IAJ Amicus Brief Committee
Committee Objectives and Members
The first stated object of the Iowa Association for Justice is "to uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Iowa." To that end, in 2010 the Amicus Brief Committee (ABC) was formed to monitor trial court and appellate decisions and submit Amicus Curiae Briefs when significant matters of concern to IAJ membership and the people of the State of Iowa come before the Iowa Appellate Courts.
The ABC is made up of the following members who have volunteered to commit their expertise, their time and their energy to the preparation of briefs, when determined necessary according to the criteria below:
Joel Fenton, Des Moines (chair)
The committee members’ areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: personal injury, insurance/subrogation issues, professional negligence, civil rights/constitutional law, consumer rights, product liability, trial practice generally, punitive damage issues, criminal law, employment law, workers' compensation.
IAJ members are welcome to submit requests for amicus participation to the Chair of the Committee, Joel Fenton. Click here to email Joel. Requests should include information about the case and any briefs that might be applicable to the appeal. All information should be submitted in electronic form.
Information must be submitted in a timely fashion, as well. Under the Iowa Rules of Appellate Procedure, an Amicus Brief can only be filed by leave of Court. Then, if allowed, the brief is due within the same time allowed the party whose position the brief will support at the Court of Appeals level and within 14 days of an order granting further review at the Supreme Court level. Requests received too close to the deadlines or after deadlines make participation difficult or impossible (it is recommended that requests be made within 10 days of docketing).
Once information is received by the Chair, it will be distributed to the ABC members, who will discuss Amicus participation and the availability of a member to prepare a brief. The Committee will take every request seriously and an even-handed approach will be taken to applying the participation criteria to members' requests. If consensus among committee members cannot be reached, a decision will be based on majority vote. The filing of any particular amicus brief is also subject to IAJ’s Executive Board’s approval.
Committee Participation Criteria