Rox Laird, veteran Iowa courts commentator, joins On Brief

by Ryan Koopmans | February 15, 2016

By Ryan Koopmans

Rox Laird, former Des Moines Register editorial writer and Iowa courts commentator, is joining this blog as a regular contributor.  Rox retired from the Register last fall and, as former Register editor and NBC News president Michael Gartner recently remarked, he took with him “43 years of institutional memory and 43 years’ worth of knowledge about how this city and this state work.” We’re thrilled that Rox is bringing that knowledge to this blog, and we’re certain that Iowans will be the beneficiaries.

Rox started his career at the afternoon Tribune in 1972, focusing on state, regional and local government.

After the Tribune closed, he moved to the Register and joined the editorial page staff where he was the newspaper’s lead writer on the courts, the U.S. and Iowa constitutions, legal issues, prisons, and criminal justice.

While on the editorial board, Rox specialized in writing about the First Amendment and public access to government information. Rox was a founding member of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council in 1976 and twice served as president of the council’s Board of Trustees.

Because of his influential writings and “strong voice in support of justice,” the Iowa Supreme Court honored Rox in a special session last November.

Rox’s first post is below.  He’ll be reporting for the blog rather than editorializing.  But his insight, which comes from years of watching the courts, will be just as valuable.

With Rox’s addition, readers can expect more frequent posting.  So check back often.  And stay tuned for other changes.



March 2024 Opinion Roundup

The Iowa Supreme Court entered opinions in ten cases during March 2024. These opinions are summarized below.

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Lasondra Johnson was tried for first-degree murder for the shooting death of Jada Young-Mills outside a Waterloo residence. Johnson argued she acted in self defense and the shooting was justified under Iowa’s “stand your ground” law that says a person is justified in the use of reasonable force in the belief that such …



On Brief: Iowa’s Appellate Blog is devoted to appellate litigation with a focus on the Iowa Supreme Court, the Iowa Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.


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