About Us

Joseph A. Peiffer – Shareholder

Joseph A. Peiffer has focused his practice on business bankruptcy for more than 30 years, and established Ag & Business Legal Strategies (formerly Peiffer Law Office, P.C.) in 2016.

As someone who grew up on an Iowa family farm in Delaware County, Iowa, Joe Peiffer has a keen interest in agricultural law. He graduated from Iowa State University as the top graduate in his class studying Dairy Science, as well as Public Service and Administration. Peiffer received his law degree, with Distinction, from the University of Iowa.

During the farm crisis of the 1980s, Peiffer served as the law clerk for the busiest bankruptcy judge in the country. After that clerkship, he began representing family farmers to assist them with their financial problems. In addition to assisting with financial problems, Joe has: handled negotiations to split up farm businesses; sold farming operations on a going concern basis; represented farmers before the ASCS dealing with issues involving conversion of wetlands; litigated involving the sale of sows infected with pseudorabies; and appealed adverse rulings by ASCS regarding qualification for payment limitations by family farm units.

Since 1994, Peiffer has been certified in Business Bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification. He has been active in legislation, spearheading laws that make it easier and cheaper to place bankruptcy case records in Iowa’s county records. In addition, he served as legislative chairperson for the Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association.

Peiffer is licensed in both Iowa and Illinois. He welcomes new clients and enjoys helping businesses regain their financial footing.

Because of his own history in agriculture, Joseph Peiffer has a thorough understanding of agriculture. He can relate to your complex situations with knowledge and empathy. Once he hears about your unique operation, he’ll suggest practical solutions—solutions he’d offer his own family.

Alec J. Modrick – Associate

Alec has practiced law for four years in northeastern and eastern Iowa, with an emphasis on taxation and transactional work.  An Iowa City native, he earned degrees in Biology and Philosophy before attending and graduating from the University of Iowa College of Law. His time practicing in Charles City and Vinton offered him a glimpse of the small-town life that is daily life for many of our clients.  A former research scientist, he is detail oriented and meticulous in his methods.  When not working, Alec’s favorite hobbies include biking, creative writing, and home brew.

James H. Cossitt – Of Counsel

agriculture attorney

James H. Cossitt has practiced in Kalispell, Mont., since 1999 in the areas of bankruptcy & workouts, business & commercial litigation, real estate and construction law. His insolvency experience includes private practice and service as a bankruptcy attorney with the FDIC, a chapter 7 panel trustee, and as a chapter 11 trustee. Mr. Cossitt is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Montana, Colorado and Iowa, is board-certified by the ABC in both Business & Consumer Bankruptcy Law.

A frequent speaker to professional and trade groups on bankruptcy and related topics, Mr. Cossitt consulted with the Slovak Parliament and research institutes in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1993 on a USAID assistance program to draft a new bankruptcy law and the transition to a market economy. In 1995, he served as an invited lecturer at a Russian Bankruptcy School held in Ames, Iowa. Mr. Cossitt received his B.A., with distinction, in 1982 from Iowa State University and his J.D. in 1986 from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Cossitt works with Ag & Business Legal Strategies on a project basis

Keith S. Starr – Chief Financial Strategist

Keith Starr has been active in business and agriculture all of his life.  Having grown up near Keokuk, Keith went on to complete a degree in Agribusiness Economics from Southern Illinois University.  Along the way he also completed the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.    For 30 years of intensive banking, Keith helped farmers and business people achieve their dreams through well-structured and innovative loan programs.   He is familiar with IADA, FSA, and SBA programs.

Keith and his wife Joanne live in Charles City where Joanne remains active in the medical field.  Their three children, having graduated from Iowa schools, now teach, program computers, and work in business development.

When not working Keith can be found in his second term as a City Council representative for Charles City.    He is also active on various boards in the community and still finds time to fish and work with Boy Scout activities.

Hannah Hanser – Legal Assistant

Hannah Hanser is originally from Montana. She moved to Cedar Rapids Iowa in January of 2018. Some of her favorite hobbies include writing, research, travel, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, hiking, backpacking, camping, and recreational kayaking. While at work she sits quietly in her little hamster wheel, busily pecks away at her keyboard, and takes phone calls.

Jeff Brookens – Legal Assistant

Jeffrey Brookens

Having not previously worked in law, Jeff has worked consistently to become a very useful member of our team.  After two military contracts he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. These degrees have given him a deep knowledge of administrative practices and a passion for quality in systems.  When he is not in the office, Jeff can be found at home with his family, working outside in his workshop, or out somewhere fishing.

Jaida Schupp – Client Concierge

Jaida was born and raised in Cedar Rapids. She has studied Business Management and fosters a great love for business structure. It is her smiling face that you will see when you enter our office, or her cheery voice you will hear answering the phone when you call. When not in the office, Jaida loves spending time with her husband, two amazing children, and 3 dogs. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, and traveling whenever she gets a chance.

Mike Peiffer – Office Administrator

Mike handles much of what you don’t see when you come into the office. Accounts receivable, accounts payable, building maintenance, and supplies requisition are only some of the things he is in charge of.

When he is not at work, Mike can often be found cooking off-the-wall things, riding bike, traveling, or spending way too much time on the internet.