Patrick J. O'Connell

Contact Information

Patrick J. O'Connell
526 Second Avenue SE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
319-365-9101 extension 131
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Practice Areas

  • Municipal and Government Services
  • Civil Litigation
  • Collective Bargaining 
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Labor Arbitration 
  • School Law
  • Workers Compensation

Mr. O’Connell regularly represents cities, counties, school districts, large private employers, and insurance carriers on matters such as litigation defense, human resources counseling, employee discipline, civil service, workers’ compensation, collective bargaining, arbitration, ADA accommodations/interactive processes, FMLA matters, 28E sharing agreements, ordinance drafting, open records and open meetings laws, and most other matters facing Iowa employers. Mr. O'Connell is the City Attorney for the cities of Burlington, Clinton, Maquoketa, West Burlington, Wellman, Tipton and Elkader and also serves as general counsel for several other public employers. Mr. O'Connell also works as workers' compensation defense counsel for several public and private employers and insurance carriers. 


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

Professional Affiliation

Active or formerly active in the following organizations:

  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Iowa Chapter
  • Iowa Association of School Boards
  • Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys
  • 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
  • National Public Employer Labor Relations Association
  • National School Board Council of Attorneys

Additional Biographical Information

  • Major and Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1993 – 2004
  • Adjunct Paralegal Studies Professor at Kirkwood Community College since 2008 

Presentations and Publications

  • Contributor, Human Resources Administration and Labor Relations update, Iowa Municipal Policy Leaders' Handbook, 2019.
  • 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, 2008
  • Employee Discharge and Documentation, 2005-2008
  • Workers’ Compensation in Iowa, 2003
  • Employee Handbooks, 2001-2002