Spencer M. Willems

Spencer Willems joined Davis Brown in 2020 as an associate in the Litigation Division. His practice focuses on general litigation, commercial, and employment and labor law. Spencer advises employers on discrimination and other work-related claims made by current and former employees and defends them before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) and in court, when necessary.

His work also includes regulatory advice - he frequently works with organizations in highly regulated industries like healthcare, as well as higher education, to organize and comply with emerging regulations. If compliance issues arise, Spencer is experienced in guiding clients through the remediation process.

In addition to handling appellate and administrative law matters, Spencer also works in First Amendment and public information law. He has significant experience providing advice and guiding strategic planning for clients ranging from news organizations to public entities on questions and conflicts related to public information.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully argued for the early entry of judgment in favor of an engineering firm involved in a complex, multi-party personal injury suit in Polk County--saving the client significant time and litigation costs
  • Defended a medium-size non-profit against claims of disability discrimination by an employee. The matter was settled at the ICRC as it was shown that the employer’s conduct was justified and lawful.
  • Advised a small newspaper as it fought for the release of municipal, county, and state documents under public record laws.
  • Advised a university as it developed a plan to comply with Title IX regulations concerning sexual assault on campus.
  • Steered a small, independent business from a costly arbitration process by successfully spearheading and handling negotiations with a larger, corporate entity.

Presentations & Publications

  • “Tape Don’t Lie,” A Critique of Iowa’s Freedom of Information Act, 67 Drake L. Rev. 797, 2019