Jodie has a general practice that includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:
In her litigation practice, Jodie has successfully tried numerous bench and jury trials, both individually and with colleagues, in several practice areas. Her trial and litigation successes include the following:
In her litigation work, Jodie has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies, including national insurance companies, an automobile manufacturer, pharmaceutical company, national banks and financial institutions, an agricultural company and an information technology company. Jodie has also represented many other local, regional, and/or national construction companies, medical facilities, real estate-related companies, landlords and property management companies, agricultural companies, financial institutions, and other companies, as well as individuals across the county.
Construction Law and Litigation
In the area of construction law and litigation, Jodie has represented numerous companies and individuals within the commercial and residential construction industries, including general contractors, architectural and design firms, subcontractors, suppliers, as well as homeowners and other property owners.
Jodie's work within the area of construction law and litigation has involved the following:
- Mechanic's lien law and litigation;
- Claims under Iowa Code Chapter 573 for public projects (i.e., public improvement claims / bond claims);
- Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating various residential and commercial construction contracts and forms, including but not limited to, new construction agreements, remodeling agreements, subcontractor agreements, warranties, homeowner packets/manuals, and equipment leases.
- Handing pre-litigation disputes;
- Litigating various types of construction cases, both for plaintiffs and defendants, including those involving allegations of negligent work and/or defective products, mechanic's liens, Chapter 573 (public project) claims, breach of contract claims, warranty claims, water intrusion and mold claims, bond claims, and collection matters; and
- Acting as general counsel for various construction companies and advising them as to their various contract, dispute, best practices, and other questions.
As a result of her work in this area, Jodie is regularly asked to present on Iowa's new Mechanic's Lien Law, which took effect on January 1, 2013. She also consistently provides her clients with educational updates about the law. The following are among the Mechanic’s Lien Law’s major changes: (1) a new centralized online registry, created and administered by the Iowa Secretary of State, for the filing of all mechanic's liens for residential and commercial projects, as well as pre-lien notices for residential projects; and (2) new pre-lien notice requirements for many residential general contractors, remodelers, and subcontractors/suppliers, including a "Notice of Commencement" that must be filed by many residential general contractors/remodelers no later than ten (10) days after the commencement of a residential project, as well as "preliminary notices" that must be filed by many residential subcontractors and suppliers.
JODIE’S CONSTRUCTION LAW RESOURCES AND MATERIALS:
Below are various written materials and resources provided by Jodie on the new mechanic’s lien law and other construction law topics, many of which have been discussed during one of Jodie’s various speaking engagements for construction groups and associations:
- Owner Notice Requirement. The following document describes the current Owner Notice requirement under Iowa law for residential general contractors: Required Owner Notice Language.
- Sample Owner Notice Form. Sample Owner Notice for those residential general contractors who do not include the Owner Notice language within their contracts.
- Information on the Secretary of State Notices. The following document provides a brief explanation regarding the notices that will be sent to homeowners by the Secretary of State's office whenever a commencement of work notice or preliminary notice is posted on the new online Mechanics' Notice and Lien Registry: Secretary of State Notices.
- Top Takeaways Regarding the New Mechanic’s Lien Law (4/2013). Jodie has published the following article setting forth the "Five Things You Need to Know About Iowa’s New Mechanic’s Lien Law".
- Summary of the New Law (As of 11/2012). Jodie has also published the following article in the HBA's November Blueprint publication, summarizing the law as of November 2012: Iowa's Mechanic's Lien Law.
- New Language to Add to Final Lien Waivers. Some construction companies are adding language to their Final Lien Waiver forms regarding any commencement of work notices or preliminary notices posted on the Mechanics' Notice and Lien Registry. The following document contains a discussion on this topic: Discussion on Final Lien Waiver Form.
- Article Regarding Construction Contract Law (9/2013). Jodie has published the following article regarding the benefits of builders and remodelers having well-written contracts. Trading in the Handshake for a Well-Written Contract
- Imposing Implied Warranty on Land Developers: Details on the Iowa Court of Appeals decision regarding Rosauer Corp. v. Sapp Development and WC Development, which ruled that a purchaser of a residential building lot cannot sue the land developer for perceived deficiencies with the excavation and dirt work performed by that land developer (6/17/14).
- Iowa Court of Appeals Renders Favorable Opinion: On August 31, 2016, the Iowa Court of Appeals rendered its opinion in the Standard Water mechanic’s lien case tried in 2014, which involved an issue of first impression regarding Iowa’s new lien law. The opinion is attached hereto. More details on the decision are here. A few media outlets have covered the results of the case including the Home Builders Association and the Business Record. Copies of the articles are available here.
Jodie is an active member of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines, Home Builders Association of Iowa, and Master Builders of Iowa. She regularly attends HBA meetings, has presented for HBA members on various legal issues, and has published multiple articles in the HBA’s Blueprint publication
Real Estate Law and Litigation
In the area of real estate law and litigation, Jodie has tried multiple cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants; has successfully settled a countless number of other cases; and has provided counsel to various real estate buyers, sellers, and developers in their various transactional real estate matters.
Jodie’s work in the area of real estate law and litigation includes the following:
- Mechanic’s lien matters;
- Homeowners’ association issues, including collection of delinquent
assessments, enforcement of covenants, and preparation and amendment of
association rules and covenants;
- Breach of purchase agreement disputes;
- Negotiation of real estate purchase and sale contracts for sellers and purchases;
- Obligations of realtors and other realtor issues; Mandatory seller disclosure claims and claims of pre-existing water and/or mold problems;
- Nuisance actions involving municipalities;
- Drainage-related matters;
- Subdivision-related work;
- Enforcement of installment contracts; and
- Infringement of property ownership rights by an adjacent land-owner.
Landlord-tenant law and litigation
Jodie regularly works with commercial and residential landlords on various legal matters. Jodie has also represented residential and commercial tenants in regards to their tenancy issues.
- Drafting and negotiating residential and commercial lease agreements;
- Drafting and implementing Rules and Regulations for residential landlords and property managers, including owners/managers of manufacturing home communities;
- Drafting and implementing other various forms and policies in the residential leasing arena (e.g., installment sale contracts for manufacturing homes, pet policies, application forms, etc.);
- Advising landlords on legal issues under Iowa Code Chapter 562A (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act);
- Advising landlords on legal issues under Iowa Code Chapter 562B (Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord and Tenant Act / Manufactured Home Communities);
- Handling pre-litigation landlord-tenant disputes;
- Defending HUD, Fair Housing Act, and other housing discrimination complaints; and
- Litigating various types of cases, including breach of lease agreement matters, enforcement of landlord liens, FED actions, collection actions, actions involving abandoned mobile homes, matters involving the alleged breach of the implied warranty/covenant of quiet enjoyment, guaranty disputes, and private nuisance disputes.
Jodie is an active member of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association; she has presented at their annual and monthly meetings on various landlord/tenant issues, including reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, other Fair Housing issues, and an update on the recent case law following the 2013 case of Staley v. Barkalow. Jodie is also a member of the American Apartment Owners Association and is the official AAOA Iowa attorney on landlord-tenant matters.
Below are various written materials and resources provided by Jodie on Iowa landlord-tenant law: