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Friday, Sep. 30, 2016

My Heroes Have Always Been Lawyers.

Posted Thursday, April 14, 2011, at 12:06 AM

Twenty-four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers, not least of which was John Adams, our second President of the United States. Twenty-five of our presidents have been lawyers. Probably the most famous president/lawyer was Abraham Lincoln ("Honest Abe").

My father (John J. Greer) and my older brother (Joel T.S. Greer) are real-life lawyer/heroes of mine. Dad died in 2004. After his active duty in the army in WWII (where he was awarded two bronze stars as a captain in the infantry) he received his legal degree from the University of Iowa and began his legal career in the JAG corps. By the time I was in middle school Dad had become a "heavy weight" in the legal community. He was handling multi-million dollar litigation in both federal and state courts. His clients flew him around the country in jets. Somehow Dad always made it home for our ball games and he made sure all six of us kids got to Mass every Sunday. He gave back to the community in both money and time and he treated people from all walks of life with respect. I had the opportunity to watch my father argue a case before the United States Supreme Court in the mid 80's. His client was the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. My brother Joel's resume is too long to list here (here is a link to it):


Joel volunteers so much time for charitable and community organizations it is amazing to me that he can find time to practice law.

Quite naturally, I grew up watching lawyer television shows and movies. "Perry Mason" was a family favorite as was "Judd ForThe Defense" (which aired on Friday night so after the football game my pals and I hustled across the street to Fred Bjornstad's house to watch it). On the big screen, who can forget Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch in "To Kill A Mockingbird"? Or my favorite actor--Humphrey Bogart---in "The Caine Mutiny" (Jose Ferrer played the lawyer in that one).

This June will be my twenty-seventh year as a lawyer and I have not yet encountered a "frivolous lawsuit". On the contrary, it has been my pleasure to work among qualified, competent lawyers in Northwest Iowa who work tirelessly to help their clients, advance the quality of justice, and give back to their communities. And we have a great bunch of judges in this state, too!

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Hello JP! This is Ronda (Worsfold) Bern. I happened to be on Daily Reporter website to look up an obituary and came across this article from you. Of course, since you and Curt are long time friends it caught my eye. But what I wanted to tell you is that I always wanted to be a lawyer and grew up dreaming about it. In high school I had the privilege of working for your dad in his law firm, Greer, Nelson, Montgomery Barry & Bovee. Your dad interviewed me and hired me. I admired him so much and he was bigger than life to me. He taught me to say "yes" and not "yea". He was a great role model and I still think of him fondly today. One other thing I remember about him was that convertible he drove. He always left the top off and the keys in it. I asked him about it one day and he said, "If anyone wants my car that bad, they can have it."

I'm sure you and your family are proud of your dad, that's clear to see and I can only imagine that he is equally as proud of you and his family. I hope someone else sharing memories of your dad gives you a comforting feeling even after he's been gone for so long. Take care and God Bless You.

-- Posted by rrbern on Mon, Apr 18, 2011, at 7:29 PM

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Description: JP's take on legal (and other) issues which interest him. Biography: Born in Spencer Iowa, February 6, 1957; Graduated Spencer High School 1975; University of Iowa (B.B.A. 1979); Creighton University School of Law (J.D. 1984); American Jurisprudence Award: Debtor/Creditor Relations; Assistant State Attorney, Florida, 12th Judicial Circuit, 1986-89; Assistant Clay County Iowa Attorney, 1989-93; Iowa State Bar Association: Volunteer Lawyers, 1993- ; American Citizenship Committee, 1994-98; Bridge the Gap Committee 1991-94; Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, 2002- ; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004- ; Iowa Association for Justice, 2004- ; American Bar Association, 1984- ; Florida Bar Association, 1986- .