The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on March 5, 1989 · Page 11
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 11

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Sunday, March 5, 1989
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Page 11
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f f T 1 DES MOINES SUNDAY lUf.ISIfR D March 5, 1989 1 1 A Personal convictions drive Conlin's career 3 Continued from faye LA your life, blood and sweat, you get very fussy about who Is going to be president in coming years," said Robert Habush, a Milwaukee lawyer who was the organization's president in 1986-87. "I have no qualms at all about Roxanne being president. She's a leader, which is not a characteristic many people have. She is politically astute, and she's an excellent lawyer." Eugene I. Pavalon, a Chicago lawyer who was president of the association last year, said he was not surprised that Conlin was recognized as one of the nation's premier trial lawyers. "I have considered her for some time to be among the very top echelons of our field," Pavalon said. Her election as an officer of the lawyers' association was not because she is a woman, he said. "She's there because she's very capable and competent." ' To unwind from her whirlwind of activities, Conlin enjoys curling up with a good television program. "The Cosby Show," "Designing Women," "L.A. Law" and "Perfect Strangers" are her favorites. She knits baby clothes for her 9-month-old grandson, Devin, her first grandchild, while she watches TV. "An Escape From My Life" "It's an escape from my life and my job," Conlin says. Conlin and her husband, James Conlin, also have a tradition of week-Jy dates on Friday nights. They often go to "mindless movies, never one with a plot or one that requires any concentration," James Conlin said. They make a point of traveling for long weekends to places such as Lake Tahoe or New York City, where they enjoy seeing plays. They make a point of it because It is not uncommon for Roxanne Conlin to be gone for two weeks at a time or to fly to four cities in the space of a day or two. "I know where she is by looking at the travel itinerary on the refrigera tor," said James Conlin, who owns Equity Brokers Corp., a Des Moines real estate agency. The Conlins celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this month They married after a two-week courtship. " Their four grown children have left the nest empty. But the Conlins have four cats and a giant white Pyrenees dog named Susan B. Anthony Conlin Always an ardent feminist, Conlin displays a sign in her office that reads, "The Best Man for the Job is a Woman." She considered running for attorney general in the 1990 election, but has decided not to. Attorney General Thomas J. Miller, a fellow Democrat, is running for governor, so that leaves his job open. ;' Conlin said her law firm recently has taken a personal-injury case on behalf of 300 Iowans who she says have been poisoned by asbestos on the job, and she felt a responsibility to finish that case. Her decision could spell the end of her political life, she said. A well-worn stuffed donkey, the Democratic Party's mascot, sits on a shelf behind her chair, and political cartoons depicting her campaign for governor adorn her office walls reminders of a fast-paced political life in the not-so-distant past. "Very Sad" "Timing in politics is everything," Conlin said. "I hope I will know when the time is right. But it may never come again, and that makes me very sad. There are all kinds of things that are not in your control." Her husband is not as melancholy as Conlin is about the possibility of not returning to public life. He said it is "absolutely marvelous not to be living in a fish bowl" and would be happy to continue living their relatively private life. "I don't know how to put this delicately. But I think she's outgrown the job, both attorney general and governor," James Conlin said. "She's creating quite an opportunity for herself nationally in the field of law. She has some very deep concerns about set ting standards in the law for certain types of victims nationally, and she is making real contributions in that, particularly rape victims and personal-injury victims." William Knapp, chairman of Iowa Realty Co. and a Democratic Party activist, said: "She's still pretty young. I think she's smart in what she's doing. There's a time to make money, and she's in her most productive years." Making a Difference Conlin has said she dreamed of being governor so she could make a difference. Now, she says, she's making a different sort of difference as a trial lawyer by representing people who need legal help and often cannot afford it. "I only take cases in which I believe," she said. "I hope some of my jvork will result in doctors catching :ancer sooner by not ignoring women a ho say they have a lump in their reasL I hope farm machinery will be nade safer because of some farmers hat I represent that have no arms because they were twisted off. What trill law is all about is holding people iccountable for not acting reasonably." Her strong convictions and princi-iles make her important to her law irm. said her partner, Michael J. Jalhgan. ' Basically. I think the important fnng about having her as a partner is er a!ue system," he said. "People i iil had so much to do that day that dying would really mess it up J) Roxanne Conlin come first with her. Trial lawyers ought not to think only about themselves, and Roxanne helps us remember the public-service aspect of it. "She is not the kind of person who shoves her opinion on you. She is a person of extremely high principles, and some people don't like people with high principles. Roxanne knows what she thinks is right and what is wrong. I don't want her in the firm because of her name or because she ran for governor. I want her because she's a heck of a good lawyer." In her effort to help victims of rape and personal injury, Conlin is writing a book, "Rape, Robbery and Murder: What Civil Trial Lawyers Can Do to Help the Victims of Crime." It will be published by Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co. at the end of the year. She hopes lawyers will use it as a handbook. Kicking the Habit As she speaks, she sucks nervously on hard candy and chews gum, trying to relieve herself of the pangs of desire for a cigarette. She started smoking at age 14 and quit her two-pack-a-day habit three months ago. She always told herself if she ever noticed a symptom of problems from smoking, she would quit. When she huffed and puffed through the jitterbug to "Johnny B. Goode" at a campaign fund-raising event for her friend, Elaine Szymoniak, she decided her smoking days were over. Conlin's law office is in The Plaza, a downtown Des Moines condomium and office tower. Shelves were installed in the walls behind her desk to showcase her beloved African violets. Half of the room has lawyerly leather chairs and a big cherry desk, while the other half sports pink floral chairs and a feminine powder-blue sofa. Conlin's recent representation of former Des Moines police officer Deborah Lynch in a sexual-discrimination complaint against the city brought her much attention. In December, District Judge Michael J. Streit ordered the city to pay Lynch $10,000 in compensation and Conlin's legal fees, which were 1158,000. About $1 15,000 will go directly to her, she said. Des Moines Mayor John "Pat" Dorrian said taxpayers should not have to pay the bill, which is about $10,000 more than the combined sala ries of City Attorney Ivan Webber, his assistant and a police sergeant who worked on the case. The City Council appealed the matter to the Iowa Supreme Court. Conlin said she spent about 800 hours on the case and spent $25,000 of her law firm's money on expenses. She said the high legal fees were unnecessary because she tried repeatedly to settle the case with the city when her fees were about $3,000, and she would have settled the case for the $10,000 Lynch eventually got. "I was appalled by the fees, too. But by God, I earned it," Conlin said. "It's people like Debbie Lynch that my new career is all about. People like her need their rights protected but they can't afford to pay for it. It makes me feel so good that I could help her." NOTICE The Waring Juice Extractor advertised in today's Target sale section will not be immediately available. We will issue rain checks and fill them as soon as possible. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. TARGET Put money in your pocket! You can earn extra cash by carrying The Register in Des Moines neighborhoods Sign up now. CALL 284-823 1 ...today! 1 Presenting A PatioFurniture Sale AsBigAsAllOutdoors. In 1 mm . -vifk Pre-Season Sale Savings Up To 40. The best time to think about sitting on your patio or dec k? Now. Before everyone else does. Now, while the selections are at their best, you can choose from Homecrest, Brow n Jordan, Winston, Grosfillex, Meadowcraft and many more. Or special order in any style. Just 109? down holds your layaway until Mav 30. Or, 90-dav payment is same as cash. Sale ends Friday 31089. Des Moines 4347 Merle Hay Road 515276-1011 , Hlll.,11 l..,;,,l.l..U.....,-..l.IPIlIL.l..imi.l....W. 1-1.1 IU.II III II HI Ml 111 I II J-l..,.!,,! 11.1 ...! I.ll.lll III Ml Illl iH I Hill III I . . .., iTrajffiErrjs h. i - I. .-ni-n,.!.,. .Lin.....! i..,1...lM..iri H..I.HI ,., ..r.T r.,,-... ... i nil I , n ill m .mil 1 1 mi. u i,i.i..,i,i... i.ii.ftVIU f i mi i FLOW CITY Siehow ivc'vc srorun, M-F 10-8, Sat. lM, Sun. 12-5 For everyone who works hard at working out! VOIT Pro Series 4000 f2S" rfl. 199.99 Measures your v energy output. TUNTURI Executive Ergometer 24999SS rag. 299.99 Pedals and rows separately or together if? TUNTURI X-30 Executive Rower X-r, 13" wSr MARCY Monster 501 Weight Bench 109" rg. 149.99 EXCEL Brutus Olympian Bench 168" rag. 199.99 EXCEL Crunchboard rag. 32.99. .27.99 MLS BILLARD 110 lb. Cast Iron Weight Set 49" reg. 69.99 MARCY Monster 110 lb. Rubberized We,9MSet 999 rag. 129.99 EVERLAST 70 lb. Canvas Heavy Bag rag. 69.99 49 MARCY Leather Weightllfting Cloves rag. 14.19 21)00 mSt OFF rag. prices Entire Stock of Boxlna Cloves. Soeed Bags and Accessories Dumbbells 20 rag. prices GENERATION II Vinyl i 1199 20r rag. price Entire Stock of Wriit and Ankle Weight! a j ft 11 1 f 1 am m M If 1311 1 fWo U Ml , man OFF prices Entire Stock of Aerobicwear and Running Tights for women MARCY Monster Fastrac Easy-To-Use Abdominal & Home Gym S!eo9ly Unit SdiS?9 Fr..;derll Purchase the gym, tree standar and abdominal butterfly units and save a total of $110! Man w i ihs-.- jar mi. re. irt.n 20T?30OFF reg. prices Entire Stock of HERMAN'S Ultra Sweats 1 1 for Men & Women OFF reg. and orig. prices Selected Men's WARMUPS 30To50 H20(o301 II.JHU6UM.I IIIIUB1.I.HUI..UII1 iininpim f?TM J S&ri-'" "lii TRETORN Lite J v ' Tennis Shoes scL''' '' a1t' " J for women iirZ!ZrII.rt f2$Fiw, rag. 14.99 M"tr Jrf"Cf-"-Oivv Fastbreak Low rwl Z , Basketball Shoes Cf-,.A 7--, OC99 NIKE Men's Technocrat Hi Basketball Shoes 2 99 jZtjJ reg. 44.99 NIKE & SAUCONY Running Shoes for men & women NIKE a CONVERSE Tennis Shoes for men & women 34E REEBOK Men's Fitness Shoes -ii orig. 99.99 to 64.99 It" I iP "Obi 4 Mil! ' .t H f fliJ?! ':i I J I Stretch Fleece Shorts fF sMA U? 4799 00 OFF rag. and orig. prices Entire Stock of Women's Warmups W ft reg. 46.99 34.99 REEBOK A AVIA Walking Shoes for men A women Selected Women's Aerobic Shoes (store stock only) OAQ9 JF w. M reg. and erlg. 44.99 te 49.99 NIKE Men's Reactor Fitness Shoes 34 99 rag. 47.9 NIKE Women's Air Wlndrvnner Running Shoes 39 99 rag. 4-99 Men's and Women's Selected Tennis Shoes 29 99 erlg. 59.99 i.iLai. ' BROOKS Men's Integra Running Shoes 34 reg. 93.99 REEBOK 5900 or NIKE Air Pro Men's Basketball Shoes 3Q97 0 eF ertg. 64.99 Intermediate markdowns may have been taken. Not responsible lor typographical errors. Sale now through March 11. The Valley West Mall West Des Moines Lower Level, adjacent to Valley West Theatres 225-6111 aJKWCJUi ttaoess C40 '

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