Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013, 10:28 am

Helen C. Adams named new Magistrate Judge in Davenport

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Press release submitted by U. S. District Court Southern District of Iowa


Selection of New Magistrate Judge in Davenport, Iowa

The District Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa are pleased to announce that they will appoint Helen C. Adams as a new United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Iowa upon the retirement of Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields. Ms. Adams is currently corporate counsel for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., in Des Moines, and previously had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer with the Des Moines firm of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. She will preside primarily in the United States District Courthouse in Davenport, with additional duties at court facilities in Des Moines and Council Bluffs. Ms. Adams was selected from a number of highly-qualified candidates through a rigorous, statutorily mandated process. She was screened by a Merit Selection Panel of distinguished lawyers and business leaders, chaired by Des Moines attorney Mark Weinhardt, and was subsequently evaluated and interviewed by all of the judges of the United States District Court.
Ms. Adams received her law degree in 1988 from the University of Iowa, with high distinction and Order of the Coif. She then provided outstanding service from 1988 to 1990 as a Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Harold D. Vietor. In 1990 she joined the Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen firm as an Associate, becoming a shareholder in 1995 and serving repeated terms on the firm's Board of Directors and as President of the firm. In 2009, she joined the legal department of Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
Ms. Adams was the inaugural winner of the DuPont Legal Excellence in Ethics Award in 2013. She was honored as a YMCA Woman of Achievement in 2006. With a distinguished career as a litigator, much of it in Federal courts, she was a charter fellow in Litigation Counsel of America, and has repeatedly been listed in Iowa Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers for Business ( labor and employment ), and Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business ( labor and employment ).
The judges of the Southern District of Iowa wish to recognize the outstanding judicial service of Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields who in 1997 brought his considerable talents and experience from his practice with Lane & Waterman LLP in Davenport to service on the Federal bench. After obtaining his law degree from Indiana University Judge Shields served as a Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge William C. Stuart, and then embarked on a distinguished 26 year career as a trial lawyer, before becoming a full-time Magistrate Judge in 2000. We are confident Ms. Adams will carry on the tradition of excellence established by Judge Shields as he moves on to a well-deserved retirement.