How it All Began
In 1926, Will J. Hayek founded what has now become the law firm of Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, LLP. Will was born in 1896 in Goosetown – the Czech immigrant neighborhood of Iowa City. Working at a local paint store, he put himself through both college and law school at the University of Iowa.
Will served in the First World War before he started his legal practice in 1926, and later returned to the military to serve in Second World War as well as the Iowa National Guard. He retired in 1960 with the rank of Brigadier General. He practiced law until his death in 1982.
John W. Hayek, son of Will, was born in Iowa City in 1941. John received a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. After graduation, John turned down an offer from a Wall Street law firm and returned to practice with his father in Iowa. While engaging in private practice, he served as First Assistant County Attorney of Johnson County from 1967 to 1970, as an attorney for Iowa City from 1974 to 1981, and as special counsel to the City of Iowa City for Urban Renewal from 1970 to 1990.
John dedicated significant time to the legal community. He was a member of the Sixth Judicial District Nominating Commission, the Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Committee, the Sixth Judicial District Bench-Bar Liaison Committee, the Sixth Judicial District Caseflow Management Committee, and the Iowa Supreme Court Grievance Commission. He was a fellow in the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers and a member of the Johnson County Bar Association (president 1982-1983), the Iowa State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Iowa Defense Counsel Association, and the Iowa Academy of Trust and Estate Counsel. He held a certificate as a civil trial advocate issued by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He also served as a member of the Iowa State Bar Association's Title Standards Committee and as past chair of the Law Practice Management section.
John also served the larger community in various capacities, including as president of Iowa City Noon Rotary and as a board member of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Johnson County Military Affairs Committee, Johnson County Historical Society, and Visiting Nurse Association. He was a lifelong member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City and held leadership positions within the church. He loved his family, his community, and his profession and was an example to all who knew him.