Areas of Practice
Iowa Governmental Law
Public Records and Open Meetings
Iowa law requires local government to conduct much of its business in the open for the public to see. The law in this area is complex-not only must one understand the statutes but also the court decisions which have interpreted those statutes.
"Unfortunately it is difficult for Iowans to always keep track of what their local governments are doing. In an era where local newspapers are shrinking it is sometimes left to individuals to make sure that their local governments (which spend a majority of their tax dollars) are doing what they are supposed to do. The law gives anyone the right to go to court when a local government has wrongly refused to produce records or conducts public business in secret without a legal reason to do so." - Alan
Individuals and businesses face many complex rules imposed by administrative agencies. These agencies don't just decide what the rules are-they decide if you have violated those rules and can impose hefty penalties for violations.
"Most people don't understand how much administrative law affects their daily life. Almost every good or service we buy or sell touches administrative law. It is very important to understand that when an administrative agency decides that an individual or business has broken a regulation it can be just as serious as being charged with a crime. It is vital to have legal representation early in the process-don't think that you can wait to hire an attorney for when you are in front of a 'real' court. By the time you get to a real court it may be too late to challenge what the agency has done." - Alan
Elections and campaigns
Public officials and candidates for public office live in a highly regulated environment. The law governing elections and campaigns is very complex. Even minor violations can have significant harms to the reputation of an office holder or candidate.
"It seems that every election cycle is a harder fight than the last one. In an environment where 'gotcha' tactics are commonly employed, it is important that office holders and candidates work hard to maintain compliance with the law and regulations that govern how they conduct themselves." - Alan