparked considerable debate, particularly within the manufacturing sector and among legal experts. What is...
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Understanding Multi-Employer Workplace Liability

07-11-2023 In several industries, there are situations where multiple employers perform work or are otherwise affiliated with a single worksite. One common example of a multi-employer worksite would be a construction project where a general contractor and numerous subcontractors all work at the same worksite. For example, Iowa Occupational Safety and Health...
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OSHA's New Plan for Workplace Safety in 2023

03-17-2023 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency responsible for ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for employees across the United States. In January 2023, OSHA announced an aggressive new plan to address workplace safety, including several key initiatives aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities in the...
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Don’t Jump the Gun on COVID-19 Recovery: Employers and Business Owners Should Review OSHA Compliance

03-24-2021 In February, a U.S. House sub-committee launched an investigation into how major meat processors and OSHA responded to COVID-19. During the prior administration, OSHA issued only eight COVID-related citations. With a new administration in charge, we anticipate renewed energy and enforcement from OSHA in the coming year. Employers should make a...
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BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2024 Best Lawyers® List

08-17-2023 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 33 lawyers have been included in the 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. BrownWinick would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2024 The Best Lawyers...
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BrownWinick Obtains Summary Judgment for Golf Course Client

10-1-2021 BrownWinick attorneys Ben Merrill and James White recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of their clients WBC Golf Course, LLC ("WBC") and Mr. Curtis Wahlert, the golf course’s general manager. The case involved allegations that WBC and Mr. Wahlert were not operating the course in a manner consistent with “normal golf course operations,” in...
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BrownWinick Attorney Ben Merrill Selected as a Member of the 2016-2017 Ankeny Leadership Institute Class

09-14-2016 Ben Merrill, an attorney at BrownWinick, was selected as a member of the Ankeny Leadership Institute Class of 2016-2017. The vision of the Ankeny Leadership Institute is to create a strong and vibrant community through outstanding leadership. The institute is a program for upcoming leaders in the Ankeny area and it is a collaboration of the Ankeny...
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Cheryl Mendenhall



St. John's University

B.A., Political Science, with Minors in French and Economics, 2005


Drake University Law School

J.D., with honors, 2008


Iowa, 2008


Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Sections on: Litigation; Workers' Compensation
  • Child and Family Policy Center
    Board of Director