The son of a member of the United States Army, Harley was born in Berlin and has since lived in Germany twice, Massachussetts, and Wisconsin. He stayed in Iowa after graduating Drake University Law School in 1999. Before law school, Harley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1996. Harley has spent his law career exclusively handling civil litigation matters, first as a member of two small Iowa law firms, then on his own as a solo attorney. He founded Erbe Law Firm in July 2005. Harley usually represents individuals and small businesses in car accident, personal injury law, employment law, contract law, insurance law, and construction defect cases. Harley especially enjoys the challenge of pushing the law past its current boundaries and expanding legal rights. He has twice argued, in Wright v. Brooke Group Ltd. and Speight v. Walters Development Co., cases before the Iowa Supreme Court that resulted in greater protections for Iowa consumers. If there is a chance of changing the law so that a client has a claim when none had previously existed, Harley will drive the case forward as far as it needs to go. For example, the claims in the Speight case were rejected by two courts before it reached the Iowa Supreme Court, where, on his third try, Harley finally convinced a court that the law needed to be changed to protect more people than it originally had. He has argued and tried jury and nonjury cases in Iowa state and federal court, including a trial judgment of over $950,000 in a business dispute case and a $500,000 recovery in an insurance dispute regarding payment of accidental death benefits. Harley has also argued before the United States Court of Appeals, the Iowa Supreme Court, and the Iowa Court of Appeals. He was honored to have been a member of the National Trial Lawyer Association's Top 40 Under 40, an invite-only organization that includes only the top young trial attorneys in Iowa as nominated, reviewed, and accepted by their peers.
- Personal Injury
- Employment Law
- Insurance Claims
- Construction Law
- Animal & Dog Law
- Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
- Products Liability
- Northern District -- Iowa
- Southern District -- Iowa
- 8th Circuit
- 9th Circuit
- English: Spoken, Written
- Erbe Law Firm
- - Current
- Nelson, Erbe & Webster
- Walker Law Firm
- Drake University Law School
- J.D. / Law (1999)
- Honors: High Honors; Order Of The Coif; Drake Law Review
- Activities: Delta Theta Phi
- University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
- B.A. / Political Science (1996)
- American Inns of Court
- American Academy of Trial Attorneys
- National Trial Lawyers Association
- Iowa State Bar Association
- State Bar of Iowa, Member
- Erbe Law Firm
- Erbe Law Firm Blog
- Is Congress In The Early Stages Of Changing Federal Overtime Law?
6 October 2017
- Iowa Court Of Appeals Upholds $70,000 Verdict In Tree Damage Case
22 September 2017
- Can Overtime Paid Even When It's Not Owed Be Used As An Offset Against Improperly Withheld Overtime?
7 September 2017
- Iowa's Qualified Immunity From Private Nuisance Lawsuits For Animal Feeding Operations
25 August 2017
- Challenging Your Residential Real Estate Tax Assessment
10 August 2017
- It's Time To Stand Up To Mechanic's Lien Abuse In Residential Construction
27 July 2017
- A Bridge (Over Troubled Waters) Does Not Justify Contempt Punishment
13 July 2017
- Guilt By Association (Or Contract) Under The Americans With Disabilities Act
30 June 2017
- Shooting Down Some Common Employer Overtime Arguments
16 June 2017
- Q. Was just fired from a job for a having back problems. Dr requested I be put on light duty for 2 weeks. Was then fired
- A: The answer will depend upon the specific factual circumstances of your situation. You should schedule a meeting with an employment law attorney.
- Q. I have a land contract. The buyer is trying to force me to take full payment immediately.. Can he do that?
- A: This question can't be answered through this service. The contract would have to be reviewed. Details of the underlying situation would have to be gathered. To get competent, useful advice, you'll likely need to schedule a meeting with an attorney.
- Q. Is a business in Iowa obligated to pay out accrued PTO if an employee leaves the company?
- A: It depends on a few variables. My website includes several articles about PTO payouts upon termination. They might help you decide whether your employer's acting legally.
- Q. My vehicle was rear ended and I have received two tears in my rotator cuff area that will require surgery. should i get
- A: You absolutely need an attorney for injuries that significant. Otherwise the insurance company will just bat you around and try to walk you into an unfair settlement. I wrote about the risks of handling your own injury claim here: https://erbelaw.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/dealing-with-the-other-driver%E2%80%99s-insurance-company-in-car-crash-cases/
- Q. My car fell off tow truck because they didn't hook up correctly. The car hit me should i sue
- A: It depends. Both the towing company's liability and your injuries and damages need to be evaluated. You should schedule a meeting with a personal injury lawyer for an in-depth discussion of this situation.
- Q. What do you do if a neighbor applies chemicals to your property after you have told him not to
- A: It depends upon the damage to your property and whether it's worth pursuing a legal claim. More information is needed.
- Q. I am a truck driver for a small company. I am also 13 weeks pregnant.
- A: Possibly. More details regarding the employer's basis for both actions would be required to evaluate your situation. If the employer admits that those reasons had anything to do with your pregnancy, the next question is whether the employer was justified in taking the pregnancy-related action. Not all actions taken because of an employee's pregnancy are illegal.
- Q. My husband slipped and fell on a wet floor at the hotel we were staying at. He broke his elbow.
- A: The hotel's wrong. It's potentially liable for anything that happens on its property. The cleaning service might be liable too. Whether there's a case against either depends upon the specific facts of your husband's fall. To investigate this further, you'd need to schedule a meeting with a premises liability/personal injury lawyer for a more in-depth review.
- Q. My Mom was released from a nursing home and then she passed away -- I wasn't notified. Do I have a case?
- A: It's not clear from your question what you think you should've been notified of. That your mom was released from the nursing home? That she died? I'm quite sure that the nursing home would have had no obligation to notify you of your mother's death and, even if it did, that your damages for such a claim would be very limited. As to whether you should've been notified that your mother was being released, the nursing home's liability would depend upon the specific facts of the situation. You'd need to speak with a nursing home lawyer about that.