Todd Lantz’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, trial practice and appeals. He has successfully argued motions and tried cases in state and federal court on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. Todd is described as a five-tool player, which is a baseball term for a player who excels at every facet of the game.

Criminal Practice

Todd has successfully represented clients at every stage of a criminal investigation and prosecution. Todd has experience representing clients against criminal charges in federal and state courts, including charges for theft, embezzlement, wire fraud, mail fraud, antitrust violations, health care fraud, bank fraud, federal program fraud, environmental violations, ongoing criminal conduct/RICO, child endangerment, money laundering, possession of stolen property, social security fraud, possession/distribution of controlled substances, and witness tampering. Todd’s efforts on behalf of clients have included successful negotiation with prosecutors and, if necessary, achieving successful outcomes at trial and sentencing.

Highlights of Todd’s criminal practice include:

  • Serving as lead trial counsel in a federal jury trial and obtaining a judgment of acquittal on all counts (theft of government funds, social security fraud, and making a false statement).
  • Conducting long-term investigations of complex bank fraud allegations and presenting the investigation findings in order to persuade federal prosecutors not to seek criminal indictments.
  • Obtaining a judgment of acquittal following a jury trial for a woman accused of tampering with a witness in a separate criminal case.
  • Convincing a district court judge to impose a sentence of probation for a client who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $150,000 from a school district.

Civil Practice

Todd has represented clients in a wide variety of complex commercial disputes, including construction disputes (defective workmanship, defective design, delay, non-payment), business management disputes, business ownership disputes, real estate disputes, agricultural disputes, and employment disputes, to name a few. His clients have been individuals and companies as well as plaintiffs and defendants. Todd has advocated for clients in formal litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution (arbitration and mediation).

Todd has been on the winning side of two eight-figure jury verdicts arising from Iowa construction projects. The first arose from a 300-unit apartment complex that suffered from widespread construction defects and severe water intrusion problems. Todd first helped the owners fight a complicated lawsuit against the builder/developer and over a dozen subcontractors. After most of the parties settled, Todd pursued claims against a masonry subcontractor, obtaining a significant judgment following a bench trial, and then Todd served as lead trial counsel for the owner’s claim against the builder’s excess insurer. In 2014, after a three-week trial, a jury returned a verdict awarding over $12.4 million to Todd’s client, which was the full amount that Todd requested in his closing argument. Todd then successfully defended the judgment in the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court.

In 2018, Todd served as the second-chair on a trial team that obtained a $62.4 million jury verdict in favor of a Louisiana-based mechanical piping subcontractor against a large Egyptian contractor. The dispute occurred on a $3 billion fertilizer plant, which was the largest construction project in Iowa history. On only four months’ notice, Todd and other lawyers at The Weinhardt Law Firm were hired to try the case to an Iowa jury. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict awarding the full amount that the Firm’s client was not paid plus additional damages for the value of stolen tools and loss in business value and denying any recovery to the adverse party. The verdict was total vindication for the work performed by the Firm’s client on a very high-profile project.

History

Todd graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of Iowa before attending Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude. While at Harvard Law School, he received the Law Student Ethics Award from The Association of Corporate Counsel for his work related to disability law at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center.

Following law school, Todd served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Michael J. Melloy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and later joined Belin McCormick, P.C., a full-service law firm in Des Moines. At Belin McCormick he successfully argued motions and tried cases in state and federal court.

In March of 2013, he joined The Weinhardt Law Firm where his practice areas include complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, trial practice and appeals.

Community & Professional Activities

  • Iowa State Bar Association (Member)
  • Polk County Bar Association (Member, Chair of PCBA Bench & Bar Golf Tournament Committee)
  • Variety — the Children’s Charity of Iowa (Board Member, 2017–present)
  • Disability Rights Iowa (former Board Member, President, 2013–2017)
  • Autism Society of Iowa (former Board Member, 2011-2016)
  • Email: Todd Lantz
  • Direct: 515.564.5276
  • Office: 515.244.3100
  • Fax: 515.288.0407
  • Address:
    2600 Grand Avenue, Ste. 450
    Des Moines, Iowa 50312
  • Assistant: Michele Baldus
  • Direct: 515.564.5275

Education

Legal: Harvard Law School, cum laude, 2009
Undergraduate: University of Iowa, with honors and highest distinction, 2006

Practice Areas

Litigation: Complex Civil Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense, Trial Practice, Appeals

Admitted to Practice

States: Iowa

Federal Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit