DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds made four judicial appointments bookending Thanksgiving weekend. She announced the appointments of Laura Parrish as a district court judge in Judicial District 1A and Paul Ahlers to the Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday last week. On Monday, she announced the appointment of two district court judges: Jeffrey Bert in Judicial District 7 and Roger Sailer in Judicial District 3B.
Reynolds has made 39 judicial appointments since becoming governor in 2017. When she appoints the late Chief Justice Mark Cady’s replacement it will be 40 judicial appointments.
Paul Ahlers appointed to Iowa Court of Appeals
Ahlers, 50, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, currently serves as a district associate judge in Judicial District 2B that includes Sac, Carroll, Calhoun and Greene counties, where he has served since 2011.
His appointment is to the Iowa Court of Appeals which is the state’s intermediate appellate court. It is composed of nine judges and decides appeals from district courts across Iowa.
He previously practiced law for 15 years with firms in Spencer, Fort Dodge, and Webster City and with Travelers Insurance Companies in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ahlers received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Ahlers served as president of the Iowa State Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division, he served on the board of governors of the Iowa State Bar Association and is currently a member. He also served on the board of governors for the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association.
He was also a member of the Rotary Club. He also volunteered with Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fort Dodge in various capacities. He also was a volunteer baseball and soccer coach in Fort Dodge.
Ahlers will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Amanda Potterfield of Tiffin.
Watch his interview with the state judicial nominating commission below:
Laura Parrish – Judicial District 1A
Parrish, 40, of Decorah, Iowa, currently practices law with Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns, Beatty, & Parrish in Decorah, Iowa where she has worked since 2004. Currently, the majority of her practice is family law. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell College and her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
She is a member of the Winneshiek County Bar Association, Iowa State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys, Iowa State Bar Foundation, Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Iowa Association of Mediators, Parenting Coordinators of Eastern Iowa, and Association of Family and Coalition Courts.
She has also served on the district judicial nominating commission for Judicial District 1A from 2006 to 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission from 2008 to 2014, and currently serves on the Iowa Legal Aid Board and Advisory Council, Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Task Force, and Winneshiek County Magistrate Appointing Committee.
She has also served as a board member for the Winneshiek County Economic Development Board, as a board member and president of the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Alpha Sigma chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.
Judicial District 1A where Parrish will serve as district court judge includes Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, and Winneshiek counties.
Roger Sailer – Judicial District 3B
Sailer, 55, of Schleswig has served as the Crawford County Attorney in 2013. He previously served as an assistant county attorney in Crawford County over five years and practiced law with the Mundt, Franck & Schumacher Law Firm in Denison, Iowa for almost six years. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Colorado Boulder and his law degree from the Creighton University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Sailer served in the U.S. Army for four years and worked in the broadcast media industry for five years.
He served on the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission. He is currently a member of the National District Attorneys Association, Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa County Attorneys Association, and Crawford County Bar Association.
Sailer is a member of the Crawford County Republican Central Committee, Iowa Federation of Republican Women, and Knights of Columbus. He also served on the board for Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School in Denison, Iowa.
Sailer fills the vacancy created by Governor Reynolds’s appointment of Judge Julie Schumacher to the Iowa Court of Appeals. Judicial District 3B includes Crawford, Ida, Monona, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.
Jeffrey Bert – Judicial District 7
Bert, 52, of Bettendorf, Iowa, currently practices law with the Brooks Law Firm, P.C., in Davenport and Rock Island for 25 years. He received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Scott County Bar Association, Rock Island County Bar Association, Iowa Association of Defense Counsel, and Illinois Defense Trial Counsel Association.
Bert has volunteered with the United Way of the Quad Cities, served on the board of directors of the Vera French Mental Health Center in Davenport, and serves on the Quad City Marathon Race Committee.
He also is a member of the Bettendorf Planning and Zoning Commission and served on the board of One Eighty, a non-profit that serves people in the Quad City area who struggle with poverty, addition, and other crisis.
Bert will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of District Court Judge Mary Howes. The Seventh Judicial District includes Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Muscatine, and Scott counties.
Read the application packets of all four appointees below:
Correction: We originally reported Governor Reynolds has made 32 judicial appointments instead of 39. The story has been updated to make that correction.