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Representing State Government

Licensing and Administrative Law Division

The Licensing and Administrative Law Division is one of the largest and most diverse divisions in the Office. The division provides legal services to all levels of state government from the highest elected officials to the employees of the smallest state agencies. Division attorneys defend state officials and agencies in state and federal court, prosecute administrative hearings, initiate consumer litigation in areas such as securities fraud, issue Attorney General's opinions, review and draft legal documents, and provide day-to-day legal guidance on a wide range of issues. In addition, the division enforces the public interest in charitable trusts, and disseminates information on key issues affecting government operations, such as open meetings, public records, gift law, conflicts of interest, and rulemaking.

The division issues “Sunshine Advisories” on Iowa’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws on a monthly bases. The advisories are distributed electronically to governmental bodies, governmental associations, and media organizations to educate Iowa citizens and public officials on their rights and obligations under Iowa’s sunshine laws.

Over the past few bienniums, the division experienced significant growth in the volume and complexity of legal services involving contracting, public financing, bonding, commercial transactions, construction contracts, technology contracts, intellectual property, enterprise-wide contracting models, and competitive bidding. Division litigation during this biennium included petitions for judicial review of agency decisions, civil rights proceedings, employment discrimination cases, constitutional challenges to state laws, mortgage foreclosures, and contract disputes.

Counting only those cases initiated between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2004, division lawyers represented the State in 281 state district court cases, 37 appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court, 18 federal district court cases, 1 appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, 3 bankruptcy cases, and 1,244 mortgage foreclosures.

The division advises and represents the State Treasurer, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Judicial Branch, Iowa Commerce Department (including the Commissioner of Insurance, Superintendent of Banking, Superintendent of Credit Unions, Alcoholic Beverages Division, and Professional Licensing Division), Iowa State Fair, Emergency Management, National Guard, State Librarian, Iowa College Student Aid Commission, Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Communications Network, Law Enforcement Academy, Targeted Small Business, Child Advocacy Board, Parole Board, Iowa Public Television, State Lottery, Racing and Gaming Commission, and the Departments of Administrative Services, Management, Education, Cultural Affairs, Elder Affairs, Blind, Inspection and Appeals, Public Safety, Workforce Development, Economic Development, Public Health, and Human Rights.

Division attorneys represent and prosecute disciplinary cases before approximately three dozen professional licensing boards, regulating a wide range of professions, including physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, engineers, land surveyors, real estate brokers and salespersons, real estate appraisers, certified public accountants, accounting practitioners, architects, landscape architects, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists, nursing home administrators, psychologists, funeral directors, cosmetologists, optometrists, dieticians, massage therapists, barbers, behavioral scientists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, hearing aid dealers, respiratory care practitioners, speech pathologists, audiologists, physician assistants, law examiners, interpreters, and shorthand reporters.