By JAMES KRAMER
Jeff McGinness has traveled down that well-beaten path from NCAA wrestling champion to products liability attorney.
McGinness was an undefeated, four-time state champion at Iowa City High before winning two NCAA titles at the University of Iowa.
These days, McGinness, 35, is a partner at the Simmons, Perrine, Moyer and Bergman law firm in Cedar Rapids. He lives in Iowa City with wife Jami (Strauss, a former swimming standout at Cedar Rapids Washington) and three children.
McGinness has been back in Iowa for three years after six years at a Chicago firm.
“It’s nice to get back home,” he said.
In Chicago, McGinness’ work was more specialized. Now his practice is broader — everything from medical malpractice to construction law to business torts.
McGinness, who graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, used his brain and brawn as a wrestler. He wasn’t afraid to question legendary coach Dan Gable’s authority from time to time.
“That personality trait gave Gable some fits,” McGinness said. “Everybody (on the team) was different, but he could get greatness out of everybody.”
McGinness is involved with the Hawkeye Area Wrestling Klub (HAWK), a fan group co-founded by his father. He also helps out Iowa City West and Hawkeye wrestlers.
Other hobbies include golf, soccer, travel and wine (brother Bryan owns WineStyles in West Des Moines).
Many clients remember McGinness the wrestler.
“Most of the local ones know me. Wrestling is a big deal in the state. When I was in Illinois … not as big of a deal there.”