Academy Member Inducted 2018

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Joe Happe, Mediator, West Des Moines, Iowa.

Joe Happe

Happe Mediation, PLC
4656 Timberline Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50265
Tel: (515) 577-1390
Cell: (515) 577-1390
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Recognized to Iowa Chapter for Mediation

Regularly travels out of state to: Missouri

Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Discovery Referee, Early Neutral Evaluation, Facilitation & Systems Design, Fact Finding, Med-Arb, Special Master
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced2001
  • # of MEDS (as of 23/9/23)860
  • # of ARBS (as of 23/9/23)20
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


Joe Happe is a full time mediator-arbitrator handling cases in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Northern Missouri. Prior to becoming a mediator, Joe's litigation practice was focused on general negligence cases, construction defect and design cases, professional negligence, fire causation, and insurance law. He has significant experience in products liability cases, dramshop, agricultural cases, premises liability, death cases, personal injury cases, asbestos/mass tort litigation, and complex workers’ compensation.  On occasion, he has handled consumer fraud defense, medical device, employment, railroad FELA, defamation and a wide range of other cases.  As an attorney, he represented all parties to construction disputes and arbitrated using both AAA and private arbitrators.
Joe Happe is a fellow of the prestigious Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to 250 attorneys who have displayed exceptional skills and the highest integrity.  He is rated "AV" by the Martindale Hubbell Peer Review.  He is was a member of the invitation-only Construction Lawyers Society of America.
Litigants mediating a case don't want a mere messenger, they want a mediator with a plan.  Developing a plan takes subject matter experience and with 35 years of litigation experience, Joe has the background and knowledge to come up with a flexible, active and energetic plan to settle your case.  Attorneys trust his insights and experience as a mediator and value the relationships he has built up with mediating attorneys.
Joe Happe is a seasoned litigator with experience in nearly 100 jury trials and many workers compensation hearings.  He trained as a mediator in 2001 and has mediated over 800 cases. 
Now as a mediator, Joe offers an active form of mediation service using the latest and most effective form of mediation to conclude a settlement in even the most complex cases.
Cases mediated have included district court cases of all kinds: personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, discrimination, employment, products liability, construction cases (including construction defect, design defect and construction delay), professional liability (medical, legal and accounting) and fire cause and origin cases. 

With his background in workers’ compensation, he has mediated many workers’ compensation cases, some involving settlement of a related third-party district court matter.

Joe is available for mediations outside of Iowa and uses Zoom video.

Case Experience

  • ADA Disability
  • Agricultural
  • Appellate
  • Arts (Fine/Performing)
  • Automotive
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy/Creditors
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial/Business
  • Community Associations
  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Contract Disputes
  • Cross Cultural
  • Debt Collections
  • Discrimination
  • Education
  • EEOC
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Energy Sector (Oil/Gas)
  • Engineering
  • Environmental
  • Family Businesses
  • Franchise
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Internet
  • Land Use/Planning
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lemon Law
  • Libel & Slander
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Media & Communications
  • Medical Devices
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Natural Disasters
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Nursing Homes
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Police
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Public Policy
  • Railroad & Trucking
  • Real Estate
  • Religious Institutions
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Software
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Torts
  • Transportation
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Utilities
  • Venture Capital
  • Wage & Hour/FMLA
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Wrongful Death


  • Creighton University 1982
  • Creighton University School of Law 1985

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Association of ADR Attorneys (Board Certified)  **The Iowa Supreme Court does not certify lawyers as specialists in the practice of law and certification is not required.
  • C. Edwin Moore American Inn of Court
  • Iowa Association of Workers Compensation Attorneys
  • Iowa State Bar Association Construction Law Section
  • Iowa State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section (Section Chair 2018-present)
  • Polk County Bar Association Board of Directors (2017-present)
  • ISBA Board of Governors (2017-present)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Iowa Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Construction Lawyers Society of America

Rates Information

Hourly rates are $295.00 per hour for preparation and mediation sessions. Mediation in WC cases is $210 per hour for the first three hours.  Travel time is billed at $110 per hour, and mileage, airline fees and hotel expenses may apply. No administrative fee, cancellation fee or hourly minimums are charged. Different hourly rates for multi-party or multi-day mediations may apply on a case by case basis.  Experienced in Zoom mediation.

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