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Iowa Court of Appeals Elects Bower as Chief Judge

October 10, 2019

Des Moines, October 10, 2019—The Iowa Court of Appeals has elected Judge Thomas N. Bower, Cedar Falls, as chief judge. Judge Bower has served on the court of appeals since 2012. He is the tenth chief judge since the state legislature established the Iowa Court of Appeals in 1976. He replaces Chief Judge Gayle Nelson Vogel, recently retired.


"I am honored and humbled to be elected as chief judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals by my colleagues. I look forward to maintaining the high standards of fairness and efficiency we have set for ourselves and the people of the State of Iowa.”


Chief Judge Bower was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals in January 2012. Judge Bower received his bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in 1984 and his law degree from Drake University in 1987.


Chief Judge Bower was appointed to the district associate court bench in 1993 and the district court bench in 1995. He was appointed Chief Judge of the First District in 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as an Assistant City Attorney for the city of Ames and as an Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney. He helped to establish the Black Hawk County Adult Drug Court program in 2006 and a mental health court program in 2009. Judge Bower is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Black Hawk County Bar, and the Iowa Judges Association.

The Iowa Court of Appeals is a nine-member, intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that the supreme court has transferred to the court of appeals. A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the court of appeals, with 1,223 opinions filed in 2018. 

In addition to day-to-day judicial duties, the Chief Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals supervises the business of the court, presides when present at a session of the court, and serves on the judicial council. Chief Judge Bower will carry these duties and continue to review cases and author opinions.

Previous Chief Judges of the Iowa Court of Appeals

1976-1978     Judge Robert Allbee

1978-1994     Judge Leo Oxberger

1994-1996     Judge Allen Donielson

1996               Judge Rosemary Sackett

1997               Judge Albert Habhab

1997-1998     Chief Justice Mark Cady

1999-2012     Judge Rosemary Sackett

2012-2013     Judge Larry J. Eisenhauer

2013-2019     Judge David Danilson

2019              Judge Gayle Nelson Vogel

For More Information:

Marissa Gaal, marissa.gaal@iowacourts.gov or 515-348-4963

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