Category: Latest News

Samuel Langholz Appointed to Iowa Court of Appeals

September 22, 2023

Samuel Langholz has been appointed as a judge to the Iowa Court of Appeals. On August 9, 2023, Governor Kim Reynolds selected Langholz from a list of five nominees sent to her by the Judicial Nominating Commission. Langholz served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office under Brenna Bird. He […]

New Faces Join Grefe & Sidney

Grefe & Sidney would like to extend a hearty congratulations to our new associates who recently passed the Iowa Bar Exam! Emma Bradbury Dariann Garrison-Nickerson Zachary Hufferd Emma, Dariann, and Zach have already started working at Grefe & Sidney and were sworn in as full-fledged attorneys in September of 2023. All three are 2023 graduates […]

Stella Maris Strohman Achieves Dismissal in Successful Defense of Lawsuit for Damage to Gas Main

Stella Maris Strohman obtained a pre-answer dismissal for her client, an excavation company, sued for alleged damage to a gas main. Plaintiff filed suit on August 29, 2022, alleging Defendant struck and damaged a gas main on October 17, 2017. Plaintiff’s petition alleged that Defendant violated Iowa Code Chapter 480.4 by failing to give its […]

Iowa Supreme Court Limits Individual Liability in Iowa Civil Rights Claim

August 10, 2023

Davina Valdez, a teacher’s associate at the West Des Moines Community Schools, brought suit against the school district and one of its teachers, Desira Johnson, alleging Johnson engaged in racial discrimination which led Valdez to resign. Valdez argued Johnson should be subject to individual liability for creating a hostile working environment under the Iowa Civil […]

Iowa Supreme Court Rejects Proposed Expansion of Aided-by-Agency Theory

The “aided-by-agency theory” is an exception to the usual rule that an employer may be vicariously liable only when an employee’s tort occurs within the scope of employment. Moreover, an employer may be vicariously liable for an employee’s tortious conduct if the employee “was aided in accomplishing the tort by the existence of the agency […]

Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Exclusivity Provision of Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act

Jena McCoy worked three months at the Thomas L. Cardella & Associates call center in Ottumwa before resigning after ongoing sexual advances from a team leader. She later sued Cardella, asserting a claim for common law negligent supervision or retention. Cardella’s pretrial legal challenges included that the common law claim was preempted by the Iowa […]

Emily Chafa named 2023 Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award Recipient

Emily Chafa was named as the recipient of the 2023 Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award honoring her lifelong dedication to increasing access to legal services.   Rolland Grefe, along with Ross Sidney, founded Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C. over 50 years ago. The Rolland E. Grefe Pro Bono Publico Award was established in recognition […]

Iowa Supreme Court Examines Qualified Immunity

June 30, 2023

In 2021, the Iowa legislature codified qualified immunity in the Iowa Municipal Tort Claims Act for the first time. 2021 Iowa Acts ch. 183, section 14 (codified at Iowa Code Section 6704.A (2022)). The legislation codified a qualified immunity protection and also established a heightened pleading requirement for plaintiffs bringing tort claims against municipalities or […]

Attorney Spotlight: Peter J. Ickes

Peter is an associate attorney in the firm’s litigation division. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and worked at Nationwide Insurance before attending Drake University Law School. Peter became interested in law school because he was looking for a career that would provide the opportunity to make a meaningful difference and allow him […]

Iowa Supreme Court Reinforces Need for Control in Landlord Liability Action

June 5, 2023

A company called CDM Rentals, LLC, purchased a condominium in Brook Run Park in Des Moines. Shelley and Cameron Barnes began leasing the condo on September 17, 2015. The Barnes’ unit had a garage that let out onto a shared driveway. A rain gutter ran along the roof above the shared driveway. The rain gutter […]