Practice Area: Trial, Litigation, & ADR

Iowa’s Highest Court Holds Plaintiff’s Release of Driver Extinguishes the Vehicle Owner’s Vicarious Liability Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s Express Reservation of Right to Sue the Vehicle Owner

April 13, 2021

Plaintiff was a passenger in a golf cart driven by his son when they struck a bridge and the impact ejected Plaintiff, causing severe injuries. After settling his claims with the driver with a signed release that expressly reserved his claims against the golf course, the owner of the golf cart, Plaintiff sued the golf […]


Iowa Supreme Court Reverses District Court’s Dismissal of Pedestrian Lawsuit against City over Defective Sidewalk

Plaintiff fell while walking along a City sidewalk and broke her arm and wrist. She alleged her fall was caused by the defective sidewalk. Plaintiff sued the City for negligence, alleging that the City failed to properly maintain, repair, and warn about the dangerous, defective, and uneven sidewalk. The City filed a motion to dismiss […]


Iowa Appellate Court Upholds $10.9 Million Commercial Property Assessment

March 19, 2021

A 2017 county tax assessment valued a Lowe’s store at $11.8 million. Lowe’s challenged the assessment on grounds that it was excessive. After the county review board sided with the county’s assessment, Lowe’s appealed to the Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB). The PAAB held a hearing on Lowe’s appeal in 2018. At the hearing, […]


Guy Cook Co-Chairs Task Force that was Instrumental in Reopening Iowa Courts to Jury Trials

February 9, 2021

With the assistance of the Jumpstart Jury Trials Task Force, Iowa courts resumed jury trials on February 1, 2021. The Iowa Supreme Court created the Jumpstart Jury Trials Task Force on May 6, 2020, “to develop temporary policies and procedures for jury trials resuming following the COVID-19 postponements.” The 17-member task force reviewed jury trial […]


Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission Extends Suspension of In-Person Hearings

February 4, 2021

The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission issued an updated Order on February 2, 2021, extending the suspension of all in-person regular contested hearings before the agency from March 19, 2021, through at least June 18, 2021. Regular hearings that were scheduled to occur during that period will be conducted via video conference, using CourtCall, unless the […]


Iowa Supreme Court Confirms that Punitive Damages are Unavailable in Excessive Force Claims against the State

Plaintiff, Krystal Wagner, individually and as the administrator of her son’s estate, filed suit against the State of Iowa and a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer. Wagner’s son, who was nineteen years old and suicidal, was shot and killed by a DNR officer during an armed standoff. Wagner filed suit in federal court, asserting […]


Iowa Resumes Jury Trials

Iowa courts resumed jury trials on February 1, 2021, with social distance, face covering, and other safety precautions in place to keep jurors, judges, attorneys, and other trial participants socially distant and compliant with state and federal guidelines. Jury trials were postponed when the Iowa Supreme Court issued an Order on November 10, 2020, suspending […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Civil Rights Claim against County Attorney

January 4, 2021

In June 2018, Plaintiff Jeffrey Simmermaker filed an action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1983, against Jeffrey Renander individually and in his official capacity as the Cedar County Attorney, asserting malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, defamation of character, and violations of Simmermaker’s constitutional rights. In short, Plaintiff claimed that Renander had violated his constitutional rights “by […]


Hall and Clarke Obtain Pre-Answer Dismissal of Vicarious Liability Claim

Andrew Hall and Tansha Clarke obtained a Pre-Answer dismissal for their client, a rental car company sued for vicarious liability. The case arose from a tragic motor vehicle accident involving a rental vehicle that hit the plaintiffs’ vehicle from behind. The driver of the rental vehicle died as a result of the accident. Plaintiffs filed […]


Iowa Supreme Court Postpones Jury Trials

In a November 10, 2020 order, the Iowa Supreme Court postponed all jury trials until February 1, 2021. In rescheduling jury trials, the court will use the case priorities in a supervisory order issued on July 9, 2020. According to that supervisory order, the following matters will be given priority: emergency matters, criminal cases, Chapter […]