Judge Staskal was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Iowa in 1976 and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law 1979, with high distinction. Judge Staskal served as an Iowa Assistant Attorney General and Assistant State Appellate Defender before entering private practice in Des Moines in 1986. He was appointed as a District Associate Judge in 1996 and in 2001 he was appointed to the District Court bench. Judge Staskal is a member of the Order of the Coif and of the Polk County, Iowa State, and American Bar Associations, as well as the Iowa Judges Association. He has served on various Judges Association and Judicial Branch committees, including most recently the Courts and Community and Judicial Technology committees.