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. In Chambers USA 2021 edition Litigation: General Commercial - Iowa, John is described as "preeminent in construction law."

Construction ARbitration and mediation

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 (AAA) panels, both as panelist and chair, in large complex arbitrations involving high-rise hotel/office buildings, sports domes, schools, and industrial projects.

Construction trade association leadership

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.

Contact John today or call us at 515-288-6041 for more information. 



  • Of Counsel Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy Law
  • Past Chair, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C. Construction and Surety Law Practice Group

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


  • Construction Superconference, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 2022
  • Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2022
  • Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2019
  • College of Commercial Arbitrators 18th Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 2018
  • American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference, Washington, D.C., April, 2018
  • 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 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Individual Lawyer in General Commercial Litigation (2021—2023)
  • Selected by Best Lawyers in America as the Des Moines area's “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Construction Law (2013, 2021)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Construction Law, Mediation, and Litigation - Construction (2003—2024)
  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the area of Construction Litigation (2007, 2009—2024)

Cases & Presentations

Cases & Presentations

Published Case

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

Selected Presentations 

  • Presenter, "Construction Industry Ethics, Bid Peddling and Bid Shopping," American Society of Professional Estimators Regional Meeting, April 2023
  • Presenter, "Construction Ethics," American Society of Professional Estimators," April 2023
  • Presenter, "Construction Manager at Risk for Public Owners in Iowa," Central Iowa Construction Specification Institute," April 2023
  • Presenter, "Ethics, Bid Peddling and Bid Shopping," American Society of Professional Estimators, February 2023
  • 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


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

University of Iowa, B.A.

  • Copy Editor and Features Editor: The Daily Iowan


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

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