Steve Roberts, our former partner and friend, died Saturday, November 7, 2020.
Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors, and Roberts P.C. benefited from Steve’s legal knowledge for over 50 years. He joined the firm in 1964 and enjoyed a distinguished career counseling clients in representations before numerous administrative agencies and departments at the Iowa state level as well as nationally. When clients needed assistance with administrative bodies, Steve was the attorney they could rely on. His tireless efforts helped numerous companies, non-profit organizations, and individuals with their relationships with local, state, and federal government.
In the 1970s, Steve led Davis Brown during a period of change and significant growth. He instituted a formal associate attorney program and led the firm through an office move. His colleagues from the time recognize the importance Steve’s leadership, level-headed judgment, and general positive attitude had on helping Davis Brown become the great place to work it is today. To honor the strong impact Steve had on the firm, he was added as a named partner in the 1990s.
About his colleague, fellow named partner, attorney John Shors said, “For over 50 years, Steve provided important leadership in the firm, helping to make critical decisions of good judgment, leading and helping the firm grow from 11 attorneys when he joined in the 1960s to our current 80. Steve served as an invaluable mentor to other attorneys looking to practice in administrative law and federal and state governmental relations. He was a terrific man.”
In addition to his admirable legal work, Steve served the community at large. Organizations as diverse as the Iowa Taxpayers Association, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America Mid-Iowa Council, Iowa Republican Party, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Des Moines Presbytery, and countless others have benefited from Steve’s talents, time, and contributions.
“Davis Brown is lucky to have been a part of Steve’s life and career. He shined as one of the firm’s great characters and champions, providing more than 50 years of dedicated service, great stories, and reliable friendship,” said Davis Brown President John Pietila, “Above all, Steve was gracious and amicable in business, in politics, and in life. We will remember him often and miss him always. We send our love to Dawn and his family.”
Tim Coonan, chair of Davis Brown’s Government Relations practice, remembers his colleague and friend, “He handled everything with strength and grace and dignity. He was trusted by Democrats and Republicans at all levels of elected office and throughout state government as an honest broker of information and an effective advocate for his clients. This was despite the fact that he had been active in partisan politics having served as the Iowa Republican Party Chair twice in his career as well as the longtime Iowa representative on the Republican National Committee. He always said ‘lobbyists and law firms can’t afford to lose elections. Our clients demand that.’ He was truly the gold standard in the legal and lobbying communities not so much for his win/loss record (which was pretty good) but because he was a good, kind, and trusted person. I count myself lucky to have known him and try to live up to the standard he set for Davis Brown at the Capitol. The world would be a better place if there were more people like Steve in it. But there will only always be one Steve Roberts.”
Steve’s obituary covers his incredible life and his impact on the community.