Iowa Judicial Branch Newsletter
November 24, 2017
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     Judicial Appointments and Retirements

New Iowa Judges Appointed Since June 2016  

  

District Judge Andrew Chappell, District 6, replaced Judge Robert Sosalla 

Judge Chappell earned his bachelor's degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1994 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1997. He had worked in the civil division of the Johnson County Attorney's Office since 2000, and prior to that he worked in private practice in Iowa City. 

  

District Judge Julie Schumacher, District 3, replaced Judge Mary Sokolovske 

Judge Schumacher earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Dakota in 1990 and her law degree from Creighton University School of Law in 1993. Judge Schumacher entered private practice with law firms in Denison, Iowa, upon graduation from law school and served as a prosecutor in the Crawford County Attorney's Office. She also served as Assistant City Attorney for Denison. 

  

District Associate Judge Nicholas Scott, District 6, replaced Judge Jane Spande 

Judge Scott, Cedar Rapids, was appointed to the bench as a district associate judge on August 31, 2016. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1998 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2001. He was in private practice after obtaining his law degree and served as an Assistant Jackson County Attorney and as an Assistant Linn County Attorney for 11 years. 

  

District Associate Judge Brook Jacobsen District 1, replaced Judge James Coil 

Judge Jacobsen was appointed to the bench in 2017. 

  

District Associate Judge Tyron Rogers District 8, replaced Judge Michael Dieterich 

Judge Rogers, Burlington, was appointed to the bench January, 2017. He attended University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors, majoring in sociology in 1997 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2000. After being admitted to the Iowa bar, Judge Rogers worked as First Assistant County Attorney in the Des Moines County Attorneys Office from October 2000 - January 2017. In 2012 Judge Rogers received the Iowa County Attorney's Association Staff Attorney Award of Merit. 

  

District Judge Shawn Showers District 8, replaced Judge Daniel Wilson 

Judge Showers, Washington, was appointed to the bench in November 2016. Judge Showers was born in Leon, IA, Decatur County, and grew up on farms in Lucas and Wayne counties, graduating from Mormon Trail Community School before graduating from the University of Iowa in 2004 and Washburn University School of Law in 2008. In law school, Judge Showers was active in law clinic and elected Student Bar Association President. After being admitted to the Iowa Bar, Judge Showers worked as an assistant county attorney in Cerro Gordo County (2008 - 2010) and Washington County (2010 -2013) before becoming an assistant public defender in Ottumwa (2013 - 2014). He was elected Washington County Attorney in November 2014. Judge Showers is a member of the Washington County Bar Association, The Iowa State Bar Association and the Iowa Judges Association. Judge Showers and his wife, Megan, have a son and a daughter. 

  

District Judge Heather Lauber District 5, replaced Judge Rebecca Ebinger 

Judge Lauber, West Des Moines, was appointed to the district court bench in December 2016. She attended Drake University, where she received her bachelor's degree in 2000 and her law degree in 2003. Judge Lauber was in private practice from 2003-2011. She was Assistant Public Defender from 2011-2015. Judge Lauber was appointed district associate judge in 2015. She is a member of The Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, Iowa Association of Women Attorneys, Polk County Woman Attorneys, and C. Edwin Moore Inn of Court. 

 

Retired Iowa Judges Since June 2016  

  

District Judge Robert Sosalla, District 6—retired July 28, 2016 

Judge Sosalla, Marion, was appointed to the bench as a district associate judge in 1982. On October 30, 2003, he was appointed as a district court judge. Born in Carrington, North Dakota, he earned his undergraduate degree from Wayne State College in Nebraska. In 1972 he received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. Judge Sosalla then worked at a law firm in Cedar Rapids until his appointment. He is a member of The Iowa State and American Bar Associations. Judge Sosalla also has served as secretary/treasurer of the Iowa Judges Association and has been a guest speaker at the National Judicial College. Judge Sosalla is married and has four children. 

  

District Judge Mary Sokolovske, District 3—retired July 28, 2016 

Born in Sioux City, Judge Sokolovske graduated from Regis College, Denver, Colorado, with honors in 1974. While at Regis she was inducted into the National Jesuit Honor Society Alpha Sigma Nu and was the recipient of the History Award for Excellence as the top senior student in the history department. She earned a law degree from Creighton University School of Law in 1977. Judge Sokolovske served as an Assistant Woodbury County Attorney and was named as First Assistant Woodbury County Attorney before leaving for private practice. She also served as a public defender for Woodbury County. In 1992 she was appointed as a district associate judge and served until her appointment as a district judge in 2000. 

  

District Associate Judge Jane Spande, District 6—retired September 9, 2016 

Judge Spande, Cedar Rapids, was appointed to the bench as a district associate judge in 1985. She was born in Caledonia, Minnesota, and grew up in Mabel, Minnesota. She earned a bachelors of science (teaching) degree from Mankato State College, now Mankato State University, in 1972 and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1977. She was Assistant Linn County Attorney from 1977 to 1985. From 1979 to 1985, she also maintained a private law practice. Judge Spande is a member of The Iowa Bar Association and the Iowa Judges Association. She remains actively involved in the Partnership for Safe Families in Cedar Rapids. Judge Spande is married and has two children. 

  

District Associate Judge James Coil, District 1—retired October 20, 2016 

Judge Coil, Cedar Falls, was appointed to the bench in 1986. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he received his bachelor's degree from Simpson College in 1973 and his law degree from Creighton University School of Law in 1977. Judge Coil served in the Iowa Air National Guard from 1970 to 1978. After graduating, he worked as special prosecutor in Judicial District 1B and in 1979 worked as Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney. Judge Coil went into private practice from 1983 until his appointment to the bench. He is a member of the Black Hawk County and The Iowa State Bar Associations and the Iowa Judges Association. 

  

District Associate Judge Michael Dieterich, District 8—retired November 3, 2016 

A proud farm kid, Judge Dieterich was born in Mason City, Iowa, one of three boys in the family. In high school, he was student body president and received the Bar Association Award. He received his bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Eta Sigma, from the University of Iowa in 1973. He received his law degree from the same institution in 1976. From 1972 to 2000, Judge Dieterich was in the private practice of law in Burlington, Iowa, working in family law and trial work. 

  

District Judge Daniel Wilson, District 8—retired November 17, 2016 

Judge Wilson of Centerville, was appointed to the bench in 1995. Born in Pensacola, Florida, he attended Indian Hills Community College earning an AA degree; The University of Iowa where he earned a B.A degree and Drake University where he earned a J.D. degree in December of 1976. Judge Wilson served as an Iowa Assistant Attorney General and was later engaged in the private practice of law for over 18 years before appointment to the bench. Judge Wilson is a member of the Appanoose County and Iowa State Bar Associations and the Iowa Judges Association where he has served on various committees. He is married with five children. 

  

District Judge Annette Scieszinski, District 8—retired December 31, 2016 

Judge Scieszinski was born in Muscatine, grew up on an eastern Iowa farm, and graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1977 and the University of Iowa College of Law in 1980. After 15 years as a lawyer in Albia including 8 years as Monroe County Attorney, she was appointed to the district court in 1996 to serve in District 8A. In 2013, Judge Scieszinski was named as one of the three original trial judges on the Iowa Business Court, project for complex litigation. She is a past president of the Iowa Judges Association and now an officer in the National Conference of State Trial Judges. Judge Scieszinski serves on the faculty of the judicial branch's New Judge School, as a board member of the ISBA Public Service Project, and on the Iowa Client Security Commission. She is a member of the American, Iowa, and District 8-A Bar Associations, and the Blackstone Inn of Court. Judge Scieszinski is married with four children, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren, and is a 4-H Leader. 

  

District Judge Gary McMinimee, District 2—retired January 23, 2017 

Born in Carroll, Iowa, Judge McMinimee earned his Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering, with Distinction, from the University of Iowa in 1968. In 1972, Judge McMinimee earned his law degree from Fordham University Law School, where he was writing and research editor of the Fordham Law Review. After receiving his law degree, Judge McMinimee served as a law clerk for the Honorable William Hughes Mulligan, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge McMinimee then served as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York, working primarily in the area of civil rights litigation. At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge McMinimee was in private practice with emphasis on litigation. 

  

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