Patrick J. O'Connell

Mr. O’Connell regularly represents cities and counties, large private employers, and insurance carriers on matters such as litigation defense, trials, appeals, human resources counseling, employee discipline, civil service, workers’ compensation, collective bargaining, arbitration, ADA accommodations/interactive processes, 28E sharing agreements, ordinance drafting, contract drafting, zoning, eminent domain, code enforcement, open records and open meetings laws, OSHA investigations, FMLA, ADA and interactive process, and most other matters facing Iowa employers.  

Mr. O'Connell works regularly for thirty-three different cities, counties and public entities in Iowa.  He is the lead city attorney responsible for the cities of Burlington, Charlotte, West Burlington, Middletown, Clinton, Bellevue, Anamosa, Ely, Fort Madison, and Maharishi-Vedic City.  In addition to his regular city attorney work, he serves as general counsel, labor representative, or human resources attorney for several other public employers.  Mr. O'Connell also works as workers' compensation defense counsel for several private employers and insurance carriers. 


  • University of Iowa College of Law (J.D., 1995)
  • Luther College (B.A., 1992)

Professional Affiliations

Active or formerly active in the following organizations:

  • Iowa League of Cities
  • Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association
  • Iowa Municipal Management Institute
  • Iowa Public Employer Labor Relations Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Linn County Bar Association
  • Bar of United States District Courts of Iowa
  • Eighth Circuit Bar Association
  • National Public Employer Labor Relations Association

Additional Biographical Information

  • Major and Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1993 - 2004
  • Adjuct Paralegal Studies Professor at Kirkwood Community College, 2008 - 2016

Presentations and Publications

  • Fire Departments vs. Protecting the City of Liability (with Holly A. Corkery) – Iowa League of Cities Annual Conference, September 29, 2022
  • Managing Discipline & Performance Issues for Certified Law Enforcement Officers (with Holly A. Corkery) – Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, May 25, 2022
  • Successful Strategies for Addressing Problem Properties – Iowa League of Cities Nuisance Conference, May 18, 2022
  • 2021 Case Law Update – Notable New Cases in Iowa and the Eighth Circuit – Iowa Municipal Attorneys Association, November 19, 2021
  • Presenter, Online and in person, Keeping your Official Social Media Pages Within the Bounds of the Law, 2020.
  • Contributor, Human Resources Administration and Labor Relations update, Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders' Handbook, 2019.
  • Successful Strategies for Addressing Problem Properties, Iowa League of Cities Nuisance Abatement Conference, 2019
  • Creating and Administering Clear Disciplinary Policies, Iowa Municipal Management Institute, 2019
  • How to Avoid Lawsuits by Obtaining Resignations from Problem Employees, Iowa Employment Conference, 2018
  • Proper Use of Performance Reviews and Performance Improvement Plans, Iowa Employment Conference, 2017
  • Special Considerations for Employees on FMLA Who Abuse the Law, Iowa Employment Conference, 2016
  • How to Avoid a Lawsuit Under the Open Meetings Law, 2015
  • Policy Drafting for Body-Worn Camera Programs, 2015
  • Contributor, 2016 Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders' Handbook (A guide for Iowa Mayors and Council Members), The University of Iowa Institute of Public Affairs
  • "Top 5 Things City Managers/Administrators Should Know About Municipal Law," 2015
  • "Paid Leave and Unpaid leave," 2014
  • "Discipline and Discharge of Public Employees," Iowa League of Cities Annual Conference, 2014
  • School Law in Iowa, 2009
  • Employment Law in these Challenging Times, NBI Seminars, 2008
  • Employee Discharge and Documentation, NBI Seminars, 2005-2008
  • Workers’ Compensation in Iowa, 2003
  • Employee Handbooks, 2001-2002
The exterior of the Lynch Dallas buidling with a brick facade

Let's Get Started

Schedule a Consultation

319-365-9101 or Contact Us Today