Hugh Cain is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and has practiced in Iowa’s state and federal courts for over 35 years. He has spent his legal career finding solutions to his clients’ legal problems and issues. He brings creativity, ingenuity, and dedication to solving problems.
Hugh works with clients proactively to identify problems before they grow into lawsuits and claims. Once claims become litigated, Hugh offers a client-centric approach and works to help resolve matters in his clients’ favor. Hugh has been selected as "Lawyer of the Year" three times by The Best Lawyers in America©. He has been listed in Chambers USA as a Leader in Iowa Labor and Employment Law.
Hugh has litigated legal disputes and advised Iowa private and public employers on a wide variety of employment issues, policies and procedures, employee handbooks, disciplinary actions, civil rights issues, reasonable accommodations, OSHA safety compliance, and wage hour issues. He has negotiated collective bargaining agreements and assisted local government boards with governance, city ordinances, open meetings, and open records issues. Hugh has experience representing and advising Iowa cities, counties and other municipalities.
Iowa, 1983United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 1983United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 1983
Employment Law and Human ResourcesMunicipal and Government Law
Member, Labor and Employment SectionMember, Government Practice Section
1. Chemsol, LLC v. City of Sibley, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95461 (Northern District Iowa 2019). Successful defense verdict and motion for summary granted in favor of City of Sibley regarding the Cities odor and nuisance ordinance.2. Bellino Fireworks, Inc. v. City of Ankeny, 332 F. Supp. 3d 1071 (Southern District Iowa 2018). Successful defense verdict resulting in Motion for Summary Judgment granted in in favor of the Defendants City of Ankeny, City of Boone, City of Johnston, and City of Pleasant Hill fireworks ordinances.3. Artistic Iron Works, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174902 (Southern District Iowa 2018). Successful plaintiff verdict and motion for summary judgment granted for Artistic Iron Works on its claim and a declaratory judgment that defendant is obligated to reimburse Artistic for the damages to the retaining wall, patio, and landscaping.4. Ames 2304, LLC v. City of Ames, Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 924 N.W.2d 863 (Northern District Iowa 2019). Successful plaintiff verdict that resulted in reversal of the district court's annulment of a writ of certiorari involving the denial of a remodeling permit was proper because Ames, Iowa, Municipal Code § 29.307(3)(c) defined an "increase in intensity" as an increase in the number of dwelling units, and the company's remodel would not increase the number of dwelling units in the structure.5. Goplerud v. Dallas Cty., 928 N.W.2d 899 (Iowa Court of Appeals, 2018). Successful defense verdict in favor of City of Indianola with respect to an amendment to a zoning ordinance for the City as applied to commercial property owned and/or leased by the respective plaintiffs.
2021 Chambers USA, Leader in Iowa Labor and Employment (Band 3)2021 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2021 Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America2020 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2019 Iowa Super Lawyers List2019 Selected to Best Lawyers in America 2018 Iowa Super Lawyers List2018 Chambers USA, Leader in Iowa Labor and Employment (Band 3)2018 Iowa Super Lawyers List2018 Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America2018 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2017 Iowa Super Lawyers List2017 Chambers USA, Leader in Iowa Labor and Employment (Band 3)2017 Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America2017 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2016 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2016 Iowa Super Lawyers ListMartindale-Hubbell Preeminent A.V. Rating 5.0 of 5.02015 Selected to Iowa Super Lawyers Lists2015 Selected to Best Lawyers in America2014 Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America 2009-2014 Selected to Iowa Super Lawyers Lists2012-2014 Selected to Best Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America2007 Iowa Super Lawyers
Vice Chair of the Warren County Zoning Commission
Hugh Cain is a frequent seminar speaker on a broad array of topics in employment law and government practice.
The Explanation of Terms and Issues of COVID-19 Legal Issues for EmployersGreater Des Moines Partnership-Top Five for Small Business, August 2020
Government Employer HandbooksIowa Employment Conference, April 2020
Drug Testing for Public Employers for State of IowaIowa State Bar Association, April 2020
Round-Table Question/Answer About COVID-19 and Impact on Local GovernmentIowa State Bar Association, March 2020
Disability DiscriminationCentral Iowa SHRM, September 2019Mental Disabilities and Reasonable AccommodationIowa Employment Conference, October 2019OSHA and Safety LawCentral Iowa SHRM, February 2019Statutory Developments in Employment LawCentral Iowa SHRM, February 2018Legal Trends and Case Law Impacting Iowa CountiesIowa State Association of Counties, March 2019Basic Responsibilities of Being a Public EmployerWapello County, October 20172017 Employment Law UpdateISCPA Exempt Organizations Conference, October 2017What Every Public Employer Should Know about Employment LawIowa League of Cities Annual Conference, September 2017
Expanded Paid Sick Leave and FMLA for COVID-19
"Evolution of Implied Covenant Exception to the Employment at Will Doctrine in Iowa," Drake Law Review (1994)Co-Author, "Evolution of Hostile Environment Claims," Drake Law Review (1999)