John Templer’s experience as an advocate covers a multitude of project types including commercial, industrial and residential buildings, and often he is called upon to apply his expertise in insurance law pertaining to construction projects. He has represented his construction clients before many different forums, and in a variety of venues around the country. This includes bench and jury trials in Iowa and other states for complex construction disputes.

He has also developed a strong reputation as an expert arbitrator and mediator in construction disputes, and is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a distinguished group of arbitrators whose expertise in this field of Alternative Dispute Resolution is recognized world-wide. For over twenty years he has served on American Arbitration Association panels, both as panelist and chair, in large complex arbitrations involving high-rise hotel/office buildings, sports domes, schools, and industrial projects.

He regularly counsels construction trade associations on issues including case law, ethics, and arbitration, conducts seminars and provides assistance in producing trade associations’ publications. During Iowa legislative sessions John assists in drafting legislation impacting their members.

John was one of the original members of Construction Law Section Council of the Iowa State Bar Association and served as Chair of that organization in 2015—2016   For many years he also served as Chair of Whitfield & Eddy’s Construction and Surety Law group.

Construction Industry Clients

  • General Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Owners, both private and public
  • Design Professionals
  • Construction Industry Associations

Notable Work

  • Co-counsel in a multi-party, multi-million dollar arbitration involving the Louisiana Superdome, resulting in a favorable outcome for his Iowa-based client;
  • Lead counsel for a national general contractor involving the construction of a high-rise retirement community in Florida in which he successfully defended his client against  defective construction claims;
  • Successfully defended his subcontractor clients in numerous cases involving curtain-wall construction and masonry;
  • Successfully defended a national geotechnical company in cases involving tower construction, bridge construction, building failures, and other matters in involving expansive soils;
  • Lead counsel for a large public owner in Iowa in numerous matters, including parking ramp construction, industrial excavation and major utility projects;
  • Represented a major steel fabricator who provided serves on a large Corps of Engineers dam project on Table Rock Lake in Missouri and obtained a large arbitration award for his client against a major international general contractor;
  • Co-counsel defending a national general contractor against claims of faulty construction involving a large sports arena which was resolved favorably for his client through mediation;
  • Author of a significant publication on public construction law written for the Master Builders of Iowa;
  • Drafted major legislation benefitting the construction industry which was adopted by the Iowa Legislature in 2017.



Work Experience:

  • Past Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Construction and Surety Law Practice Group
  • Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2004—present
  • Shareholder, Pingel & Templer, P.C., 1987—2003, President 2000—2003
  • Partner Attorney, Davis, Hockenberg, Wine, Brown, Koehn & Shors, P.C. 
  • U.S. Army, 1969—1971

Professional Activities and Affiliations:

  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (Committees: Construction Arbitration, Judicial Education)
  • American Arbitration Association (Construction Panel Arbitrator)
  • American Bar Association (Sections: Litigation; Forum on the Construction Industry)
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • Construction Specifications Institute (Iowa Chapter Board of Directors)
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Chair: Construction Law Section Council, 2015—2016; Chair: Construction Law Council Section Legislative Sub-Committee, 2014—2015; Member since inception)
  • Master Builders of Iowa (Legislative Committee)
  • Mechanical Contractors of Iowa
  • National Arbitration Forum
  • Polk County Bar Association

Seminars Recently Attended:

  • Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2018
  • Construction Superconference, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2017
  • Iowa State Bar Association Construction Law Seminar, April 2017
  • Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, Altoona, Iowa, February 2017
  • Construction Superconference, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2016
  • College of Commercial Arbitrators 15th Annual Meeting, New York, New York, October 2015
  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Boca Raton, Florida, April 2015

News & Events

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Construction Law (2003—2018); Mediation (2016—2018)
  • Named as 2013′s “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America in the area of Construction Law
  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the area of Construction Litigation (2007, 2009—-2016)

Cases Presentations & Publications

Cases Presentations & Publications

Published Cases

  • Weitz Co., LLC v. Lloyd's of London, 574 F.3d 885 (8th Cir. 2009)

Representative Work

  • Successfully represented ENR top 50 general contractor in dispute over builder’s risk coverage for multimillion dollar claim involving high-rise retirement community in Florida
  • Won significant arbitration award for steel fabricator against ENR top 10 general contractor relating to Corps of Engineers dam project on Table Rock Lake in Missouri
  • Obtained high six-figure arbitration award, including attorneys’ fees, for general contractor against public owner involving construction of new high school involving differing site conditions
  • Obtained significant settlement for owner of new hotel construction against contractor for improper building envelope construction resulting in mold and other damage to property
  • Successfully mediated claim on behalf of major national bonding company arising out of default by subcontractor on military base construction in Midwest
  • Represented ENR top 50 general contractor in successfully defending multi-million dollar claim of improper construction regarding stucco installation on high-rise project in southeast US
  • Successfully represented Minnesota contractor against claims by State of Iowa regarding construction of major university sports dome
  • Served as American Arbitration Association arbitrator on major cases, including:
    • $100 million claim regarding hotel/office building project in Kansas City, Missouri, involving over 500 claims
    • Multimillion dollar claim involving hotel construction in Chicago by Owner vs. Architect (chair of panel)
    • Multimillion dollar claim against contractors and design professionals regarding construction of new private high school in Houston, TX. (chair of panel)
    • Multimillion dollar claim against contractor and vendor involving construction and failure of nation’s largest inflatable indoor athletic facility in Pennsylvania
  • Successfully represented large Iowa municipality involving multimillion dollar claim against contractor arising out of construction of casino/parking facility
  • Successfully represented Iowa municipality in arbitration against claim by contractor arising out of multimillion dollar flood control project
  • Worked with Iowa’s largest contractors’ trade association on a number of projects, including:
    • Drafting and editing a resource guide for public owners, contractors and subcontractors regarding public construction laws in Iowa
    • Drafting and negotiating on behalf of association client for Iowa’s new public bidding statute, Chapter 26, being the first major overhaul of Iowa’s public bidding laws in over 100 years
    • Challenging public owners involving improper application of Iowa’s competitive bidding laws to ensure a level playing field for all contractors
    • Presenting numerous private seminars for association members and guests on matters relating to Iowa construction law
  • Represented numerous out-of-state law firms, developers, general contractors, subcontractors and design professionals as to Iowa law relating to potential involvement in new Iowa projects involving:
    • Wind generator farms
    • Social media network data centers
    • New power plant construction

Selected Publications, Presentations and Teaching Appointments:

  • Presenter, "The New AIA A201 General Conditions," Master Builders of Iowa Webinar, September 2017
  • Co-Presenter, "Construction Case Law Update," Iowa State Bar Association Construction Law Seminar, April 2017
  • Co-Presenter, "Understanding Construction Arbitration," Master Builders of Iowa Annual Seminar, Altoona, Iowa, February 2017
  • Presenter, "Construction Ethics" Iowa State Bar Association Construction Law Seminar, February, 2016.
  • Presenter, "Construction Law and Killer Contract Clauses" Master Builders of Iowa, December 2015.
  • Presenter, "Construction Essentials" Master Builders of Iowa, December 2015.
  • Presenter, "State of Art Construction Contracts" Iowa Chapter of American Society of Professional Estimators, November 2015.
  • Presenter, "Construction Ethics" CLE presentation for Nebraska State Bar Association, November 2015.
  • Presenter, “Construction Industry Business Ethics,” American Society of Professional Estimators, March 2015.
  • Presenter, "Iowa Construction Law," Master Builders of Iowa Cornerstone Academy, February 2015.
  • Presenter, “Iowa Construction Law,” Master Builders of Iowa MB “Eye” on the Future, December 2013, February 2014, January 2015.
  • Presenter, “Update on Iowa Construction Law,” Iowa State Bar Association 140th Annual Meeting, June 2013.
  • Presenter, “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts,” December 2013.
  • Presenter, “Recent Developments in Iowa Construction Law,” June 2013.



University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1974, with high distinction

University of Iowa, B.A., 1972

  • Copy Editor and Features Editor: The Daily Iowan, 1971-1972


  • Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Southern District of Iowa
    U.S. District Court - Northern District of Iowa
    U.S. Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit