IAJ's 46th Annual Convention - Des Moines Marriott Downtown


IAJ's November Annual Convention has become one of the most anticipated CLE seminars in Iowa -- and a social and professional imperative for all trial attorneys.

Join hundreds of your fellow Iowa trial attorneys to sharpen your skills and refresh your spirit at IAJ’s Annual Convention, the capstone of IAJ’s College of Advocacy Seminar Series. Get 15 hours of Iowa CLE credit (including 2.5 hours of Ethics CLE credit) in two inspiration-filled days. Featured presenters at this year’s convention are listed below in order of their appearance.

Click here to download the convention brochure.


Roxanne Conlin is, quite simply, one of the most celebrated trial lawyers in America. In 1977, she became one of the first two women ever to be a United States Attorney. She was the first female president of what is now the American Association for Justice. Most recently, she successfully prosecuted Godfrey v. State of Iowa, setting many precedents along the way. She and Paige Fiedler will speak Thursday about the Godfrey case and its larger import when it comes to “Winning Constitutional Tort Damages.”

Sheila Donnelly-Coyne serves as co-chair of education for the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trucking Litigation Group. In addition to her plaintiffs personal injury practice in the Twin Cities, where she was recently named Minnesota Lawyer's "Attorney of the Year," she serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Donnelly-Coyne will speak Thursday on the topic of "Negligent Hiring: What Every Trucking Lawyer Needs to Know."

As a trial attorney, Render Freeman has a broad range of experience litigating and trying complex cases, including medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and malpractice, motor vehicle and truck crashes, and premises liability. Freeman has developed a national reputation and has been elected to the faculty of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College. Freeman will speak Friday on the topic of "Spousal Consortium Claims – Does a Good Marriage Have a Fair Market Value?"

Arthur Bryant of Public Justice has won major victories and established new precedents in several areas of the law. The National Law Journal has twice named him one of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America. Across the nation, and here in Iowa, Public Justice has fought for consumers’ rights, workers’ rights, civil rights and liberties, environmental protection, corporate and government accountability, and for the poor and the powerless. Bryant started with Public Justice in 1984; he became executive director in 1987. He now serves as Chairman Emeritus and is also working Of Counsel at Bailey & Glasser. He will present on Friday on the topic of “The Ethics of Court Secrecy.”

Lloyd Bell has built a sterling courtroom record after trying more than 75 civil jury trials and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients. A veteran of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, Bell founded his own law firm in 1999. Bell  harnesses  technology  that  leads  to  record  jury  verdicts  and  life  changing  settlements.  He uses digital tools  to  illustrate  his  clients’  narratives,  crafting  compelling  cases  for  jurors  that  simplify  even  the  most  complex  issues.  Bell’s  seamless  integration  of  technology  makes  him  one  of  Georgia’s  most  formidable trial  attorneys. Bell will speak Friday about "Tech Integration for Your Trial Presentation."




7:00 - 8:00 - REGISTRATION
8:00 - 8:30 - Anti-Human Trafficking Law Craig Nierman, Iowa City
8:30 - 9:15 - Still DRE (Drug Recognition Experts) Dean Keegan, Iowa City; Eric Tindal, Iowa City
9:15 - 9:30 - BREAK
9:30 - 10:30 - Godfrey Revisited: Winning Constitutional Tort Damages Roxanne Conlin, Des Moines; Paige Fiedler, Johnston
10:30 - 11:15 - Apocalyptic Damages: The Coming Future of Climate Litigation Channing Dutton, West Des Moines
11:15 - 12:15 - Negligent Hiring: What Every Trucking Lawyer Needs to Know Sheila Donnelly-Coyne, St. Paul, MN
12:15 - 1:45 - IAJ AWARDS LUNCHEON
1:45 - 2:45 - Indispensable Ethics Pointers for Trial Lawyers Justice Susan Christensen, Iowa Supreme Court
2:45 - 3:45 - The Importance of Fact Collecting Matt Lindholm, West Des Moines; Robert Rehkemper, West Des Moines
3:45 - 4:00 - BREAK
4:00 - 5:00 - Stop Just Learning About Focus Groups, Use Them Tim Semelroth, Cedar Rapids
5:00 - 5:30 - New Work Comp Law: Avoiding Pitfalls and Stumbling Blocks David Stamp, Waterloo
5:30 - 6:00 - A View From the Federal Bench Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger, US District Court, Southern District of Iowa
6:00 - 7:30 - IAJ TRIAL LAWYERS HAPPY HOUR (Complimentary to All Registrants)


8:00 - 9:00 - Five Reasons Lawyers Should Care about Implicit Bias Thomas Newkirk, Des Moines
9:00 - 9:30 - Mistakes You Make When Negotiating with Insurance Companies Jenna Green, West Des Moines Thomas Hillers, West Des Moines
9:30 - 10:00 - Settlement Demands: Get What Your Clients Need and Deserve James Biscoglia, West Des Moines; Andrew Heiting-Doane, West Des Moines
10:00 - 10:15 - BREAK
10:15 - 11:30 - Spousal Consortium Claims: Does a Good Marriage Have a Fair Market Value? Render Freeman, Duluth, GA
11:30 - 12:15 - Lawyers, Guns, and Money: The Ethics of Court Secrecy Arthur Bryant, Public Justice, Washington, DC
1:45 - 2:45 - Tech Integration for Your Trial Presentation Lloyd Bell, Atlanta, GA
2:45 - 3:45 - Combating Never-Ending and Ever-Changing Motions In Limine Katie Ervin Carlson, West Des Moines; Bruce Braley, Denver, CO; Jim Fitzsimmons, Mason City
3:45 - 4:00 - BREAK
4:00 - 5:00 - Case Law Update Judge Paul Ahlers, Webster City

CLE Hours:
15 CLE hours including 2.5 Ethics hours (applied for).
Registration: Early Bird registration is available through October 7. Those who have paid 2019 IAJ dues, or who join IAJ before or at the convention, are eligible for the member rate. Please use a separate registration form for each registrant.
Luncheon Programs: Your seminar registration entitles you to attend both luncheon programs at no additional charge. Additional guests are $25 per lunch. Please indicate dietary needs.
Seminar Materials: All seminar materials will be accessible online immediately prior to and during the convention at no charge to registrants. Registrants may also purchase a standard seminar book, but it must be ordered upon registration to ensure availability.
Extracurricular Activities: There will be a Thursday Trial Lawyers Happy Hour at the hotel (6-7:30 PM) hosted by IAJ. Food and drinks provided.
Case Workshop: Request a practice area expert to spend an hour, one-on-one with you at convention, talking through a case. This service is typically reserved for IAJ members only, but will be available to all Annual Convention registrants. To sign up, contact IAJ at info@iowajustice.org.


This program has been approved for credit in the following jurisdiction(s):

Iowa Office of Professional Regulation - CLE

Credit has been approved with the Iowa Office of Professional Regulation - CLE for 2.50 Ethics credits and 15.00 General credits.


Des Moines Marriott Downtown

700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

Click here to reserve your hotel room by October 23rd.  

Remember to ask for the IAJ rate of $148.


Thank You to Our 2019 Annual Convention Sponsors

Cancellation Policy

Refund Policy

Cancellations will be accepted through October 30, subject to a $50 administrative fee. Requests for cancellations cannot be honored after October 30, but materials will be mailed or a substitute may attend. Nonmembers substituting for a member must pay the difference in price at the door.