James T. Fitzsimmons
JAMES T. FITZSIMMONS BIO
Jim is the youngest of five competitive kids raised by great parents on a small family farm in Western Iowa. On the family farm, Jim learned the value of faith, family, hard work, and working as a team. Jim’s dad and mom taught him that almost any obstacle can be thought through and overcome.
Jim and his wife Shelley were married in 1994. They have four sons Michael (23), Matthew (21), John (19), and Andrew (15). Michael graduated from Benedictine College, Atchison, KS, in 2020 and works in Kansas City. Matthew studies business at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. John is a 2020 graduate of Newman Catholic in Mason City. John attends NIACC this year and plans on starting at Benedictine College next year. Andrew is a freshman at Newman Catholic. Andrew intends to play Division I baseball and go on to play in the MLB.
Jim loves his time on his farm with his family under the big skies, day or night. Jim especially enjoys hunting, shooting, and splitting wood with his sons; then spending time with them talking about it around the wood-burning stove in the Corn Crib.
Trial Lawyer: Personal Injury; Workers’ Compensation; Insurance Company- Bad Faith
- 1992, Iowa and Nebraska
- 1993, U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa
- 1998, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Creighton University, J.D. 1992. Vice-President, Student Bar Association. President, Moot Court Board.
Keenan Trial Institute, Graduate 2019, Faculty, 2020﹣Present
- Cerro Gordo County Bar Association (Secretary, 1994﹣1995) (President, 2017﹣2019, two terms)
- Iowa State and Nebraska State Bar Associations (Member, Workers’ Compensation Section Rules Committee, 1997﹣1998)
- Iowa Association of Justice (Member, 1992﹣Present, Board of Governors, 1996﹣2007; CLE Committee, 1997﹣2009; CLE Chairperson, 2000﹣2004)
- The American Association of Justice (Member, Premises and Motor Vehicle Liability Section) 1992﹣Present
- Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (Member, Rules Committee, 2003﹣2006, Rules Committee Chair, 2006)
- Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group, 1999﹣Present
- Appointed Attorney, Grievance Commission, Iowa Supreme Court, 2004﹣2010
- Iowa District 2A Judicial Nominating Commission, 2008﹣2013
- Cerro Gordo County Magistrate Appointing Commission 2015﹣2020
- St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Liturgy Committee, 2004﹣2010
- Epiphany Parish, St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Lector, 1993﹣Present
- Newman Catholic Schools, Mason City, School Board 2014﹣2020, Board President 2015﹣2020
National Trial Lawyers, Top 100, 2015-Present
Iowa State Bar Association Jury Instruction Committee 2017-Present
- Iowa Board of Examiners of Shorthand Reporter 2018-Present
The Iowa chapter of Negligence Policy, Elements, and Evidence: The Role of Foreseeability in the Law of Each State, Vicki Lawrence MacDougall, Oklahoma City University Law School, Editor Balloon Press (2018).
September 20, 1966
Autopsy of Our $650,000 Trial Win in a Distracting Driving Case; Friday Webinar, Keenan Trial Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2021
The Black Letter Law on the Role of Foreseeability of Risk of Harm In Iowa; IAJ’s 47th Annual Convention, Des Moines, Iowa, November 6, 2020.
Combating Never-ending and Ever-changing Motions in Limine; Panel Contributor, IAJ’s 46th Annual Convention, Des Moines, Iowa, November 8, 2019.
Practical Tips after 10 Years with the Restatement 3rd of Torts in Iowa; Cerro Gordo County Bar Association, May 17, 2019.
Foreseeability and the Restatement 3rd of Torts in Iowa; Black Letter Law Seminar; Keenan Trial Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2018.
Fighting & Supporting Motions in Limine with Iowa Black Letter Law; IAJ Members Only Webinar; August 2018.
Weekly Rate: Getting the Insurance Co and the Injured Worker to What is Fair Under the Law (2017); Iowa Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee’s (IWCAC) Annual Symposium, Des Moines, Iowa, June 2017.
Black Letter Law in Trial; IAJ Members Only Trial Practice Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa August 2016.
Intoxication at Work: The Rules of the Road; Iowa Assoc. of Justice 23rd Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2014.
Rate: Getting the Insurance Co and the Injured Worker to What is Fair Under the Law (Updated2); Iowa Assoc. of Justice Annual Fall Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Iowa City, Iowa, September 2012.
Rate: Getting the Insurance Co and the Injured Worker to What is Fair Under the Law (Updated); Iowa Assoc. of Justice 20th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2012.
Rate: Getting the Insurance Co and the Injured Worker to What’s Fair Under the Law: Iowa Workers’ Compensation Symposium Des Moines, Iowa, June 2011.
What’s Bold and Fresh in Workers’ Compensation Law and Things That Wake Me Up at Night in a Cold Sweat! Cerro Gordo County Bar Meeting, Mason City, IA, April 23, 2010.
Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Helping the Injured Worker Back to Productive Work, Iowa Workforce Development, Mason City, IA, April 9, 2008.
State Vocational Rehabilitation: Cost-Effective Expert Testimony; ITLA 17th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, IA, January 2008.
Driver’s Ed: Preparing the Treating Doctor For Trial; ITLA Annual Auto/Personal Injury Seminar, Des Moines, IA, May 2007.
Rate: The First Step to Reaching the Fair Value of Your Case; ITLA 16th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, IA, Feb 2007.
Dealing With Attorneys & Experts; ITLA 6th Annual Paralegal Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, May 2005.
9 Pieces of Medical Evidence You Need to Attempt a Fair Settlement With the Insurance Co.; ITLA 99 Ways to Tune Up Your Auto Personal Injury Practice, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 2004.
Managing the Mentally Unstable Client: A Discussion in Ethics and Humanity; ITLA 13th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2004.
Ethics: Is Technology Our Friend or Foe? (Updated); 31st Annual Governor’s Safety Conference, Des Moines, Iowa, November 2002.
Medical vs. Legal Causation: A Perspective from the Claimant and Defense; Iowa Workers’ Compensation Symposium, Des Moines, Iowa, June 2002.
Tips to Settling Workers’ Compensation Claims Fairly; ISBA Workers Compensation Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, April 2002.
Ethics: Is Technology Our Friend or Foe?; IAWC 23rd Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar; West Des Moines, Iowa October 2001.
Ethics: When Does Networking Become Solicitation; IAWC 21st Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar; West Des Moines, Iowa, October 1999.
Investigation and the Initial Client Interview; ITLA Motor Vehicle Litigation Seminar; Des Moines, Iowa; September 1998.
85.39 Exams: Tactical Considerations to Getting a Fair Medical Evaluation; ITLA 6th Annual Workers’ Compensation Seminar; Des Moines, Iowa; February 1997.
Amani Tuffaha has taken a one-year sabbatical from August 1, 2021 to August 1, 2022, working as a Law Clerk for a group of Iowa District Court Judges. We are proud to see Amani chase her dream by serving as a Judicial Law Clerk. We miss Amani and look forward, hopefully, to her return.
As a first-generation immigrant and the first attorney in her family, Amani Tuffaha learned the value of quality education and empowerment through accessible tools and resources. Watching her father work hard to continue his education and help build the foundation of a successful family furniture and home goods business, Amani was taught to have a strong work ethic at a young age. Amani was born and raised in the Greater Boston Area amongst a large extended family where she was able to learn important lessons from her elders, and in turn – since Amani is the oldest of the cousins – she quickly became a mentor for the younger family members. Amani loves that her family is able to not only support each other in difficult times, but kick back and have lots of laughs together.
Amani also spent her high school years in Amman, Jordan, where she attended an international school and had the opportunity to learn with classmates that came from across the globe. After graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree from Suffolk University in Boston, Amani joined Teach for America and taught fourth grade students in a low-income community north of Boston for two years.
Growing up, Amani always knew she wanted to have a career in advocating for people – especially those who may not have the resources to advocate for themselves. As a teacher, Amani advocated for her students and provided the tools they required and are entitled to have for success not only in the fourth grade, but to empower them through the course of their lives. Now, as an attorney, Amani advocates for her clients to receive the compensation that they require and are entitled to. Amani believes in empowering a jury to get to a result that is fair and equitable for her clients. Through her clients’ cases, she strives to not only make her clients whole, but to contribute to the safety of the community.
Trial Practice; Personal Injury; Workers’ Compensation
- Massachusetts (2019)
- Iowa, (2020)
- Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
- Juris Doctor, May 2019
- Muslim Law Association (Member)
- International Refugee Assistance Project (Member)
- Prisoners’ Rights Clinic (Teacher Assistant)
- Iowa Bar Association (Member, 2020)
- Iowa Association of Justice (Member, 2020)
- National Association of Muslim Lawyers (Member, 2020)
- Massachusetts Bar Association (Member, 2019-2020)
- Boston, MA
Bridget Bahnsen is the Fitzsimmons Law Firm Office Manager and a Paralegal in Training. Bridget grew up here in rural North Iowa. She is a 1997 graduate of Newman Catholic High School. Bridget is the mother of two teenage boys who also attend Newman Catholic High School. Bridget loves sports and anything that keeps her and her family active. Bridget especially enjoys watching her two sons compete. Bridget is 100% a Hockey Mom. Her sons spend a lot of time in hockey rinks around the Midwest. Bridget served on the Board of Directors for the Mason City Youth Hockey Association for four years. She loves to travel and visit new destinations. Bridget’s family and friends play a very important role in her life. We love Bridget’s outgoing personality and sense of humor.
Saje Ites is our Paralegal in Training who is your first contact by phone with Fitzsimmons Law Firm. Saje is a graduate of Iowa Falls-Alden High School where she was a multi-sport athlete competing in softball, track, soccer, trapshooting, basketball, and football. Her involvement developed a competitive drive and work ethic that led to playing college basketball until Saje incurred a career-ending injury at Graceland University. Saje transferred to Northwest Missouri State University, graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business. Saje currently resides in her hometown of Alden, Iowa, with her two dogs, Luna and Benelli. Alongside her brother, Saje raises a herd of cattle and had the Champion Salers Cow-Calf Pair at the Kansas City American Royal in 2020. In her free time, Saje enjoys the company of a good book, cheering on her favorite sports teams, and spending time with family and friends. Go Big Red! Saje excels when Jim tells her he has another impossible job for her. Her record for solving the problem and finishing the “impossible” job is 2 hours. The impossible rarely takes Saje longer than a day…