About Smith & McElwain Law Offices of Iowa
Smith & McElwain Law Offices was founded in Iowa in the early 1950s by renowned labor lawyer Harry H. Smith. Harry’s passion in life was representing employees and their unions, advancing the cause of the labor movement, and fighting for benefits for workers injured on the job. Since 1952, Harry H. Smith’s law office has expanded and has come to be known as Smith & McElwain.
Today, Smith & McElwain Law Offices carries on Harry Smith’s tradition, with offices in downtown Sioux City and Des Moines, Iowa. We have three attorneys, MacDonald Smith, Dennis McElwain, and Jay Smith, who share a combined experience of over 80 years of legal practice and who specialize workers’ compensation and labor and employment law.
We represent clients with work injuries covered under Iowa and Nebraska law. We have many years of experience litigating injury claims before the Iowa and Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Courts, and when necessary, in district court and state appellate courts.
In addition to our workers’ compensation practice, our attorneys represent labor unions in all stages of the representational process, from organizing drives, to obtaining a first contract, to assisting with the grievance procedure, and to representation in arbitrations.
We have a combined experience of over eighty years of practice representing labor unions before the National Labor Relations Board, the various state public employment relations boards, and in the courts.
Meet our attorneys:
We represent employees and labor unions only. If you’ve suffered a serious injury caused by your employment, we will help you get the benefits you need and deserve. Over the years, we have represented thousands of injured workers in Iowa and Nebraska, with all types of injury claims including shoulder, neck, and back injuries; all types of muscle and joint injuries; head injuries, and emotional injuries; and death claims.
Our formula for success is simple. We understand that when you suffer an injury at work, you often face a hostile employer, confusing insurance and medical bureaucracies, and uncertainty. So our first task is to sit down with you and your family and listen. Once we understand your problem, we then explain your rights, and how we can help make workers’ compensation law work for you.
We know that when you’ve been injured on the job, time is of the essence. Delayed medical care can cause needless suffering and increased disability. Delayed money benefits can impose unnecessary strain on you and your family. It’s why we work hard for you.
We promise to meet with you early and often, and as often as it takes for you to (1) understand your rights, and (2) get the benefits you deserve. This is our recipe for your success: hard work, honest and open communication, and a shared effort. Together, we will work hard to put your life back together.
At Smith & McElwain we believe in the old union slogan: “an injury to one is an injury to all.” We understand that justice delayed is justice denied. Our promise to our clients is that we will work promptly and aggressively to help you obtain the benefits guaranteed by law.
Give us a call. We look forward to meeting you and your family.
At Smith & McElwain, we are committed to representing individuals associated with the labor movement and being active participants in the cause of working people. From providing advice to labor unions concerning contract negotiation and the processing and arbitration of grievances to helping individuals with their unemployment and workers compensation claims.
We recognize the simple reality that working people work hard for employers who do not always treat them fairly. We recognize that every client has an individual stake in the outcome of his or her case. For this reason, each of our client’s is given personal attention and is treated with dignity and respect.
We also recognize you may often need evening and Saturday appointments, so our offices are open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with evening and Saturday appointments available, upon request.
At Smith & McElwain we offer free initial consultations so that we can listen to you and come to understand your problem. If we decide we cannot help you, we do not charge you anything. It costs you nothing for us to make an initial evaluation of your claim.
If you are already receiving weekly compensation benefits when you come to us, we do not charge a fee out of benefits voluntarily paid by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance. We only charge a fee based on what we earn for you.