Diane L. Dornburg LinkedIn

Attorney in Des Moines, IA

Special Interest and Experience

Mediation of Custody and Divorce

Collaborative Family Law

Representation of Children in Custody or Divorce

Custody issues of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Domestic Violence

Parenting Coordinator

Specialized Training and Experience

Mediator of family law cases since 2000 (40+ hours of training, including mediation in cases with domestic abuse)

Iowa Academy of Collaborative Attorneys

License Foster Parent from 1990 to 2010

Lay facilitator of continuing care groups at Powell Chemical Dependency Center since 1985

Representation of low income clients in family law cases for more than 25 years through legal services programs in Des Moines, Muscatine and Ann Arbor

Parenting Coordinator training, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, June 2009.

Recent Seminars Presented

Iowa Association for Justice, 21st Annual Family Law Seminar, Legislative Update, Thursday, March 31, 2011

Iowa State Bar Association's Family Law Seminar where the topics of Custody Evaluations and 2010 Family Law Legislation and Prospects for 2011 were covered

Speaker at the Iowa Association for Justice 20th Annual Family Law Seminar, April 9, 2010

Frequent instructor at continuing education and community education events on family law topics, including substance abuse and domestic violence in family law cases, joint physical care, custody evaluations

Legislative Chair, Family & Juvenile Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association

Family Law Committee, Polk County Bar Association

Adjunct faculty University of Iowa School of Social Work (1980-97)

Adjunct faculty Drake Legal Clinic

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Polk County Bar Association - Member

Iowa State Bar Association - Member

Community Involvement

Walnut Street School Parent-Teacher Organization

Urbandale United Church of Christ

St. John's Lutheran Church

Diane L. Dornburg is an associate in the Carney Law Firm and has been practicing since 1976. Diane was born in Wheaton, Minnesota, and attended Gustavus Adolphus College, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in sociology in 1973. She attended The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and received her Juris Doctor in 1976. Diane was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1976 and the Iowa bar in 1977.

Diane provided legal services to low income persons in Ann Arbor, in Muscatine, Iowa, and in Des Moines, for over 25 years. She was an attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Polk County for most of that time, practicing primarily in family law. She has extensive trial and appellate experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, domestic abuse, and paternity. She has been the attorney of record in sixteen (16) Iowa appellate court cases, including Jorgensen v. Vargas, 627 N.W.2d 550 (Iowa 2001).

Diane is a mediator with the Polk County District Court Mediation Program, having fulfilled the 40 hour training requirement. She is qualified to mediate complex custody and divorce issues, including cases involving domestic abuse.

Diane taught Family Law in the MSW program at the University of Iowa School of Social Work for nearly twenty years. She co-authored the casebook for that class. She has been an adjunct faculty member at the Drake Legal Clinic, supervising clinical law students. In addition, she has been a speaker at a number of continuing legal education programs. She co-authored Family Law and Custody Issues: Family Violence and Substance Abuse, published by Lorman Educational Services, August, 1994.

Diane is a member of the Polk County Bar Association, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Family Law Committee of the Polk County Bar Association. She is also a member of the Iowa State Bar Association; she is the chair of the Legislative Committee of the Family Law Section and has been a member of the Family Law Section Council.

In addition, Diane has served as a volunteer facilitator of continuing care groups at Powell Chemical Dependency Center since 1985. She was a licensed foster parent for 20 years. She has served on the church council and various committees, as well as teaching a variety of classes. Previously she has served on the boards of non-profit corporations for the establishment of residential facilities for chemically dependent women and of Metro Women's Network.

Articles on Diane Dornburg

'Lawyer by day, super mom by night' in Iowa Lawyer magazine (pages 29-31), of Iowa State Bar Association, by Steve Boeckman, Editor

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Areas of Law

  • Family Law


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    Experience & Credentials



    Admission Details

    Admitted in 1976, Michigan
    1977, Iowa and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa

    Additional Payment Information
  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available
  • Law School Attended

    University of Michigan Law School
    Class of 1976

    University Attended

    Gustavus Adolphus College
    Class of 1973
    Sociology, magna cum laude

    Contact Information






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    Office Information
    Diane L. Dornburg
    400 Homestead Building 303 Locust Street,
    Des Moines, IA 50309-1762


    Carney & Appleby, P.L.C. (Des Moines, Iowa)

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