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.
“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 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the following areas:
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.
Selected for inclusion in the 2013 Great Plains Super Lawyers List in the area of Litigation.
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
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
Vice President, 2005-2010
Southern District of Iowa Branch Historical Society
Tree Des Moines, Inc.
Board of Directors, 2013-2016
Family Counseling Center
Board of Directors, 1984-1989
Youth Law Center
Board of Directors, 1982-1989
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
Education & Background
J.D., University of Iowa College of Law
B.A., University of Chicago
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