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About me

5th of 6 kids, reared in a county seat and on a lake, worked construction, cleaned latrines, painted barns, played violin, piano, clarinet and guitar, outgrew asthma, studied hard, smoked 9 years, flew 1,100 hours, married well, fathered two great daughters, did 3 triathlons and 5 marathons and countless half-marathons, flunked golf, sang a few solos, tried over 130 jury trials, and made a second career out of volunteering. But the tombstone should just read, "Also ran."


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 60%
    38 years
  2. Personal Injury: 10%
    38 years
  3. Insurance: 8%
    38 years
  4. Business: 5%
    26 years
  5. Other: 17%
  6. More 



Hourly ($130-250/hour), contingent (33-50%)

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael A. Carmoney

    In our numerous cases together over the years, I have always found Joel to be a highly competent trial attorney and great advocate for his clients. He earns my strongest endorsement.


    Michael Carmoney Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Peter Leehey

    Joel is widely regarded as one of the top insurance defense lawyers in the state of Iowa.


    Peter Leehey Motorcycle accident Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info

Cartwright Druker & Ryden
112 West Church Street
Marshalltown, IA, 50158-2863


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Kenneth Brintnall Award for Distinguished ServiceMarshalltown Rotary Club2010
Top Great Plains LawyersSuperLawyers and Thomson Reuters Findlaw2009
Marshalltown Optimists ClubMarshalltown Citizen of the Year2008
Ryden Service AwardMarshalltown Community YMCA-YWCA2007
Top Iowa LawyersSuperLawyers2007
Distinguished Alumni Hickerson Award for ServiceUniveristy of Iowa Alumni Association2001
Outstanding Volunteer AwardMarshall County American Cancer Society1991
Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in AmericaMarquis Who's Who1991
Who's Who In American LawMarquis Who's Who1990
Appellate Advocacy II Honors DesignationUniversity of Iowa College of Law1977
Moot Court BoardUniversity of Iowa College of Law1977
High Distinction, Special HonorsUniversity of Iowa1975
Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta KappaUniversity of Iowa1974
ValedictorianSpencer High School1971
Best Athlete AwwardSpencer High School1971
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerGreer Nelson Montgomery Barry & Bovee1980 - 1986
Associate AttorneyGrefe & Sidney1978 - 1980
Association namePosition nameDuration
Iowa River HospiceBoard of Directors2011 - Present
University of Iowa Law School FoundationBoard of Directors2010 - Present
Quakerdale Group HomesBoard of Trustees2008 - Present
Litigation Counsel of AmericaFellow2008 - Present
American College of BarristersFellow2001 - Present
College of Master Advocates and BarristersFellow2001 - Present
American Academy of ADR AttorneysFounding Member1999 - Present
Iowa Defense Counsel AssociationMemeber1992 - Present
Iowa Association of Workers Compensation LawyersMember1988 - Present
American Cancer SocietySecretary, Midwest Board of Directors2009 - 2010
American Cancer SocietyPresident, Iowa Leadership Council2008 - 2010
Iowa State Bar AssociationPast President2007 - 2008
Rotary Club of MarshalltownPast President2006 - 2007
Marshalltown Community Y Heritage ClubPast President2004 - 2004
Greater Des Moines Junior Soccer LeagueSecretary2002 - 2003
Iowa Academy of Trial LawyersPast President2001 - 2002
Marshalltown Community YPresident1999 - 2000
University of Iowa Alumni AssociationPast President1998 - 1999
American Red Cross Iowa River ChapterBoard of Directors1995 - 1997
United WayPast President1993 - 1993
Marshalltown Area Chamber of CommerceVice President1992 - 1994
Center Associates f.k.a. Mid-Iowa Mental Health CenterPast President1991 - 1995
Spotlight Our CourthouseFounder and Chair1990 - 1993
Blackstone American Inn of CourtBarrister1989 - 1991
Big Brothers Big Sisters of SpencerPast President1985 - 1986
Iowa Association for JusticeVice President1985 - 1985
Iowa Association for JusticeBoard of Governors1985 - 1992
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Feld v. Borkowski, 792 N.W.2d 72 (Iowa 2010)Summary judgment reversed, remanded for jury trial
Fisher Controls, Inc. v. Marrone, 524 N.W.2d 148 (Iowa 1994)Affirmed judgment for employer
Garland v. Capital Resources Corporation, 1988 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 402Affirmed jury verdict
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Iowa Defense Counsel AssociationUse of Jury Questionnaires2011
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Iowa College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1978
University of IowaPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1975
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
West Des Moines NBI CLELegal Ethics, Solutions to Most Common Challenges2009
Insurance Coverage Litigation CLELitigating the Insurance Claim2008
NBI CLEHandling the Automobile Injury Claim in Iowa2004
Auto/PI Practice Seminar, Cedar Rapids8 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Your Client for Deposition2004
Appellate Practice SeminarPresenting an Appeal: Suggestions on Effective Brief Writing and Effective Oral Advocacy2000
Insurance Litigation in IowaUM/UIM Motorists1998
Iowa State Bar Association Annual MeetingVoir Dire Techniques1997
Iowa Trial Lawyers SeminarDram Shop Law in Iowa1986