Practice Areas

Practical & Foolproof Legal Solutions

The Putnam, Fern and Thompson Law Office was founded in Decorah, Iowa, in 1987 by attorney Dale L. Putnam. Since that time, the firm has provided aggressive legal counsel to individuals and businesses throughout Northeast Iowa.

The Putnam, Fern and Thompson Law Office is a general practice law firm with an emphasis on trial practice, personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, American with Disabilities, family law, real estate, probate, corporations and debtor/creditor.

Business Associations

Our firm has experience in assisting business owners ranging from start-ups to large corporations with organizational, development, buy-sell, general contracts and negotiations.  Our services include preparing all documents to obtain recognition from the State of Iowa and to begin operations, serving as registered agent, ensuring that clients maintain good standing status, negotiating and drafting asset purchase agreements, and day to day guidance to business owners.

Criminal Defense

Our office has defended clients charged with crimes ranging from class B felonies to traffic tickets.  Our attorneys have had multiple jury trials that have resulted in acquittals for clients charged with sex abuse, burglary, assault, domestic abuse and operating while intoxicated offenses.  If a case does not proceed to a trial our attorneys are successful at either obtaining a dismissal of the charge or negotiating a favorable plea agreement.

Domestic Relations

Our office has successfully represented clients in all aspects of family law including adoption, child custody, child support, dissolution of marriage, domestic abuse, premarital agreements, spousal support, and enforcement of existing court orders.  In any case, whether it is a child custody or dissolution of a long-term marriage involving the division of substantial assets, we have experience working with outside professionals such as tax preparers, forensic accountants, counselors, psychiatrists, and child advocates in order to obtain the best result for our clients.

Employment Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was enacted by the United States Congress "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities".

Estate Planning

Our office advises individuals and families in estate planning matters by drafting wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, Financial Powers of Attorney, and Healthcare Powers of Attorney.  As part of the administration of a will or trust, we assist clients who serve as the executor, administrator or trustee, and also those individuals or entities who wish to contest or file claims in an estate.

General Civil Litigation

Our office represents clients in a wide range of matters including but not limited to agricultural related litigation, contract disputes, nuisance claims, construction law, boundary line disputes and creditor/debtor rights.  Regardless of the nature of the case, we aggressively advise clients as they work towards a negotiated, mediated or litigated resolution.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Our office has a reputation of aggressively pursuing injury claims on behalf of clients who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident.  We have experience assisting clients who have claims against not only the at-fault driver’s insurance but also underinsured motorist claims.  We are also a participating law office with the Injury HelpLine.

Personal Injury

Our firm has an established personal injury practice and has represented clients with injuries caused by a wrongful death, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, dog bites and slip and fall.  We have successfully litigated cases dealing with each of these injuries in order to achieve the best result possible for our clients when the insurance company, or at fault party, has refused to offer an adequate settlement.  We are also a participating law office with the Injury HelpLine.

Real Estate

Our firm has experience in handling all aspects of both commercial and residential real estate transactions.  We frequently represent buyers and sellers in preparing all documents necessary to finalize the sale or purchase of a home, farm or commercial property.  We prepare title opinions for buyers, banks and other lending institutions, and are participating attorneys with Iowa Title Guaranty.