Assistant AG could replace Iowa Supreme Court appointee

John O'Brien May 11, 2011, 9:28am

DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - An assistant attorney general is one of three candidates to fill an open spot on the Iowa Court of Appeals.

The opening was caused by Edward Mansfield's appointment to the state Supreme Court earlier this year. Mansfield was a judge on the Court of Appeals and was one of three men, along with Bruce Zager and Thomas Waterman, picked by Gov. Terry Branstad to sit on the Supreme Court.

Bruce Kempkes has been a longtime staff member at the Iowa Attorney General's Office. He spent 1987-92 in the Criminal Appeals Division, 1994-2002 in the Licensing and Administrative Law Division and 2003-present in the Regents and Human Services Division while assisting in other areas.

Kempkes, 56, wrote in his application that he was also the person primarily responsible for authoring opinions from the office from 1994-2003. It also says he once sued Johnson & Johnson after, allegedly, one of the company's knee brace's failed during a handball match and forced him to have reconstructive surgery.

Kempkes' lawsuit, which alleged negligent design, was settled after his deposition.

His competition for the spot is Eighth Judicial District Judge Michael Mullins, 58, and Fourth Judicial District Judge Susan Christensen, 49.

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