Roxanne Barton Conlin

Roxanne Barton Conlin

Partner
Location:
Des Moines, Iowa
Phone:
(515) 283-1111
Fax:
(515) 282-0477
Email:
Roxanne Conlin has her own law firm in Des Moines

Roxanne Conlin has her own law firm in Des Moines, where she exclusively represents people who have been harmed by others, whether by discrimination, products, doctors or vehicles.

She entered Drake University in 1961, when she was only 16, and graduated from law school with honors five years later at the age of 21.

From 1969 to 1976, she was an Assistant Attorney General for Iowa, where she was head of the Iowa Civil Rights section and fought race and sex discrimination. She also rewrote Iowa's inheritance laws; toughened the state's assault laws and blocked a merger of two major utilities that would have hurt the average consumer.

She left the Attorney General's Office to become a consultant to the United States Department of State for International Women's Year.

In 1977, she became one of the first two women ever to be a United States Attorney. Roxanne put heroin dealers behind bars and prosecuted white-collar crimes and corruption in public office. She also served as President of the Federal Executive Council, which is composed of the heads of all seventy federal agencies.

Roxanne has devoted much time to individual organizations and causes and community service. She founded and was the first chair of the Iowa Women's Political caucus, and was president and general counsel of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. Most recently, she has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the fifty most influential women lawyers in America, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America and one of the top 10 litigators.

Her achievements have brought such honors as induction into the Iowa Woman's Hall of Fame and national attention such as selection in 1975 as one of the 44 Women Who Could Save America and in 1976 as one of 44 Women Qualified for Cabinet Position.

In June of 1982, Roxanne won a three-way primary and became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Iowa. She was narrowly defeated in her effort to become that state's first Democratic governor in 14 years, and its first woman governor.

She has had many other firsts. She was the first woman president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, a 60,000 member organization of consumer attorneys. She was the first woman to chair the Roscoe Pound Foundation, a trial lawyers think tank. She was the founder and first chair of the Civil Justice Foundation, which provides direct support to grass roots organizations and disabled individuals.

She was inducted in 1995 into the Inner Circle of Advocates, limited to only 100 members nationwide.

Recently, she was thrilled to have a law school scholarship named after her at the University of Missouri. She also received the Rosalie Wahl Award from the Minnesota Women Lawyers Association.

She married her husband, James, 37 years ago. They have raised four children and have four grandchildren.

 

Year Joined Firm

  • 1991

Areas of Practice

  • Trial and Appellate Practice
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Medical Malpractice Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Iowa, 1966

Education

  • Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
    • J.D. - 1966
    • Honors: Fischer Foundation Scholar; Dean: Kappa Beta Phi; American Law Student
    • Honors: Representative, American Law Student Association
    • Honors: Dean: Kappa Beta Phi Legal Sorority, 1964
    • Law Review: Drake University Law Review
  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
    • Master's Degree in Public Administration - 1979
    • Honors: Pi Alpha Alpha, Honorary Society in Public Affairs & Administration, 1978
  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
    • Bachelor of Arts - 1964
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Honors: Alpha Lambda Delta, Women's Honorary Sorority
    • Honors: Chi Omega Social Service Award
    • Honors: National Merit Scholarship Finalist
    • Honors: Reader's Digest Scholar
  • Harvard University
    • Honors: Recipient, Seminar Grant: Limits of Positivism: Certainty & Justice Law

Published Works

  • ATLA's Litigating Tort Cases, West Publishing Company, June, 2003
  • 'In Defense of the American Trial Lawyer', The Aspen Quarterly, Vol. V, No.11, Page 128, Spring, 1993
  • 'Loser Pays' Rule: Who Pays for Injustice (With Clarence L. King, Jr.), National Law Journal, July, 1992
  • 'Loser Pays' Rule: Who Pays for Injustice (Co-Authored with Clarence L. King, Jr.), Trial Magazine, October, 1992
  • 'Making the Opposing Expert Tell the Truth', 22 Trial Lawyers Quarterly, No. 1 p. 50, Fall, 1991
  • 'Voir Dire Examination and Jury Selection', Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit, 3rd Edition, ATLA Press, 1991
  • 'Litigation Explosion Disputed', National Law Journal, July, 1991
  • 'Litigation Explosion Disputed', Trial Magazine p. 114
  • 'Litigation Explosion - Tempest in a Teapot?', ATLA, Nov., 1991
  • 'Women, Power and the Law', 26 Trial 22, February, 1990
  • 'Landlord Liability for Criminal Attack on Client', 35 Am. Jur. Trials, 1987
  • United States Commission on International Women's Year, Legal Status of Homemakers in Iowa, November, 1976
  • 'Government Policy and the Legal Status of Women', Women in the Professions, Ed. Laurily Epstein, Lexington Books, 1976
  • Equal Protection vs. The Equal Rights Amendment - Where Are We Now?, 24 Drake Law Review 259, Winter, 1975

Classes/Seminars

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Iowa Law School, 1977 - 1979

Honors and Awards

  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, National College of Advocacy, Diplomate of Trial Advocacy, 2005
  • Iowa Juneteenth Observance Liberty Award, 2005
  • The Iowa Shares Special Recognition Award, 2005
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, 2004
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2003
  • Mary Louis Smith Human Rights Award, Des Moines Human Rights Commission, 2003
  • Very Special Arts of Iowa Award, 2002
  • Elected to Membership, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2002
  • United Way Award, Young Women's Resource Center, 2002
  • Named One of the Ten Most Influential Women Attorneys, National Law Journal, 2002
  • Mary Louis Smith Award for Racial Justice, YWCA, 2001
  • Marie Lambert Award for Equality for Women , Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2000
  • Selected as One of Twelve Most Influential Women by the Des Moines Business Record, 2000
  • Named One of the Fifty Most Influential Lawyers by Des Moines Register, 2000
  • Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, 1999
  • International Society of Lawyers for Public Service, 1999
  • Annual Roxanne Barton Conlin Scholarship Established by Kansas City Association of Women Lawyers, 1999
  • Rosalie Wahl Leadership Award from the Minnesota Women Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Named: 'The Fifty Most Influential Women Lawyers in America' by the National Law Journal, 1998
  • Named Woman of the Year by the Metro Women's Network, 1997
  • Featured in Best Lawyers in America, 1995 - Present
  • Elected to Membership in the Inner Circle of Advocates, 1995
  • Elected to Membership in the American Law Institute, 1994
  • APEX Award Recognizing Excellence in Opinion Column Writing for President's Page in Trial of June 1993, 1994
  • Verne Lawyer Outstanding Member Award from the Iowa Association of Trial Lawyers, 1993
  • Elected to Membership in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1993 - Present
  • Life Fellow of the Iowa State Bar Association, 1992
  • Featured in the Book, More Strongminded Women, by Louise Noun (ISU Press), 1992
  • Named: One of 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the Nation by National Law Journal, 1991
  • Elected to Membership in the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1991
  • Diplomat of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, 1990
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, Drake University Law School, 1989
  • Woman of Vision Award, Young Women's Resource Center, 1989
  • Named: One of the Top Ten Litigators in an Article in National Law Journal, 1989
  • Iowa Citizens Action Network Annual Award for Public Service, 1987
  • Iowa Women's Hall of Fame, 1981
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Alumni Member, 1981
  • Award for Outstanding Assistance - United States Secret Service, 1981
  • Special Commendation - Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1979
  • Special Commendation - United States Postal Inspection Service, 1978
  • Chosen: McCall's Magazine Article, November Issue as One of 44 Women Who Qualified for a Cabinet Position, 1976
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Dubuque, 1975
  • Chosen: Redbook Magazine Article as One of '44 Women Who Could Save America", 1975
  • Outstanding Service to Civil Liberties Presented by the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, 1974
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Service by Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of N.A. AFL-CIO, 1974
  • Outstanding Young Woman of Iowa, 1974
  • Who's Who in America
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • Who's Who of American Women
  • Who's Who in the Middlewest
  • Who's Who in Politics
  • Dictionary of International Biography
  • World's Who's Who of Women
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Democratic Nominee for Governor of Iowa, 1982
  • Who's Who in Government

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • NITA, Board of Trustees, 2003 - Present
  • National Center for State Court Lawyers Committee, 2003 - Present
  • Roscoe Pound Foundation, President, 1994 - 1997
  • American Law Institute, Elected Membership, 1994 - Present
  • American Jury Trial Foundation, Trustee, 1993 - Present
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, President, 1992 - 1993
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, President-Elect, 1991 - 1992
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Vice-President, 1990 - 1991
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Secretary, 1989 - 1990
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Parliamentarian, 1988 - 1989
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, ATLA-PAC Board of Directors, 1987 - 1989
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Chair, Organization Review Committee
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Chair, Education Committee
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Chair, Membership Oversight Committee
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Consumer and Victims Coalition Committee
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Chair, Safety Conference Committee
  • Roscoe Pound Foundation, Member, Board of Governors, 1986 - 1992
  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys, Board of Directors, 1991 - 1999
  • Older Iowans' Permanent Fund Foundation, Advisory Board Member, 1991 - 1997
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Honorary Board Member, 1990 - 1995
  • Blackstone Inn, American Inns, Master of the Bench, 1989 - Present
  • Higher Education Task Force of the State of Iowa, Co-Chair, 1988 - 1992
  • Coalition for Women's Appointments, Advisory Board, 1988 - 1990
  • Civil Justice Foundation, President, 1986 - 1988
  • Council on Judicial Selection, Appointed by Chief Justice Reynoldsen, 1986
  • YWCA, Board of Directors, 1986 - 1988
  • Drake University Law School Endowment Trust, Chair, Board of Governors, 1985 - 1986
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa, Board of Governors, 1984 - 1995
  • NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Board of Directors, 1983 - 1989
  • NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, President, 1986 - 1988
  • NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, General Counsel, 1985 - 1986
  • Dowling High School, Board of Directors, 1981 - Present
  • Federal Executive Council, President, Vice-President, 1979 - 1981
  • Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, Member, 1979 - Present
  • Iowa Shares Program, Board of Directors, 1978 - 1980
  • National Women's Political Caucus, Advisory Board, 1977 - Present
  • Drake University Law School, Law Board of Counselors, 1977 - 1985
  • Upper Midwest Council - Critical Choice Project, Panelist, 1976 - 1977
  • Youth for Understanding, Bicentennial Committee of Iowa, 1976
  • National Women's Political Caucus, Administrative Committee Member, 1975 - 1977
  • Polk County Rape/Sexual Assault Care Center, Board of Directors, 1974 - 1977
  • Riverhills Day Care Center, Board of Directors, 1974 - 1975
  • Iowa Women's Political Caucus, Founder & State Chairperson, 1973 - 1975
  • Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, 1972 - 1978
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1966 - Present
  • Iowa Bar Association, Member, 1966 - Present
  • Iowa Bar Association, Member, Bar Review Committee, 1987 - 1992
  • Iowa Bar Association, Career Day Panel, Member, 1987 - 1992
  • Iowa Bar Association, Member, Federal Practice Committee, 1987 - 1992
  • Iowa Bar Association, Member, Uniform Court Instructions Committee, 1987 - 1992
  • Iowa Democratic Party, Chair, 1998 - 1999
  • Senior Women's Strategy Council - Mondale/Ferraro Campaign, Member, 1984
  • Women for Harkin Committee, Co-Chair, 1984
  • Food & Agricultural Policies for Democratic National Committee-Philadelphia, Chair of the Panel, 1982
  • Carter for President, Headquarters Volunteer, 1976
  • National Mid-term Convention, Vice-Chair of Iowa Delegation, 1974
  • Iowa Democratic State Conventions-Delegate, Member of the Platform, Rules and By-Laws Committee, 1964 - 1974
  • Polk County Democratic Party, Precinct Committeewoman, 1966 - 1972
  • Hughes for United States Senate, Volunteer, 1968
  • Iowa Young Democrats, National Committeewoman, 1965 - Present
  • Polk County Young Democrats, President, 1964 - 1966
  • Hughes for Governor, Volunteer, 1966
  • Hughes for Governor, Volunteer, 1964
  • Hughes for Governor, Volunteer, 1962
  • Department of Justice, Iowa Civil Rights Section, Director, 1969 - 1976
  • United States Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, Consultant, 1976 - 1977
  • United States Attorneys, Attorney General's Advisory Committee, 1977 - 1981
  • Attorney General's Advocacy Institute, Consultant, 1977 - 1981
  • Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors

Past Employment Positions

  • Private Practice, 1966 - 1967
  • Deputy Industrial Commissioner, 1967 - 1968
  • State of Iowa, Assistant Attorney General and Director, Iowa Civil Rights Section, 1969 - 1976
  • Southern District of Iowa, U.S. Attorney, 1977 - 1981
  • Galligan and Conlin, P.C., 1983 - 1990

Pro Bono Activities

  • National Pro Bono Effort for the Victims of September 11th Tragedy, Board of Directors Trial Lawyers Care, 2001 - 2004