Thomas
Walton

“If my client is worried, I tell them they can stop worrying because it’s my problem now.”

In his own words, Tom Walton considers himself a utility player. “I’ve done just about everything that can be done in practicing law and litigation,” he says.

 

Tom has modeled his general litigation practice after respected mentors at the firm who found success and satisfaction not in specializing but rather in working on whatever needs done. “If a case comes in and they don’t know what to do with it or who to give it to, I’m the guy,” Tom says.

 

Over the past 30 years, his diverse range of litigation exceeds what can be listed here, but common areas include personal injury and tort defense, class actions, insurance coverage and conduct, appeals, arbitrations, product liability, health care, commercial litigation, construction, and information security.

 

“The variety of my work is most intriguing to me,” he says. “I have a curious mind and thrive on new intellectual challenges.” Tom always had his eyes set on litigating. He likes the competitive nature, problem solving, and battle of wits.

 

Detail-oriented, Tom has a knack for evaluating cases and identifying legal issues others might miss. He grasps facts quickly and communicates effectively with clients. “I tell clients what they need to hear, even if it’s not what they want to hear,” he says. “I’m honest, hardworking, and at the end of the day, I get things done.”

 

Tom thrives when cases present unanswered questions of law or an opportunity to advance the law in the area. In Pharmacists Mutual v. Ranes, 778 N.W.2d 677 (Iowa 2010), Tom was instrumental in excluding the expert testimony of a toxicologist under Daubert. On appeal, for the first time, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the exclusion of an expert’s opinion under the Daubert analysis.

 

Tom enjoys public service. He was the Governor’s public member appointee to the state’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council and the Public Safety Advisory Board, which he chaired. He is also a political history buff and is active in his community and with his children and their activities.

 

Martindale-Hubbell
AV® Preeminent

 

Order of the Coif

 

Iowa Law Scholar

 

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award Recipient

 

American Jurisprudence Award
Constitutional Law

 

American Bar Association

 

Iowa State Bar Association

  • LAWPAC Committee, Chair, 2003–2006
  • Judicial Administration Committee, 1998

 

Polk County Bar Association
Special Projects Committee, Chair, 1999

 

Iowa Defense Counsel Association

 

Defense Research Institute

  • Commercial Litigation Committee
  • Life, Health, and Disability Committee
  • Product Liability Committee

 

State of Iowa, Criminal & Juvenile Planning Advisory Commission
Member by Gubernatorial Appointment, 2010–present

 

State of Iowa, Public Safety Advisory Board 
2010–Present

 

Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission
Member by Court Appointment, 2015–2018

 

Iowa Legal Aid Society
Volunteer Lawyer

 

CLIENT REFERENCES:

Gary Caufield
Senior Director of Legal Affairs (retired), Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers, GCaufield@rbauction.com, (604) 813-5999, (651) 724-1592

 

Erik Charter
Chief Financial Officer, Jensen Development, Inc., Erik.charter@jensengroup.net, (515) 232-2128 ext. 11

 

Tricia Staible 
General Counsel, Robinson Fans, Inc., Tricia.Staible@robinsonfans.com, (724) 453-7431

 

 

COMMERCIAL:
Central Iowa Cooperative/Bell. Defended claim of improper termination of agricultural services agreement.

 

Chubb/FDCPA Claims. Defended debt collectors against claims arising under the Federal Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act and related common law claims.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./DataScan. Arbitration claim arising out of a breach of software development agreement for wholesale credit system and obtained favorable settlement.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./EPX. Arbitration claim arising out of a breach of software development agreement for point-of-sale system and obtained favorable settlement.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./Smokey Mountain Homes. Defended arbitration claim arising from alleged wrongful termination of floor plan financing agreement.

 

J. Photo WD/brightroom. Defended claims for overpayment by internet-based photo fulfillment company against commercial photography business.

 

John Deere, Inc./Plastech. Defended multimillion dollar claim for breach of parts supply agreement.

 

Main Street LLC/Seventh Inning Stretch, LLC. Obtained adjustment to the purchase price for a minor league baseball team pursuant to the terms of an asset purchase agreement.

 

Renewable Energy Group/Iowa Renewable Energy. Defended claims of breach of management agreement involving biodiesel production facility.

 

Ritchie Bros./IronPlanet. Defended auction company against claims of improper interference with auction listing agreement.

 

CONSTRUCTION:
Baker Mechanical/Meskwaki Casino. Defended contractor against claims of leaking underground piping.

 

Hawkeye FoodService, Inc./WebberSmith. Represented owner in claim involving defective design and construction of large wholesale refrigerated warehouse.

 

Richard Meier/Des Moines Art Center. Defended architect against claim in arbitration for negligent architectural services.

 

Vincent Metals/CNA Insurance. Represented subcontractor on claim against bond provided for the construction of a public improvement.

 

Waldinger/Marcraft. Represented mechanical contractor in claim arising out of damage penthouse.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES:
Anderson/First Albany. Represented claimant in arbitration claim pursuant to NASD rules arising from untimely transfer of securities account, and recovered losses.

 

Aviva USA. Represented annuity company in many actions alleging unsuitability and other claims arising from sale of annuities.

 

Equitable Life Insurance/Kloer. Defended claim for improper failure to pay life insurance benefits based upon misrepresentations in insurance application.

 

First Interstate Bank of Cresco/Knudson. Assisted in defense of bank against claims based upon RICO, extortion and abuse of process, resulting in judgment on RICO claims.

 

Nationwide Bank/Halman Construction. Defended claim brought by construction company that bank improperly withdrew loan commitment and failed to fund construction.

 

New England Financial Group/Imus. Defended claims arising out of sale of annuities and variable life policies alleging unsuitability, improper advice and fraud.

 

Rossi/Heartland Investments. Represented claimant in NASD arbitration claim alleging unsuitable investments and obtained six-figure arbitration award.

 

U.S.G./Florey. Defended claim of insurance agent fraud and churning.

 

HEALTH CARE:
Delta Dental of Iowa. Defend termination of providers from network and denial of payment claims.

 

Wellmark/Iowa Health System. Defended claim of breach of provider agreement brought by major Iowa health care system against largest health insurer.

 

Wellmark/Magellan. Defended claim for benefits by ERISA plan pursuant to coordination of benefits provision.

 

Wellmark/ProAmerica. Defended claims arising out of asset purchase agreement and collected fees due pursuant to third party administrator agreement.

 

Wellmark/Tuel. Defended ERISA claim for benefits by ineligible plan member.

 

Wellmark/Mueller. Defended antitrust claims by class of chiropractors.

 

INSURANCE DEFENSE:
American International Group. Defended insureds against various claims, including claims for bodily injury arising out of accidents, insurance bad faith and products liability.

 

American States Insurance Company. Defended insureds against various claims, including claims for bodily injury arising out of accidents, insurance bad faith and products liability.

 

CHUBB. Defended insureds against various claims.

 

Jensen Golf, L.C. d/b/a The Harvestor/General Casualty Ins. Co. Represented insured in claim against agent and insurer arising from wind storm damage to nationally ranked golf course.

 

Lexington Insurance/Douglas Carr. Defended dram shop in action pursuant to state statute, and obtained dismissal on summary judgment based upon complicity.

 

Pharmacists Mutual Company/Various. Defended insured pharmacists of large specialty insurer against claims of malpractice, state licensure disciplinary proceedings, and related claims.

 

NUISANCE:
Chamness Technology, Inc./Arnold. Defended claims of nuisance arising out of operation of compost facility.

 

Climax Molybdenum/Boley. Defended litigation brought by 40 plaintiffs alleging sulfur dioxide exposure.

 

Schildberg Construction Co., Inc./Rex. Defended nuisance claim arising out of blaster operations at quarry.

 

West Central Cooperative/Anderson. Defended claims of over 150 plaintiffs of alleged toxic exposure to plant emissions.

 

PRODUCT LIABILITY:
BP Amoco/Asbestos claims. Defended claims of asbestos exposure arising out of use of grinding wheels.

 

Carlstar/Wiese. Defended claim of severely injured individual arising out of tire explosion during mounting process.

 

Clopay Building Products, Inc./Soper. Defended overhead door manufacturer against claim arising out of spinal injury.

 

Deere & Company/Anderson. Defended 30 premises liability claims arising from alleged asbestos exposure.

 

Deere & Company/Ganske. Defended claim alleging cancer due to asbestos exposure. Iowa Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of plaintiff’s claim against Deere on basis of exclusivity of workers’ compensation.

 

Detroit Diesel/Clayton. Defended claim arising out of fire caused by alleged defective truck engine.

 

PACCAR Inc. a/k/a Peterbilt/City of Waterloo. Represented vehicle manufacturer in products liability claim arising from fire in automated garbage truck.

 

Pharmacists Mutual/Ranes. Defended pharmacy in matter alleging stroke due to ingestion of prescription drugs containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA).

 

Robinson Fans/ADM. Defended manufacturer of large industrial fans against claims of product failure and business interruption.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:
AGRI Industries/Aspermont. Represented client in condemnation proceedings and obtained award of $1.5 million.

 

City of Clive/City of Waukee. Assisted in representation of City of Clive through six-year effort to annex territory in Dallas County, Iowa, including appeal.

 

Iowa Newspaper Association. Serve as retained counsel for association to provide timely legal advice to Iowa newspapers on issues involving defamation, open records, and related issues.

 

Iowa Society of CPAs/Kemin. Counsel on appeal for amicus curiae on claim alleging accounting malpractice.

 

Kmart Corporation/Board of Pharmacy. Defended disciplinary action alleging retaliatory discharge of pharmacist.

“Federal Trade Commission and Data Security”
Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2017

 

“Treating Doctors and Daubert: Their Time Has Come”
Defense Update, Vol. XVI, No. 4, November 2014

 

“Iowa Consumer Fraud Class Actions: A Status Report and Look into the Future” Defense Update, Vol. XVI, No. 3, August 2014

 

“Tenant Class Actions—A New Wave?”
Landlord-Tenant Law Seminar, Sterling Education Services, March 28, 2014

 

“Mass Toxic Tort Litigation”
ISBA Annual Meeting, Toxic Torts Panel, June 19, 2008

 

“Defamation by Implication: Be Careful What You Don’t Say,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 40, 2013

 

“Publication of Facebook and Other Web-Postings: Handle With Care,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 25, 2013

 

“Enforcement of Iowa Open Meetings and Records Law,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 9, 2015

 

“The Ethics of Client Representation: Guilt by Association?” The Iowa Lawyer, Vol. 72, No. 8, August 2002

 

Overview

In his own words, Tom Walton considers himself a utility player. “I’ve done just about everything that can be done in practicing law and litigation,” he says.

 

Tom has modeled his general litigation practice after respected mentors at the firm who found success and satisfaction not in specializing but rather in working on whatever needs done. “If a case comes in and they don’t know what to do with it or who to give it to, I’m the guy,” Tom says.

 

Over the past 30 years, his diverse range of litigation exceeds what can be listed here, but common areas include personal injury and tort defense, class actions, insurance coverage and conduct, appeals, arbitrations, product liability, health care, commercial litigation, construction, and information security.

 

“The variety of my work is most intriguing to me,” he says. “I have a curious mind and thrive on new intellectual challenges.” Tom always had his eyes set on litigating. He likes the competitive nature, problem solving, and battle of wits.

 

Detail-oriented, Tom has a knack for evaluating cases and identifying legal issues others might miss. He grasps facts quickly and communicates effectively with clients. “I tell clients what they need to hear, even if it’s not what they want to hear,” he says. “I’m honest, hardworking, and at the end of the day, I get things done.”

 

Tom thrives when cases present unanswered questions of law or an opportunity to advance the law in the area. In Pharmacists Mutual v. Ranes, 778 N.W.2d 677 (Iowa 2010), Tom was instrumental in excluding the expert testimony of a toxicologist under Daubert. On appeal, for the first time, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the exclusion of an expert’s opinion under the Daubert analysis.

 

Tom enjoys public service. He was the Governor’s public member appointee to the state’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council and the Public Safety Advisory Board, which he chaired. He is also a political history buff and is active in his community and with his children and their activities.

 

Recognition

Martindale-Hubbell
AV® Preeminent

 

Order of the Coif

 

Iowa Law Scholar

 

International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award Recipient

 

American Jurisprudence Award
Constitutional Law

 

PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS

American Bar Association

 

Iowa State Bar Association

  • LAWPAC Committee, Chair, 2003–2006
  • Judicial Administration Committee, 1998

 

Polk County Bar Association
Special Projects Committee, Chair, 1999

 

Iowa Defense Counsel Association

 

Defense Research Institute

  • Commercial Litigation Committee
  • Life, Health, and Disability Committee
  • Product Liability Committee

 

State of Iowa, Criminal & Juvenile Planning Advisory Commission
Member by Gubernatorial Appointment, 2010–present

 

State of Iowa, Public Safety Advisory Board 
2010–Present

 

Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission
Member by Court Appointment, 2015–2018

 

Iowa Legal Aid Society
Volunteer Lawyer

 

Significant Cases

CLIENT REFERENCES:

Gary Caufield
Senior Director of Legal Affairs (retired), Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers, GCaufield@rbauction.com, (604) 813-5999, (651) 724-1592

 

Erik Charter
Chief Financial Officer, Jensen Development, Inc., Erik.charter@jensengroup.net, (515) 232-2128 ext. 11

 

Tricia Staible 
General Counsel, Robinson Fans, Inc., Tricia.Staible@robinsonfans.com, (724) 453-7431

 

 

COMMERCIAL:
Central Iowa Cooperative/Bell. Defended claim of improper termination of agricultural services agreement.

 

Chubb/FDCPA Claims. Defended debt collectors against claims arising under the Federal Unfair Debt Collection Practices Act and related common law claims.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./DataScan. Arbitration claim arising out of a breach of software development agreement for wholesale credit system and obtained favorable settlement.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./EPX. Arbitration claim arising out of a breach of software development agreement for point-of-sale system and obtained favorable settlement.

 

Deere Credit Services, Inc./Smokey Mountain Homes. Defended arbitration claim arising from alleged wrongful termination of floor plan financing agreement.

 

J. Photo WD/brightroom. Defended claims for overpayment by internet-based photo fulfillment company against commercial photography business.

 

John Deere, Inc./Plastech. Defended multimillion dollar claim for breach of parts supply agreement.

 

Main Street LLC/Seventh Inning Stretch, LLC. Obtained adjustment to the purchase price for a minor league baseball team pursuant to the terms of an asset purchase agreement.

 

Renewable Energy Group/Iowa Renewable Energy. Defended claims of breach of management agreement involving biodiesel production facility.

 

Ritchie Bros./IronPlanet. Defended auction company against claims of improper interference with auction listing agreement.

 

CONSTRUCTION:
Baker Mechanical/Meskwaki Casino. Defended contractor against claims of leaking underground piping.

 

Hawkeye FoodService, Inc./WebberSmith. Represented owner in claim involving defective design and construction of large wholesale refrigerated warehouse.

 

Richard Meier/Des Moines Art Center. Defended architect against claim in arbitration for negligent architectural services.

 

Vincent Metals/CNA Insurance. Represented subcontractor on claim against bond provided for the construction of a public improvement.

 

Waldinger/Marcraft. Represented mechanical contractor in claim arising out of damage penthouse.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES:
Anderson/First Albany. Represented claimant in arbitration claim pursuant to NASD rules arising from untimely transfer of securities account, and recovered losses.

 

Aviva USA. Represented annuity company in many actions alleging unsuitability and other claims arising from sale of annuities.

 

Equitable Life Insurance/Kloer. Defended claim for improper failure to pay life insurance benefits based upon misrepresentations in insurance application.

 

First Interstate Bank of Cresco/Knudson. Assisted in defense of bank against claims based upon RICO, extortion and abuse of process, resulting in judgment on RICO claims.

 

Nationwide Bank/Halman Construction. Defended claim brought by construction company that bank improperly withdrew loan commitment and failed to fund construction.

 

New England Financial Group/Imus. Defended claims arising out of sale of annuities and variable life policies alleging unsuitability, improper advice and fraud.

 

Rossi/Heartland Investments. Represented claimant in NASD arbitration claim alleging unsuitable investments and obtained six-figure arbitration award.

 

U.S.G./Florey. Defended claim of insurance agent fraud and churning.

 

HEALTH CARE:
Delta Dental of Iowa. Defend termination of providers from network and denial of payment claims.

 

Wellmark/Iowa Health System. Defended claim of breach of provider agreement brought by major Iowa health care system against largest health insurer.

 

Wellmark/Magellan. Defended claim for benefits by ERISA plan pursuant to coordination of benefits provision.

 

Wellmark/ProAmerica. Defended claims arising out of asset purchase agreement and collected fees due pursuant to third party administrator agreement.

 

Wellmark/Tuel. Defended ERISA claim for benefits by ineligible plan member.

 

Wellmark/Mueller. Defended antitrust claims by class of chiropractors.

 

INSURANCE DEFENSE:
American International Group. Defended insureds against various claims, including claims for bodily injury arising out of accidents, insurance bad faith and products liability.

 

American States Insurance Company. Defended insureds against various claims, including claims for bodily injury arising out of accidents, insurance bad faith and products liability.

 

CHUBB. Defended insureds against various claims.

 

Jensen Golf, L.C. d/b/a The Harvestor/General Casualty Ins. Co. Represented insured in claim against agent and insurer arising from wind storm damage to nationally ranked golf course.

 

Lexington Insurance/Douglas Carr. Defended dram shop in action pursuant to state statute, and obtained dismissal on summary judgment based upon complicity.

 

Pharmacists Mutual Company/Various. Defended insured pharmacists of large specialty insurer against claims of malpractice, state licensure disciplinary proceedings, and related claims.

 

NUISANCE:
Chamness Technology, Inc./Arnold. Defended claims of nuisance arising out of operation of compost facility.

 

Climax Molybdenum/Boley. Defended litigation brought by 40 plaintiffs alleging sulfur dioxide exposure.

 

Schildberg Construction Co., Inc./Rex. Defended nuisance claim arising out of blaster operations at quarry.

 

West Central Cooperative/Anderson. Defended claims of over 150 plaintiffs of alleged toxic exposure to plant emissions.

 

PRODUCT LIABILITY:
BP Amoco/Asbestos claims. Defended claims of asbestos exposure arising out of use of grinding wheels.

 

Carlstar/Wiese. Defended claim of severely injured individual arising out of tire explosion during mounting process.

 

Clopay Building Products, Inc./Soper. Defended overhead door manufacturer against claim arising out of spinal injury.

 

Deere & Company/Anderson. Defended 30 premises liability claims arising from alleged asbestos exposure.

 

Deere & Company/Ganske. Defended claim alleging cancer due to asbestos exposure. Iowa Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of plaintiff’s claim against Deere on basis of exclusivity of workers’ compensation.

 

Detroit Diesel/Clayton. Defended claim arising out of fire caused by alleged defective truck engine.

 

PACCAR Inc. a/k/a Peterbilt/City of Waterloo. Represented vehicle manufacturer in products liability claim arising from fire in automated garbage truck.

 

Pharmacists Mutual/Ranes. Defended pharmacy in matter alleging stroke due to ingestion of prescription drugs containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA).

 

Robinson Fans/ADM. Defended manufacturer of large industrial fans against claims of product failure and business interruption.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:
AGRI Industries/Aspermont. Represented client in condemnation proceedings and obtained award of $1.5 million.

 

City of Clive/City of Waukee. Assisted in representation of City of Clive through six-year effort to annex territory in Dallas County, Iowa, including appeal.

 

Iowa Newspaper Association. Serve as retained counsel for association to provide timely legal advice to Iowa newspapers on issues involving defamation, open records, and related issues.

 

Iowa Society of CPAs/Kemin. Counsel on appeal for amicus curiae on claim alleging accounting malpractice.

 

Kmart Corporation/Board of Pharmacy. Defended disciplinary action alleging retaliatory discharge of pharmacist.

Speeches & Publications

“Federal Trade Commission and Data Security”
Iowa State Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2017

 

“Treating Doctors and Daubert: Their Time Has Come”
Defense Update, Vol. XVI, No. 4, November 2014

 

“Iowa Consumer Fraud Class Actions: A Status Report and Look into the Future” Defense Update, Vol. XVI, No. 3, August 2014

 

“Tenant Class Actions—A New Wave?”
Landlord-Tenant Law Seminar, Sterling Education Services, March 28, 2014

 

“Mass Toxic Tort Litigation”
ISBA Annual Meeting, Toxic Torts Panel, June 19, 2008

 

“Defamation by Implication: Be Careful What You Don’t Say,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 40, 2013

 

“Publication of Facebook and Other Web-Postings: Handle With Care,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 25, 2013

 

“Enforcement of Iowa Open Meetings and Records Law,” Iowa Newspaper Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 9, 2015

 

“The Ethics of Client Representation: Guilt by Association?” The Iowa Lawyer, Vol. 72, No. 8, August 2002