William J. Miller

William J. Miller




Bill is a Partner with a dynamic practice involving complex business litigation, employment, products liability, and personal injury defense for clients in fields including healthcare, government, financial services, and transportation. He handles matters through all stages of litigation, including trial and appeal, and values the opportunity to work with clients throughout Iowa and elsewhere in assessing and serving their legal needs to achieve optimal results. Bill also serves as the pro bono coordinator for the firm’s Des Moines office.

Education & Admissions

Drake University Law School (2002), With Highest Honors; Order of the Coif; Iowa State Bar Association Graduating Senior Award; H.G. Cartwright Law Review Award

Augustana College (1999), cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa


  • Iowa
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa


  • Iowa Supreme Court, Honorable Mark S. Cady, 2002-2004


Representative Litigation

  • Represented manufacturing client in complex products liability action in Iowa state court (Mahaska County). With a Dorsey colleague, tried the case to a jury over five weeks resulting in an eight-figure verdict in favor of our client.
  • Represented hospital in Iowa state court (Linn County) in action alleging malpractice by nursing employees, resulting in a defense verdict after trial to a jury.
  • Lead counsel in securing a defense verdict after trial in Iowa state court (Polk County) of plaintiffs’ failure to warn claim related to allegedly-defective vehicle loading ramp.
  • Lead counsel in securing summary judgment in Iowa state court (Polk County) on plaintiff's tort claims against client premised on conduct of therapist allegedly employed by client.
  • Lead counsel in securing summary judgment in Iowa federal court (Southern District) on a specific performance claim arising out of client’s purported responsibility for delivery of a product after bankruptcy of the product dealer.
  • Lead counsel in securing summary judgment in Nebraska state court (Douglas County) on plaintiff’s tort and contract claims surrounding a motor vehicle collision.
  • Represented long term care facility in Iowa federal court (Northern District) against allegations of termination in violation of public policy, including securing a defense verdict after trial to a jury.
  • Represented electric cooperative in Iowa state court (Polk County) through successful trial of dispute involving allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty and other corporate wrongdoing.
  • Represented pharmaceutical manufacturer in Iowa federal court (Northern District) in defense of products liability claims arising from alleged failure of vaccine to protect plaintiff’s swine herd. Case was dismissed with prejudice without recovery of damages.
  • Represented hospital in defense of medical malpractice claims in Iowa state court (Linn County) arising out of the death of a newborn, including securing summary judgment based on plaintiffs’ inability to offer expert testimony in support of their claims.
  • Local counsel for successful multi-million dollar claims in probate asserted in Iowa state court (Muscatine County) on behalf of a financial institution.
  • Argued appeal involving contractual claims to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

News & Resources


Iowa Supreme Court: So-Called “Shuttle Diplomacy” May Violate Open Meeting Law
Hutchison v. Shull: Expanding Iowa’s Open Meeting Law (Part 1)
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 15 Dorsey Lawyers
Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers in Des Moines
8 Dorsey Lawyers Selected in Des Moines for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016
Medical Liability Reform – Iowa’s Communication and Optimal Resolution (Candor) Bill Effective July 1, 2015
Dorsey’s Des Moines Office Named - Trial and Commercial Law Firm of the Year in Iowa
Chambers USA 2015 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Litigation Practice in Des Moines
Dorsey Partner William Miller Comments on Iowa Business Specialty Court Program
Dorsey Partner William Miller Praises Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 17 Dorsey Lawyers
Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers in Des Moines
Hon. Thomas Latham of Iowa Pays Tribute to William Miller
Dorsey Represents Deerfield Retirement in Confirmation Hearing Win
Dorsey Congratulates Partner William J. Miller on Being Named to Forty Under 40
Dorsey Represents Deerfield in Filing Prepackaged Chapter 11 Plan
Super Lawyers Recognizes Three Dorsey Lawyers in Des Moines
Dorsey Names Nine New Partners
Recent Iowa Supreme Court Opinions Address Open Records Request for a Public Hospital's Internal Audits and Address Hospital Board Liability for Negligent Credentialing
New Iowa Supreme Court Opinion Reinforces Iowa’s Peer Review Protection

Select Client Presentations

Bill has presented on topics including appellate law and practice, professional responsibility, and elder law for organizations including the Association of Corporate Counsel - Iowa Chapter, Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Judicial Institute, Iowa Defense Counsel Association and Polk County and Iowa State Bar Associations.

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Co-Chair, Iowa Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Member, Iowa State Bar Association 
    • Member, Appellate Practice Committee
    • Member, Fair Courts Committee
    • Member, Board of Governors (2012-2013)
    • Member, Independence of the Judiciary Committee (2006-2012)
  • Member and Chair, Young Lawyers Division Services to the Elderly Committee (2002-2008)
  • Member, Polk County Bar Association
    • Treasurer
    • Member, Board of Governors
    • Co-Chair, Judicial Retention Committee
    • Member, Ethics Committee
    • Member, Public Relations Committee (2002-2008)
  • Member, PCBA Volunteer Lawyers Project Board of Directors
  • Member, Iowa Defense Counsel Association
  • Member, American Judicature Society, National Advisory Council (2005-2014)
  • Member, American Judicature Society, Amicus Committee (2005-2014)
  • Member, Defense Research Institute (2002-2013)
  • Member, Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education (2004-2010)

Community Involvement

  • Recognized as one of Des Moines Business Record's 2014 Forty Under 40
  • Member, Amanda the Panda Board of Directors
  • President, Beaverdale Neighborhood Association (2003-2009)
  • Graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute (2008)


Ranked in Chambers USA 2015 - Leading Individual

  • Named "Up and Coming" by Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2015
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation, 2016
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Great Plains Super Lawyers, 2013-2014
  • Recognized as a "Future Star" by Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2016
William J. Miller