Alan R. Ostergren
President and Chief Counsel
Alan served over 22 years in law enforcement before founding the Kirkwood Institute in 2020. He was elected Muscatine County Attorney in 2010 and reelected in 2014 and 2018. He served as an assistant county attorney for 13 years before being first elected. As county attorney, he was the chief law enforcement officer for his jurisdiction. He is a past President of the Iowa County Attorneys Association where he started a committee to file amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in litigation before the Iowa Supreme Court. Alan was also heavily involved in ICAA's legislative work, including leading a successful effort to reform legal procedures related to the collection of delinquent court debt. He has been a frequent witness at Iowa legislative hearings.
Alan's litigation experience has touched on many important constitutional law issues. He wrote an amicus curiae brief in Griffin v. Pate, an Iowa Supreme Court cases involving a challenge to provisions in Iowa law that prohibited felons from voting. The Court's majority opinion largely tracked with the originalist analysis of his brief.
Alan submitted another amicus brief in an important constitutional law case involving the extent of the privilege against liability for participants in a judicial process. The majority opinion of the Iowa Supreme Court in Venckus v. Iowa City used the legal analysis of his brief to hold that the privilege applied to the facts of the case.
As an attorney in private practice, Alan has litigated numerous cases about election law. He represented a variety of political groups in suits challenging actions by county auditors related to absentee voting and in intervening in a lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State to defend recently enacted legislation. Alan was also the lead attorney for a congressional candidate in state recount proceedings and in a challenge to the election result before the U.S. House of Representatives.
Alan's legal work and commentary has been featured in Iowa and national media. In January 2020, NBC's top-rated show Dateline featured his successful prosecution of a murder 26 years after the crime was committed. His work has also been profiled on the Oxygen Network's shows Murder for Hire and Snapped. Alan is a frequent legal commentator on WHO-AM1040's Simon Conway show. The Des Moines Register recently named Alan as one of its 2022 "People to Watch" for his impact on the Iowa legal community.
Alan is an honors graduate of Drake University School of Law. He received a B.A. from Grinnell College. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Iowa, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.