University of Iowa, J.D. with high honors, Order of the Coif (1979)
University of Iowa, B.A. with honors in sociology (1975)
Bar admissions: Iowa 1979 (active), United States District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa (active)
2008-10: Iowa Supreme Court Associate Justice
2006-08: Iowa Court of Appeals Judge
2005-06: Iowa District Court Judge
2011 – present:
- General private practice with focus on mediation, arbitration, and consultation on appeals
- Adjunct faculty member, University of Iowa College of Law, Trial Advocacy (fall terms) State Constitutional Law (spring terms)
1989 – 2005: Riccolo & Baker, P.C. in Cedar Rapids. Practice was almost exclusively in the area of litigation. Cases included personal injury, professional negligence, construction, real estate, commercial questions, employment issues, and workers’ compensation.
1983 – 1989: Elderkin, Pirnie, VonLackum and Elderkin In Cedar Rapids. Continued to practice in the tax and corporate area. Practice gradually evolved away from a business practice to a litigation practice, initially bankruptcy and later insurance defense.
1979 – 1983: White, Wenzel and Piersall in Cedar Rapids. General practice with an emphasis in tax, estate planning, and corporate.
- Mason Ladd Inn of the American Inns of Court
- Member of the Sixth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission
- Member of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Member of the The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award (2012)
- Louise Noun Civil Liberties Award from the Iowa ACLU (2011)
SELECTED FORMER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
- Iowa State Bar Association (Member of the Jury Instructions Committee, Temporary Bar Examiner, Young Lawyers Board of Governors, participated in the writing of the Appellate Practice Manual as a member of the Appellate Practice Committee, Member/chairman of Bench-Bar Seminar Committee)
- Former member of the Merit Selection Panel for Appointment of the U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of Iowa
- Former chairman of Amicus Curiae Committee for the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association
SELECTED FORMER CIVIC ACTIVITIES
- Cedar Rapids West Rotary Club (President, Board Member, Chairman of the seven club Rotary Centennial Project Committee, various committees)
- Witwer Senior Center (Past member of Board of Directors, past President and Treasurer)
- Elmcrest Country Club (Board member, Golf and Greens Committee, President)
- United Way- (past board member)
- Clear Lake Yacht Club (Board Member)
- YMCA (Volunteer Swim Coach)
SELECTED PROFESSIONAL LECTURES
“Mediation- How, When, Why,” Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June, 2014.
“Client Selection (You Have To Kiss a Lot of Frogs…),” Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, June, 2014.
“ADR: Out of the Box,” Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers. February, 2014
“Every Day Conflicts,” Iowa Defense Counsel Annual Seminar, September 2013.
“Perfect storm or climate change?”, Florida ABOTA, July, 2012.
“Restatement Third, Torts, The Basics,” Iowa Defense Counsel Annual Seminar, September 2011.