Our History

In 1948, following graduation from the University of Iowa College of Law, William L. Meardon hung out his shingle at 22-1/2 South Dubuque Street in Iowa City, Iowa. Thus began the history of the firm now known as Meardon, Sueppel, & Downer P.L.C. Mr. Meardon went on to a distinguished career in the law, having served as Johnson County Attorney from 1951 to 1955 and later as a lecturer in trial practice at the University of Iowa College of Law. Mr. Meardon was a Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Iowa State Bar Foundation, and actively practiced law until three days before his death on October 9, 1997.  Mr. Meardon had two original law partners, Robert N. Downer and William F. Sueppel. Mr. Sueppel actively practiced until 2014, when he retired from an outstanding career. Mr. Sueppel has been recognized and has received numerous state and national awards for his contributions in the field of municipal law. The firm reaffirmed its commitment to downtown Iowa City and Eastern Iowa when the decision was made to construct and locate its offices at 122 South Linn Street in 1978 and has since grown to its current size.

In addition to its present lawyers, others who have contributed to the distinguished history of the firm include the late John C. O’Byrne, Counsel to the firm while a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law and who subsequently served as Dean of the Northeastern University and later the Francis Shackelford Distinguished Professor in Taxation at the University of Georgia Law School, the late Ansel J. Chapman, an Iowa District Court Judge from 1968 to 1985; the late Clair E. Hamilton, an Iowa District Court Judge from 1960 to 1968; and Margaret Lainson, who retired from practice after an excellent career in family law and appeals and served for many years as Chair of the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission.

Our lawyers provide legal services in a wide variety of fields, including a comprehensive trial and appellate practice in the Iowa and Federal Courts; banking; corporate; municipal; labor and employment law; family; criminal; taxation; eminent domain; real estate; trusts and estates law; civil, tort, business, construction, land use, and contract litigation; agribusiness and agricultural law; and business and estate planning. In addition to its lawyers, Meardon, Sueppel & Downer P.L.C. employs a highly competent and dedicated support staff of trained paraprofessionals.

Our firm prides itself in the legal representation of our clients by providing prompt and professional attention to the needs of our clients. We keep abreast of technological advancements and utilize these in delivering legal services to our clients accurately and efficiently.

The lawyers in the firm have been active in a wide variety of professional and civic activities. Four members of the firm have served as chairs of committees on sections of the Iowa State Bar Association. Other professional organizations in which firm members have been actively involved include the International Municipal Attorneys Association; American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers; American, Iowa State, and Johnson County Bar Associations; Dean Mason Ladd American Inn of Court; Iowa Law School Foundation; the American and Iowa State Bar Foundations; and various commissions and task forces of the Iowa Supreme Court. The firm is active in the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, Iowa City Downtown District, the Community Foundation of Johnson County, Shelter House Community Shelter and Transition Services, Iowa City Rotary, Sertoma Club, and many other local civic organizations.