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Supreme Court selects business court judges


This news story was published on November 19, 2019.
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Iowa Supreme Court

DES MOINES – The Iowa Supreme Court has selected District Judge Sarah Crane, Des Moines, and District Judge Kurt Stoebe, Fort Dodge, as Iowa Business Specialty Court judges. These judges will join Judge Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge Sean W. McPartland, and Judge John D. Telleen, as business court judges.

The supreme court based its selection of Judge Crane and Judge Stoebe on the judges’ educational background, judicial and trial practice experience in complex commercial cases, and personal interest in the business court. Judge Crane was appointed district court judge in 2018. Judge Stoebe was appointed in 2011. The judges’ biographies are below.

The Iowa Judicial Branch has assigned 85 cases to the business court since its inception on May 1, 2013. The primary aim of the Iowa Business Specialty Court is to move business or complex commercial cases through the court system expeditiously, with lower costs for litigants, and with more efficient use of judicial branch resources.

Businesses and attorneys benefit from the business court’s published body of case law that will promote consistency and predictability. Judges benefit from the development of substantial expertise in the management of complex business litigation. The court system as a whole benefits from the business court’s role as an incubator of innovative court practices

District Court Judge, Sarah Crane

“I found litigating in the business court to be beneficial when I was a practicing attorney, and I am excited to join the court as a judge to serve Iowans in their more complicated civil matters.”

Judge Sarah Crane is a district court judge in the Fifth Judicial District. Judge Crane was appointed to the district court bench in 2018 after practicing civil litigation in Chicago (2007-2009), clerking for Justice Michael J. Streit of the Iowa Supreme Court in Des Moines (2009-2011), and practicing civil and appellate litigation in private practice in Des Moines (2011-2018). Judge Crane has served for many years on the Iowa State Bar Association’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section. She is a member of The Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys, and Polk County Women Attorneys. Judge Crane obtained her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and obtained her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

District Court Judge, Kurt J. Stoebe

“I am honored and excited to be selected to join the business court. I look forward to serving in this important forum, which resolves some of the most complex litigation before us.”

Judge Stoebe is a district court judge in the Second Judicial District. He was appointed to the district court bench in 2011 after he first served as Humboldt County Magistrate (2001-2006) and District Associate Judge (2006-2011). His experience includes clerking for Judge Roy Stephenson of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, serving as the Humboldt County Attorney, and working in private practice at Stoebe Law Office. Judge Stoebe is a member of The Iowa State Bar Association, Humboldt County Bar Association, and the Iowa Magistrates Association. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota in 1977 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1980.

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