Public Safety

Several area lawyers elected as officers, board members of Iowa Association for Justice

The dome of the State Capitol building in Des Moines is shown on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
The dome of the State Capitol building in Des Moines is shown on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

Des Moines — The Iowa Association for Justice elected new officers and its Board of Governors members, along with honoring its 2018 award winners during last month’s annual convention.

The statewide association representing trial attorneys also announced their annual warm winter clothing for kids collection, which raised over $4,300 worth of winter coats, hats, gloves, and boots, and cash donations.

Several area lawyers were elected as new IAJ executive officers and board members, including J. Dean Keegan of Iowa City as parliamentarian; Darin Luneckas of Cedar Rapids as board member from 6th Judicial District; at large positions for Steven Ballard of Iowa City, Ann Brown and Ben Long, both of Cedar Rapids; and Thomas Farnsworth of Iowa City, as standing member of board.

Iowa trial lawyers attending the legal seminar made the donations, according to the news release. Contributions also came from Susan Frye Court Reporting and staff at the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids Marriott. The donations will be split among several communities in Iowa.

“Iowa trial lawyers have been organizing this annual coat drive for several years, and we have had a significant impact, Saffin Parrish-Sams, the newly elected 46th president of IAJ said in a statement. “This is a responsibility that lawyers take seriously, to serve our clients, and our communities. Helping people in their time of need is what we do.”

The association also presented 2018 awards, which included:

-U. S. District Senior Judge Mark W. Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa received the Judicial Achievement Award in recognition of his work as an “outstanding jurist concerned with protecting the rights of litigants and his untiring efforts to promote the interests of justice and human rights.”

— The Iowa Freedom of Information Council received the Public Service Award in recognition its “success in and commitment to making open records and open government a reality at the legislature and in the courts.”


The association, headquartered in Des Moines, has about 700 Iowa trial attorneys who practice in various communities across the state. IAJ serves the legal profession and the public through its efforts to strengthen the justice systems, promote injury prevention, and foster the transparency of information critical to the health and safety of all Iowans.

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