Legal News

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

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... Read More

The Admissibility of Criminal Records in a Civil Case

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 are exceptions to this rule and ways... Read More

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

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 More

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

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 2020 taxable year.... Read More

Don't Let Creditors Crack Your Nest Egg

As an estate planning attorney, it is my job to provide legal solutions allowing you to plan for tomorrow so you can enjoy life today. With a large federal estate tax exemption ($11.4 million per person in 2019), many clients are shifting their attention to strategies that achieve income tax and creditor protection benefits. All clients,... Read More

Attorney Fees: Does my Opponent Have to Pay if I Win?

Clients often ask if they can get the other side to pay their attorney fees.  The answer is usually no. In courts in the U.S., the general rule is that each party pays their own attorney fees regardless of who wins and who loses. However, there are exceptions. The most common exceptions are:1) a contract between the parties shifts the burden of... Read More

'Cause Breaking Up is Easy To Do - Divisions: A New Way to Spin Off an Entity?

As we all know, sometimes bigger is not better. For one reason or another, a company might decide to spin off part of its business. For an example, think of DowDuPont Inc.’s recent spin-off of its materials science business (now Dow, Inc.) and its agriculture business, (now Corteva, Inc.). Traditionally, if an entity wants to effectuate a... Read More

Signing a Contract? Let's Chat First!

I had a prospective client call the other day who was hoping to get out of a purchase agreement for a new car. If you’ve bought a car before, you know how difficult that battle can be without a guaranteed return policy or a promise that you have “48 hours to change your mind.” This purchase agreement had no such language. Fortunately, we were able... Read More

Failing to Follow OSHA Procedures Can Be Costly

No matter how many training sessions or precautions an employer might take, employee accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Most employers are necessarily familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), a law that sets forth minimum safety standards employers must ensure in their workspaces. Creating an OSHA-compliant workspace... Read More

One Step Closer to Hemp Production in Iowa

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its interim final rule for nationwide legal hemp production. This is an important step toward hemp production in Iowa. Hemp production took a hiatus in the U.S. when, in the 1970s, it was classified as controlled substance. That all changed in the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized... Read More