F. Richard Lyford
Des Moines, IA 50309
Dick Lyford has practiced primarily in the litigation area for over 46 years. He has a wide range of experience in most kinds of civil litigation including contract, tort, antitrust, tax, construction, and workout litigation for debts.
Dick was the recipient of the Outstanding Committee Chairman Award from the Iowa State Bar Association, June 2009 and the recipient of the Amicus Curiae Award from the Iowa Judicial Branch, September 2011. The Amicus Curiae Award is given in recognition of persons or businesses who contribute to the administration of justice or who have contributed to building public support for the judiciary. Dick has also received the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Bar Association and the C. Edwin Moore American Inn of Court Award of Merit.
Dick has completed over twenty oral histories of retired Iowa Supreme Court Justices, State Appellate Judges, District Court Judges, Federal Appellate and District Court Judges & Magistrate Judges.
Education & Background
- J.D., University of Iowa College of Law
- B.A., University of Chicago
Honors & Awards
- Selected for inclusion in the 2010-2015 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Individual in the area of General Commercial Litigation in the state of Iowa. Dick has drawn the following published commentary from the editors of Chambers USA (Source: 2010-2015 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, © 2010-2015 Chambers & Partners, reproduced with permission from Chambers & Partners):
- “Richard Lyford’s practice spans insurance defense and employment litigation. He draws praise as ‘a highly experienced and accomplished lawyer.'”
- “Richard Lyford has extensive experience in commercial, insurance and employment litigation.”
- “Richard Lyford is recognized as a proficient, methodical adviser and trial lawyer in commercial and insurance disputes.”
- “Richard Lyford has deep experience in litigation and handles a broad range of matters, including contract, tort, antitrust, tax, construction and workout litigation. He is well regarded by peers in the field.”
- Selected for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following areas:
- Appellate Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
- Litigation – Real Estate
- Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
- Dick is the 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" for Appellate Practice as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.
- Dick is the 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation - Land Use and Zoning as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.
- Dick is the 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation - Real Estate as as recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers in America.
- Selected for inclusion in the 2013 Great Plains Super Lawyers List in the area of Litigation.
Admitted to practice in the following states:
Admitted to practice before the following federal courts:
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Reported Cases and Representative Matters
- Estate of Pepper ex rel. Deeble v. Whitehead et al., 780 F. 3d 856 (8th Cir. 2014) 686 F. 2d 658 (8th Cir. 2012) Bailment of Elvis memorabilia.
- Next Generation Realty, Inc. v. Iowa Realty Co., Inc. 686 N.W.2d 206 (Iowa Sup. Ct 2004). State antitrust case.
- McGinnis v. Vischering 791 N.W.2d 711 (Iowa Ct. App. 2010). Successfully resisted class action certification.
- Rentable Square Feet 808 N.W.2d 756 (Iowa App. 2011).
- Norwalk Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. v. Travelers Ins. Companies 246 F.3d 1132 (8th Cir. 2001). Insurance coverage case.
- Employers Mut. Cas. Co. v. United Fire & Cas. Co. 682 N.W.2d 452 (Iowa Ct. App. 2004). Case involving construction performance bond coverage.
- WINBCO Tank Co., Inc. v. Palmer & Cay of Minn., L.L.C. 435 F.Supp.2d 945 (S.D. Iowa 2006).
- City of Akron v. Akron Westfield Community School Dist. 659 N.W.2d 223 (Iowa Sup. Ct. 2003). Municipal law case.
- Cemen Tech, Inc. v. Three D Industries, LLC 753 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa Sup. Ct. 2008). Business torts case.
- Polk County Bd. of Review v. Village Green Co-Op, Inc. 849 N.W. 2d 25 (Iowa App. 2014) (zoning of cooperatives).
- In Re Estate of Ibarra 873 N.W. 2d 775 (Iowa App. 2015).
- U.S. Army, 1967-1969 (Vietnam)
- U.S. Navy Reserve, JAG, 1973-1981
Memberships & Activities
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Chair, Legal Heritage Committee, 2008-Present
- Iowa Board of Law Examiners
- Chair, 2015-2016
- Member, 2009-2017
- Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa
- American Bar Association
- Member, Litigation Section
- Member, Torts and Insurance Practice Section
- American Association for Justice
- Polk County Bar Association
- Historical Society of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in the Eighth Circuit
- President, 2010-Present
- Vice President, 2005-2010
- Southern District of Iowa Branch Historical Society
- President, 2001-Present
- Secretary, 1996-2001
- Tree Des Moines, Inc.
- Board of Directors, 2013-2016
- Family Counseling Center
- Board of Directors, 1984-1989
- President, 1988-1989
- Youth Law Center
- Board of Directors, 1982-1989
- Juvenile Court
- Volunteer Judge, 1986-1998 (presided over pretrial conferences and accepted guilty pleas)
- United Way of Central Iowa
- Volunteer, 1985-2003 (solicited lawyers for contributions)
- National Collegiate Mock Trial Competitions
- Volunteer Judge, 1990-1995
- Unity Church of Des Moines
- Board of Trustees President, 1994-1995
- Board of Trustees Member, 1992-96, 2000-2003
- University of Chicago Alumni Club
- Member, Des Moines Chapter
Articles & Presentations
- Presenter, “Employee Dishonesty in Times of Recession: Safeguards and Proper Handling,” Client Employment Law Seminar, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C., West Des Moines, Iowa, October 8, 2009
- Presenter, “Why I Should Care About Electronic Discovery,” Client Employment Law Seminar, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C., West Des Moines, Iowa, October 26, 2006
- Author, “‘Hell or Highwater’ Provisions,” DickinsonLaw.com, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C., February 2005
- Author, “Supreme Court Grants Insured Relief From ‘Catch-22’ Policy Claim Limitation,” DickinsonLaw.com, Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C., November 2000
- Author (with Linda S. Weindruch), “Balancing the Rights of the Government and Taxpayers in Adopting and Enforcing Statutes of Limitation in the Area of Taxation,” Journal of State Taxation, Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall 1990