Services

Discrete Task Assistance

Ms. Ternus offers discrete task legal services to attorneys handling appeals or representing clients in anticipated or pending litigation. Her involvement in any particular matter is as minimal or extensive as the attorney seeking her assistance requests. Services may include providing information or advice, offering other assistance as specified by the attorney, preparing or reviewing pleadings, briefs or brief points, or coaching on court procedures or effective oral advocacy. Her assistance is tailored to the requirements of each case as directed by the attorney requesting her services.

Appellate case consulting. Ms. Ternus is available to assist in identifying and framing the most meritorious issues for appeal. If requested, she will also assist in marshaling the legal authorities in support of the issues that have been raised on appeal. Depending upon the wishes of the attorney seeking her assistance, she can draft or participate in drafting appellate briefs, applications for further review, or petitions for rehearing, or she can simply review the pleadings prepared by the attorney and offer advice to maximize the effectiveness of the brief, application, or petition. Ms. Ternus is also available to assist in preparing for oral argument, including mooting oral arguments.

Trial consulting. Ms. Ternus offers discrete task services related to anticipated or pending litigation. She can assist attorneys in identifying and advantageously framing issues, particularly cutting edge or novel legal theories. She is available to offer advice on appropriately raising issues and error so as to create a favorable record for appeal. Ms. Ternus will also assist in drafting pleadings, motions and briefs.

Student Conduct Adjudications

Ms. Ternus serves as an adjudicator or appellate officer in student conduct and student disciplinary matters for universities and colleges who prefer decisions in such matters be made by an outside individual with judicial experience.  She has received training to serve as an adjudicator in Title IX student misconduct proceedings.

Arbitration

Ms. Ternus is also available to serve as an arbitrator when the parties agree to use this method of dispute resolution to resolve their disagreement. Arbitration offers many advantages to the parties. Principally, it allows the attorneys and their clients to control the procedure for resolving their dispute. Subject to the agreement of the parties, the process can be tailored to serve their particular needs, including shortened deadlines for discovery and motions, restricted discovery, relaxation of evidentiary rules, and flexible scheduling. If desired, the hearing and decision can be confidential. Because the parties determine the process, the costs of extensive and lengthy discovery can be controlled. The hearing can be scheduled at the convenience of the parties and their attorneys, providing the opportunity for a speedier resolution and the avoidance of last minute continuances. When the parties will have an ongoing relationship, arbitration is a particularly effective option because the more informal procedures and setting and the faster resolution lessen the contentiousness of the process. Arbitration is also an especially viable alternative to a courtroom trial when the parties need a speedy, final resolution of their dispute.

Special Master

Ms. Ternus will serve as a special master in court proceedings pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 1.935.

Expert Consultation

Ms. Ternus is available to consult as an expert on various matters, including issues of Iowa law, legal ethics, legal malpractice, and insurance coverage and bad faith.