Michael Giudicessi, a prominent Des Moines attorney and one of the nation’s recognized First Amendment experts, is joining the Iowa Freedom of Information Council as its legal counsel, effective January 1, 2024.
Giudicessi retired at the end of December as a partner in the Des Moines office of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, an international law firm. He has represented the Iowa FOI Council during his long legal career, often on a pro bono basis, first as a staff attorney at The Des Moines Register and later in private practice.
In his new role, Giudicessi will be involved in providing legal advice to the Council’s executive director, Randy Evans, on matters throughout Iowa that the organization is monitoring. He also will be representing the Council on issues the organization decides to litigate and in writing amicus curiae briefs in which the Council offers its legal analysis in matters already in front of state and federal courts.
In 2017, in recognition of Giudicessi’s important contributions on First Amendment and public transparency issues, the National Freedom of Information Coalition inducted him into the national FOI hall of fame. The only other Iowan in the national hall of fame is Herb Strentz, the now-retired Drake University journalism dean who served as executive director of the Iowa FOI Council for nearly 25 years following its founding in 1976.