profile headshot of Michael A. Dee


I have been involved in trial practice and alternative dispute resolution for over 30 years, having tried cases in state and federal courts, argued dozens of times before state and federal appellate courts, and participated in hundreds of mediations. I am in and out of court all the time. As a mediator, I work with parties involved primarily in commercial, employment, personal injury, intellectual property and construction lawsuits to help them find common ground to settle without going to court.

My Approach

As an advocate representing a client in a lawsuit, I am candid and blunt. The worst thing a lawyer can do for his or her client is not provide all relevant information, even if the information may be bad news. I constantly provide clients my honest assessment of a lawsuit and the numerous issues that arise during the case and often can fall back on similar situations I have seen or experienced in my three decades of trial work. The goal always is to work with my client to reach a mutually agreeable path forward.

As a mediator, I try to be as direct as possible with all parties and their lawyers. The parties don't always appreciate hearing something they consider negative about their case or their prospects if they go to trial, but I firmly believe no party should leave a mediation without having heard the good as well as the bad of what could happen if they do not settle. In the many decades I have been involved in mediations, I have found the most effective mediators are those who do not mince words with the parties and lawyers.

More About Me

I'm a member of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, which is an invitation-only group with a limited number of members selected by other trial lawyers in the state, and was selected for Fellowship in the Litigation Counsel of America, which also is an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society. I also was appointed to and currently serve on the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission, which hears evidence of complaints against Iowa attorneys and determines whether or not the attorneys have violated ethics rules.

I have an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell, was named one of only 17 “Litigation Stars” in the State of Iowa by the prestigious Benchmark Litigation, and was selected as a 2017 IP Star in the IP Stars from Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) magazine. I have been recognized by Best Lawyers® in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Patent and recognized in Chambers USA® every year for the past approximately ten years for litigation. I was selected by my peers as “Lawyer of the Year” in the 27th Edition of Best Lawyers® for my work in the Litigation - Intellectual Property area. I previously attended and completed Northwestern University's Mediation Training Program in Chicago.

Earlier in my career, I spent approximately five years as a federal prosecutor with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where I worked in the Criminal Division investigating and prosecuting white-collar crimes and as a prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

My Specialties

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Intellectual Property
  • Construction
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution  

Court Reaffirms Employees Complaining about Sexual Harassment Must Prove They Were Actually Offended

07-15-2020 The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Iowa and other Midwestern states, recently affirmed the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit because the plaintiff could not establish she was actually offended by the alleged harassing conduct. Although this requirement seems like common sense – that a complaining employee must actually be...
Read More

Is Your Business at Risk for Coronavirus Lawsuits, and What Can You Do NOW To Avoid It?

04-6-2020 Whether you are a small business, large business or even a government entity, are you ready (or preparing your business) for the onslaught of lawsuits resulting from the pandemic? Google “coronavirus lawsuits” — over 300 billion hits. Unfortunately, a number of those hits are plaintiffs’ class action law firms asking people to submit information...
Read More

Are You Ready if a Sexual Harassment Scandal Hits Your Business? - Part III

03-20-2018 As outlined in our earlier posts, business leaders are subject to increasing scrutiny in light of the national dialogue happening right now. This movement is not limited to the arena of celebrities and politicians. Does your business know what to do if allegations are lodged against your CEO or other critical managers? Given the spotlight being...
Read More

Are You Ready if a Sexual Harassment Scandal Hits Your Business? - Part II

12-20-2017 Does your business have a handle on its policy enforcement? As outlined in our earlier post, charges of sexual harassment have always posed the potential for very serious liability. Historically, however, sexual harassment has been relatively difficult to prove from the legal perspective. That tide is turning, however, as technology and social...
Read More

Are You Ready if a Sexual Harassment Scandal Hits Your Business?

12-7-2017 Does your business have the basics covered? For the past several months, we have been inundated with daily news about entertainers, media personalities, and politicians being accused of sexual harassment and worse. Victims of such conduct are no longer remaining silent – and rightfully so. The era of responding to an employee’s allegation of...
Read More

Tight Limits on Where Patent Lawsuits May Be Filed

06-1-2017 On May 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court unanimously, and drastically, limited the rules for where patent infringement lawsuits may be filed. In TC Heartland, LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC, the Supreme Court held that the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. §1400(b), allows a patent infringement lawsuit to be brought only in the...
Read More

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...
Read More

Chambers USA 2023 Guide Recognizes Eight BrownWinick Attorneys and Four Practice Areas

06-1-2023 BrownWinick is proud to announce the recognition of several of its attorneys in the prestigious Chambers USA 2023 guide. Chambers USA is an esteemed legal directory that evaluates and ranks attorneys and law firms based on their legal expertise, professional achievements, and client feedback. The rankings and accolades received in Corporate/M&A,...
Read More

2023 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars Feature BrownWinick Attorneys

06-1-2023 BrownWinick is excited to announce the following attorneys were selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers directory for 2023. The Great Plains Super Lawyers and Rising Stars listings include the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.  Nine BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2023 Great Plains...
Read More

BrownWinick Law Firm Attorneys Featured in 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers and Great Plains Rising Stars

08-20-2021 BrownWinick is excited to announce the following attorneys were selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers directory for 2021. Seven BrownWinick attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2021 Great Plains Super Lawyers online listing: William Brown - Tax Michael Dee – Business Litigation Thomas Johnson – Business/Corporate James...
Read More

Chambers USA 2021 Recognizes BrownWinick Attorneys and Practices

05-25-2021 BrownWinick, a preeminent business law firm with offices in Des Moines and Pella, has once again been ranked among leading law firms in the exclusive Chambers USA 2021 Guide. The Chambers USA 2021 Guide is compiled through a research-based review that evaluates the multiple practice areas of hundreds of law firms through investigative research and...
Read More

Patent Litigation Team Secures Victory After Eight-Year Battle.

03-23-2021 The United States Supreme Court recently denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the opposing party in a patent infringement matter handled by BrownWinick Patent Litigation attorney Michael Dee. Effectively ending more than eight years of vexatious litigation against five BrownWinick clients. The plaintiff, GS CleanTech, filed suit...
Read More

Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment

01-18-2021 BrownWinick attorneys Michael Dee and Megan Moritz recently succeeded on a motion asking the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against its clients, a small floral business, and the business’s owner. The plaintiff, a former employee, sued in state court, making claims of sexual harassment and constructive discharge in violation of the Iowa Civil...
Read More

BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List

08-21-2020 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that 26 lawyers have been included in the 2021 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. Best Lawyers® has published their list for more than three decades, earning the respect of the...
Read More

Mike Dee Now Offering Mediation Services

11-7-2019 BrownWinick is pleased to announce that Mike Dee has expanded his practice to include mediation services. Earlier this year, Mike completed Northwestern University’s Mediation Program in Chicago. With more than 30 years of trial work and litigation experience, Mike will focus his mediation services in the areas of commercial, contract, tort,...
Read More

Cost-Plus Contracts - A New Warning For Contractors

10-21-2019 A recent decision from the Iowa Court of Appeals serves as a cautionary tale for contractors: Contractors must prove their actual costs under cost-plus contracts or they may not be paid. In Olmstead Construction, Inc. v. Otter Creek Investments, LLC, the contractor and owner entered into a cost-plus contract to build a convenience store. After...
Read More


Helen Mollenbeck



Iowa State University

B.S., with distinction, with honors, 1984


University of Iowa College of Law

J.D., 1987


Pennsylvania, 1988;

District of Columbia, 1990;

Iowa, 1995;

U.S. Court of International Trade, 2020

Memberships & Associations

  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission Member, 2021-2024
  • Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Trial Law Institute
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • Barrister, Order of Justitia
  • Advocate, Order of Certus
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • Attorney Admission Fee Fund Advisory Committee, Current Member
    Appointed by Chief District Judge John Jarvey, Southern District of Iowa
  • Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee
    Committee Member appointed by the Chief Judge of the Southern District of Iowa
  • Polk County Bar Association
    Member; Board of Directors, 2002-2006
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member; Sections on: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Construction Law; Intellectual Property Law; Litigation; Labor and Employment Law
    Federal Practice Committee, 2004-Present, Chair, 2010-2012
  • Greater Des Moines Partnership
    Government Policy Council, Chair, 2010