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Three area attorneys apply to fill Iowa Supreme Court vacancy

Three area attorneys apply to fill Iowa Supreme Court vacancy

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Three Quad-City area attorneys are among the 19 that have applied to the Iowa Supreme Court to fill the vacancy when Justice Daryl Hecht retired Dec. 13.

Joel Barrows, 58, is a Scott County District Court Judge, appointed to the bench in 2012. He earned a bachelor's degree from Coe College in 1983, a master's degree in history from Southern Illinois University in 1986, a law degree from Drake University in 1989, and a master of laws degree in international and comparative law, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993.

Before being appointed to the bench, Barrows served as a child support recovery attorney for Clinton, Jackson and Cedar Counties, an Assistant Polk County Attorney in Des Moines, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in both Des Moines and Davenport.

Jean Dickson, 51, graduated Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree from Luther College in 1989 and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law, graduating in 1992 with high distinction.

Dickson is a partner with Betty, Neuman & McMahon in Davenport where she has practiced law for the past 25 years. In her application, Dickson notes that her experience includes 26 years of appellate experience that includes clerking for the Iowa Court of Appeals and writing and arguing appeals on numerous cases. She has experience in administrative law and has handled appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court on issues dealing with workers compensation. Also, since 1998, she has assisted with the grading of the Iowa Bar exam. Since 2012, she has served on the Board of Law Examiners. From 2005 to 2011 she served as a commissioner on the statewide judicial nominating commission.

Alan Ostergren, 46, is the Muscatine County Attorney. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in 1994. He graduated with honors in 1997 from Drake University School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate.

Ostergren’s experience includes working as special assistant U.S. Attorney in Davenport, where he completed a three-year detail, from August 1999 to August 2002, handing primarily federal drug, firearm and immigration cases out of Muscatine County. He completed that detail while handling his caseload as assistant Muscatine County Attorney, a position he held from Oct. 1997 through Jan. 2011.

From Jan. 2011, Ostergren has served as Muscatine County Attorney where he prosecutes felony crimes of violence and handles the county’s civil law responsibilities.

More information about these and the other applicants can be found on the Iowa Supreme Court website at:


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