My name is Tom Foley, and I am a trial attorney specializing in employment disputes. My wife’s
name is Dana. Dana and I first met in law school. She was dating a close friend of mine. She was
the first woman I met who refused to take any excrement from me. We have been married almost
thirty years. We have three boys, Ryan (27), Tyler (25), and Ethan (23).
I grew up in Iowa City and received both my undergraduate and law degrees from the University
of Iowa. I practiced law in Des Moines for thirty-three years, twenty-four of those with the largest
law firm in the state. I returned to Eastern Iowa in February 2017. Dana still lives in Des Moines,
and I shuttle between Des Moines and Iowa City. The drive isn’t too bad, and I get to enjoy the
many things both cities offer.
I represented employers in employment-related matters for the first twenty-four years of my career.
I enjoyed the legal issues, but always felt like I was on the wrong side. I tended to relate more to
my adversaries than my clients. In 2010, I started representing individuals and I have never looked
back. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and feel privileged to represent the people I help.
My clients range from highly-compensated executives to highly-educated university professors to
tireless hourly employees. What they all have in common is that they were fired or otherwise
mistreated at the workplace and are searching for fairness. I fight to obtain fairness for them.
In the movie Philadelphia, the character Tom Hanks played said that one of the coolest things
about being a lawyer is that sometimes you get to play a part in justice being done. In my practice,
that means negotiating a fair settlement for a deserving client, convincing an employer to reinstate
a wrongfully discharged employee, or persuading a jury to return a verdict that fairly compensates
my client for all she has lost. The prospect of playing a part in obtaining justice is what gets me to
the office each day.
That I was one of the starting forwards on the Regina High School basketball team that had the
good fortune to win the Class A state championship in 1978. What I learned most from the
experience was the value of working hard with others to obtain a shared goal. I apply much of
what I initially learned playing basketball when representing clients. Through tireless effort and
teamwork, I strive to get the best possible result for my clients.
I am an exercise fiend, and I spent much of my free time working out, riding my bike, or engaging
in some other form of physical activity. I am a lifetime learner and enjoy reading anything that is
written well. During the summer months, I love sitting by a swimming pool with my wife Dana,
drinking a cold beer, and doing absolutely nothing productive.
I’m not sure. I’ve wanted to be a trial attorney since watching To Kill a Mockingbird when I was
eight years old. It’s difficult seeing myself doing anything else. My father was a professor at
the University of Iowa for over forty years. He enjoyed teaching immensely. I have taught law
school classes at various times, and I could see myself doing something like that although I would
miss being in the courtroom. I enjoy writing, and I used to flirt with the desire of becoming a
journalist, a historian, or a writer. I concluded I would probably starve doing any of those and
went to law school instead. I think I made the correct choice.
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