Elizabeth R. Meyer
Elizabeth is a perceptive, detail-oriented litigator. Clients rely on her calm, practical advice during tense family probate disputes or contentious commercial litigation.
Over the course of her career, Elizabeth has represented Fortune 500 companies, national and local financial institutions, agricultural companies, small businesses, farmers, and individuals. Her litigation practice takes her to both state and federal court, with a focus on fiduciary litigation, construction litigation, and appeals.
Elizabeth is the Chair of the Fiduciary Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. In addition, Elizabeth serves on the firm’s Technology and Professional Responsibility/Ethics Committees.
Fiduciary Litigation & Family Business Litigation
Families and individuals often seek out Elizabeth for help with a wide range of probate, trust, and related litigation including prosecution and defense of will and trust contests, and lawsuits relating to a breach of fiduciary duty by executors, trustees, guardians, conservators, or powers of attorney, tortious interference with inheritance, and division of family farmland.
Elizabeth also assists owners of closely-held businesses, especially family businesses, with disputes that arise relating to their business interests.
Elizabeth strives to help her clients work through potential issues and settle disputes to avoid costly litigation. She recently:
- Resolved a will contest dispute over an estate valued in excess of $15 million
- Settled a trust dispute relating to ownership of family businesses that avoided any financial obligation for her trustee client
- Negotiated and settled a complex $6.4 million will contest, ensuring her clients received multiple parcels of farmland and millions of dollars
- Mediated a $10.4 million estate contest, successfully acquiring for her clients their intended inheritance
- Prevailed in trial defending an individual trustee against two beneficiaries in a breach of trust action
In addition to her fiduciary litigation practice, Elizabeth represents design professionals, contractors, builders, owners, and construction companies when they face mechanic’s lien litigation, construction defect litigation, or other litigation relating to construction. Elizabeth has:
- Represented a hospitality company in multiple mechanic’s lien matters where rulings granting summary judgment in favor of her client were affirmed by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
- Resolved numerous construction litigation matters involving claims against design professionals
- Obtained judgments or desirable settlements on behalf of clients in collection disputes
Elizabeth helps individuals and businesses evaluate the best next steps to respond to a court ruling. She helps her clients prepare for an expected appeal by the opposing party and she counsels clients if they have an option to appeal and the feasibility of an appeal. Elizabeth routinely handles matters before the Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court, including appeals from the trial court, amicus briefing, and applications for further review. She has prevailed on behalf of her clients:
- At the Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court in a dispute relating to the interpretation of a settlement agreement relating to a family trust; Inman Family Living Trust, 2020 WL 4201237 (Iowa Ct. App. July 22, 2020)
- Strictly enforcing notice requirements under Iowa’s mechanic’s lien statute in two cases. LM Construction LLC v. Altoona Hospitality LLC, 2018 WL 3654847 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2018); LM Construction LLC v. HGIK Hospitality LLC, 2018 WL 3650334 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug 1, 2018)
- In multiple rounds of appeals stemming from a mechanic’s lien dispute. Standard Water Control System, Inc. v. Jones, 888 N.W.2d 673 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2016); Standard Water Control System, Inc. v. Jones, 2018 WL 739330 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 7, 2018), (further review denied); Standard Water Control System, Inc. v. Jones, 938 N.W.2d 651 (Iowa 2020)