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Iowa Supreme Court Elects Cady as Chief Justice

Des Moines — The Iowa Supreme Court has reelected Justice Mark Cady, Fort Dodge, as chief justice. This vote of confidence follows the recent addition of three new justices to the seven-member court.|Des Moines, March 31, 2011ó The Iowa Supreme Court has reelected Justice Mark Cady, Fort Dodge, as chief justice. This vote of confidence follows the recent addition of three new justices to the seven-member court. Justice Cady is the most senior member of the court. He has served as a judge for 28 years, including 13 years on the Iowa Supreme Court. Justice Cady has served as chief justice since January 1. He was appointed to the court by Governor Terry Branstad.

“I am honored by my colleagues’ confidence in me,” Justice Cady said. “I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure that Iowans continue to have a high-caliber court system that provides fair and impartial justice, according to law, and equally to all. To achieve this goal, the state must increase the public’s access to justice. To increase access to justice we must rebuild the judicial branch workforce so we have enough judges and staff to meet the public’s demand for court services throughout the state. To ensure that Iowa continues to have a fair and impartial court system, we must preserve Iowa’s merit system for selecting judges. Merit selection is the best way to provide citizens with a fair and highly competent judiciary. Merit selection has served Iowans well for nearly 50 years. “

In addition to judicial duties, the chief justice sets the court’s oral argument schedule, assigns cases and administrative duties to each justice, delivers the state of the judiciary address to the legislature each January, and presides over the judicial council. Justice Cady will also continue to write opinions. He has written 264 majority opinions, 56 dissents and special concurrences on the supreme court. While on the court of appeals, he wrote 104 majority opinions and 12 dissents and special concurrences.

Justice Cady was born in Rapid City, South Dakota. He earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Drake University. After graduating from law school in 1978, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Second Judicial District. He was then appointed as an assistant Webster County attorney and practiced with a law firm in Fort Dodge. Justice Cady was appointed a district associate judge in 1983 and a district court judge in 1986. In 1994, he was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals and was elected chief judge of the Court of Appeals in 1997. He was appointed to the supreme court in 1998.

Chief Justice Cady is a member of the Order of Coif (honorary), Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Judges Association, and Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers (honorary). He is the Iowa chair of iCivics Inc. He also served as chair of the Iowa Supreme Court Task Force on the Court’s and Communities’ Response to Domestic Abuse and the Drake Law School Board of Counselors. Chief Justice Cady is the coauthor of Iowa Practice: Lawyer and Judicial Ethics (Thomson-West 2007). He is also the coauthor of Preserving the Delicate Balance Between Judicial Accountability and Independence: Merit Selection in the Post-White World, 16 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 101 (2008), and the author of Curbing Litigation Abuse and Misuse: A Judicial Approach, 36 Drake L. Rev. 481 (1987).

Chief Justice Cady is an adjunct faculty member at Buena Vista University and serves on the President’s Advisory Council.

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