Overview

John serves as counsel for midsize and small businesses which are not publicly traded in matters such as contract negotiation, employment, and real estate. He understands that businesses require fast, personalized attention, in order to run their day-to-day operations. John strives to meet the unique demands of each business and offer effective solutions.

As a nationally-recognized attorney in the surety law area, he actively represents construction and surety clients and is a frequent author and presenter on topics including contract disputes, mechanic’s liens, and surety obligations.

John counsels his financial cooperative clients in proactive measures and risk avoidance. This close attention includes providing client education through regular updates and presentations to board members and senior management regarding corporate governance and employment matters.

He also advises trucking and transportation clients in regulatory, business, and employment matters. As chair of the firm’s transportation and trucking practice group, he coordinates delivery of updates, education, and training to sharpen the skills of attorneys and clients while staying on top of the ever-changing regulatory landscape in the industry.

Should litigation occur, John has the experience and ability to litigate the matter to verdict and through appeal. As a testament to his reputation in the courtroom, John was inducted as a Fellow in the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Considered to be “the lawyer’s lawyer,” John has served as President of the Lincoln Inne of Court and regularly presents on standards of conduct for attorneys. John also serves on the Iowa Supreme Court’s Grievance Commission. John is a regular presenter at bar and industry meetings, resulting in a dense catalogue of presentations given and articles published.

Experience

Experience

  • Member, Whitfield & Eddy Law Executive Committee, 2016—present
  • Co-chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Labor & Employment Law Practice Group
  • Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Transportation & Trucking Practice Group
  • Past Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Litigation Practice Group
  • Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy Law, 1999—present
  • Assistant Appellate Defender: State of Iowa, 1994—1995

Activities and Affiliations

  • Lincoln Inne of Court, President 2016—2017
  • Appointed Member, Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission, 2015—2019
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
  • Association of Transportation Law Professionals
  • Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Iowa Motor Truck Association
  • American Bar Association (Sections: Labor & Employment Law; Forum on the Construction Industry. Co-Chair of the 2014 Midwinter Meeting of the Fidelity Surety Law Committee)
  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Iowa State Bar Association (Sections: Labor & Employment Law; Appellate Practice Committee)
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys’ Association
  • National Italian American Bar Association
  • Order of the Barristers

Seminars 

  • Transportation Lawyers Association Annual Conference, May 2018
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, February 2018
  • Transportation Lawyers Association Regional Seminar, January 2018
  • American Bar Association Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Spring Meeting, May 2017
  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers Seminar, February 2017
  • ABA-TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Annual Mid-Winter Meeting, January 2016

News & Events

Honors & Recognitions

Honors & Recognitions

  • Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the field of Business/Corporate (Super Lawyers: 2009-2010, 2013, 2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010 in the field of Appellate Litigation

Cases Presentations & Publications

Cases Presentations & Publications

Published Cases

  • Employers Mutual Casualty Company v. Van Haaften, 815 N.W.2d 17 (Iowa 2012)
  • Armstrong v. American Pallet Leasing, Inc., 678 F.Supp.2d 827 (N.D. Iowa 2009)
  • Walnut Brewery, Inc. d/b/a Rock Bottom Brewery v. Iowa Department of Commerce-Alcoholic Beverages Division, 775 N.W.2d 724 (Iowa Ct. App. 2009)
  • Liberty Bank, F.S.B. v. Best Litho, Inc., et al., 737 N.W.2d 312 (Iowa Ct. App. 2007)
  • City of Fairfield v. Harper Drilling Co., 692 N.W.2d 681 (Iowa 2005)
  • Estate of Ballard v. Hazel’s Blue Sky, 653 N.W.2d 609 (Iowa 2002)
  • Rife v. D.T. Corner, Inc., 641 N.W.2d 761 (Iowa 2002)
  • Nesbit v. Myers, 576 N.W.2d 613 (Iowa Ct. App. 1998)
  • Waits v. United Fire & Cas. Co., 472 N.W.2d 565 (Iowa 1997)
  • Fuller v. Local Union No. 106 of United Broth. of Carpenters and Joiners of America, 567 N.W.2d 419 (Iowa 1997)
  • State v. Schluter, 548 N.W.2d 591 (Iowa Ct. App. 1996)
  • State v. Squires, 545 N.W.2d 557 (Iowa 1996)
  • State v. LaGrange, 541 N.W.2d 562 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995)
  • Armstrong v. Iowa, 513 U.S. 1132 (1995) (certiorari denied)
  • State v. Gillespie, 530 N.W.2d 446 (Iowa 1995)
  • State v. Loyd, 530 N.W.2d 708 (Iowa 1995)

Thought Leadership

  • Co-author (with Anna E. Mallen), "Board of Directors Obligated to Protect Credit Union Whistleblowers," Credit Union Journal, July 25, 2018
  • Presenter, "Mechanic's Liens in Iowa," Iowa Title Guaranty Conference, November, 2017, Des Moines, IA
  • Presenter, "The Duty of Care and Treatment of Whistleblowers," Iowa Credit Union League Convention, September 2017, Des Moines, IA
  • Presenter, "Unemployment Claims in Iowa: 11 Steps to Success," Iowa Credit Union League CEO and Executive Roundtable, June 2017, Des Moines, IA
  • Panelist, "Surety Liability Under Performance Bonds," American Bar Association Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Spring Meeting, May 2017, Naples, FL
  • Presenter, "Ethical Challenges in Real Estate," National Business Institute, December 2016, Des Moines, IA
  • Presenter, ”The Tax Treatment of Verdicts and Settlements Version 4.0” Wednesday Tax Forum, November 2016, Des Moines, IA
  • Co-author (with Zachary J. Hermsen), "Freedom of Contract Collides with Public Policy: A Trend Under the Miller Act of Invalidating Dispute Clauses in Contractor/Subcontractor Agreements," Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Newsletter (of ABA-TIPS), Spring 2016
  • Panelist, “Concrete (Foundations and Concrete Structures),” ABA-TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, New York, New York, January 2016
  • Presenter, "Ethical Obligations in 2015 and Beyond," National Business Institute, Des Moines, Iowa, December 2015
  • Author, "Ethical Obligations in 2015 and Beyond" and "Commercial Land Use and Zoning Law," National Business Institute, December 2015
  • Presenter, "Handling Real Estate Transactions From Start to Finish," National Business Institute, August 2015
  • Presenter, "Surety Claims and Recovery," Employers Mutual Casualty Company's 2015 Bond Underwriters' Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2015
  • Presenter, “Mechanic’s Liens in Iowa,” Iowa State Bar Association – Bridge the Gap, West Des Moines, Iowa, May 2014
  • Contributing Author, “2013-14 Construction Law Update,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry,” May 2014
  • Co-author, (with Danya Hooker), “The Litigator’s Tool Box: The Preclusive Use of Prior Guilty Pleas in Fidelity Cases, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Newsletter (of ABA-TIPS), Spring 2014
  • Presenter, “Ethical Representation of Grand Jury Witnesses and Corporate Compliance Update,” Iowa State Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section, April, 2014
  • Presenter, “Litigating Contested Cases Under Iowa Code Chapter 17A,” Legal Support Professionals of Polk County, Des Moines, Iowa, February, 2014
  • Presenter, “Meeting Deadlines for FMLA: Meeting Notification Deadlines, Curbing Abuse, and Preventing Claims,” Business and Legal Resources, Ankeny, Iowa, December, 2013
  • Presenter, “Litigating Contested Cases Under Iowa Code Chapter 17A,” Iowa Association of Legal Assistants. Paralegals Fall 2013 Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, September 2013
  • Presenter, “Mechanic’s Notice and Lien Registry Update,” Iowa Title Guaranty Settlement Service Workshop, Altoona, Iowa, June 2013
  • Co-Presenter, “A Practical Guide to Construction Liens,” National Business Institute, West Des Moines, Iowa, March 2013
  • Presenter, “Subpoenas & Protection Orders,” 51st Annual Seminar of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2013
  • Co-author, (with Jennifer L. Smith), “The Interaction of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations: A Circuit by Circuit Guide”, 79 J. Transp. L. Logist. & Pol’y 281 (4th Q 2012)
  • Presenter, “Ethical Obligations in Real Estate Practice,” Advanced Issues in Real Estate Law, National Business Institute (NBI), Des Moines, Iowa, December 2012
  • Presenter, “Mechanic’s Liens in Iowa,” Iowa Title Guaranty’s Annual Conference, Coralville, Iowa, November 2012
  • Co-author (with Jennifer L. Smith), “The FMLA Claim and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers: How Much Knowledge is ‘Notice’”? The Transportation Lawyer, 31 (Oct. 2012)
  • Instructor, “Surety Claims” 2012 National Association of Independent Sureties Underwriting Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa

Education

Drake University Law School, J.D., 1991

  • Region XIV Finalist, National Moot Court Competition, 1991
  • Recipient: Rodney L. Hudson Senior Advocacy Award, 1991

Concordia College, B.A., 1987, cum laude

  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society

Admissions

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