Joan M. Fletcher

Joan M. Fletcher
699 Walnut Street
Suite 1600
Des Moines, IA 50309


Joan Fletcher retired from Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. on December 31, 2020.

Joan was a member of Dickinson’s litigation and employment groups and had significant experience in state and federal courts with complex commercial litigation, employment litigation, including matters involving non-compete and trade secret litigation, and insurance defense litigation.

Additionally, from 2002, Joan represented employers in the defense of OSHA citations, including reaching successful resolutions through informal and formal settlement processes.  She was involved in the defense of OSHA citations involving fatalities, amputations and other significant injuries at all levels, from administrative proceedings, through appeals to state district court and the Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court.  Joan also successfully represented clients in informal investigations by OSHA, resulting in no citation being issued.  She had experience defending employers against OSHA related whistleblower and retaliation claims.

Joan’s experience involved a wide variety of business sectors, including but not limited to:

  • agricultural services 
  • construction
  • food processors, manufacturers and retailers
  • governmental entities
  • heating and cooling
  • industrial biosciences
  • manufacturing facilities
  • pipeline
  • renewable energy
  • transportation and delivery

Joan earned an AV rating from her peers in Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and adherence to the professional standards of conduct and ethics. She was selected for inclusion in the 2015 to 2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Litigation – Labor & Employment. Joan was also selected for inclusion in the Iowa Super Lawyers list published by Great Plains Super Lawyers magazine. She was a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America™ and a member of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association and the Defense Research Institute.

Education & Background

  • J.D., Drake University Law School (With Honors; Order of the Coif; Drake Law Review)
  • M.A., Kansas State University
  • B.S., University of Iowa

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Best Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2015 - 2021 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the following area:
    • Litigation-Labor & Employment

Super Lawyers

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2009 thru 2015 Great Plains Super Lawyers Lists in the area of Business Litigation.

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

  • 2018 “Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment,” American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated since 2004 – the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.


Admitted to practice in the following states:

  • Iowa

Admitted to practice before the following federal courts:

  • 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

Memberships & Activities

  • Litigation Counsel of America™
    • Fellow, 2010-2020
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    • Member, Litigation Section Council, 2010-2020
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Member, 1990s-2020
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association
    • Member, Commercial Litigation Committee, 1990s-2020
    • Member, Tort and Insurance Law Committee, 1990s-2020
  • Lincoln Inne
  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Litigation Section
    • Member, Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa
    • General Counsel
    • Board of Directors, 2009-2020
  • Children & Families of Iowa
    • Board of Directors, 2002-2008
    • President, 2005-2006
    • Executive Committee Member, 2004-2008
  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
    • Class of 2004-2005

Articles & Presentations