DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court selected District Judge Jeffrey D. Bert of Bettendorf and District Judge David Nelmark of Des Moines, as Iowa Business Specialty Court judges. Bert and Nelmark join Judges Lawrence P. McLellan, John D. Telleen, and E. Sarah Crane as business court judges. Judges Kurt J. Stoebe and Sean W. McPartland are stepping away from the business court in favor of other judicial duties.
The Supreme Court based its selection of Bert and Nelmark on the judges’ educational background, judicial and trial practice experience in complex commercial cases, and personal interest in the business court.
Bert is a district court judge in the Seventh Judicial District. He was appointed to the bench in December of 2019. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Iowa State University in 1989 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1992. Before his appointment to the bench, he was engaged in the private practice of law with Brooks Law Firm, P.C. He also served on the board of directors for the Vera French Mental Health Center and One Eighty, Inc. and was a member of the Bettendorf Planning & Zoning Commission from 2012 to 2019.
“During my 28 years in private practice, I regularly represented clients in business transactions and litigation. I look forward to applying that experience and knowledge as a judge on Iowa’s business court,” he said.
Nelmark is a District Court Judge in the Fifth Judicial District. he was appointed to the bench in 2019. He received dual Bachelors of Arts degrees from Drake University in 1999 and his law degree from Stanford Law School in 2005. His past experience includes representing business clients of Gislason & Hunter LLP and Belin McCormick, P.C. and representing litigants in the Iowa business court. He is a past president of the American Mock Trial Association, a past president of the Polk County Bar Association, and a former member of the board of directors of the International Academy of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
“The business court provides a number of advantages for resolving complex litigation. I am honored to be appointed, and I look forward to the challenge of serving Iowans and their companies in this additional capacity,” he said.
The Iowa Judicial Branch has assigned 117 cases to the business court since its inception on May 1, 2013. Seventy-seven cases have been fully resolved, and another forty remain pending. 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.