Senior Judge Birkenholz, West Des Moines, was appointed to the bench in 1998. He attended Drake University, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1971 and his law degree in 1974. He was admitted to the patent bar in 1974, as well, and worked in private practice for 23 years. Judge Birkenholz is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association. He is married with two children.