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Deborah M. Tharnish

"Provides excellent customer service, has substantive knowledge of the law and consistently gives sound advice."

Chambers USA, Reference Feedback


Deb is a highly-regarded Iowa litigator with a practice focused on commercial litigation and employment law. She is known for her non-confrontational but direct style, her common sense, and her status as a trailblazer for female attorneys.


Deb was a member of the Davis Brown Board of Directors, serving as the firm’s and Iowa’s first female law firm President in 1998 and 1999. She is currently a member of the firm’s professional responsibility/ethics committee.

 

Her litigation practice spans almost 40 years, serving companies in the insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing industries as well as municipalities. Deb regularly helps companies and employers with:

  • Contract and business tort cases
  • Real estate assessment appeals
  • Defending all types of discrimination claims, wrongful termination claims, and restrictive covenant cases

Awards & Honors

  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell. The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that a large number of the lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2020, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Labor & Employment. Deb has been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2008.
    • Best Lawyers®2015 Bet-the-Company Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" in the Des Moines metro.
    • Best Lawyers® 2018 and 2012 Litigation - Labor & Employment "Lawyer of the Year" in the Des Moines metro.
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Iowa Ranked Band 1; Labor and Employment Law, Iowa Ranked Band 1, 2019
  • 2018 Great Plains Super Lawyers, Business Litigation. Deb has been recognized by Super Lawyers since 2007.
  • 2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition, Business Litigation
  • Benchmark Litigation Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2013
  • Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Arabella Mansfield Award Recipient
  • Hoover High School Hall of Fame Recipient
  • Graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
Best Lawyers Award Badge