Thomas B. Read



Thomas B. Read was born in Des Moines, Iowa on April 7, 1949.

Tom has practiced law in Cedar Rapids for over 40 years.  He has represented numerous insurers and their insurends in auto, homeowners, dram shop, premises liability, and defamation cases.  He has defended businesses in lawsuits involving product liability, construction defects, workers’ compensation claims and other business-related matters such as breach of contract, interference with business relations and fraud.  He has represented insurance companies in cases involving defense of claims for insurance coverage for many types of coverages including pollution clean-up costs.  He has investigated over 50 fires and explosions at the scene, some of which were determined to have intentionally set.  He defended hundreds of asbestos claims.  Tom served as national counsel for a major exercise equipment manufacturer defending product liability cases nationwide.  He has served as local counsel in many lawsuits in Iowa.

Tom is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubble law directory and is listed in the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America – Litigation – Insurance.


  • Cornell College (B.A., 1971)
  • Drake University (J.D., 1975)

Bar Admissions

  • 1975 Supreme Court of Iowa
  • 1975 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
  • 1976 U.S. Tax Court
  • 1983 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
  • 1984 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • Admitted Pro Hac Vice for cases in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, Texas, and California

Practice Areas

Professional Memberships

  • Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • Linn County and Iowa State Bar Associations
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association (Board of Editors of the Defense Update 2007 – present, Chair 2014 – present, Recipient of the President’s Award 2015, Recipient of the Meritorious Service Award 2019)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Litigation – Insurance – 2016


  • Law Clerk to Hon. Robert C. Landess, Iowa Industrial Commissioner, 1974.


  • Casenote, 24 Drake Law Review 709
  • “Physical Contact Requirement in a Hit-and-Run Claim,” Defense Update (1995)
  • “Occupying the Vehicle — An Analysis for Defending UIM Cases,” Defense Update (1996)
  • “Iowa Defamation Law,” Defense Update (2008)
  • “The Restatement (Third), Duty, Breach of Duty and Scope of Liability,” Defense Update (2012) (with Kevin Reynolds)
  • “Changes to Civil Procedure Rules,” Defense Update (2015)

Reported Cases

  • Freeman v. Schmidt Real Estate & Ins., Inc. 755 F.2d 135 (8th Cir. 1985)
  • Poula v. Siouxland Wall & Ceiling, Inc., 516 N.W.2d 910 (Crt. App. Iowa 1994)
  • Great Rivers Co-op. of Southeastern Iowa v. Farmland Industries, Inc., 59 F.3d 764 (8th Cir. 1995)
  • Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. v. ACC Chemical Co., 538 N.W.2d 259 (Iowa 1995)
  • Hill v. Damm, 804 N.W.2d 95 (Crt. App. Iowa 2011)
  • Bryant v. Parr, 872 N.W.2d 366 (Iowa 2015)