Nyemaster Goode, P.C.

Richard J. Sapp

Richard (Dick) Sapp is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, practicing primarily in product liability, commercial litigation, and appellate practice for more than 30 years. In addition, Dick has also been retained as litigation counsel on behalf of the Iowa General Assembly and the Governor of Iowa on constitutional cases of significance and governmental investigation matters.

Dick is an elected member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Product Liability Advisory Council, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the International Association of Defense Counsel. He is a frequent author and speaker on product liability and trial practice topics. He has been consistently recognized by peers and clients as one of the very few Iowa attorneys to receive the top level rating in litigation by Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He is a past President of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association.

His record of cases includes representation of clients or amicus organizations in many significant Iowa appellate decisions involving product liability and tort issues. He has frequently provided testimony or resource background to legislative committees and membership on litigation related legislation and product liability issues.


 Martindale-Hubbell, AV┬« Preeminent
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Des Moines, 2012

The Best Lawyers in America®, 1999-2015

Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Band I Rating)

Sapp, Richard

Great Plains Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2009-2014

Who's Who Legal: USA - Commercial Litigation

Product Liability Advisory Council

American Board of Trial Advocates

International Association of Defense Counsel

Order of the Coif

Omicron Delta Kappa

Drake Law Review

Professional and Community Affiliations

American Bar Association
Litigation Section

Iowa State Bar Association
Member, Litigation Legislation
Committee, 1984-1990, Vice Chairman, 1988-1990
Litigation Section Council, 1993-1995

Polk County Bar Association

Defense Research Institute

Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Chair, Liability Reform Committee, 1996-1998

Iowa Defense Counsel Association
Board of Directors, 1987-1994
President, 1993-1994

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Drake University (B.A., with honors, 1972; J.D., 1976)

Bar Admissions

Iowa, 1976

Admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Iowa, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Significant Cases

Burke v. Deere & Co., 6 F.3d 497 (8th Cir. 1993). Retained as appellate counsel, obtained reversal in 8th Circuit Court of Appeals of $50 million dollar product liability punitive damage award.

Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO, et al. v. Branstad, et al (S.D. Iowa 2011). Successful defense of Governor of Iowa in constitutional challenge to executive order brought by organized labor.

Jahn v. Hyundai Motor Co.,773 N.W.2d 550 (Iowa 2009). Defense of automobile design defect case on certified questions to Iowa Supreme Court, successfully obtained adoption of Restatement Third provisions on crashworthiness, permitting comparison of fault of joint tortfeasors and overruling previous contrary Iowa appellate decision.

ADM v. Robinson Fans, Inc. (S.D. Iowa 2013). Successful defense at trial of worldwide manufacturer of industrial fans in cogeneration plant explosion alleging multi-million dollar property damage and business interruption claims.

Doe ex rel. Doe v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 178 F.Supp.2d 1003 (S.D.Iowa 2001) aff'd, 380 F.3d 399 (8th Cir. 2004). Obtained summary judgment for pharmaceutical defendants on claims of alleged transmission of HIV to hemophiliacs by blood factor medicines, and argued appeal on behalf of all defendants in the 8th Circuit.

Shlotzhauer v. Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. Iowa District Court for Polk County, (May, 2009). Defense of Bell Helicopter/Textron subsidiaries in fatal helicopter crash during movie filming. Summary judgement granted.

Rants v. Vilsack, 684 N.W.2d 193 (Iowa 2004). Represented Iowa legislature in constitutional challenge to Governor's exercise of item vetoes. Obtained decision declaring vetoes unconstitutional.

In re CIETC/IWD Investigation (2006). Retained as special counsel to government oversight committee in investigation of public employee salary scandal.

Wright v. Brooke Group, Ltd., 652 N.W.2d 159 (Iowa 2002). Co-author of amicus curiae brief for Iowa Defense Counsel Association/Defense Research Institute in case adopting Restatement Third for design defect liability.

Giles v. Miners, Inc., 242 F.3d 810 (8th Cir. 2001). Affirming Daubert exclusion of plaintiff’s expert and granting summary judgment to manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment.

Estate of Branson v. O.F. Mossberg, Inc., 221 F.3d 1064 (8th Cir. 2000). Affirming summary judgment to manufacturer of firearms in fatal hunting accident and upholding constitutionality of Iowa’s statute of repose pertaining to products.

Sutter v. Aventis, 145 F.Supp.2d 1050 (S.D.Iowa 2002). In defense of Aventis, obtained decision rejecting plaintiff’s efforts to remand StarLink corn class action based on purposely pleading vague amount in controversy.

Lovick v. Wil-Rich, 588 N.W.2d 688 (Iowa 1999). Retained as co-appellate counsel for defendant; case adopted limitations on post-sale duty to warn under Restatement Third.

Harder v. AC&S Inc., 179 F.3d 609 (8th Cir. 1999). Asbestos claims involving GE steam turbines in power plant; summary judgment granted in Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing district court, and upholding application of Iowa statute of repose pertaining to improvements to real estate.

Ganske v. Spahn & Rose Lumber Co., 580 N.W.2d 812 (Iowa, 1998). In defense of Deere & Company, affirming summary judgment in asbestos claim and upholding Iowa repose period concerning toxic injury claims.

Pierce v. Nelson, 509 N.W.2d 471 (Iowa 1993). Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of Iowa Medical Society in case establishing guidelines for award of medical expert witness fees in Iowa.

Nassif v. Nat'l Presto Indus., Inc., 731 F.Supp. 1442 (S.D.Iowa 1990). Burn injuries from portable space heater leading to double amputation of legs in diabetic plaintiff, obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant manufacturer.

Daugherty v. Ankeny Const. Co. Inc., 433 N.W.2d 747 (Iowa 1988). Construing indemnification rights under construction contracts.

Mulchahy v. Eli Lilly, 386 N.W.2d 67 (Iowa 1986). Seminal Iowa decision requiring proof of product identification and rejecting market share liability.

Ennen v. Pub. Serv. Mut. Ins. Co., 774 F.2d 321 (8th Cir.1985). Reversal of punitive damage verdict concerning bad faith insurance claim involving death of Arabian show horse.

DeShane v. Deere & Co., 726 F.2d 443, aff’d after remand, 747 F.2d 1194 (8th Cir.1984). Dismissing attempted products liability action filed in Iowa by Canadian resident involving Canadian accident on forum non conveniens grounds.

Thompson v. Stearns Chem. Co., 345 N.W.2d 131 (Iowa 1984). Decision establishing Iowa law concerning contribution rights vis-à-vis employers under comparative fault.

Speeches and Publications

Jury Instruction Hardbook, Product Liability Advisory Council (2009) (Co-Author).

Update on Punitive Damages Claims: A 50-State Survey, Pharmaceuticals Subcommittee of Products Liability Committee, ABA Section of Litigation (2007) (Co-Author).

National Survey of State Consumer Fraud Laws, Iowa Chapter, Product Liability Advisory Council (2004).

Products Liability 50 State Handbook, Iowa Chapter, West Publ'g. (1994) (Co-Author).

State By State Overview: Statutes of Limitations Applicable to Pharmaceutical or Medical Device Product Liability Litigation, ABA Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Subcommittee (1997) (Co-Author).

Pre-Trial Challenges to Expert Testimony in Toxic Tort Cases, 31 For the Defense 6, Defense Research Institute (1989).

Iowa Defense Counsel Task Force Report on Civil Jury Instructions, Products Liability Chapter, Iowa Defense Counsel Association (1990)(Co-Author).

Wright v. Brooke Group, Ltd., Defense Update, Iowa Defense Counsel Association (2004) (Co-Author).

Numerous other articles and presentations on product liability and trial practice issues.

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