Smith Peterson Law Firm, LLP

Smith Peterson Law Firm, LLP
133 West Broadway
P.O. Box 249
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Phone: (712) 328-1833
Fax: (712) 328-8320
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Joseph D. Thornton

Joseph D. Thornton

Council Bluffs, Iowa
(712) 328-8320

Admitted to bar: 1984, Iowa; 1990, Nebraska. Education: University of Iowa, B.B.A., 1982; J.D. with distinction, 1984. Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Thornton's background in accounting provides a solid foundation for not only corporate and tax work, but also litigation. President, Young Lawyers' Division, Iowa State Bar Association, 1992 - 1993. President: Iowa State Bar Foundation Board of Directors, 2005 - 2007; Iowa Trial Lawyers Association; Iowa Defense Counsel Association; Medical Liability and Health Law Section Member; Iowa State, Pottawattamie County and Southwest Iowa Bar Associations.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1984

Areas of Practice

  • General
  • Trial Law

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Public Accountant

Bar Admissions

  • Iowa, 1984
  • Nebraska, 1990


  • University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa
    • J.D. - 1984
    • Honors: With Distinction
  • University of Iowa
    • B.B.A. - 1982

Representative Clients

  • Children's Square - USA
  • Care Initiatives
  • American Family Insurance
  • Employers Mutual Ins.
  • Allied Group Ins.
  • Heartland Properties


  • Nebraska Insurance Claims Seminar, Smith Peterson Law Firm
  • Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members, Children Square - USA
  • Employment Law Seminars, Childrens Square - USA

Honors and Awards

  • Iowa State Bar Young Lawyer Division Award of Merit, 1996

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Iowa State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, President, 1992 - 1993
  • Iowa State Bar Foundation, President, Board of Director, 2005 - 2007
  • Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Iowa Defense Counsel Association, Member
  • Iowa State Association, Member
  • Pottawattamie County Association, Member
  • Southwest Iowa Bar Association, Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • Legal Services Corporation of Iowa, 1990 - Present
  • Lewis Central Education Foundation Board

At the Council Bluffs, Iowa, law office of Smith Peterson, we represent clients in cities throughout Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska in Pottawattamie County, Douglas County, Sarpy County, Mills County, Harrison County, Cass County, Carroll County, Crawford County, Fremont County, Audubon County, Woodbury County, and Shelby County, including Missouri Valley, Red Oak, Glenwood, Atlantic, Avoca, Harlan, and Omaha, Nebraska.


The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.

A description or indication of limitation of practice does not mean that any agency or board has certified such lawyer as a specialist or expert in an indicated field of law practice, nor does it mean that such lawyer is necessarily any more expert or competent than any other lawyer. All potential clients are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered. This notice is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.