Iowa Resources

We have written detailed reviews of Iowa law impacting agricultural producers and landowners. Access these reviews by clicking on the tiles below. You can also review Iowa cases on a particular subject by searching our list of Iowa case law reviews at the bottom of this page.

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In 2003, a dispute developed between a farmer and a grain cooperative when the cooperative allegedly improperly applied herbicide to the farmer’s land. In 2008, the plaintiff farmer filed suit against the defendant cooperative, asking the trial court to award damages based upon the loss of yields he sustained. During the trial and throughout the suit, the plaintiff, unrepresented by legal counsel, was repeatedly admonished by the court to comply with the court’s rules of procedure. 

May 11, 2011 | Erin Herbold


August 8, 2012 | Erin C. Herbold-Swalwell


Punitive damages are not awarded that often in tort cases.  When they are, it’s usually because the defendant’s conduct is viewed as being so bad that the court believes it is necessary to punish the defendant in addition to any actual damages that are awarded to the plaintiff.  But, what if the defendant dies before the court action is concluded.  Should punitive damages still be awarded?  If the purpose of granting them is to punish the offender, death of the offender would seem to eliminate the purpose of punitive damages.   

September 24, 2012 | Erin C. Herbold-Swalwell



While most property owners in Iowa know they are required to keep their sidewalks clear of ice and snow accumulation, they might not know that they have a responsibility to keep their sidewalks in good repair. Iowa Code § 364.12(d) (2011) requires property owners to maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their property. Some cities have codified this requirement as well. When a property owner fails to fix deficiencies, liability can result for any injuries to others resulting from the poor condition of the sidewalk. That is exactly what happened in this case.


Most of the time, factual issues and legal consequences of the facts in a lawsuit are disputed and sorted out through the course of litigation. Likewise, there is generally evidence supporting legal theories for recovery. If, however, there is no evidence to support a legal claim against a party, the attorney has an obligation to recognize (hopefully before trial) that there is no legal claim and resolve the matter. In this case, the continuation of a lawsuit in the absence of any proof warranted sanctions against the attorney.

October 12, 2012 | Erika Eckley


At the heart of every negligent tort case are the elements of duty, breach, causation and damages.   The elements are like links in a chain – each must be established for a plaintiff to prevail.  In other words, the plaintiff must prove all four elements or his claim with fail.  This case is an illustration of the necessity of establishing all four elements to prevail on a negligent tort claim.


Here, the widow of the decedent disagreed with the decedent’s brother over the proper disposition of a 120-acre farm. The farm was deeded to the decedent and his brother in 1969 by their mother, as tenants in common. The brothers orally created a farm partnership. The brothers rented the land to a tenant on a crop-share basis, put the income into a partnership account, and annually filed a partnership tax return for federal income tax purposes. 

January 10, 2010 | Erin Herbold


Here, a father and two sons formed a farm partnership by a written agreement in 1985. In 1995, the father and sons also signed articles of incorporation, forming a woodworking business. The profits from both entities were to be divided equally between the three. In 2007, one brother filed suit, seeking dissolution of both entities. The father and other son countersued, seeking dismissal of the petition for dissolution and demanding an accounting of both entities and an order for the son seeking the dissolution to withdraw from both entities.