Marquis Top Lawyers

Martha L. Mertz, JD

Title: District Court Judge
Company: Iowa Judicial Branch
Location: Knoxville, Iowa, United States

Martha L. Mertz, JD, District Court Judge at Iowa Judicial Branch, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of general jurisdiction.

With years of excellence in family and criminal law to her credit, Judge Mertz has found much success as a district court judge for the Iowa Judicial Branch. Having presided over cases involving such important subjects as medical malpractice and murder, she currently has the authority to judge cases from initial appearances to appeals, and is renowned for her fair but firm approach. The first woman in her region within the state to hold her present position, Ms. Mentz was previously acknowledged as the only female judge in 15 counties and has notably been retained on three occasions.

Before embarking on her professional path, Judge Mertz pursued an education at Northeast Missouri State University, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974. She concluded her studies at Drake University Law School in 1982, graduating with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. Throughout her career, Judge Mertz was admitted to practice law by the Marion County Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

As a testament to her professional accomplishments, Judge Mertz was presented with the Rodney L. Hudson Appellate Advocacy Award from the Drake University Law School in 1982 and the Athena Award in 1989. Moreover, her exceptional endeavors were further celebrated with the Golden Fleece Award from the Iowa Domestic and Sexual Abuse Association and the 1994 Gold Seal Award from the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Judge Mertz was also honorably recognized with an award from the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Judge Mertz attributes her success to her hard work and her genuine concern for others. She was drawn to her profession after being encouraged by her father, who had enrolled in law school prior to his service in World War II, and her husband, who had difficulty applying to veterinary school. Among the many highlights of her career, she is incredibly proud to have established a domestic violence project in her county while operating out of a private practice, and recalls presiding over a high-profile wrongful death case that was eventually featured on “Dateline” in 2017. In the coming years, Judge Mertz would like to shift her focus toward consulting work, appellate work or mediation while likewise considering becoming a senior judge.

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