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.
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.
- Commercial Litigation
- Intellectual Property
- Employment and Labor Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
Iowa State University
B.S., with distinction, with honors, 1984
University of Iowa College of Law
District of Columbia, 1990;
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