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Professors Pearlman and Ruser

Pearlman and Ruser Appointed to Access to Justice Commission

24 May 2017    

Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican has appointed Professors Stefanie Pearlman and Kevin Ruser as members of the newly created Access to Justice Commission.  The purpose of the Commission is to “promote the Nebraska Supreme Court’s goal of providing equal access to swift, fair justice for all Nebraskans regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or language.”

The 24-member Nebraska Access to Justice Commission brings together representatives from all three branches of government, as well as community members, attorneys and legal organizations, educators, and representatives from organizations serving low-income Nebraskans and those with disabilities.  

The Co-chairs of the Commission will be Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Stacy, '91, and Nebraska State Bar Association Executive Director Liz Neeley.  The Commission is in the process of scheduling its first meeting, and will report regularly to the Nebraska Supreme Court.   

Jose Soto

Soto, '84, Named to Access to Justice Commission

24 May 2017    

Jose Soto, '84, has been appointed by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican as a member of the newly created Access to Justice Commission. The purpose of the commission is to “ensure every person access to justice as guaranteed by the Nebraska Constitution.”

Soto is vice president for Access/Equity/Diversity at Southeast Community College. He holds a law degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has been working at SCC for more than 25 years.

The 24-member Commission is comprised of representatives from all three branches of government, as well as community volunteers, attorneys, educators, and representatives serving low-income Nebraskans and those with disabilities. Appointments to the Commission expire in two years.

“I am honored to have been selected,” Soto said. “I see this as yet another opportunity to associate SCC and my office with the principles of access, equity and fairness.”

Co-chairs of the Commission are Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Stacy and Nebraska State Bar Association Executive Director Liz Neeley. The Commission will report to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Professor Denicola

Denicola Publishes Updated Casebook

19 May 2017    

Copyright, Unfair Competition, and Related Topics Bearing on the Protection of Works of Authorship, Twelfth Edition, co-authored by Ralph S. Brown and Robert C. Denicola, has been released.

The book emphasizes the fundamentals of copyright law while also providing comprehensive coverage of major contemporary issues such as digital dissemination, fair use, and service provider liability. Extensive coverage of areas related to copyright such as moral rights, unfair competition, and publicity rights distinguishes the book from other casebooks on copyright law. Traditional case and statutory analysis is supplemented by a rich collection of background materials that offer practical and policy perspectives on established doctrines and emerging issues. The book is manageable in size and organized to accommodate either a two-credit or three-credit course in copyright law. The new Twelfth Edition has been thoroughly updated and includes major Supreme Court decisions on patent protection for software-related inventions, the parameters of the public performance right, and the scope of copyright in useful articles, along with new court of appeals opinions on the scope of copyright protection for software, mass digitization, and fair use in education. New notes and background materials provide perspectives on the emerging visions for a new copyright statute.

This release marks the ninth edition that Professor Denicola has authored.

Professor Jack Beard

Beard's Article Published by University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law

15 May 2017    

Professor Jack Beard's recent article, Soft Law’s Failure on the Horizon: The International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, has been published by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Affairs. 

This article examines efforts initiated by the European Union to address key gaps in the legal regime governing outer space through a proposed “International Code of Conduct for Activities in Outer Space.” The draft Code, which continues to debated by the international community, is an example of a legally non-binding "soft law" instrument which also contains broad, indeterminate statements of principles. While soft law has made important contributions to the legal and administrative framework that governs space, the Code does not hold such promise. Instead, this article argues that the Code is a case study in the limitations of soft law, particularly when employed as a mechanism to regulate military activities and weapons in a highly insecure and contested environment like outer space. Moreover, it is notably ill-suited in this context and in its design to successfully address the critical problem of orbital space debris. As a soft law instrument with both soft law’s general limitations and its own particular shortcomings, the Code is an ineffective measure that distracts attention from more meaningful initiatives to reduce orbital debris while at the same time risking increasing tensions in space, diminishing the existing legal framework governing space activities, and negatively affecting the future development of space law.

Nebraska Law ACS

Nebraska Law ACS Chapter Featured as Chapter of the Week

15 May 2017    

The University of Nebraska College of Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society was featured as the national organization’s Student Chapter of the Week for the week of May 8, 2017. 

The Chapter was recognized, in part, for the impressive number and quality of events that were held at the College during the spring semester. These included:

  • The author of Failure of Justice: A Brutal Murder, An Obsessed Cop, Six Wrongful ConvictionsJohn Ferak, to talk about the wrongful conviction of six Nebraskans in the 1980s.
  • A panel discussion on First Amendment issues in Nebraska featuring Danielle Conrad and Amy Miller from the ACLU of Nebraska, and Professors Eric Berger, Richard Duncan, and Gus Hurwitz.
  • A discussion on Nebraska’s death penalty repeal referendum featuring State Senator Colby Coash, Professor Ari Kohen, Former Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood, and Lincoln attorney Bob Evnen.
  •  A judiciary panel consisting of Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the District Court for the District of Nebraska, Judge Riko E. Bishop of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, and Judge Linda S. Porter of the Lancaster County Juvenile Court to offer perspectives on politics and the judiciary, the gavel gap, and judicial elections.
  • Facilitated roundtable discussions including:
    •  “A Post–Election Reconstruction” with Professor Eric Berger.
    •  A legislative update featuring ACLU of Nebraska’s Executive Director Danielle Conrad.
    • “The Constitutionality of President Trump’s Executive Orders” featuring Professors Eric Berger and Matthew Schaefer.
    •  “Planned Parenthood and the Attacks on Reproductive Freedom” with Meg Mikolajczyk, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Publishes New Book on Customary International Law

24 Apr 2017    

Professor Brian Lepard has published a new book entitled Reexamining Customary International Law with Cambridge University Press.  The book, which Professor Lepard edited, takes on the complex issues and controversies surrounding the history, theory, and practice of customary international law.  It reexamines customary law’s increasingly important role in world affairs through contributions by leading scholars in the field. The book is part of the American Society of International Law Studies in International Legal Theory book series.

Professor Lepard authored three chapters in the book, including one on customary international human rights law.  The book also includes a chapter by Nebraska College of Law Professor Anna Shavers on the protection of women’s rights under customary international law, and a chapter by Nebraska College of Law Professor Frans von der Dunk on the customary international law of outer space.

Other contributors to the book are Michael Wood, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations International Law Commission on the Identification of Customary International Law, who wrote the Foreword for the book; J. Patrick Kelly; Fernando R. Tesón; Niels Petersen; Thomas Kleinlein; Jean-Marie Henckaerts; Els Debuf; Noora Arajärvi; and Sofia Michaelides-Mateou.

Lepard Book SigningProfessor Lepard and some of the other contributors participated in a book signing at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law in Washington, DC on April 13, 2017. More information about the book can be found at

Professor Lepard has previously published a number of books related to international law, including Customary International Law: A New Theory with Practical Applications, published by Cambridge University Press in 2010, and Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention: A Fresh Legal Approach Based on Fundamental Ethical Principles in International Law and World Religions.

Danny Reynaga

Reynaga Wins UNL Spirit of Service Award

20 Apr 2017    

Adolfo (Danny) Reynaga, 3L, received the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Spirit of Service Student Award presented by the UNL Center for Civic Engagement.  The award recognizes self-less service, for the good of others, and for the betterment of the community.

Danny was nominated for the award by Professor Adam Thimmesch. Professor Thimmesch wrote, “[Danny] learned the power of helping others and how to leverage his passion into greater participation than he could provide on his own. His selfless dedication to this program is truly remarkable. From the technical skills that he learned, to the ability to work directly with clients, and understanding the impact of service more generally, Danny should walk away from this as a better lawyer, community member, and all around person.”

Danny has coordinated the College of Law’s participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic for the last two years. He dedicated 18 hours to working with clients in addition to attending training courses and meeting with law students to encourage participation. In 2017, 21 law students contributed over 400 hours of pro bono tax service.  Additionally, Danny served as the VITA Chair for the 8th Circuit of the law students division of the American Bar Association. 

Dean Richard Moberly

Moberly’s Updated Workbook Released

19 Apr 2017    

Evidence in Context: A Trial Evidence Workbook, Fifth Edition, co-authored by Robert P. Burns, Steven Lubet and Richard Moberly, has been released.

Evidence in Context is designed to create a fully contextual understanding of the law of evidence. It contains two relatively detailed case files, quite similar to the material a trial lawyer may have as he or she approaches trial. The first file is a murder case where the issue is the identity of the killer and the defendant is the estranged husband of the victim. The second file is a civil action for defamation brought by a former employee against her very wealthy employer. The cases raise realistic and challenging issues in the law of evidence and allow for critical assessment of that law. They are followed by over three hundred problems for class analysis and discussion. These problems address the full range of evidentiary issues.

In addition, Moberly and co-authors Burns and Lubet released Problems and Materials in Evidence and Trial Advocacy, to be used in combined courses teaching both evidence and trial advocacy. The two volume work contains the material from Evidence in Context as well as over sixty exercises in trial advocacy based on the case files.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Nebraska Law Students Participate in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

17 Apr 2017    

Twenty-one Nebraska Law students volunteered as part of the Lincoln Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Coalition. Together, these law students contributed 400 hours of pro bono work since January – that’s the equivalent of nearly 18 straight days of pro bono work.

The VITA program offers free tax help to qualifying taxpayers. The work done this tax season helped 100's of families in the Lincoln community receive poverty-fighting tax credits.

Nebraska Law students who volunteered as part of the VITA program:

  • Sydney Aase
  • Audrey Bellew
  • Sarah Burghaus
  • Eric Dworak
  • Liz Flynn
  • Taylor Fritsch
  • Chris Giitter
  • Damon Hudson
  • Lyndsay Hurilla
  • Margaret Jackson
  • Jared Koch
  • Jennifer Leffler
  • Amara Meyer
  • Nick Meysenburg
  • Travis Phelps
  • Danny Reynaga
  • Max Rodenburg
  • Christine Seck
  • Emily Sisco
  • Julie Wertheimer
  • Elizabeth Workentine
Professor Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch’s Article Accepted By Temple Law Review

10 Apr 2017    

Professor Adam Thimmesch recently had an article accepted for publication in the Temple Law Review. The article, Tax Privacy?, evaluates the meaning of tax privacy in the context of several modern-day expansions of the Tax Code, the IRS’ enforcement of the tax laws, and the challenges that the modern world has brought for tax-data security. It draws upon privacy scholarship to explore and help define the meaning of tax privacy and to build an approach to better accounting for privacy interests in our modern tax system. 

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker's Article Published by Michigan Law Review

10 Apr 2017    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker's recent article, Complexity's Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future, has been published by the Michigan Law Review. The article offers a comprehensive approach to analyzing the modern American Indian land tenure system and explores particularly how the recent pattern of hyper-categorizing property and sovereignty interests into ever-more granular and interacting jurisdictional variables has exacerbated development and self-governance challenges in Indian Country.

Sheila Heen

The Cline Williams Build Your Character Program on Conflict Resolution

05 Apr 2017    


The Cline Williams Build Your Character Program on Conflict Resolution is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 from 12:10-1:10 p.m. Sheila Heen, co-author of the bestsellers Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most and Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It's Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You're Not in the Mood), will present “Thanks for the Feedback” at the College of Law.

Much of success in life - and certainly as an attorney - depends on your ability to build good working relationships and learn as fast as you can. And yet honest feedback can be hard to come by for a young attorney, or when it does it can be off-base, unfair and poorly delivered. This session will offer a framework for understanding our reactions to feedback, and the skills to drive our own learning - in our professional lives, and in our personal lives.

Sheila Heen is a Lincoln native and currently serves on the faculty at Harvard Law School.

Richard Moberly

Nebraska taps Moberly as dean of College of Law

03 Apr 2017    

Richard Moberly, the University of Nebraska College of Law’s interim leader for more than a year, has accepted appointment as its permanent dean.

Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman announced the appointment, which is pending approval by the Board of Regents, on April 4.

 “Richard Moberly is an energetic leader, experienced educator and recognized scholar who has forged a reputation of supporting and building excellence within the college, throughout the university and across the state,” Plowman said. “He has an exciting vision for Nebraska Law that will continue to elevate the college and the university. The state’s flagship law school is in excellent hands and I could not be more excited about the future.”

Moberly has taught at Nebraska Law since 2004. He was named associate dean in 2011 and had been the college’s interim dean since February 2016. He succeeds Susan Poser, who left the university in 2015 to become provost at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The appointment is retroactive to April 1.

 “I am excited to lead the College of Law and to continue to build upon its incredibly solid foundation,” Moberly said. “We are ideally positioned to thrive by expanding opportunities for our students, enhancing our connections to the rest of the university and the state of Nebraska and continuing to engage in scholarship that addresses legal issues across the country and internationally.”

Established in 1891, the College of Law is a prestigious regional institution with a growing national reputation. Many of the 31 faculty at the college are nationally known for their scholarship and law reform activities. The college provides more than 340 students with a rigorous and challenging education, and graduates compete well in national employment markets and pass the bar examination at rates above both the state and national averages.

In the past year, Nebraska Law was named the nation’s Best Value Law School for the second straight year by National Jurist magazine. The college has seen solid enrollment growth and opened the Marvin and Virginia Schmid Clinic Building, a 16,000 square-foot, $5 million, privately funded addition to McCollum Hall.

Nebraska Law has also launched The Underserved Law Opportunities Program, a partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha to encourage students in underrepresented communities to pursue a legal education; and the Rural Law Opportunities Program, in which Nebraska Law works with Wayne State College, Chadron State College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney to jointly recruit incoming freshmen from rural Nebraska to pursue legal careers outside the state’s metropolitan areas.

In addition to teaching evidence and employment law courses, Moberly is an active scholar who researches issues related to whistleblowing and the law of secrecy. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on whistleblowing, including research on national security whistleblowers and codes of ethics, as well as an empirical study of Sarbanes-Oxley retaliation claims.

He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, spoken internationally on whistleblower protection, and also co-edited The International Handbook on Whistleblower Research (2014). The U.S. Secretary of Labor has twice appointed Moberly to the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Upperclass law students have voted Moberly “Professor of the Year” twice and he has also won the College Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2014, the College of Law Alumni Council presented him with the Distinguished Faculty Award. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Writer: Steve Smith

Space Law Moot Court Team

Nebraska Law Team Places Second in Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition

03 Apr 2017    

The Nebraska Law team of Kevin Adler, 2L, Amy Swearer, 3L, and Nathaniel Woodford, 3L, competed at North American rounds of the International Institute of Space Law Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition last week. The team placed second overall in a field of 16 teams.

The team was coached by College of Law alumni Danielle Miller, '15, and Adam Little, '12. 

Amie C. Martinez

Martinez, '94, Achieves Board Certification in Family Trial Law by The National Board of Trial Advocacy

03 Apr 2017    

The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is pleased to announce that Amie C. Martinez of Anderson, Creager and Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O. has successfully achieved Board Certification as a family trial advocate.

Ms. Martinez is a member of a very select lawyers nationwide who has taken the time to prove competence in their specialty area and earn board certification by providing the consumer of legal services with an objective measure by which to choose qualified and experienced legal counsel.  With her certification, there are now two lawyers licensed in the state of Nebraska who are Board Certified in Family Law.  The elaborate screening of credentials that all NBTA board certified attorneys must successfully complete includes: demonstration of substantial trial experience, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency, attendance of continuing legal education courses, submission of legal writing documents, proof of good standing and passing of an examination.

Board Certification is the highest, most stringent, and most reliable honor an attorney can achieve.  Board certifications are the only distinctions awarded by nonprofit organizations.  The NBTA as well as all board certifying organizations are committed to safeguarding the public’s ability to choose a good attorney.

Amie C. Martinez earned her undergraduate degree in English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.  She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law graduating in 1994 with distinction.  She has served in a number of leadership roles on the local, state and national level and is a past President of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Alyssa Stokes

Stokes, 3L, Leads ASUN Student Court Decision

29 Mar 2017    

Alyssa Stokes, 3L, serves as the Chief Justice for the Student Court of the Association of Students for the University of Nebraska (ASUN). On Tuesday, March 28, the Court convened to hear the first and only issue to go before the Court this year.

The Daily Nebraskan, UNL’s student newspaper, filed a complaint to the Student Court against ASUN and Spencer Hartman is his official capacity as President of ASUN.

Stokes authored the opinion that reads in part, “The Court finds that giving the President the authority to reduce an appropriation, without explicit language permitting such action in the Bylaw, erroneously allows the President to legislate and substitute his will for the will of the legislative body of ASUN.”

Stokes’ term as Chief Justice ends on Wednesday, March 29.

Read the full opinion

Professor Blankley and mediation students

Nebraska Law Team Wins INADR Law School Mediation Tournament

27 Mar 2017    

The Nebraska Law team of David Pontier, 3L, Morgan Kristensen, 2L, and Brian Lisonbee, 2L, competed in the International Academy of Dispute Resolution law school mediation tournament during spring break. They took first place in the category of attorney/client representation and second place as mediators.

In addition to the team awards, Nebraska Law students also received several individual awards:

  • David Pontier – 3rd Place individual performance as mediator
  • Morgan Kristensen – 4th Place individual performance as mediator
  • Brian Lisonbee – 6th Place individual performance as mediator
  • Morgan Kristensen/David Pontier – 2nd Place individual performance as attorney/client
  • Morgan Kristensen/Brian Lisonbee – 7th Place individual performance as attorney/client
Professor Kevin Ruser with Kelsey Heino

New law clinic building dedication is March 31

24 Mar 2017    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will officially open the new Marvin and Virginia Schmid Clinic Building at McCollum Hall with a public dedication at 4 p.m. March 31.

The new facility provides easy access for clients seeking legal assistance and stresses the importance of skills training and experiential learning at Nebraska Law. The dedication is open to the university community and the public.

The 16,000-square-foot, more than $5 million addition to the home of Nebraska Law was funded with private donations to the University of Nebraska Foundation and is adjacent to the building’s main entrance. The space opened earlier this semester for use by all of Nebraska Law’s legal clinics – the Civil Clinic, Criminal Clinic, Immigration Clinic and Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic – which give students hands-on experience serving real-world clients.

The new building adds to Nebraska Law’s long-standing dedication to providing a complete legal education, said Kevin Ruser, professor of law and director of the college’s clinical programs.

“Our clinical programs provide students with those opportunities, by giving them hands-on experience in real cases involving real clients,” Ruser said. “This new facility enhances their learning experience by placing them in a highly professional setting in which they can collaborate with each other and clinical faculty, enhancing their ability to prepare themselves to represent clients at a high level of competence at the beginning of their legal careers.”

Designed by The Clark Enersen Partners, the new space features a reception area, private interview rooms to consult with clients, conference rooms and a mock courtroom. A classroom and faculty offices allow the four clinic directors to coordinate teaching. Desk space in a large open area accommodates up to 40 students, so they can trade ideas and consult on strategy without waiving attorney-client privilege.

Ruser will speak at the event, which also will include Chancellor Ronnie Green, Interim Law Dean Richard Moberly, and recent Nebraska Law graduate Roxana Cortes.

“Nebraska Law graduates will have received a rigorous education in the classroom on how to ‘think like a lawyer,’ and their training in one of our clinics will give them the opportunity to use that knowledge to actually ‘be a lawyer,’” Moberly said. “Thanks to the generous support of donors, such as lead gifts from the Marvin and Virginia Schmid Foundation, Dennis Weibling and Esther Beynon, students have a space to learn and grow into capable attorneys.”

The Marvin and Virginia Schmid Foundation of Omaha provided a leadership gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation for the new facility. Marvin G. Schmid earned an undergraduate degree from Nebraska in 1933 and juris doctor in 1935. Virginia H. Chain Schmid earned a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska in 1937. Over their lifetimes they provided generous support of the university, including endowed support for the law library, support for the library’s reading room in memory of their son, M. Brian Schmid, endowed and expendable law student scholarships and more.

A principal gift in support of the addition was provided by alumnus Dennis M. Weibling of Kirkland, Washington, who earned a master’s degree and juris doctor in 1977. Another principal gift was given from alumna Esther L. Beynon of Colorado Springs, who graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in education in 1950. Her parents, alumni Ira and Esther Beynon of Lincoln, attended Nebraska in the early 1900s with her father receiving a law degree in 1919.

Major donations for the project were provided by alumnus Deryl F. Hamann and his wife, Ramona Hamann, of Omaha; law alumnus John C. Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth A. Anderson, of Darien, Connecticut, and alumnus George H. Krauss of Omaha who received bachelor’s, master’s and a juris doctor degree. A major gift was also provided by the family of the late Hon. Donald R. and Janice C. Ross of Omaha who were Nebraska alumni, with Donald Ross receiving a juris doctor in 1948.

Nebraska law firms also provided financial support, including Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, Kutak Rock, and Rembolt Ludtke.

Written by: University Communications

Jenna Cope and Kari Schmitz

Cope, 2L, and Schmitz, 2L, Win Client Counseling National Championship

20 Mar 2017    

2Ls Jenna Cope and Kari Schmitz are the 2017 ABA Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition National Champions! 

The two competed at the American Bar Association Law Student Division’s National Client Counseling Competition at the University of Oklahoma School of Law on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, 2017.  After three preliminary rounds were completed on Friday, the team was in first place. Professor Lawson reported that the two, “never slipped from that competitive position,” and went on to win the championship on Saturday.

Every year hundreds of teams compete locally for the privilege of representing their schools at one of 12 regional competitions. In early February, Cope and Schmitz won the Region 8 competition at the University of South Dakota.

This is Nebraska Law’s 6th National Championship in the ABA National Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition. Their championship gives Cope and Schmitz the right to represent the United States and Nebraska Law in the International Client Consultation Competition at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.  

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill Receives John E. Weaver Award for Teaching Excellence

14 Mar 2017    

Professor Colleen Medill will receive the 2017 John E. Weaver Award for Teaching Excellence.  This award was established in 2008 to recognize University of Nebraska-Lincoln full professors who demonstrate sustained and extraordinary levels of teaching excellence and national visibility for instructional activities and/or practice.

Professor Medill is being recognized for her teaching contributions both at the University of Nebraska and in the community and federal judiciary arena. Professor Medill is nationally recognized in the legal academy for her innovative teaching techniques and is helping to change the way her colleagues across the country teach law students. Over 40 ABA-accredited law schools, including ten Big Ten law schools, use textbooks authored by Professor Medill.

Professor Medill will be recognized at the annual awards reception for faculty on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Clayton Yeutter

University honors the life of distinguished alumnus Clayton Yeutter, '63

09 Mar 2017    

University of Nebraska alumnus Clayton Yeutter died at his home in Potomac, Maryland, on March 4, 2017, after a 4-year battle with metastatic colon cancer.

He was born on Dec. 10, 1930, in Eustis, Nebraska, and went on to serve four U.S. presidents in a career spanning several decades. He earned all of his degrees at the University of Nebraska, including a Juris Doctor degree in 1963. After five years serving in the U.S. Air Force and expanding his farm operations, he completed a law degree and a doctorate in agricultural economics.

In 2015, Clayton announced a $2.5 million leadership gift commitment to help the university establish an international trade and finance institute. His goal was to enable the university to prepare skilled graduates for in-demand careers in global trade and finance. Gifts have also been received from companies and other individuals in support of the institute.

In Clayton’s honor, it has been named the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.

Clayton’s efforts, both in government and the private sector, have had a lasting impact on the worldwide economy. He served in three sub-cabinet posts and in three cabinet or cabinet-level posts: Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Trade Representative and Counselor to the President, the only Nebraskan ever to do so. 

He also spent several years as CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Returning to the private sector in 1993, Clayton joined what became Hogan Lovells, LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world, where he focused on trade issues.

The Yeutter family encourages memorial be directed to the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance Fund with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. Gifts may be online, and checks made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation may be sent to University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall Ste 300, Lincoln, NE 68508-2886. Include fund 01126990 on the check memo line.

For more information or assistance, contact Josh Egley, senior director of development, at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 800-432-3216 or

Clayton Yeutter’s obituary is provided by the Omaha World-Herald.

Written by: University of Nebraska Foundation

Timothy Engler

Engler, '76, Inducted in The American College of Trial Lawyers

09 Mar 2017    

Tim Engler, '76, was inducted as a fellow into The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) in Boca Raton, Fla. on March 4, 2017. Tim is a partner with Rembolt Ludtke and practices in the areas of business and commercial litigation, construction, employment, personal injury, including wrongful death, and has an active mediation/arbitration practice.

“Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. There are currently approximately 5800 members in the United States and Canada, including active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Judicial Fellows (those who ascended to the bench after their induction) and Honorary Fellows. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission.  The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. The College is thus able to speak with a balanced voice on important issues affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice.”

Tim Engler’s practice primarily involves helping both businesses and individuals resolve disputes through litigation, arbitration and mediation. He has jury trial experience, experience as an arbitrator and mediator, and he is one of eight Nebraska lawyers admitted to the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Most of his practice involves commercial disputes, personal injury, both plaintiff and defense, and employment litigation.

However, Tim’s experiences also include handling cases that involve class actions, patents and other IP cases, securities fraud, and RICO. Tim is very active in the Bar Association and currently serves as the President-Elect Designate of the NSBA.

Tim is a 1979 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law (JD) and a 1976 graduate of South Dakota State University (BS). When not practicing law, Tim enjoys playing golf and attending Nebraska sporting events.

Interim Dean Richard Moberly talks with students

Law partnership targets underrepresented students

07 Mar 2017    

A University of Nebraska College of Law and University of Nebraska at Omaha have launched a new program designed to encourage students in underrepresented communities to pursue a legal education.

The Underserved Law Opportunities Program is seeking qualified UNO freshmen, sophomores and juniors to participate in the program. To be eligible, students should be first-generation college students or bilingual, and must have a record of community service.

"The idea came from a conversation with a graduate of both our universities, who is currently practicing law in Omaha," said Richard Moberly, interim dean of the Nebraska College of Law. "There is no question that Nebraska has a need for bilingual attorneys and attorneys who will practice law in the public interest. This is an important step toward meeting that need."

Participating students will be accepted into the College of Law upon graduation if they maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA throughout undergraduate coursework and achieve a minimum score on the law school admissions test.

"Our state will benefit from this program just as much as our students," said Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at UNO. "Our hope is that these students will go on to practice law in underserved communities, meeting a pressing need of the greater Omaha metropolitan area and Nebraska as a whole."

Students enrolled in the program will be paired with a peer mentor and intern with a nonprofit organization that provides legal services. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend special College of Law programming and meet one-on-one with College of Law representatives.

Admission interviews will begin this spring. Students interested in participating in the program should email Benjamin-Alvarado at

The Underserved Law Opportunities Program is similar to the College of Law's Rural Law Opportunities Program, which partners with Wayne State College, Chadron State College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney to recruit students to pursue legal careers outside of the state's metropolitan areas. Read more about the rural law program here.

Professor Roger Kirst

Kirst to Receive Outstanding Legal Educator Award

01 Mar 2017    

Professor Emeritus Roger Kirst will receive the Outstanding Legal Educator Award from the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. This award acknowledges momentous contributions to the field of legal education by a legal educator. Professor Kirst served as a law professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law for over forty years. During that time he had an enormous impact on the fields of civil procedure and evidence, both in Nebraska and nationally. 

Jody Freeman

The 2017 Roscoe Pound Lecture

28 Feb 2017    

The 2017 Pound Lecture is scheduled for Friday, March 10th from 12:10-1:10 p.m. Jody Freeman, Archibald Cox Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will present “The Limits of Executive Power: The Obama-Trump Transition.”

Professor Freeman is a leading scholar of both administrative law and environmental law and has written extensively on federal agency regulation, climate change, energy and environmental policy, and executive authority. Professor Freeman’s book, Global Climate Change and U.S. Law (co-edited with Michael Gerrard) was published in 2015.

Professor Freeman served in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in 2009-10, where she was the architect of the president’s historic agreement with the auto industry to double fuel efficiency standards, launching the administration’s greenhouse gas program under the Clean Air Act. In her role, she also contributed to a host of initiatives on renewable energy, energy efficiency, transmission policy and oil and gas drilling, as well as the administration’s effort to pass climate and energy legislation. 

After leaving the administration, Freeman served as an independent consultant to the President’s bipartisan Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. She has been appointed to the Administrative Conference of the United States, the government think tank for improving the administrative and regulatory process, and elected the American College of Environmental Lawyers. In 2012, Professor Freeman was elected as an outside director of ConocoPhillips, where she serves on the public policy and compensation committees. 

During her presentation, Freeman will discuss the executive power President Obama used to accomplish many of his domestic and international policy goals, especially, in the area of climate and energy policy. What is the risk that a Trump administration will significantly repeal the Obama legacy. What are the legal constraints on roll-back and retrenchment, and what, as a result, is the lesson about the limits of Executive Power?

Professor Richard Duncan

Duncan's Article Published in Regent University Law Review

24 Feb 2017    

Professor Richard Duncan’s article Justice Scalia and the Rule of Law: Originalism vs. the Living Constitution was published in the Regent University Law Review.

The article’s abstract is below:

Justice Antonin Scalia's sudden death in February, 2016, was a great loss for his family, a great loss for his friends, and a great loss for the "Written Constitution" of the United States of America. We will have no more of his brilliant, witty, and pugnacious judicial opinions. Instead, we will have to settle for the body of work he left behind as his legacy. But, as one commentator has said, his opinions are "so consistent, so powerful, and so penetrating in their devotion to the rule of law"—the real rule of law, not the political decrees of judges creating the so-called "Living Constitution" "that one may take one or two almost at random and catch a glimpse of the great patterns of his jurisprudence, as well as flashes of his famous wit." Scalia was the greatest Supreme Court Justice of his generation, perhaps of all time. Professor Steven G. Calabresi, a former law clerk of Justice Scalia, recently said that "[Justice Scalia] is the most important justice in American history—greater than former Chief Justice John Marshall himself."' I will not dissent from Professor Calabresi's opinion. When Justice Scalia passed away, I lost the hero of my life in the law. But he lives on in his written words, a body of work that was designed to shape our understanding of the Constitution for generations yet to come. I love the pugnacious poetry of his opinions, particularly of his dissents. Margaret Talbot once referred to Justice Scalia's provocative style as "the jurisprudential equivalent of smashing a guitar onstage." And so it was. Justice Scalia was once asked why he took such pains to use memorable terms and provocative phrases in his Supreme Court opinions (particularly in his dissents), and he said that he wrote them this way for law students. If his dissents are provocative and memorable, they will appear in law school casebooks, and if they are in the casebooks, they will be read by law students who might well decide that his views about the original meaning of the Written Constitution are persuasive. This made him a Justice who wrote in the spirit of a teacher or professor of constitutional law, and in the long run, this pedagogical function will likely stand as his most significant achievement. Although some credibly believe that his greatest contributions to the law are in the area of statutory construction and the merits of textualism over legislative history, 12 for me, Justice Scalia's most important legacy is his work on originalism versus the Living Constitution and his persuasive conclusion that originalism is the "lesser evil." Together with former Attorney General Edwin Meese III and the late, great Judge Robert H. Bork, Justice Scalia was, in his own words, one of "a small hearty minority who believe in a philosophy called originalism" as an essential component of "a government of laws and not of men." To Justice Scalia, the text of the Written Constitution is law, and the duty of the Court is to interpret the constitutional text based upon its original meaning. The so-called Living Constitution is not law but rather clay in the hands of Justices who shape it to mean whatever they believe it "ought to mean." The purpose of this Article is to focus on the part of Justice Scalia's incredible legacy that concerns the so-called "Great Debate" in constitutional law between originalism and the Living Constitution. I will focus particularly on Justice Scalia's argument that the Living Constitution is the greater evil because it substitutes the rule of unelected judges for the rule of law. Importantly, Scalia's vision of original understanding originalism is not a vacuous call for total judicial disengagement. Rather, Scalia believed, quite simply, that the Written Constitution "says what it says and doesn't say what it doesn't say." When the Constitution speaks, it is the duty of the Court to practice judicial engagement and apply the Constitution's precepts to decide cases governed by its original meaning. When the Constitution is silent, however, it is the duty of the Court to practice judicial restraint and permit Congress and state legislatures to make laws within their respective powers.

Maggie Wittlin and Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch and Wittlin Named Professors of the Year

22 Feb 2017    

At the Meeting of the Minds event, Professors Adam Thimmesch and Maggie Wittlin were named the 2017 Professors of the Year. Each year, the SBA hosts the event and administers nominations for the Professor of the Year Awards. The current 1L students nominated Professor Wittlin and upperclass students nominated Professor Thimmesch.

Daniel Dawes

Dawes, '06, Receives Families USA Health Equity Advocate of the Year Award

21 Feb 2017    

Families USA issued the following news release:

Families USA announced today that Daniel Dawes, executive director of government affairs and health policy at Morehouse School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia, and author of "150 Years of Obamacare," will receive this year's Health Equity Advocate Award in honor of his exceptional advocacy and commitment to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities and achieving health equity for all.

"Daniel has been on the front lines of every important health care battle of our time, and he has been tireless in his fight to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized populations get the quality health care they deserve," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. "He's truly an inspiration for all of us who believe health care is a right, not a privilege."

The award will be presented Friday, Feb. 17, at an awards luncheon on the second day of Families USA's 22nd Annual Health Action Conference.

Besides his work at Morehouse, Dawes is a lecturer on health law and policy at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. He is also the co-founder and Principal Investigator of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN), which is a national network of health equity champions in virtually every state and territory.

He was also an instrumental leader in shaping the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. Senate, where he founded and chaired the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform, which worked to ensure that the Affordable Care Act included measures to address the disparities in health care and health status among racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, women, children, LGBTQ individuals, and other vulnerable groups in the United States. In 2016 he published "150 Years of Obamacare," which provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the decades-long health equity, mental health, and health reform movements coalesced to produce the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Dawes also serves on several boards, commissions, and councils focused on health equity and health reform. He is also the author of several publications.

Mr. Dawes holds a JD from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ryan McIntosh

McIntosh, '14, Accepted into Nebraska Water Leaders Academy

10 Feb 2017    

Ryan McIntosh of Nebraska City has been accepted into the Nebraska Water Leaders Academy, a one year program that provides leadership training and educates participants about the vital role of rivers, streams and aquifers play in the economic sustainability of the state.

McIntosh is an associate attorney with Mattson Ricketts Law Firm in Nebraska City. He earned a B. A. in political science (2010) and a J. D. (with distinction; 2014), both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A project of the Water Futures Partnership-Nebraska, Academy sessions feature classroom as well as field trip experiences presented by acknowledged experts in leadership and natural resource topics held at locations across the state.

The Water Leaders Academy is partially funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and more than 25 other organizations and individuals.

More information can be found at

Rick Kubat

Kubat, '02, Accepted into Nebraska Water Leaders Academy

10 Feb 2017    

Rick Kubat of Omaha has been accepted into the Nebraska Water Leaders Academy, a one-year program that provides leadership training and educates participants about the vital role of rivers, streams and aquifers play in the economic sustainability of the state.

Kubat, government relations attorney with the Metropolitan Utilities District of Omaha earned a B. A. in political science at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio-1998). He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law.

A project of the Water Futures Partnership-Nebraska, Academy sessions feature classroom as well as field trip experiences presented by acknowledged experts in leadership and natural resource topics held at locations across the state.

The Water Leaders Academy is partially funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and more than 25 other organizations and individuals.

More information can be found at

Brock Wurl

Wurl, '10, Named Partner at Norman, Paloucek, Herman, and Wurl

10 Feb 2017    

Brock D. Wurl,’10, was named partner at Norman, Paloucek, Herman, and Wurl Law Offices in North Platte where he has worked since graduating from the College of Law. Brock’s primary areas of focus are personal injury, workers’ compensation, real estate litigation, adoption, and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Women Leading Image

Nebraska Law to host women’s leadership conference March 3

02 Feb 2017    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will host the Women Leading in Law, Business and Philanthropy Conference on March 3.

The goal of the conference, which will be from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., is to provide a space to learn about how women are and have been effectively leading in their respective communities. What have been the challenges of being women in those areas? What have been the advantages? These questions and many others will be the focus of sessions related to the women’s work in the judiciary, government, private business and philanthropic organizations.

"This conference is a tremendous opportunity to learn from women who have had remarkable success and from the varying experiences these women have had as leaders in their respective fields,” said Molly Brummond, assistant dean for student and alumni relations at Nebraska Law. “Our hope is that everyone who attends leaves with a greater understanding of how women are and have been effectively leading, of the challenges women face in different work environments, and of the skills, approaches and perspectives women bring to the table that benefit law firms, government agencies, and both nonprofit and for-profit businesses.”

The day will open with a keynote from Linda Bray Chanow, executive director of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Panels will focus on women in private practice, government, business, and the judiciary. A plenary session focuses on women leading in philanthropy and features panelists Susie Buffett, Dianne Lozier, Joan Squires and Lyn Wallin Ziegenbien.

The event is free for students and $50 for others. Lunch is included, thanks to a sponsorship from the Women in the Law Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association. More information and registration information can be found here.

Witten by: University Communications

Matthew Luhn

The Baylor Evnen Build Your Character Program on Communications

23 Jan 2017    

The Baylor Evnen Build Your Character Program on Communications is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th from 12:10-1:10 p.m. Matthew Luhn, writer, story consultant, and creative writing instructor, will present “Storytelling in Law & Business” at the College of Law.

Matthew Luhn is not a lawyer, but knows something about influencing through the art of storytelling. He is a writer, story consultant, creative writing instructor and keynote speaker with over 25 years' experience creating stories and characters at Pixar Animation Studios, The Simpsons, and beyond.  

Alongside his story work at Pixar, Matthew also trains CEO’s, marketing teams, directors and other professionals how to craft and tell stories.

During his keynote, "Storytelling in Law & Busines," Matthew will train attendees how to develop stories and write  to create compelling stories that move audiences to action.

Matthew's story credits include Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), Cars (2006), Ratatouille (2007), UP (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), Monsters University (2013), Toy Story of Terror (2013), Toy Story That Time Forgot (2014), and other films and TV shows currently in development.

Matthew's career began at 19 years old, as the youngest animator to work on The Simpson TV series. His TV credits on the The Simpsons include Kamp Krusty (1992), Lisa's Pony (1992), Homer Alone (1992), Colonel Homer (1992), Homer Defined (1992), and Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk (1992).

Professor Justin (Gus) Hurwitz

Hurwitz Named Co-Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program at the College of Law

17 Jan 2017    

Professor Justin (Gus) Hurwitz has been named the co-director of Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program, effective January 1, 2017. Hurwitz will work alongside the program’s current director, Professor Matthew Schaefer and the program’s executive director Elsbeth Magilton, to continue growing the telecommunications and cyber components of the program as it continues into its second decade. 

While building on the foundation that is already in place, Hurwitz’s initiatives will focus largely on telecommunications and cyber law, including substantial focus on cybersecurity and interdisciplinary work at the intersection of law & policy.

“Gus has proven himself to be key in building the telecommunications and cyber aspects of our curriculum,” Interim Dean Richard Moberly said. “His willingness to champion initiatives aimed at growing this program will help move the College forward in these important fields.”

Hurwitz joined the College of Law faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor of law. His work builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. In 2015 the National Law Journal named Hurwitz a Cyber Security & Data Privacy Trailblazer.

Professors Duncan, Medill and Shoemaker

Nebraska Law Professors Participate in Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting

11 Jan 2017    

Professor Rick Duncan served as the official delegate of the University of Nebraska College of Law to the AALS House of Representatives. In addition to his responsibilities as a College delegate, Professor Duncan moderated a panel of scholarly works in progress on Friday, January 6, 2017.


Professor Colleen Medill was one of three nationally recognized teachers who spoke at a program sponsored by West Academic to showcase how faculty can incorporate professional skills training in large first year Property courses.  The program, entitled Reinforcing Student Understanding of Substantive Property Law through Skills Exercises, also featured Professor Tanya Marsh of Wake Forest University and John Sprankling of McGeorge University. Professor Medill’s presentation demonstrated how she incorporates transactional drafting and negotiation exercises into her Property course using her book, Developing Professional Skills: Property.


Professor Jessica Shoemaker was an invited speaker at the Agricultural & Food Law Section program at the AALS annual meeting. Professor Shoemaker’s talk, “Food, Agriculture, and the Future of American Indian Land Tenure,” previews her current work on transformational property system reforms. 

Ross Gardner

Gardner, '08, Named Principal at Jackson Lewis P.C.

10 Jan 2017    

Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce Ross Gardner, '08, has been elevated to Principal of the firm’s Omaha office. Mr. Gardner represents management in all aspects of traditional labor law and employment litigation. He also has extensive experience in other areas of traditional labor law as well, including collective bargaining negotiations, desktop advice and Section 301 lawsuits.

Jessica Feinstein

Feinstein, '06, Named Principal at Jackson Lewis P.C.

10 Jan 2017    

Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce attorney Jessica Feinstein, '06, has been elevated to Principal of the firm's Omaha office. Ms. Feinstein specializes in representing U.S. and
multi-national companies in employment based immigration.

Kristen Hassebrook

Hassebrook, '11, Named Executive Director of AFAN and WSA

10 Jan 2017    

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) and We Support Ag (WSA) are excited to announce the hiring of Kristen Hassebrook as Executive Director. Hassebrook, has been selected to lead the combined coalition of AFAN and WSA, beginning February 1.

As AFAN and WSA look to restructure and collaborate more deeply, Hassebrook will be a great addition to provide strategic vision, administrative insight and development as we look to continue to grow livestock in Nebraska. “We look forward to working with Hassebrook on the development and growth of these organizations,” Lori Luebbe, AFAN President stated, “Her background and experience lends itself well towards our mission and the livestock industry.”

The announcement of Hassebrook as Executive Director also coincides with a focus on greater collaboration between AFAN and WSA to benefit livestock growth in which her talents and experiences in the policy and political arenas will help to shape a pro-agriculture and pro-livestock growth agenda.  Pete McClymont, President of WSA said “We’re thrilled to have Kristen share her leadership and expertise with AFAN and WSA. Kristen has wide spread respect from those that have worked with her throughout her professional career.”

Hassebrook comes to this position from the University of Nebraska Foundation, where she was the Director of Development for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resource.  Prior to that she served as Vice President of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for Nebraska Cattlemen.  Hassebrook is a native Nebraskan and grew up on a diversified farm and feedlot. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska College of Law.

As Willow Holoubek finishes her final days as the AFAN executive director, she conveys confidence in the decision of hiring Hassebrook. “I am so excited about Hassebrook joining the AFAN team and what it means for the future of this organization,” said Holoubek. “With her background in law and her passion for agriculture, I believe that she will be an excellent fit to grow WSA and AFAN.”

Story by: Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska

Jordan Glaser

Glaser, '11, Named Partner at Peters Law Firm

09 Jan 2017    

Jordan T. Glaser, ’11, was named a partner at the Peters Law Firm in Council Bluffs, Iowa where has worked since graduating from the College of Law. Jordan devotes his practice entirely to litigation, specifically in the areas of personal injury, workers' compensation, criminal defense, and dissolution of marriage.

Professor Robert Schopp

Schopp’s Article Published in QUT Law Review

21 Dec 2016    

Professor Robert Schopp’s article Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Coercive Interventions, and Human Dignity was published in the QUT Law Review Special Issue on Current Issues in Therapeutic Jurisprudence.

Therapeutic Jurisprudence pursues the reform of legal rules, procedures, and roles in order to promote the well-being of those affected without violating other important values embodied in law. This paper requires analysis of those relevant values and of the significance of those values for the most justified approach to defining and pursuing individual and public well-being. The analysis presented here provides a preliminary example of such an analysis that addresses human dignity as one value relevant to the most justified application of police power and parens patriae interventions to individuals with mental illness.

Dan Torrens

Torrens, '96, Joins Righi Fitch Law Group

20 Dec 2016    

Dan Torrens, '96, has joined Righi Fitch Law Group in Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Torrens, who is of counsel to the firm, is a civil litigator who practices in the area of personal injury, commercial litigation, and ADR. He remains a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill appointed to federal employee welfare, benefit council

13 Dec 2016    

Nebraska Law Professor Colleen Medill has been appointed to a three-year term to the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, known as the ERISA Advisory Council, by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

Perez announced the newest members, who represent the interests of labor, management and the public, on Dec. 12. He said the members joining the council “are uniquely qualified to help it accomplish its goals. Their expertise will be a valuable complement to the department’s mission to protect workers’ benefits.”

Medill, who joined the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2004, is a nationally recognized expert in the area. She is an elected fellow at the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Her ERISA textbook, “Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy And Practice,” is used in more than 40 law schools.

She regularly speaks at national conferences on the responsibilities of employers and the rights of employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Affordable Care Act, and previously testified as an invited expert witness before the ERISA Advisory Council in 2014 on trends in fiduciary plan administration and the outsourcing of ERISA fiduciary duties.

The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Members serve staggered three-year terms. Three members are representatives of employee organizations (at least one of whom represents an organization whose members are participants in a multi-employer plan). Three members are representatives of employers (at least one of whom represents employers maintaining or contributing to multi-employer plans). Three members are representatives of the general public. There is one representative each from the fields of insurance, corporate trust, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, investment management and accounting.

Medill was appointed to represent the interests of the general public.

“Everyone expects that the Trump administration will bring change to Washington, and that change is likely to impact, directly or indirectly, the regulation of retirement and health care plans sponsored by employers for their workers,” Medill said. “My role is to bring an objective, balanced perspective to the regulatory policy issues that the council studies and to make sure that the public has a voice in the process.”

The group will next convene in March in Washington, D.C.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker Joins Great Plains Research Inaugural Editorial Board

06 Dec 2016    

In the most recent edition of Great Plains Research, Professor Jessica Shoemaker was announced as one of ten scholars invited to serve a three-year term on the journal’s inaugural editorial board. Great Plains Research is a peer-reviewed journal that began 25 years ago. Under the direction of new Editor-in-Chief Peter Longo’82, the journal will continue to publish “excellent research on a range of topics relevant to the Great Plains region,” while striving to be more engaging and supportive of work that defies disciplinary classification.

Additional information about the future of Great Plains Research is available here:


Professor Eric Berger

Berger Reacts to Death Penalty Referendum Results

05 Dec 2016    

Following the results of the death penalty referendum on November 8th, Professor Eric Berger spoke to media outlets regarding the future of the death penalty protocol in Nebraska.

Media coverage is available below.

Associated Press

Omaha World-Herald

KHGI Nebraska TV

BYC app on iPhone

BYC App Recognized by Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism

28 Nov 2016    

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism emphasizes that “effective lawyering is more than just being able to read and analyze cases.” It is with that emphasis that the Commission has recognized the Build Your Character app and Nebraska Law’s focus on professional development.

The Commission praises the Build Your Character app, the first of its kind at a law school in the United States, saying, “to say it is revolutionary would be an understatement.” 

Read the full article:

Learn more about the Build Your Character program and the supporting mobile app:

Alex Engelkamp

Engelkamp's Article Published by Foundation for Economic Education

08 Nov 2016    

Professor Hurwitz asked students in his Law & Economics class to identify a podcast that focuses on a policy issue and submit a piece that considers it from an economic angle. For 3L Alex Engelkamp that issue was the availability of breast milk in our free-market economy. 

Engelkamp’s article Why Is There No Market for Breast Milk? was recently published by the Foundation for Economic Education. The article considers the shifts in supply and demand, and the potential political implications of a “milk” market. 

Professor Eric Berger

Berger Featured in Omaha Daily Record Article

07 Nov 2016    

Professor Eric Berger was featured in an Omaha Daily Record article titled, Law Professor Had a Unique Opportunity To Clerk for Not One, but Two Judges Nominated for the Supreme Court. The article disccusses Berger's time at various Courts and private practices before he became a professor at Nebraska Law.

Read the full story.

Professor Jack Beard

Beard Elected to American Branch of the International Law Association Board of Directors

01 Nov 2016    

Professor Jack Beard was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) during the organization’s most recent annual meeting in New York.  Prof. Beard has played a prominent role in ABILA activities on the national level for several years and continues to also serve as the Chairman of the Committee on the International Use of Force.

The International Law Association (ILA) was founded in 1873 and is the preeminent international non-governmental organization (NGO) for developing and restating international law. The ILA, headquartered in London, has consultative status as an international NGO with various UN specialized agencies and is organized into forty-five national and regional branches; the American Branch, which was organized in 1922, is one of the largest. Members include government lawyers, individuals working for international organizations and nongovernmental organizations, business people, private practitioners, and academics

Professor Eric Berger

Berger's Article Published in Washington Law Review

31 Oct 2016    

Professor Eric Berger’s new article, Gross Error, was recently published by the Washington Law Review.  The article critiques the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Glossip v. Gross, upholding Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol.  More specifically, the article contends that the Supreme Court’s ruling was premised on various sorts of deference.  Upon closer examination, each instance of deference was, at best, highly questionable and, at worst, simply incorrect. 

Jon Krop

The Woods & Aitken Build Your Character Program on Identity

24 Oct 2016    

The Woods & Aitken Build Your Character Program on Identity is scheduled for Wednesday, November 2nd. Jon Krop, the founder of Mindfulness for Lawyers, will present two workshops encouraging the practice of mindfulness. A introductory workshop will be held from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium, with an advanced mindfulness workshop being held from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Krop graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, and Brown University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After law school, he clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Krop is an associate at a public-interest law firm in New York City.

Krop has taught mindfulness to partners and associates at Chadbourne & Parke, Dentons, DLA Piper, Foley Hoag, Foley & Lardner, Kirkland & Ellis, Nixon Peabody, Sidley Austin, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He teaches a mindfulness workshop every semester at Harvard Law School. He has also taught at Brooklyn Law School, NYU, and General Electric.

Krop has practiced mindfulness for over a decade and has studied with teachers from around the world, including the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan master Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and western teachers Gerardo Abboud, Elisha Goldstein, PhD, Trudy Goodman, PhD, and John Yates, PhD. Krop has sat numerous meditation retreats, including a seven-month silent retreat with meditation master and neuroscientist John Yates.

Project Homeless Connect

Civil Clinic Students Participate in Project Homeless Connect

21 Oct 2016    

Six senior-certified law students from the Civil Clinical Law Program volunteered at Project Homeless Connect on Thursday October 20, 2016. Project Homeless Connect is a one day event to promote awareness and provide services to the Lincoln homeless community. Law students helped guests with general legal questions, background checks, and drafting petitions to set-aside past criminal convictions. Students connected with more than 30 guests and drafted 11 set-aside petitions for filing in 4 different counties. Professor Sullivan, who supervised the program, thought the event was an all around success, "The students provided a valuable service to individuals in need while gaining experience applying the knowledge and skills acquired in law school."  Coordinating the program were students Anna Rempel and Sara Berggren, who run the Clinic's Criminal Set-aside Project.  Working the booth with them were students Adam Kauffman and Christine Seck from the Clinic's Veterans Advocacy Project and Jaclyn Klintoe and Mariana Moguel from the Clinic's Pro Bono Project.  

Professor Ryan Sullivan

Sullivan’s Article Published in the Nebraska Law Review

20 Oct 2016    

Assistant Professor Ryan Sullivan’s article Stolen Profits: Civil Shoplifting Demands and the Misuse of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 21,194 has been published by the Nebraska Law Review.  Professor Sullivan co-authored the article with recent law graduates Daniel Gutman and Chris Schmidt.  The article reveals systematic abuse by retailers and debt collectors in their attempts to collect “civil penalties” from those accused of shoplifting – in addition to criminal sanctions already imposed.  The practice has developed into a multi-million dollar industry that preys on minorities and the disadvantaged.  The article suggests changes to the law that would curb the abuse and improve judicial oversight.      

Berger Weighs in on Nebraska Death Penalty

19 Oct 2016    

At a recent press conference Professor Eric Berger, along with State Senator Colby Coash, spoke on behalf of Retain A Just Nebraska, an organization advocating for the end of the Nebraska death penalty.

 Media coverage is available below.

Omaha World-Herald


Lincoln Journal Star

Associated Press

Lincoln Journal Star

Scottsbluff Star Herald

Nebraska Radio Network

Nebraska Law named nation’s best value

Nebraska Law Named Nation’s Best Value

13 Oct 2016    

For the second year in a row, the University of Nebraska College of Law is the No. 1 best-value law school in the nation.

The National Jurist, which along with its sister publication preLaw magazine is the leading news source in legal education, released its best-value rankings this week. The publication again tapped Nebraska with its top ranking -- this year, Nebraska Law led a list of 58 "best-value" law schools.

The university also was tops in the nation last year. It was No. 2 in 2014.

“This ranking takes into consideration the factors that should be given the most weight by prospective students: bar passage rates, employment rates and the cost of receiving the education,” said Richard Moberly, Nebraska's interim law dean. “At Nebraska Law, we provide an educational experience that focuses on developing the skills necessary to pursue a professional legal career in today’s world.”

Those skills range from the more traditional ones associated with legal training – analytical thinking, research and writing – as well as what some consider "soft" skills like empathy, negotiation, listening and networking, Moberly said.

“We believe this holistic approach sets Nebraska Law apart and better prepares our students for a wide range of career paths that they are free to pursue because they leave with a manageable debt load,” he said.

The methodology behind the ranking takes into account bar passage rate, true tuition costs, post-graduation employment rate, cost of living and average indebtedness. The employment rate is weighted heaviest in the calculation.

In March, U.S. News & World Report also ranked Nebraska Law No. 57 of 149 law schools. In four years, the college has climbed 32 spots in those annual rankings.

Written by: Steve Smith, University Communications

Debbie Foster

The Build Your Character Program on Planning and Organizing Featuring Debbie Foster

06 Oct 2016    

The Build Your Character Program on Planning and Organizing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18th. Debbie Foster, a nationally recognized thought leader on efficiency and innovation in professional legal organizations, will present a series of programs at the College of Law.

“Communication Breakdown, It's Always the Same (But It's Avoidable)”
October 18 | 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Room 113 

“Power of Process - Why and How to Put Process into Your Daily Tasks”
October 18 | 12:10-1:15 p.m.

“Carpe Diem - Seize Opportunities to Make Change (aka How to be a Good Leader)”
October 18 | 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Room 113

 “Keeping Your Clients Happy and Coming Back for More - Defining Value In Your Firm”
October 18 | 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Room 113

Foster’s 20+ years of experience, and mix of strategic management and strong leadership skills, has enabled her to develop a unique ability to work with law firms and legal departments to help them navigate the ever-changing legal services delivery landscape. 

Foster has been working with law firms and legal departments since 1995, originally implementing software solutions ranging from practice management and time/billing/accounting to document management. This quickly led to her helping solve general law office management issues.  It became abundantly clear that in addition to helping clients with their software and technology, what was really needed was help thinking about one’s firms and departments like a business, and running them accordingly.

Foster is very active in the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association, and is currently serving on the Publication Board.  She was the Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 and remains very active in TECHSHOW. Foster is also very active in Local and State Bar Associations as well as the Association of Legal Administrators, and she regularly speaks on topics relating to technology, management, finance and marketing of a law firm.

Bobbi Rank, '99

Rank, '99, Appointed to South Dakota's Sixth Judicial Circuit

06 Oct 2016    

Bobbi Rank, '99, was appointed as a circuit judge in South Dakota's Sixth Judicial Circuit by Gov. Dennis Daugaard. 

Rank and her family will relocate to her hometown of Winner to succeed Judge Kathleen Trandahl, who is retiring later this week. The Sixth Circuit includes Bennett, Gregory, Haakon, Hughes, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Todd and Tripp counties.

For the past five years, Rank has served as general counsel to the South Dakota Department of Education. Prior to that, she served for eight years as an assistant attorney general in the offices of Attorneys General Larry Long and Marty Jackley. Rank also spent three years in private practice at May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson in Pierre, and was a law clerk for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

#45 Best Law School

Nebraska Law Named #45 Best Law School by Business Insider

15 Sep 2016    

The University of Nebraska College of Law has been named the #45 best law school by Business Insider

"The Business Insider rankings provide a unique perspective on law schools because of its emphasis on educational outcomes, such as bar passage and employment rates," said Interim Dean Richard Moberly." Nebraska Law students shine in those areas, which reflects well on the education they receive here."

The publication’s methodology takes into account employment statistics, bar passage rate, tuition cost and median LSAT score, placing the highest weight on employment outcomes.

See the full list of best law schools here:

Rob Hotz, 94

Hotz, '94, Designated Lawrence Lasser 2016 Tax Judge of the Year

14 Sep 2016    

Rob Hotz, '94, has been designated the Lawrence Lasser 2016 Tax Judge of the Year by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the National Conference of State Tax Judges.  Hotz has served on the Planning Committee of the National Conference of State Tax Judges for each of the last seven years.  The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an independent, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to help solve global economic, social, and environmental challenges to improve the quality of life through creative approaches to the use, taxation, and stewardship of land.  The National Conference of State Tax Judges meets annually to review recent state tax decisions, consider methods of dealing with complex tax and valuation disputes, and share experiences in case management.

Hotz was reappointed by Governor Pete Ricketts to continue to serve as the First Congressional District Commissioner for the Tax Equalization & Review Commission until January 1, 2022.  Hotz graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1994.  He is also a member of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary.

Professor Eugene Volokh

The 2016 Lane Lecture Featuring Professor Eugene Volokh

14 Sep 2016    

On Tuesday, September 27th from 12:10-1:15 p.m., the 2016 Lane Lecture will feature Professor Eugene Volokh presenting "Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in American Universities".

Are freedom of speech and academic freedom in real danger at modern American universities? What are the legal rules protecting campus speech, and the limits on those rules? This lecture will canvass the subject in detail.

Professor Volokh is the Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. Volokh teaches free speech law, tort law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, and a First Amendment amicus brief clinic at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before joining the faculty at UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Kristen Blankley

Blankley's Article Published in Creighton Law Review

14 Sep 2016    

Associate Professor Kristen Blankley’s article The Ethics and Practice of Drafting Pre-Dispute Resolution Clauses has been published by the Creighton Law Review.  This Article is part of a larger symposium on ethics for transactional lawyers.  The Article considers lawyers’ ethical duty to advise clients of ADR options even before disputes occur, and the Article gives practical advice on how to draft an effective ADR clause.  

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard to Unveil “Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions” in Montreal on September 15

09 Sep 2016    

On Thursday, September 15, 2016 Professor Brian Lepard will help unveil a “Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions” at a major conference held at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, Canada.  The conference is entitled “Third Global Conference on World’s Religions After September 11.” The program for the conference, including Professor Lepard’s unveiling of the Universal Declaration, is available online. 

Speakers at the conference will include influential experts and activists in the field of world religions and interreligious dialogue, such as Dr. Arvind Sharma of McGill University, who is convening the conference; Deepak Chopra; Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; Dr. Harvey Cox; Dr. Karen Armstrong; Dr. Susannah Heschel; and Dr. Charles Taylor.   

The Universal Declaration is intended to complement the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948.  The objective of the new document is to articulate a common religious perspective on human rights that emphasizes the positive contribution that religions and their followers can make to the full realization of human rights.  Nobel Peace Prize laureates His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madam Shirin Ebadi, Bishop Belo of Timor-Leste, and Professor Elie Wiesel are patrons of the project for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions. 

Professor Lepard assisted in drafting the document, along with many other scholars and religious leaders. He was interviewed last year about the current status of human rights and the world’s religions.

Professor Lepard is the author of numerous books and articles on international law, human rights, world religions, and ethics, including Hope for a Global Ethic: Shared Principles in Religious Scriptures (Bahá’í Publishing, 2005), Customary International Law: A New Theory with Practical Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and Reexamining Customary International Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016).


On Thursday, September 15, 2016 Professor Brian Lepard helped unveil a “Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions” at a major conference held at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, Canada.  

In unveiling the Declaration, Professor Lepard declared before a crowd of about 500 attendees:  “This new declaration is proposed not as a replacement for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights [of 1948], which has played such an important role, but rather as a complement to it.  Its purpose is to articulate a common religious perspective on human rights that emphasizes the positive contribution that religions and their followers can make to the full realization of human rights.”  A video of the conference presentations, including Professor Lepard’s presentation during the afternoon, can be found here (the introduction to his talk begins at 45:30).   The text of Professor Lepard's remarks is also available.

Nobel Peace Prize laureates His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madam Shirin Ebadi, Bishop Belo of Timor-Leste, and Professor Elie Wiesel are all patrons of the project for a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions, and Madame Ebadi delivered a message to the conference by video.

Professor Brian Lepard, Dr. Daniel Cere, Dr. Arvind Sharma, Dr. Vivian-Lee Nyitray, and Dr. Amir Hussain, principal drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions
From left to right: Professor Brian Lepard, Dr. Daniel Cere, Dr. Arvind Sharma, Dr. Vivian-Lee Nyitray, and Dr. Amir Hussain, principal drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions

Professor Lepard assisted in drafting the document, along with many other scholars and religious leaders.  While in Montreal, he was interviewed about the document by Montreal radio station Radio Ville Marie in French as part of an hour-long program on the conference.  During the interview, Professor Lepard discussed the significance of September 11, 2001 in regard to religions and human rights, why a Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions is necessary and relevant, and some of the unique features of  the declaration that distinguish it from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  A recording of the program, which was broadcast on September 25, can be found here.

Professor Brian Lepard during his radio interview with Radio Ville-Marie


Gat Ramdiet

Nebraska Law Community Participates in Lincoln Paint-a-Thon

25 Aug 2016    

On Saturday, August 20, 2016, Nebraska Law students, faculty, and staff helped paint four houses for disabled and/or low-income elderly Lincoln residents as part of the Lincoln Paint-a-Thon. In total, fifteen professors, nine administrators, three staff members and over 100 students participated in the event.

BuildUP Nebraska, a local non-profit organization and Nebraska Law Entrepreneurship Clinic client, presented the Lincoln Paint-a-Thon.

Dr. Arin Reeves

The Gradwohl Family Build Your Character Program on Cultural Competency Featuring Dr. Arin Reeves

22 Aug 2016    

On Wednesday, September 7th from 12:10-1:00 p.m., the Gradwohl Family Build Your Character Program on Cultural Competency will feature Dr. Arin Reeves presenting "The Next IQ". Dr. Reeves is a leading researcher, author, and advisor in the fields of leadership and inclusion. Her book, "The Next IQ: The Next Generation of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders", focuses on inclusion, unconscious biases, and bias interrupters and was a best-seller upon its release in January 2012. She has been featured on NPR for her work and is cited often in online and traditional media as an expert in her field.

Following the lecture, Dr. Reeves will facilitate "The Next Step", a workshop to further the understanding of "The Next IQ".

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley's Article Accepted by Gonzaga Law Review

16 Aug 2016    

Associate Professor Kristen Blankley’s Article, Is A Mediator Like A Bus?  How Legal Ethics May Inform The Question of Case Discrimination by Mediators, has been accepted for publication in the Gonzaga Law Review.  This Article grapples with the important question of whether mediators can decline appointments on the ethical basis of bias even when the basis for refusing the work is based on a protected classification.    

Nate Bray

Bray '16, Published by ABA Forum on Construction Law

11 Aug 2016    

Nathaniel Bray, '16, was named a finalist in the 2015 ABA Forum on Construction Law Student Writing Competition for his article Project Counsel in an Online Construction Industry.  The full article as featured in the Forum's Summer 2016 newsletter.
Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley Appointed to Council for the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution

09 Aug 2016    

Kristen Blankley has been appointed to serve on the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.  Being appointed as a Council Member is an honor, and Professor Blankley is looking forward to her new leadership role in the Section of Dispute Resolution.  In addition to this position, she will continue to serve as co-chair of the Ethics Subcommittee.

Civil Clinic Student & Client

Civil Clinic Students Host 2nd Annual "Wills for Heroes" Event

30 Jul 2016    

On July 29, 2016, the Civil Clinic held its second annual “Wills for Heroes” event at the VA Hospital in Lincoln.  Civil Clinic students Dan Christiansen, Bryan Gelecki, Amara Meyer, Jerad Murphy and Eric Synowicki provided advice and drafted basic estate planning documents for local veterans.  In its initial run in 2015, Professors Ryan Sullivan and Kevin Ruser, and three students served 14 veterans and their spouses.  Due to an increase in demand, this year’s program was expanded to five students who served 22 veterans and their spouses, drafting 76 estate planning documents.  Veterans who were unable to get an appointment for the event were put on a list and will be assigned to Civil Clinic student teams in the Fall and Spring semesters.  

Colleen Medill

Medill Featured in Experiential Learning Summit

25 Jul 2016    

Professor Colleen Medill was a featured presenter at the Experiential Innovation Summit: Incorporating Skills Throughout the Law School Curriculum, an invitation-only conference sponsored by West Academic Publishing held July 18-20 at West ’s corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.  The purpose of the Summit was to gather together law school faculty who are nationally recognized leaders in experiential learning for three days of presentations, brain-storming, and informal conversations on the latest trends in curriculum reform and professional skills training for law students.  Professor Medill’s presentation focused on overcoming the perceived obstacles to incorporating legal skills exercises in large section doctrinal courses.  Her presentation explained various techniques that can be used to assess student performance on negotiation, drafting, and client counseling skills exercises for first year law students.  Professor Medill is the creator and series editor for West’s Developing Professional Skills book series, and the author of Developing Professional Skills:  Property, which she uses to teach professional skills in her first year Property course.

Build Your Character

Nebraska Law Launching Build Your Character Mobile App in August

25 Jul 2016    

In Fall 2015, the College of Law began working with a Design Studio team at the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. The team of seven students developed a mobile application to help College of Law students organize and record their participation in various BYC activities.  

Read more about the Build Your Character mobile app in this National Jurist article

Nebraska Law

Nebraska Law Named #4 Lowest Debt Law School

25 Jul 2016    

The University of Nebraska College of Law has once again been named one of the top 10 law schools with the lowest debt according to U.S. News and World Report. Nebraska Law comes in at #4 with an average debt load of $58,744 for the class of 2015, which is nearly half of the average debt for the class of 2015 nationwide.
Civil Clinic Students Travel to Scottsbluff

Civil Clinic Students Travel to Scottsbluff for Advance Directive Clinic

20 Jul 2016    

On July 20, 2016, Civil Clinic students Jerad Murphy, Dan Christensen, Bryan Gelecki, Leslie Remus and Amara Meyer set off on a 3-day trip to Scottsbluff to facilitate an Advance Directive Clinic (ADC) for seniors citizens in the Panhandle area. As part of the project, these Clinic students prepared 95 estate planning documents and served 30 clients. The Clinic has facilitated these Advance Directive Clinics for seniors throughout Nebraska since the fall of 2013. The project is a collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Legal Aid. Since the inception of the project, Civil Clinic students have drafted over 900 estate planning documents for over 200 clients in the following locations: Beatrice, Bellevue, Columbus, Cozad, Fremont, Hastings, North Platte, Omaha, and Scottsbluff. This fall, Civil Clinic students will travel to McCook for another ADC.
Alex Lierz

Lierz Named Civil Clinic Student of the Year

20 Jul 2016    

Alex Lierz, '16, was chosen to receive the Outstanding Civil Clinic Student of the Year Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.  In the letter announcing the Award, Professors Kevin Ruser and Ryan Sullivan detailed the reasons for Ms. Lierz being selected, which included her demonstrated excellence in the fundamental skills all lawyers must possess: problem solving, legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, factual investigation, communication, counseling, negotiation, litigation, organization and management of legal work, and recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas.  In addition, Ms. Lierz’ work on behalf of her clients exhibited the professional values central to the practice of law: provision of competent representation, professional self-development, and a striving to promote justice, fairness and morality and to improve the legal profession.  Ms. Lierz’ name will be inscribed on a plaque that lists the names of all previous Civil Clinic students who have received this award. 

Roxana Cortes

Cortes Receives Pat Gies Award

20 Jul 2016    

Roxana Cortes, '16, was selected by the Civil Clinic staff and faculty to receive the Pat Gies Memorial Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.  The Pat Gies Memorial Award is given annually to a Civil Clinic or Immigration Clinic student who exemplifies the personal and professional attributes of Pat Gies, a former staff person in the Civil Clinic.  The Award states the criteria for selection:

Pat Gies worked as a part-time secretary in the Civil Clinic from August, 2000 until her death in March, 2002.  Although she was only in the Clinic a short time, Pat left an indelible impression on those with whom she worked.  Her professional and personal attributes were an inspiration to all who knew her.  Pat was an accomplished and dedicated co-worker.  But she was much more than that.  At a time when the legal profession bemoans the lack of civility, Pat exemplified it.  In a setting where friends can be elusive, Pat was a friend to everyone.  In a world too often lacking in kindness, Pat was consistently and genuinely kind.  This award is established to honor Pat’s memory by selecting a Civil Clinic student each year who personifies the virtues Pat brought to her work and to her life: those of professional excellence, civility, collegiality and kindness.

Ms. Cortes’ name will be inscribed on a plaque to be kept in the Clinic offices, which lists all past award winners.

Construction Rendering

Clinic Construction on Schedule

20 Jul 2016    

Construction of the new wing that will house the Civil, Entrepreneurship, and Immigration Clinics continues.  At the present time, it is anticipated that construction will be completed in mid to late November, 2016.  The Clinics will move into the new wing in time to begin classes for the spring semester of 2017.  Since 1983, the Civil and Immigration Clinics have been housed in the Welpton Courtroom building.  The new Clinic space will allow the Civil, Entrepreneurship, and Immigration Clinics to operate out of one space, and will provide updated facilities out of which the Clinics will operate.  Follow the construction progress.
Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Named Recipient of the Binning Award for Excellence

18 Jul 2016    

Professor Brian Lepard is the 2015-16 Recipient of the John H. Binning Award for Excellence. This award is provided annually to a professor who excels in teaching, research or public service.  This year, Professor Lepard published two book chapters, a book review, updates for a tax book, and completed the manuscript for an edited book with the Cambridge University Press. As impressive as his productivity is his breadth as a scholar in that he writes expansively about human rights, tax law, comparative religion, and Baha'i principles and the law. Professor Lepard also put a great deal of effort into his teaching this year by adding skills exercises and providing individualized feedback in all of his classes, even to his class of one hundred 1L students in International Perspectives. Professor Lepard also serves as the Director of the LL.M. in Global Legal Practice Program, which he is working hard to grow and develop. 

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill Named Recipient of the Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence

18 Jul 2016    

Professor Colleen Medill is the 2015-16 Recipient of the Ray H. Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence. This Award is an annual award chosen on the basis of demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, academic promise, and achievement related to the fulfillment of the research and teaching mission of the University of Nebraska College of Law. The donor for this award gave this gift to commemorate the life of the donor’s father, Ray H. Bunger, who was a lifelong devoted supporter of the University of Nebraska. He sent his three sons to the University of Nebraska for varying periods and several of his grandchildren also received education at the University. He firmly believed that “a good education is something that can never be taken away from you.” He was President of the Franklin County School District #44 and Secretary of the Board of Upland COOP Credit Association.

This past year, Professor Medill placed two articles with highly respected journals, the Iowa Law Review and the peer-reviewed Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal. She also gave a variety of presentations throughout the region and the country. She is nationally recognized in (at least) three different academic areas – ERISA, Property, and Legal Skills – because of the quality of her written work in each of these areas. And, she is fast developing a fourth – the Affordable Care Act  which will be wonderful for the Law College’s attempts to grow its health care curriculum. Moreover, by all accounts, Professor Medill excels at teaching. Not only is she one of the most popular professors at the law school, but also she is one of the most innovative. Professor Medill's nationally-recognized work to bring skills into doctrinal classes has paid dividends for her students as she relentlessly searches for ways to turn them into lawyers. Finally, Professor Medill has engaged the faculty in an important conversation about developing learning outcomes across our curriculum and she has helped put Nebraska Law at the forefront of this national effort. 

Professor Adam Thimmesch

Professor Thimmesch Discusses the Legal Issues Raised by Pokémon Go

14 Jul 2016    

Pokémon Go has grown in a short period of time to be a worldwide phenomenon. Over 7 million people in the U.S. alone have downloaded the application, the application has more daily active users than Twitter, and Nintendo stock has surged, adding roughly $7.5 billion to the market value of the company. The game’s popularity is staggering, but follows the incredible success of other applications like Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, and Fruit Ninja. What makes Pokémon Go different, though, is its use of technology to take players out into the real world. Pokémon Go users do not sit on their couches. (Except those who lazily use incense to draw Pokémon to them.) Instead, they go out into the community seeking out Pokémon, Pokéstops, and Pokémon Gyms. The application uses “augmented reality” to place these attractions in the real world, and is the first mainstream game to use the technology to this degree of success.

It is the augmented reality aspect of Pokémon Go that has caused some significant problems, though. Users have found themselves causing traffic accidents or personal injury. Users have stumbled upon dead bodies and have caused calls to the neighborhood police. Pokémon Go thus not only takes users out into the real world, but it brings real world issues into the gaming world. As with any other new technology, this causes some tension—both with how existing laws apply to that technology and at how the technology might change existing law. So what are the potential legal issues raised by Pokémon Go? There are many, and they range from the very real to the theoretical, and these issues will give legal enthusiasts material to discuss for as long as the augmented-reality craze lasts. The material below introduces some of these issues and questions.

 Property, Tort, and Criminal Laws Still Apply. Property owners generally have a right to exclude others from their property, and that doesn’t change if a Pikachu happens to “appear” on their lawn. Gamers who walk onto private property in the quest to “catch ‘em all” can face charges for trespass. Pokémon Go trainers who are driving, riding, or walking and playing are likely incredibly distracted and can cause significant injury to themselves or others. Negligence laws might apply to make individuals liable for any damages that they cause while distracted by the Pokémon Go app. Some are questioning whether the application’s developers could also be held liable for these violations. It is the developer that directs individuals to those locations after all. The bottom line is to think and to be careful. Real world rights and responsibilities still exist within the Pokémon Go universe. 

Users whose actions go too far can also face criminal sanctions. Trespass can be a crime, and that should not be taken lightly. Some locations—like UNL’s Memorial Stadium—are providing users with special access for Pokémon hunting, and users should carefully abide by the limitations set forth by the property owners in those situations. The criminal issues could go beyond trespass, of course. Pokémon battles are a part of the game, but real-world tensions could lead to criminal assault or battery. Pokémon users are generally a peaceful group, so it is likely that the more common legal issue that will arise will be violations of the traffic laws. Claiming that you were distracted by a Pokémon alert will not provide a defense. 

Augmented-reality gaming like Pokémon Go also has the potential to raise some more interesting theoretical questions. Does a property owner have a right to the Rhyhorn that another collects while trespassing on her land? Can a business bring suit against a developer for the disruption caused by the placement of a digital object on her property? What are the rights of places like the Holocaust Museum to opt out of being included in the game?  Can the use of the application be restricted on public property? The use of augmented-reality gaming has the potential to raise these types of questions.

We do not yet know the answers to all of these questions. What we do know is that users have very limited property rights in their Pokémon Go accounts. The terms of service for the application provide that users are provided with only a limited right to their Pokémon. They do not obtain any property rights in those digital assets, and they cannot be sold, transferred, or exchanged for other Pokémon Go assets, for money, for services, or any other consideration. Those limitations apply equally to items purchased in the application. The purchase of items like Pokéballs, incense, lucky eggs, or Pokécoins is only the purchase of a “limited, nontransferable, non-sublicenseable, revocable license” to use those items in the Pokémon Go application. Under the terms of service, users obtain no property rights in those items, and the developer can even cancel, suspend, or terminate your account and has no responsibility to provide a refund for those items. Invest in, and develop, your Pokémon at your own risk!

U.S. Privacy Protections Are Limited.  Users who download the Pokémon Go app must give that application a wide range of permissions. Those allow the game’s developer access to potentially significant information regarding your personal habits. That obviously includes the location data generated from the use of GPS while playing the game, but it also might include access to your Gmail and to other sensitive personal information. What users should know is that U.S. privacy laws have largely adopted a notice and consent model, where your rights are determined by contract. That means that a company can essentially collect whatever information it requests, as long as you hit “accept” and download the application. Public pressure is the only recourse that users have, and it appears as though that avenue might have succeeded in causing the developers of Pokémon Go to work on limiting the permissions that the application requires. Nothing legally requires that change though, and future developers may not take a similar approach. Users should carefully monitor applications’ requested permissions to ensure that they are comfortable disclosing the required information. The law is of little help in this regard.

Pokémon Go and Tax Laws.  It is often said that taxes are one of the two certainties of life, but how do taxes apply to the Pokémon Go world? While there is no Poké tax collector in the app, the game does have real-world tax implications. To start, the success of the application highlights how new technologies are undermining our traditional tax systems. State revenue systems, for example, are often heavily reliant on sales taxes, which have traditionally applied to sales of tangible personal property and of some services. A customer who purchases a toy Pokéball in a store would generally pay state sales tax on that purchase, but she might not pay that tax if she buys a digital version through the Pokémon Go app. The shift of more commerce to digital assets has already placed additional pressure on outdated state tax systems, and the rise of games like Pokémon Go will only further that stress. Your state might already require sales tax on purchases in Pokémon Go or it might start doing so in order to place digital purchases on an even playing field with purchases of tangible assets.

The rise of business models involving digital assets is also a part of the ability of companies to shift profits offshore and to reduce their U.S. income tax payments. A vendor who sells a physical product in the U.S. likely has a U.S. income-tax obligation on its profits. A sale of a digital asset, though, might produce different tax results. The particular tax result obviously depends on the legal and operating structure of the company, but the basic issue is part of the discussions occurring worldwide about how to modernize global tax systems to avoid the use of tax havens to reduce tax payments.

At a more theoretical level, tax scholars have long wondered whether and how the receipt and use of in-game digital assets should be taxed. This started with games like Second Life and World of Warcraft, but could now come to include games like Pokémon Go. At this point, these discussions have been simply academic, but this might become a bigger issue if applications like Pokémon Go continue to gain popularity and generate revenue. The theoretical issues can be especially interesting when applications use a freemium model where users get applications for free, but can pay for in-app upgrades. Pokémon Go, for example, gives users free Pokémon balls when they start, but also allows users to buy more balls for a price. (Currently $0.99 cents for 20 Pokéballs.) By placing a value on those items, the Pokémon Go developers have given them a market value. Could we see a world where getting free Pokéballs at a Pokéstop is a taxable event? Should we recognize that individual Pokémon trainers are really working for Nintendo by providing them endless streams of data? How should the law treat this new type of labor? These are the types of questions that can be raised by these new business models.

Alternative Dispute Resolution.  The popular perception of the American justice system generally involves the use of courts to resolve disputes. That is not quite how things work for most disputes with large companies. The Pokémon Go terms of service expressly provide that most disputes arising out of the application will be handled by arbitration, which is a process where non-judges issue binding decisions in disputes without the use of a trial. Under the Pokémon Go terms of service, claims under $10,000 will be handled by written materials only unless you can convince the arbitrator otherwise. Individuals will not have a right to present their case to a judge, jury, or in person to the arbitrator. Users can opt out of that clause, but they must provide the developers with written notice of that choice within 30 days of downloading the application. 

Law Isn’t Everything. It can be easy to think of law as the method by which social groups are governed. The law tells us what we can and cannot do and the sanctions for violating those mandates. Social norms also play a significant role in shaping human behavior, though. A property owner might have a legal right to exclude others from her property, but few quibble with a child retrieving an errant ball from their lawn. We thus might expect that an occasional excursion into your neighbor’s lawn to catch a rare Pokémon might be permitted, but inviting ten friends to join you will cause some conflict. Pokémon Go will provide numerous opportunities for individuals to interact in novel situations, and norms of conduct will undoubtedly arise. What sort of social guidelines will govern Pokémon trades? What about conflicts over limited space at a Pokéstop? Users should pay close attention to the social norms that develop as well as the hard legal rules that are in place. It is often the case that technical legal violations do not cause complaint until some more permissive social norm is violated.

These are just a few of the many legal issues that Pokémon Go and similar games raise. Many of the issues require only straightforward applications of existing law, while others raise interesting policy issues that might become more urgent as the economy continues to shift to this type of recreational activity. The success of Pokémon Go will only create further incentive for developers to create this type of game, and users and the legal system will need to adapt. In the meantime, good luck filling your Pokédex!

Professor Thimmesch and his children play Pokémon GoAdam B. Thimmesch is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Professor Thimmesch focuses his research on tax matters and the impact of new technology on existing legal systems. He is only a level four Pokémon trainer, but his kids would prefer that he play more often and start training for future battles.  

Gardner's Article Published in Tennessee Law Review

11 Jul 2016    

Professor Martin Gardner's article, Youthful Offenders and the Eighth Amendment Right to Rehabilitation: Limitations on the Punishment of Juveniles, was published in the Tennessee Law Review. 

In the article, Gardner argues that in light of a recent series of cases disallowing capital punishment and life sentences without parole (LWOP), as cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment when applied to juveniles, the Court has now recognized that young people, specifically adolescents, uniquely possess the constitutional right to a meaningful opportunity to be rehabilitated. This right is based on the Court's identification of adolescents as, among other things, singularly amenable to rehabilitation, thus designating them a categorically distinct class from adults. Specifically, Gardner shows, the Court's decisions logically extend beyond LWOP sentences and strongly suggest that it is now unconstitutional to punish adolescent offenders with any sentence of imprisonment without providing for their possible rehabilitation.
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Recent graduates assist with mediation training for Winnebago Tribe

07 Jul 2016    

In June, three recent graduates, Mary Rose Richter, Tiffany Thompson, and John Duggar, assisted Office of Dispute Resolution Director Debora Denny, '80, in a basic mediation training (BMT) for the Winnebago Tribe.  All three of these students have significant mediation training and experience, and they were an integral part of the success of the training. The BMT held in June is a required prerequisite for Family Group Decision Making training to be held later this summer. The Winnebago Tribe’s Human Services Office is implementing a five-year grant in which mediation and Family Group Decision Making are the evidence-based processes being used to achieve permanency for children in foster care. Family Group Decision Making (FDGM) is based on the indigenous New Zealand Maori way of extended family coming together to talk and make its own family decisions on how to care, nurture and raise children whose parents are abusing or neglecting them. Denny has practiced and trained the Maori model of FDGM for nearly two decades, including working with families and professionals in the Winnebago Tribe.  The Office of Dispute Resolution BMT manual was written and developed by Kathleen Severens, '81, who was the first director of the Office of Dispute Resolution. Richter, Thompson, and Duggar provided excellent coaching to the Winnebago trainees, expanding the trainees’ exposure to differing mediator styles.

John Cunningham

Cunningham, '05, Joins University of Minnesota Athletics

05 Jul 2016    

The University of Minnesota named John Cunningham, '05, as the Deputy Athletics Director for Administration. 

Cunningham will oversee the day-to-day administrative operations of the department, a role which will include working with all 25 Gopher programs and external units, as well as sport administrator responsibilities. He comes to Minnesota from Syracuse, where he also served as the Deputy Athletics Director for Administration. 

Prior to his tenure at Syracuse, Cunningham served in a variety of roles in the athletics departments at Boise State, Texas Christian (TCU) and Maryland, contributing to successes across many of the athletic programs at all three institutions. 

A 2001 TCU graduate, Cunningham received a law degree from Nebraska Law in 2005. He will be joined in Minnesota by his wife, Caitlin, and their sons, Gus and Hank.
Peter Longo

Longo, '86, in as interim dean at UNK

27 Jun 2016    

The College of Natural and Social Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will now be led by political science professor Peter Longo, who takes over as interim dean July 1.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Charles Bicak announced John La Duke’s resignation from the dean position today.

Bicak said a search for permanent dean will begin in fall 2017, with a plan to have a new dean in place in July 2018. That allows Longo to hold the interim dean post for two years.

Longo joined the faculty at UNK in 1988 and is a tenured full professor in Political Science. He served as department chair from 1990-99 and 2003-07. He served as interim dean for the Division of Student Affairs in 2007-08. Longo also served as Honors Director (2001-03) and as faculty assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor (1999-2001).

Longo received a bachelor’s in history from Creighton University (1980); a J.D. (1982) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law and a Ph.D. (1986) in political science from UNL.

“Peter has had an array of successful teaching, scholarly activity and administrative experiences,” Bicak said.  He currently serves as editor for the journal “Great Plains Research,” the Natural and Social Sciences’ publication of the University of Nebraska Center for Great Plains Studies. “He will work well with all departments and programs to ensure the continuing success of College of Natural and Social Sciences faculty in teaching, scholarly activity and service.”

“The College of Natural and Social Sciences is a strong and vibrant community of faculty, students and staff,” Bicak said. “I expect the already high quality of the College to continue to be elevated under Dr. Longo’s leadership. I’m grateful to Dr. La Duke for his passion for the College and his tireless enthusiasm for UNK. His positive contributions in leadership of the College are greatly appreciated.”

Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, University of Nebraska Kearney

Professor Eric Berger

Berger Tours Iowa to Discuss Judge Merrick Garland

21 Jun 2016    

Professor Eric Berger was in Iowa last week discussing the qualifications of Judge Merrick Garland. Berger was a law clerk for Judge Garland from 2003-2004. 

Media coverage is available below.

KCCI (CBS) Des Moines

WHO (NBC) Des Moines

WHO (NBC) Des Moines

KGAN (CBS) Iowa City

KFAX (Fox) Iowa City

KTVO (ABC) Ottumwa

Radio Iowa

The Gazette

Judge Jeffrey Funke

Funke, '94, Appointed to Nebraska Supreme Court

16 Jun 2016    

Judge Jeffrey Funke, '94, has been appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court by Governor Ricketts.

Funke has been a judge since 2007, when he was named to the bench in Sarpy County. He was appointed district judge in 2013.  Before serving on the bench, Funke worked in private practice, served as a county attorney and as a public defender. 

Funke was one of seven applicants who sought the position to replace Justice William M. Connolly. He will be the sixth Nebraska Law graduate currently sitting on the Nebraska Supreme Court. 

College of Law Building

Obituary | Lawrence "Larry" Berger

24 May 2016    

Lawrence "Larry" Berger, 88, emeritus professor of law, died May 22 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Berger, A Korean War veteran who served in the United States Coast Guard, was a faculty member in the University of Nebraska College of Law from 1960 to his retirement in 2002. He received a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University in 1952.

He served as a legal officer in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1953 to 1956, and practiced law in New Jersey from 1956 to 1959. In 1959, Berger was appointed a teaching fellow at Rutgers University Law School.

Berger joined the NU College of Law in 1960 as an assistant professor and advanced to full professor by 1964. He was a visiting professor of law at the University of Minnesota in 1969-1970 and UCLA in 1974-1975.

While an NU faculty member, Berger published numerous articles in the field of real property, his major area of specialization. He taught in the real estate transactions and accounting areas, and served on many university committees.

The Berger-Harnsberger wing of the NU College of Law was dedicated in honor of Berger and his friend, Dick Harnsberger, in 1990.

In 1998, the Nebraska Law Review published a symposium issue in honor of Berger. An introductory piece written by then law college dean Harvey Perlman, who recently stepped down after 15 years as chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, said Berger's time at the NU College of Law was remembered by alumni as the "Berger Era."

"(Larry) leads the faculty, both by his word and deed, toward recognition of the importance and imperative of scholarship and publication," Perlman wrote in the Nebraska Law Review publication. "No member of the faculty is more loyal and committed to the future of the college than he. As he has for almost 40 years, he continues to demand excellence from both his students and his colleagues."

Berger was active on the Association of American Law Schools' committee on small law schools and the advisory committee to the Journal of Legal Education.

Berger is survived by his wife, Betsy Berger; daughter, Nancy Berger of Sunrise, Florida; son, Andrew Berger and his wife, Linda, of Cincinnati; son, James Berger and wife, Vicki, of Ogden, Utah; brother Bernard Berger and his wife Inez; and grandchildren, Laura, Daniel, Timothy, Julia, Hannah, John and Michael Berger.

Services are May 25 in Cincinnati. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the University of Nebraska College of Law, P.O. Box 830902, Lincoln, NE 68583. An official obituary is available here.

Written by: University Communications

Lenich Discusses County Court Process with Lincoln Journal Star

17 May 2016    

Professor John Lenich responded to a Lincoln Journal Star editorial board proposal regarding medical debt collection. Lenich proposes that rather than raising filing fees, the courts consider increasing the allowable wage garinshment amounts. 

Read full article.
Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker Elected to the Center for Great Plains Studies Board of Governors

10 May 2016    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker was recently elected by the fellows of the Center for Great Plains Studies to serve a three-year term on the Center's Board of Governors. The Center for Great Plains Studies is focused on the study of the people and environment of the Great Plains. The Center publishes two different journals, presents regular interdisciplinary leactures and symposia, and operates a host of scholarly and outreach projects, including the Great Plains Art Museum in downtown Lincoln, the PLains Humanities Alliance and a graduate student, faculty, and community fellows program.
College of Law Building

Nebraska Law Named in Top LL.M. Programs for Career Opportunities and Value

06 May 2016    

Nebraska Law has been named one of the top LL.M. programs for career opportunities, and one of the top LL.M. programs for value in the most recent edition of International Jurist

Ratings for LL.M. programs with excpetional career opportunities were determined by job placement rate, job search help and networking opportunities. They also take into account practical experiences such as clinics, externships and law journals. 

Ratings for the top value LL.M. programs were determined by evaluating tuition cost, the cost of living, and scholarship availabilty. The net cost of each school was then balanced against the quality of the school's academics and the overall law school experience. 

Learn more about Nebraska Law's LL.M. programs on our website.
Professor Colleen Medill

Medill's Article Accepted by Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal

18 Apr 2016    

Professor Colleen Medill’s article, Comparing ERISA and Fair Labor Standards Act Claims Under the Affordable Care Act, has been accepted for publication by the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal.  The article explains how the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act creates incentives for retaliatory employment actions by employers, and then compares and contrasts the strategic advantages and disadvantages of asserting employee claims under ERISA Section 510 and Fair Labor Standards Act Section 18C.  The article concludes by discussing the major factors that initially should be evaluated for each type of claim when determining the plaintiff’s litigation strategy.

Jeremy Neilsen

Neilsen Wins American Bar Association Forum on Construction Student Writing Competition

18 Apr 2016    

Jeremy Neilsen, 3L, won the 2015 American Bar Association Forum on Construction Student Writing Competition with his paper 21st Century Application of the Spearin Doctrine. Neilsen will be recognized at the Forum's annual meeting and in their newsletter, Under Construction

Nate Bray, 3L, was named a finalist and received second place in the same writing competition with his paper Project Counsel in an Online Construction Industry.

Chris Schmidt

Schmidt Wins 2015-16 Louis Jackson National Student Memorial Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law

15 Apr 2016    

Chris Schmidt, 3L, won the 2015-2016 Louis Jackson National Memorial Student Writing Competition with his paper A Ticket to Free Ride? Not so Fast: Members-Only Collective Bargaining as a Possible State Response to a Judically Recognized Right to Work. The competition, sponsored by national labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis is administered by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute of Law and the Workplace. Schmidt's paper is available on the competition website.

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley Receives Public Policy Center Grant

14 Apr 2016    

Professor Kristen Blankley was recently awarded a $5,000 grant to work with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center on the project “Using Motivational Interviewing to Enhance Autonomy, Trust, and Parenting Plan Effectiveness.”  In the project, Professor Blankley and the Public Policy Center will train local mediators on the techniques of motivational interviewing and determine whether these skills enhance the mediation process in cases under the Nebraska Parenting Act.

Professor Robert Denicola

Denicola's Article Accepted by Rutgers University Law Review

11 Apr 2016    

Professor Robert Denicola's article, Ex Machina: Copyright Protection for Computer-Generated Works, has been accepted by the Rutgers University Law Review.

Many of the sports and financial news stories on the Internet are written by computers. Computers also draw, paint, and compose music. Copyright law requires an identifiable human author because authors own copyrights and computers do not possess the personhood necessary to own property. The Copyright Office and some courts and commentators go further, demanding that the copyrightable expression in a work emanate from a human being. That requirement denies the incentive of copyright to an increasingly large group of works that are indistinguishable from works created by human beings. The article argues that a computer user who initiates the creation of computer-generated expression should be recognized as the author and copyright owner of the resulting work.
Professor Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch's Article Accepted by Denver Law Review

07 Apr 2016    

Professor Adam Thimmesch's article, Transacting in Data: Tax, Privacy, and the New Economy, has been accepted for publication by the Denver Law Review. The article evaluates how the collection and use of personal information in today's economy intersect with our domestic tax instruments. That analysis provides insights into how our tax systems might react to the new data economy and into how our nation's tax laws might act to discourage innovations to the internet ecosystem that would be more protective of personal-privacy interests. 

Professor Brett Stohs

Stohs' Article Accepted by New York Law School Law Review

05 Apr 2016    

Professor Brett Stohs has continued to research interests in the application of electronic mind mapping to clinical legal education. His manuscript, “Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave: Mind Mapping as Creative Spark to Optimize Student & Client Assignments in a Transactional Clinic,” has been accepted for publication in the New York Law School Law Review as part of its special issue on how clinics and experiential learning have developed into an integral part of modern legal education. He continues to use this innovative tool to improve learning outcomes for students and clients who participate in the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.

Nebraska Law Professors Speak Around the World

Nebraska Law Professors Speak Around the World

04 Apr 2016    

Professor Sandra Zellmer presented Facing Floods and Climate Change While Reforming Disaster Law at the University of Missouri Life Sciences & Society Program 12th Annual Symposium on March 7, 2016. Zellmer also presented at the UNL Honors College Colloquium: Discussions of Science and Public Policy. 

On March 16, 2016, Professor Frans von der Dunk spoke at the 2nd ICAO/UNOOSA Symposium in Abu Dhabi. The presentation outlined the definition of "Space Object" in the context of impending private commercial spaceflight operations. On March 17, 2016, von der Dunk led a session at the Young Lawyers Symposium organized by the European Center of Space Law (ECSL). Finally, on March 18, 2016, von der Dunk co-chaired the ECSL's Practitioners' Forum, discussing the explotation of natural resources in outer space.

Professor Brett Stohs hosted a brief presentation at the Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center. The weekly coffee is an opportunity for small business owners, startup owners and companies that serve small businesses to come together for a brief presentation and relaxed networking. 

Professor Jessica Shoemaker spoke at Harvard Law School's "Just Food? Forum on Land Use, Rights and Ecology" on Friday, March 26, 2016. Shoemaker presented as part of the "Native American Law Rights Panel".  
The panel incorporated a range of perspectives, including experts engaged in Navajo Nation food policy specifically as well as UN-level work on food security and cultural land relationships around the Arctic Circle with the Inuit Circumpolar Council.  Shoemaker spoke specifically on U.S. federal policy in American Indian land tenure—both historically and currently--and discussed strategies for grassroots property reforms going forward.

Professor Anthony Schutz presented "The Nebraska Constitution" at the Center of Great Plains Studies on March 16, 2016. The discussion examined the complex relationship between constitutional change and its impact on public policy. 

As part of Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law LL.M. program outreach in space education, Professor Schaefer guest lectured or taught a mini-course on regulating and incentivizing commercial space activities at three law schools in January and February 2016 with space law and aerospace industry interest.   The lectures/mini-courses, some in-person and some online, focused on three problem sets – one involving liability issues, one involving space debris remediation, and one involving asteroid mining with litigation, negotiation, and legislation modules.  Professor Schaefer previously taught a similar mini-course at Washington University in St. Louis in September 2014.

In March, Professor Bill Lyons taught a course in United States individual income taxation at the International Tax Center at the University of Leiden. Lyons has been teaching at the International Tax Center for several years.

Professor Rick Duncan gave several presentations this quarter. The first, Is the University Still a Free Market for Ideas: Free Speech vs. Censorship on Campus, was on March 1, 2016 at the University of Kentucky Law School. Duncan also presented Hobby Lobby Round Two: Can The Little Sisters of the Poor Knock Out the Contracecptive Mandate, at New York University Law School on March 7, 2016. Professor Duncan gave the same presentation at Cornell Law School on March 22, 2016.

Professor Kristen Blankley presented as part of the Continuing Legal Education Seminiar The Development of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethical Implications for Transactional Attorneys at Creighton University School of Law. As part of the symposium, Blankley discussed the ethical issues involved in advising clients in ADR options. 

Jordan Heiliger

Heiliger Awarded Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award

01 Apr 2016    

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic Board of Advisors named Jordan Heiliger the 2016 recipient of the Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award. 

Heiliger will graduate in May with the Class of 2016. During her time at Nebraska Law, Heiliger served on the Faculty Honor Committe; was the president pf the Environmental and Agricultural Law Society; appeals president for the Student Bar Association; a member of the Client Counseling Competition Board; a College of Law student ambassador; and spent the fall semester as a student attorney in the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.

The Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award was established to recognize Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic students who have demonstrated exceptional legal skills, provided outstanding service to clients and furthered the mission of the Clinic. The firm was founded in 1988 with a vision of creating an environment that would foster trust and teamwork. Through the years, their guiding principles of integrity, client focus, and integrity have created the environment they envisioned years ago. Don Swanson, a partner in that firm, was instrumental in creating the endowed fund for this award. 

Daniel E. Dawes

Dawes, '06, Publishes Book About the Affordable Care Act

30 Mar 2016    

Daniel E. Dawes, '06, recently published a book: 150 Years of ObamaCareIn the book, Dawes explores the secret backstory of the Affordable Care Act, shedding light on the creation and implementation of the greatest and most sweeping equalizer in the history of American health care. The book provides an insider's perspective on the contemporary understandings of health reform. 

An instrumental player in a large coalition of organizations that helped shape ObamaCare, Dawes tells the story of the Affordable Care Act with urgency and intimate detail. The book explains the law through a health equity lens, focusing on what it is meant to do and how it affects various groups.

Daniel E. Dawes is a nationally recognized leader in the health equity movement and has led numerous efforts to address health policy issues impacting vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations. He is a health care attorney and administrator, and serves as the executive director of government affairs and health policy at Morehouse School of Medicine. He is also a lecturer of health law and policy at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. 
Michael Seeley

Seeley's Fictional Story Published in The Long Story

21 Mar 2016    

Michael Seeley, 3L, wrote a fictional story as his final project for Professor Dooling's Law and Literature class. His story of a British naval court-martial in Napoleonic-era Europe was accepted by The Long Story, a North American literary magazine that publishes novella-length pieces. Seeley's story, The Grey Shore of Conscience, was accepted for the 2016 issue. 
Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley's Article Published in Conjunction with Creighton Law Review Symposium

21 Mar 2016    

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankey's paper, The Ethics and Practice of Drafting Pre-Dispute Resolution Clauses, will be published in the Creighton Law Review in conjunction with the Symposium on "The Development of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethical Implications for Transactional Attorneys." Blankley's paper considers the ethical issues surrounding alternative dispute resolution processes and working with corporate clients in drafting such clauses. The paper covers both ethical and practical aspects of these issues.
Assistant Dean Molly Brummond

Brummond, '03, Named Nebraska Alumni Association Early Achiever

21 Mar 2016    

Assistant Dean for Student and Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, Molly Brummond, was named a 2016 Early Achiever by the Nebraska Alumni AssociationMolly oversees student organizations, develops programs, and devotes time to alumni programming and outreach. Upon her graduation from law school, with distinction, Molly entered private practice with the firm of Baylor Evnen Curtiss Grimit & Witt, LLP. After several other career opportunities, she returned to the College of Law in 2010. Brummond also chairs the board of directors for the Food Bank of Lincoln and Southeast Nebraska, and is an adviser for the UNL chapter of Phi Mu, a volunteer for CEDARS Youth Services and a board member for Kidzone. Molly and her husband, Jameson, have two sons, Brooks and Reis. 

College of Law Building

Interim Dean Moberly Digs into the Numbers Behind the U.S. News & World Report Rankings

17 Mar 2016    

The University of Nebraska College of Law ranked 57th in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of law schools published this week. I want to highlight some key statistics provided in the report, because I think those numbers demonstrate that Nebraska Law students get terrific results from their education for a comparatively low cost.

Two numbers provided by U.S. News should be paramount to law students and prospective law students: job placement rate and bar passage rate. These numbers best reflect the quality of education a law school provides. Nebraska Law’s rates in both of those categories (87.2% and 90.4%, respectively) place it in the top 30 law schools in the country.

Importantly, Nebraska Law achieves these results while charging the lowest tuition rate among schools U.S. News ranked in the top 100. Our combination of successful outcomes and low tuition is why National Jurist Magazine rated Nebraska Law the No. 1 Best Value law school in the United States. Our students graduate with the fourth-lowest debt load in the country, pass the bar, and start real legal jobs where they put their legal education to work.

The consistency of our overall ranking over the last three years is good given that prospective students consider it as they select a law school. Nevertheless, as you may know, the methodology that creates these rankings is flawed. For example, the U.S. News methodology undervalues results: the job placement rate and bar passage rate I mention above together count for only 20 percent of a school’s total score. “Reputation” and incoming class statistics count for 65 percent of a school’s ranking, although they arguably have little to do with the quality of education a student receives once on campus. The ranking takes into account what schools spend on their services, but does not consider what students spend on tuition.

If you care about outcomes and value, U.S. News can tell you a great deal about the education one might receive at a law school. You just have to look deeper than the final rankings, compare schools based on what they produce by looking at bar passage and job placement, and then look up how much they charge for those results. I am very pleased to report that those metrics demonstrate that Nebraska Law continues to provide real value to its students.

Richard Moberly
Interim Dean

Professor Colleen Medill

Medill's Article Accepted by Iowa Law Review

17 Mar 2016    

Professor Colleen Medill’s article, Regulating ERISA Fiduciary Outsourcing, has been accepted for publication in Volume 102 of the Iowa Law Review.  Professor Medill’s interest in the outsourcing of fiduciary functions by employers who sponsor benefit plans for their employees dates back to June of 2014, when she was asked to testify on current industry trends and emerging legal issues by the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council.  The Council’s final report to the Secretary of Labor, which can be found here highlighted her testimony as particularly relevant and helpful to the Council.  

The abstract below describes the content of the article:

Pension and welfare benefit plans sponsored by private employers are big business.  The sponsorship of these plans is the most heavily tax-subsidized private economic activity in the entire federal budget, with an estimated loss in federal tax revenues due to special tax breaks of over $1.485 trillion for the budget period 2014-2018.  In exchange for these special tax breaks, the federal government heavily regulates these private plans.  To cope with the complexity, employers increasingly hire outside professional fiduciaries to run their employee benefit plans so that they can concentrate on running their businesses.  Although this outsourcing of plan management and administrative functions is now widespread, almost no federal regulation applies to these fiduciary outsourcing arrangements.  As evidenced by a 2014 report issued by the Department of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council, both employers and the professional fiduciary services industry want and need more guidance in the form of regulation.  The need for regulation has become even more urgent in light of the Supreme Court’s subsequent 2015 decision in Tibble v. Edison International, which further encourages employers to outsource plan asset management functions.  This Article explains and analyzes the unresolved issues that have emerged in this complex area of law and proposes specific solutions to better regulate fiduciary outsourcing arrangements.

NASA Photo

Nebraska Law to Co-Sponsor Panel at the Space Foundation’s Annual Symposium

11 Mar 2016    

Together with the Space Foundation, and Holland & Hart law firm, Nebraska Law is co-sponsoring a commercial space law panel at the 32nd Annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs on April 14, 2016.  The commercial space law panel is titled, “Congress, the Executive Branch and Industry: Regulating In-Space Activities, Property Rights, Human Space Flight, Space Traffic Management and Orbital Debris.” Speakers will include Dr. George Nield, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation – FAA; Dr. Alice Bunn, Director of Policy -  UK Space Agency; Mike Gold, Director of DC Operations and Business Growth – Bigelow Aerospace; Peter Marquez, Vice-President Global Engagement – Planetary Resources, and Nebraska Law’s Professor Matthew Schaefer, who helped organize the panel along with Holland & Hart. 

Professor Schaefer previously spoke at the Space Foundation’s Space Technology and Investment Forum in San Francisco in September 2015.

Professor Schaefer Guest Lectures Nationally

11 Mar 2016    

Professor Schaefer Guest Lectures at UC-Irvine, Univ. of San Diego, and Univ. of Miami Law Schools on Commercial Space Law in Winter 2016

As part of Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law LL.M. program outreach in space education, Professor Schaefer guest lectured or taught a mini-course on regulating and incentivizing commercial space activities at three law schools in January and February 2016 with space law and aerospace industry interest.   The lectures/mini-courses, some in-person and some online, focused on three problem sets – one involving liability issues, one involving space debris remediation, and one involving asteroid mining with litigation, negotiation, and legislation modules.  Professor Schaefer previously taught a similar mini-course at Washington University in St. Louis in September 2014.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker's Article Accepted by Michigan Law Review

09 Mar 2016    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker's recent article, Complexity's Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future, has been accepted by the Michigan Law Review. The article offers a comprehensive approach to analyzing the modern American Indian land tenure system and explores particularly how the recent pattern of hyper-categorizing property and sovereignty interests into ever-more granular and interacting jurisdictional variables has exacerbated development and self-governance challenges in Indian Country.

Christopher Schmidt

Schmidt, 3L, Named Midwest Finalist for Law Student of the Year

09 Mar 2016    

Chris Schmidt, 3L was named a Midwest finalist in National Jurist Magazine's list for Law Student of the YearSchmidt is in the top 10 percent of his class and serves as the editor-in-chief of the Nebraska Law Review. But it is his leadership of the Community Legal Education Project (CLEP) that sets him apart from others. During Schmidt's time at Nebraska Law, CLEP programs have grown and now engage over 2,250 Lincoln Public School elementary and middle school students in discussions about the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.
Professor Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch's Article Published in Utah Law Review

08 Mar 2016    

Assistant Professor Adam Thimmesch's article, Testing the Models of Tax Compliance: The Use-Tax Experiment, has been published by the Utah Law Review. The article explores how states could apply modern tax-compliance theories to their state use taxes, which currently go largely unenforced and unpaid. The article argues that state action in this area would both (1) help states to increase compliance and (2) give academics and policy makers valuable information regarding how tax-compliance theories work in the context of real-world tax administration. 

Janki Sharma

Sharma's Research Published in Nicotine & Tobacco Oxford Journal

04 Mar 2016    

Prior to law school, Janki Sharma, 3L, was part of a research team in the department of oral biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. Sharma contributed to the recent ground breaking findings that clearly show that smoking causes birth defects. The investigation, "Nicotine Exposure During Pregancy Results in Persistent Midline Epithelial Seam With Improper Palatal Fusion," was published in the Oxford Journal Volume 18 Issue 3 March 2016.
Jaydon McDonald and Allison Rockey

Civil Clinic Students Travel to Beatrice to Provide Peace of Mind

04 Mar 2016    

Over a period of three weeks, senior certified law students Jaydon McDonald and Allison Rockey worked with their client on developing a plan for the administration of her estate, and identifying her health care wishes. The students drafted for her a simple will, power of attorney, a living will and a health care power of attorney. Due to the client's medical condition, she could not travel to the Clinic in Lincoln, so everything was done over the phone. When the documents were complete, the students, and their supervising attorney (Professor Sullivan), traveled to Beatrice to execute the documents.

Afterward, McDonald reflected on the experience, noting “we were happy to provide this valuable service to someone in need, and who would otherwise not have access to these services.” Commenting similarly, Rockey found the experience to be “a great opportunity to sharpen our drafting skills and to discuss sensitive topics, such as end of life planning, in an open and personal way.” McDonald and Rockey found especially rewarding the ability to put their client's mind at ease regarding her health care and estate administration.

Professor Jack Beard

Beard has Article Accepted by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law

02 Mar 2016    

Assistant Professor Jack Beard’s most recent article, Soft Law’s Failure on the Horizon: The International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, has been accepted for publication by the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law.  This article explores the shortcomings of proposed non-legally binding frameworks in dealing with increasingly dangerous military activities in outer space and the growing problem of orbital space debris.

Andrea Buckley

Buckley, '07, Elected Vice-Chair of Siouxland Community Health Center Directors

25 Feb 2016    

Andrea Hiatt Buckley, '07, was recently named the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Siouxland Community Health Center in Sioux City, IA. Buckley has served on the Board since 2013, and has been a staff attorney with Iowa Legal Aid since 2009. 
Professors Eric Berger and Bob Works

Berger and Works Named Professors of the Year

22 Feb 2016    

At the Meeting of the Minds event, Professors Eric Berger and Bob Works were named the 2016 Professors of the Year. Each year, the SBA hosts the event and administers nominations for the Professor of the Year Awards. The current 1L students nominated Professor Works and upperclass students nominated Professor Berger.


Professor Gus Hurwitz

Hurwitz Weighs in on Apple vs. the FBI

19 Feb 2016    

Professor Justin (Gus) Hurwitz has been following Apple's opposition of a judge's order to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernadino, California shooters. On Thursday, he spoke to media about that opposition.

Apple v. US.: 5 things Gus Hurwitz wants you to know

All Apple's writs are belong to US

Local legal expert weighs in Apple vs. FBI debate

Tim Cook's Bad Apple

Senator: Undermining Apple Encryption Could Lead to 'More People Dying'

Apple, FBI case about law enforcement, experts say
Law At Little Big Horn

Wright, '58, Publishes Manuscript that Analyzes Great Sioux War

18 Feb 2016    

Charles Wright, '58, has been working on his manuscript, Law at Little Big Horn, for eight years. The book details the the conspiracy between President Grant and Generals Sherman and Sheridan to use the Army to attack and forcibly remove the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians from their treaty lands located north of the North Platte River and east of the Bighorn Mountains. 

Wright analyzes the legal backdrop of the Great Sioux War, asking the hard questions of how treaties were honored and how the US government failed to abide by its sovereign word. Until now, little attention has been focused on how the events leading up to and during the Battle of Little Big Horn violated American Law. Wright is the first to investigate the legal and constitutional issues surrounding the United States' campaign against the American Indians. 

Born and raised in western Nebraska, Charles Wright is a retired lawyer who spent fifty year practicing in Nebraska and Colorado. He has long been associated with Indian rights and has funded scholarships and organized a mentoring program for promising Indian students from recognized tribes to attend law school.
Swantz, Ringenberg, Poulsen

Swantz, '99, Ringenberg, '03, and Poulsen, '10, Named Partners at Suiter Swantz IP

09 Feb 2016    

Patent attorneys Chad W. Swantz, ’99, Scot M. Ringenberg, ’03, and Matthew A. Poulsen, ’10, have joined founder Sean Patrick Suiter as co-owners of Suiter Swantz IP.

Suiter Swantz, an Intellectual Property Law firm, was established over two decades ago. The Firm advises a diverse set of clients on patent, trademark and copyright matters. Suiter Swantz IP has obtained over 3,000 patents and approximately 700 trademarks on behalf of the Firm’s clients, which include individual inventors, startups and Fortune 500 companies.

Chad W. Swantz graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Juris Doctor from the Nebraska College of Law. In addition to his patent practice, Chad manages the Trademark Practice for the Firm, which includes trademark creation and development, domestic and foreign trademark registration, trademark defense and trademark enforcement.

Scot M. Ringenberg received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Juris Doctor from the Nebraska College of Law. He continued his education with the University of Kansas Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department graduate studies program. Additionally, he has been admitted to the state bars of Kansas and Missouri.

Matt A. Poulsen obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Juris Doctor from the Nebraska College of Law, graduating with distinction. As a physicist, his research appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Matt also serves as a mentor for a number of local startup accelerators.


Honorable Max Kelch

Kelch, '81, Named to Nebraska Supreme Court

04 Feb 2016    

The newest member of the Nebraska Supreme Court has spent most of his career as a prosecutor and judge, but those who’ve worked with him say he’s more than a law-and-order guy.

Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday appointed Sarpy County District Judge Max Kelch to the seven-member high court. Kelch replaces retired Judge Michael McCormack and will represent the judicial district that covers parts of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

A prosecutor and a defense lawyer who’ve tried cases before Kelch described him as decisive and tough but also inquisitive and fair. Both remarked that Kelch enjoys doing legal research and writing opinions, two major requirements of his new position.

“I think it was a really good choice the governor made,” said Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov. “He has an impressive record in a whole spectrum of legal practice.”

Kelch, 58, of Papillion, has served as district judge in Sarpy, Cass and Otoe Counties since 2007, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Dave Heineman. Kelch spent the two previous years as a Sarpy County judge.

A 1981 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law, Kelch also has been in private practice and has worked as an assistant city attorney in Nebraska City. The governor said in a press release that he liked Kelch’s blend of “real world experience” in several different legal capacities.

“He has demonstrated he understands that the role of the court is to interpret the law, and this approach will continue to serve our state well as Nebraska’s next Supreme Court judge,” Ricketts said.

Before becoming a judge, Kelch worked for 18 years as Otoe County attorney in Nebraska City. While county attorneys are most known for prosecuting criminal cases, they also handle an array of civil matters and run for election.

Cass County District Judge Jeffrey Funke worked alongside Kelch for eight years when Funke was a deputy county attorney. He said Kelch’s vast trial experience as both a lawyer and a judge will serve the high court well.

As for anyone who thinks Kelch won’t give a fair shake to criminal defendants, Funke said his colleague takes the role of judge very seriously.

“He understands the duty of a judge to be fair and impartial,” Funke said. “And he’s got a lot of common sense.”

Sarpy County Public Defender Tom Strigenz submitted a letter to the judicial nominating commission in support of Kelch. Strigenz said Kelch’s writing and researching skills are “legendary” among lawyers who regularly practice before him.

“I think Max Kelch was born to be an appellant court judge,” he said.

Ricketts selected Kelch, a registered Republican, over three other finalists: Douglas County Judge Susan Bazis, Douglas County District Judge Gary Randall and Omaha attorney Patrick Guinan. The finalists were forwarded to the governor by the nominating commission.

The appointment was the governor’s second to the Supreme Court since he took office in 2015. Supreme Court Judge Kenneth Stephan retired in July, and Ricketts appointed Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy to fill the vacancy.

Story via the Omaha World-Herald.

Thomas Wade Pittman

Pittman, '92, Promoted to Head of Chambers for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

28 Jan 2016    

Thomas Wayde Pittman, '92, has been named the Head of Chambers for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). As Head of Chambers, which is a Directorate-level position within the United Nations, Pittman's primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legal adviser to the President and Judges of the Chambers of the ICTY, providing guidance and direction on the most complex and sensitive of legal issues and taking responsibility for directly supervising such matters where necessary. He is also responsible for the management of Chambers and the supervision of Chambers staff (which currently numbers about eighty lawyers) and represents Chambers legal support within the Tribunal as an institution. Pittman will be be part of closure of the Tribunal at the end of 2017 upon completion of the final two cases. The ICTY has shown that international justice can lead to peace and reconciliation, as it has in the Western Balkans following armed conflict which spanned the years 1991 to 2001 and ranged from the initial shots fired in Slovenia to the final end of war in Macedonia, and all the adjudicated atrocities in between, especially in Bosnia.    

Pittman graduated from Nebraska Law in 1992, and immediately served the next twelve years in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps. He became a Cheif Circuit Trial Counsel and retired as a military judge in the European Judicial Circuit. Upon retiring from military service, Pittman joined the United Nations as a legal officer for the Chambers that he now heads.
Professor Richard Duncan

Duncan's Article Published in Humanities and Social Sciences Review

26 Jan 2016    

Professor Richard Duncan's article, Legislative Prayer, the Supreme Court of the united States and Two Concepts of Religious Liberty, was published in the Humanities and Social Sciences Review. The article briefly contrasts two concepts of religios liberty - the French concept of strict secularism and freedom from religion, and the United States' concept of mutual tolerance and freedom of religion as reflected in a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court upholding officially-sanctioned prayers at meetings of local legislative counseils, such as town boards or city councils. 

Professor Duncan joined the faculty in 1979. Professor Duncan teaches Property and Constitutional Law. He is a passionate and enthusiastic classroom teacher, whose style is not so much Socratic Dialogue as Socratic Performance Art. Professor Duncan has a strong interest in writing and speaking about federalism, liberty, religious freedom, and the right to life. 
Marc Carns

Carns Promoted to Air Force Major

22 Jan 2016    

At a ceremony on January 21, 2016, Marc Carns, an Air Force Institute of Technology student in the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications LL.M. program, was promoted to Major.

Carns enlisted into the United States Air Force in November 1994 and was assigned to Tink AFB, OK, as an Airborne Air Surveillance Technician on the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control Systems. He deployed overseas several times and accumulated over 2,000 flying hours. 

Carns separated from the Air Force in 2005 to pursue graduate degrees in law and business. In the fall of 2006, he was accepted into the Graduate Law Program and joined the AFROTC Detachment 675 at the University of Oklahoma. He graduate from the University of Oklahoma Andrew M. Coats College of Law with a Juris Doctor and the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business with a Masters in Business Administration in 2008. He was commissioned in Octboer 2008 and promoted to Captain on June 5, 2009. 

Since commissioning, Carns has served as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate around the world including assignments in Germany and Korea. In 2012, he deployed to Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF) 435, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Rule of Law Field Force, Afghanistan operating out of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Joyce, Kunar Province, with the 2-12IN, 4ID. While there, he advised local Afghan judiciary officials on Rule of Law (RoL) and Evidence Based Operations, assisted the Battle Space Owner (BSO) with Governmental and Developmental operations, and focused on RoL efforts on governmental stability and legitimacy. 
Professors Berger, Hurwitz, Medill and Shoemaker

Nebraska Law Professors Present at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting

19 Jan 2016    

Professor Eric Berger, an expert on lethal injection and death penalty issues, presented his paper, "Institutional Competence in Glossip v. Gross," at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in New York City. Professor Berger was part of a panel discussion on "The Supreme Court and the Future of Lethal Injection" sponsored by the Section on  Criminal Justice. 


Professor Gus Hurwitz participated in the "Resolved: The Fcc Does Not Have the Legal Authority to Implment Net Neutrality" debate at the AALS Annual Meeting. The debate considered whether the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order fits within the agency's statutory authorty. Professor Hurwitz also presented his work-in-progress paper, "An Economic Theory of Law and Technology," during a 7 minute presentations panel. 


Professor Colleen Medill, a leading national expert on employer-sponsored group health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), recently spoke on “Emerging Employee Claims Under the Affordable Care Act” at the AALS Annaul Meeting.  Professor Medill  was part of a panel presentation on “The State of the ACA after King v. Burwell” that was jointly  co-sponsored by the Section on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation and the Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care.  Professor Medill’s presentation explained the second and third order  implications  for employers and employees of the  final stage of implementation of the employer mandate under the ACA in 2016, and new theories of liability for violations of the ACA that are likely to be asserted by employees in 2016 and beyond.


Professor Jessica Shoemaker presented her paper, "The Complexity Problem in American Indian Land Tenure," during the AALS Property Section breakfast. The paper analyzes the myriad ways the complexity of modern rules specific to American Indian land tenure continue to do injustice to indigenous people. 

Professor Richard Leiter

Leiter's New Edition and Corresponding Database Released

12 Jan 2016    

Professor Richard Leiter's award-winning publication, National Survey of State Laws, has a new edition and database version. 

The seventh edition of National Survey of State Laws provides an overall view of some of the most sought-after and controversial legal topics in the United States. The book and the database are presented in chart format, and both versions allow users to make state-by-state comparisons of current state laws. Use the database version of this title to search the content and metadata, or to browse laws either by category or by topic. Compare only certain states' laws, or view laws as they appear in the current edition compared to the two previous editions. 

More information on this release is available from publisher HeinOnline.
Professor Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch has Article Accepted by West Virginia Law Review

06 Jan 2016    

Professor Adam Thimmesch's article, Taxing Honesty, has been accepted by the West Virginia Law Review. The article takes a critical look at the current structure and enforcement of state use taxes. The article ultimately concludes that economic, moral, and psychological considerations counsel toward substantial modifications to those taxes, including the transactions to which they apply and how they are enforced against individual taxpayers. 
Theresa Cusic

Cusic’s Research for the ACLU of Nebraska Draws Attention from Lawmakers

05 Jan 2016    

As a result of Theresa Cusic’s (2L) clerkship with the ACLU of Nebraska, a report, “Growing Up Locked Down: Juvenile Solitary Confinement in Nebraska,” has been released. Cusic conducted open records requests, negotiated for information from public officials, and analyzed the findings and other state statutes to generate best practice recommendations under the supervision of Legal Director, Amy Miller, ’96. The report has received attention from local lawmakers and the Omaha World-Hearld.

Cusic’s experience was funded by the Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund (NPILF). NPILF provides grants to law students interested in working in the public interest during the summer.

Professors Jack Beard and Gus Hurwitz

Beard and Hurwitz Named Cyber Security & Data Privacy Trailblazers

04 Jan 2016    

Nebraska Law professors Jack Beard and Gus Hurwitz were named Cyber Security & Data Privacy Trailblazers by The National Law Journal. The list of Trailblazers recognizes people who have helped make a difference in data security and the fight against criminal cyber activity. 

Beard previously served as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) in the Department of Defense where he was responsible for a variety of legal matters, including those associated with arms control agreements, defense cooperation and basing agreements in the Middle East region, and programs assisting states of the former Soviet Union in the dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction and other nonproliferation activities.

Hurwitz's work builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. Hurwitz perviously worked as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in the Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section.
Professor Eric Berger

Berger Discusses Death Penalty in Nebraska

17 Dec 2015    

Professor Eric Berger participated in a press conference on Wednesday to further discuss the death penalty in Nebraska. Below are some of the articles reporting on that event:

Omaha World-Hearld

Lincoln Journal Star



Richard Moberly meets with students

Richard Moberly appointed interim law dean

10 Dec 2015    

Richard Moberly has been appointed to the position of interim dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law. Ronnie Green, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, announced the appointment Dec. 9.

Moberly will formally begin the appointment, which is pending approval from the Board of Regents, Feb. 1.

A member of UNL’s law faculty since 2004, Moberly has been associate dean for faculty at the college since 2011. He won the College Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007. In 2006 and 2011, he was voted Professor of the Year by upperclass law students, while in 2014 he was awarded the College Distinguished Faculty Award from the College of Law Alumni Council.

He will continue his teaching duties during the interim appointment.

“I have had an opportunity to dialogue with the College of Law faculty and staff and have received broad support for Richard’s integrity, foresight, and leadership ability,” Green said. “I am confident that he will provide highly effective leadership as we begin the process to seek a permanent dean.”

Moberly will succeed Susan Poser, who on Dec. 1 announced she had accepted the position of provost at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Poser has been dean of the College of Law since 2010.

“I am honored to serve the College of Law as interim dean,” Moberly said. “There is tremendous energy and momentum at the college as a result of Dean Poser’s excellent work over the last five and a half years. I look forward to working closely with the faculty and staff to continue the school's progress and upward trajectory.”

Before joining the College of Law, Moberly practiced as an attorney with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in Atlanta. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

His research interests include employee whistleblower protection and the law of secrecy. Moberly has published numerous articles and book chapters on whistleblowing, including research on national security whistleblowers and codes of ethics, as well as an empirical study Sarbanes-Oxley retaliation claims. The U.S. Secretary of Labor has twice appointed him to the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Green said the university will open a national search for the permanent dean position beginning in fall 2016.

Writer: Steve Smith

Justin Sheldon and Jordan Heiliger

Heiliger, Sheldon Share Legal Advice with UNK Business Students

09 Dec 2015    

Two University of Nebraska at Kearney alumni recently returned to campus to share legal advice to future entrepreneurs.

Jordan Heiliger of Lincoln and Justin Sheldon of Lexington are students in the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The clinic provides free representation and counsel to early-stage startup business clients across Nebraska.

Under supervision of UNL Professor Brett Stohs, the clinic’s student “attorneys” interact directly with clients to provide legal counseling on a wide range of business law issues. By assisting entrepreneurs when they need help the most, law students are given hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the development of Nebraska businesses.

UNL law students presented, “Intellectual property: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Business Assets,” and gave legal advice to UNK business students.

Heiliger graduated from UNK in 2011 with a bachelor of science in political science and criminal justice, and Sheldon graduated from UNK in 2013 with a bachelor of science in business administration. They will both graduate from the University of Nebraska College of Law in May 2016.

Why did you decide to go into law?
Sheldon: “My family has always been in business. I’ve always been interested in the legal part, so I figured I’d go to law school and cut out the need for an attorney (in the family business).” Sheldon’s family owns franchises in Lexington, Kearney and Lincoln.
Heiliger: “In high school, I was interested in government and law, so I was trying to decide between politics or the legal field. At UNK, I interned for Sen. Johanns, which was a great experience, but I realized I never want to be a politician. So I started working for a law firm and actually stayed there for a couple of years after graduating from UNK to make sure it was what I wanted to do. I loved it, so I went to law school.”

How did your experience at UNK prepare you for law school?
Sheldon: “I took both business law and commercial law with Professor (Bruce) Elder, and that gave me a brief understanding of what we’d be doing in law school. He didn’t sugar coat it. He told us we’d spend two weeks on torte, and we’d spend a whole semester on it in law school. So it gave me a feel for what type of material we’d be learning in law school.”

What was the best part about being a student at UNK?
Heiliger: “I liked the campus. You can walk everywhere. Now that I’m in Lincoln, I’m realizing how nice it was to be on such a small campus. I also liked how close I was to my professors because the student to teacher ratio was so small. I still try and stay in touch with my professors.”

What’s it like to come back to UNK and act as a mentor to students?
Heiliger: “It’s rewarding because I remember being in their seats, and feeling like the material was way over my head and thinking I would never be able to understand that type of law. “I knew I wanted to go to law school as an undergrad, but I had a hard time picturing myself being successful there. So being able to come back and share some of my knowledge has been great.”
Sheldon: “We had a few people come up to us and talk to us about law school so they could be in our shoes a few years down the road.”

What do you hope to do after law school?
Heiliger: “I like transactional law – business transactions and entity formation. I also really like bankruptcy, which is where I’m going to start my practice. I’ll specialize in creditors rights. “I took bankruptcy class last year, and I really liked the subject matter. So I started working for a firm that does a lot of bankruptcy work for creditors, and I really like it. That’s where I’m going to start when I get done with law school.”

Writer: Sara Gibonet, University of Nebraska-Kearney Communications
Professor Brett Stohs

Legal Clinic Aids Entrepreneurs

09 Dec 2015    

The countless legal details involved with launching a business can be overwhelming and decisions have long-term consequences.

Student attorneys in the College of Law’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic are helping position Nebraska startups for success, while gaining firsthand experience in transactional law.

Brett Stohs, the clinic’s Cline Williams Director, established the clinic to meet local entrepreneurs’ needs. The early stages of starting a business involve numerous legal decisions that owners may be encountering for the first time, including contract negotiation, employee hiring, regulatory compliance and protecting intellectual property.

Often, budgets and timelines are tight. The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic pairs third-year law students with aspiring business owners seeking guidance on these and other issues. It’s a win for both parties, said Stohs, assistant clinical professor of law.

“Our goal is to engage student attorneys and push them into a situation where they have to swim in a private firm setting. It’s a great growth opportunity for them,” he said.

Law students learn valuable lessons about culture, communication and client expectations that a classroom can’t replicate, he said. Nearly 60 students have participated in the capstone program.

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic typically serves 12 to 15 clients each semester – and many more are waiting in line. When the clinic opened in 2013, most clients were from Lincoln. Now at least one-third come from rural areas, which allows students to learn how to assist clients remotely and expands the clinic’s ability to serve Nebraska.

A range of practical experiences and the diversity of clients give students a clearer idea of what they can achieve professionally, Stohs said.

The clinic shares a tie with the NMotion business accelerator, a mentoring and education program for startups. Stohs is a program mentor, and several NMotion alumni have been clinic clients, including animal health and biometrics company Quantified Ag.

Writer: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Research & Economic Development

Taylor Fritsch

Nebraska Law Review Volume 95 Executive Board Announced

08 Dec 2015    

The Nebraska Law Review recently held elections for Volume 95. The results are as follows:

Editor-in-Chief: Taylor Fritsch
Articles Editor: Lindsey Schmidt
Reviewing Editor: Kelsey Backus
Research Editor: Adam Kauffman
Managing Editor: Aly Stokes
Online Editor: Michael Blackburn
Executive Editors: Alison Janecek, James Kritenbrink, Haley Messerschmidt, David Pontier, Jennifer Ralph, Amy Swearer, Eric Synowicki, Colton Williams

About Nebraska Law Review

The Nebraska Law Review is a student-edited journal that publishes articles authored by professors, judges, student members, and others in the legal profession in four quarterly issues. The Review strives to publish timely, interesting, and informative articles for practitioners and scholars on both local and national levels. Currently, the Review has a national subscription base of law libraries, judges, and lawyers. The Review is directed by an Executive Board of Editors elected by the student members of the Review. The student editors bear primary responsibility for publication of the Review and receive invaluable training in writing, editing, and researching through performing their respective duties.

Follow the Nebraska Law Review on Twitter.

Alex Lierz

Lierz, Goddard Coauthor Report on Inmate Education

04 Dec 2015    

A new report released today by Nebraska Appleseed, titled “Education for Adults in Nebraska Corrections,” examines education in the corrections system in Nebraska and makes recommendations for improving access to education in order to reduce recidivism, improve employment prospects after incarceration, and make the most-efficient use of our federal, state, and community resources.

Third-year law student, Alex Lierz, and Nebraska Appleseed Economic Justice Director and class of 2009 alumnus, James Goddard, coauthored the report. Lierz is currently serving as a law clerk for Nebraska Appleseed.
Nebraska Law Trial Team

2015-16 National Trial Team Members Announced

01 Dec 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law National Trial Team was announced on Monday. Students representing Nebraska Law will be: Kelsey Deabler, Kaylyn Krzemien, Danny Marks, Randi Meyer, Sara Rips and Megan Theesen-Fenton. 

The regional and national competitions involve performing several mock trials of a civil case, including preparing direct and cross examinations, opening statements and closing arguments.  Students will focus on evidence, theory, theme, strategy and all aspects of a trial.

The Regional Competition will take place at the University of Wisconsin on February 19-21, 2016, and the National Competition will take place on March 30-April 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.

The team is coached by David Dudley and Jarrod Crouse, both of Baylor Evnen.
Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley

Access to Justice Task Force Chaired by Blankley Publishes White Paper

23 Nov 2015    

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley was the chair of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Access to Justice Task Force last year.  That committee produced a 20-page white paper on how alternative dispute resolution can aid in access to justice issues.  This work is featured on the Section’s website.

Ag Quiz Bowl Champions

Nebraska Law Team Wins American Agricultural Law Association Quiz Bowl

28 Oct 2015    

The Nebraska Law Team of Emily Sisco, 2L, Taylor Fritsch, 2L, and Alissa Doerr, 3L, won the 2015 Ag Law Quiz Bowl at the American Agricultural Law Association annual symposium in Charleston, South Carolina. The team competed against four other teams in a Jeopardy-style competition that tested knowledge of both agricultural law topics and other foundational areas such as property, torts and civil procedure. The team won the competition by defeating the team from Penn State University School of Law in the final round. 

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker Part of the Rural Futures Conference

21 Oct 2015    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker will be taking part in the international Rural Futures Conference at Nebraska Innovation Campus, October 21-23, 2015. Shoemaker will present a short TED-style talk (called an Envision Rural talk) on the plenary stage for the roughly 700 participants. She was chosen to given this presentation through a competitive selection process. On the final day of the conference, Shoemaker will speak at a breakout session she helped to organize on rural research agenda issues and specifically how international work is relevant. Shoemaker herself, spent time internationally as part of her grant work on land use planning participation.

Envision Rural talk, Thursday, October 22:

The Public Parts of Private Property: Community Engagement and Rural Design

Rural communities are built upon a series of discrete, individual land use decisions, and public engagement, which can be facilitated by a simulation game called “Plainsopoly,” is a key strategy to inform and connect this decision-making.

Breakout session, Friday, October 23:

Discovering the Future:  Charting the Rural Research Path

One key to understanding and advancing rural issues is pursuing a robust research agenda.   Panelists will discuss their experiences in working with rural issues, projects and communities in a variety of cultures and countries.  An open question and answer session will follow their presentations.   This session was developed based on feedback from a thought-leader survey launched by the RFI in 2015 and is designed to serve as a next step in advancing the future of rural through an informed, translational research agenda that embraces diversity and includes an international intent.

In addition to speaking, Shoemaker was also part of the Steering Committee for the conference planning. 

8th Annual Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Conference

19 Oct 2015    

 The 8th Annual Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Conference, hosted by the University Of Nebraska College Of Law, will be held October 29th and 30th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington DC.

The conference discusses U.S. space legislation and cybersecurity policy. The conference will include presentations from the top lawyers and policy-makers at government agencies, such as FAA, FCC, NASA, US State Dept., US Cyber Command, and private corporations, including SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Planetary Resources, Boeing, Microsoft, and Comcast.

This year, the space law portion of the conference beginning on Thursday October 29th at 2:00pm will include panel discussions of current space legislation. Both the House (HR 2262) and the Senate (S 1297) this Summer passed legislation that would make significant changes to US commercial space legislation but now the bills must be reconciled before becoming law. The last major revisions to US commercial space legislation occurred over a decade ago. New technology and business models for traditional activities, such as communications and earth observation satellites, new activities beginning in earnest in the next year or so, such as space tourism, and additional activities planned to be brought to market in the next decade, such as on-orbit satellite servicing and asteroid mining, all necessitate an updating of US commercial space legislation. Choices that will be made in the legislation will impact the competitiveness of and investment in the US commercial space industry, one of critical importance to the US economy. Among the issues in the bills to be discussed include treatment of liability issues (both third-party and space flight participant), in-space regulatory authority, extension of the “learning period” for human space flight, encouragement of consensus industry standards, property rights and non-interference rights for asteroid mining, and streamlining licensing procedures for space activities. The first panel will focus on various US government agency views on these topics, while the second panel will involve a cross-section of industry views.

Directly following the space law panels all guests are invited to join our faculty and speakers for a networking reception with wine and appetizers at the conference site.

The following day, Friday October 30th, the cyber law portion of the conference begins at 8:00am with a networking breakfast buffet; the panel discussions on cybersecurity begin at 8:45am. 

Despite its importance across many domains, cybersecurity is not a well-defined concept. The meaning and scope of cybersecurity problems, and the viability of potential solutions to these problems, differ substantially between, e.g., civilian, criminal, and national security institutions, between large and small businesses, between commercial, infrastructure, and consumer uses. The purpose of this event is to explore what different stakeholders mean when discussing “cybersecurity,” and in particular how these understandings relate to or conflict with one another.

Participants will be asked generally to share their perspective of what “cybersecurity” means -- what problems are encompassed by the term -- and why addressing these problems is difficult. We will pay special attention to discussing what can, and cannot, be done to address these problems, encouraging panelists to explore whether some potential solutions work well across multiple domains or, conversely, whether potential solutions in one domain are problematic to other domains.

Registration is free and available at

This event will not be streamed online.

Questions and concerns should be directly to the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program’s Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton: or 402-472-1662.





Professor Jack Beard

Beard Named Chair of ABILA Committee on the Use of Force

09 Oct 2015    

Professor Beard was named the Chair for the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) Committee on the Use of Force.  

The Committee’s national mandate is to advance the discussion and analysis of legal issues pertaining to the international use of force and related legal topics, to advance the discussion of scholarship in the field, and to conduct assessments of contemporary state practice. 

Jennifer Dannehl

Dannehl, '15, Named Associate at Endacott Peetz and Timmer

06 Oct 2015    

Jennifer Dannehl, '15, has been named an associate at the law firm of Endacott Peetz and Timmer. Dannehl will concentrate on estate and trust planning and administration, business succession planning, real estate, and agricultural law. Dannehl grew up on a family farm near Bertrand, Nebraska and brings a passion for agriculture to the firm. She graduated with highest distinction from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agricultural economics and with high distinction from the Nebraska College of Law.

Endacott, Peetz and Timmer serves clients throughout Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa in the areas of trust and estate law, community banking and construction litigation.   The firm is located in the historic Kennard Building at 10th and K Streets in Lincoln, at 410 Hale Avenue in Newman Grove and in the American National Bank Building on the corner of 90th and Dodge Streets in Omaha.  The firm can be reached toll free at 844-704-5296, at  or on Facebook.

Professor John Lenich

Lenich Appointed to Uniform Law Commission

06 Oct 2015    

Gov. Pete Ricketts appointed Professor John Lenich to a three-year term as one of Nebraska’s members of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.  The Commission’s membership consists of lawyers, judges, legislators, and law professors who have been appointed by their respective state governments. The goal of the Commission is to promote uniformity among the states on various subjects by researching, drafting, and promoting the adoption of uniform statutory acts.  The Commission was founded in 1892 and to date has drafted over 300 uniform acts.

Professors Zellmer, Schaefer, Moberly, Medill, Duncan and Blankley

Faculty Speak on a Variety of Topics

05 Oct 2015    

Professor Sandra Zellmer

Professor Sandra Zellmer spoke on Involuntary Payments for Watershed Services and Habitat, with an emphasis on Fifth Amendment Takings, at the National Workshop on Water Quality Markets, sponsored by the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and the University of Nebraska's Water for Food Institute.  The Workshop, which took place on September 16 at the University's Innovation Campus, highlighted recent initiatives in market-based approaches to water quality and streamflow improvements. In particular, it focused on markets that reduce costs of cleaning up waterways by allowing sources with high costs to purchase credits from sources that have lower costs of making the same water quality improvement.



Professor Matthew Schaefer

Professor Schaefer was one of fifteen participants in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Commerce Roundtable to discuss best methods and approaches for regulating space activities, including new space activities such as space tourism, asteroid mining, on-orbit satellite servicing and similar activities.  The discussion included coverage of the recent bills passed by the House (HR2262) and Senate (S1297) that will soon be discussed by a conference committee.  Professor Schaefer’s recommended approach in 33 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 223-273 (2015) to third-party liability is included in both bills and his recommended approach to space flight participant liability issues is included in the House bill.   Professor Schaefer has also participated in the drafting and co-signed two letters in May and September to Congressional leaders in support of the property rights provisions in the House bill. 

Professor Matthew Schaefer also spoke on the legal and regulatory panel at the Space Foundation’s inaugural Space Technology and Investment Forum on Oct. 1, 2015 in San Francisco.  The conference was attended by start-up space companies as well as established ones, and by the venture capital and angel investor community.  The discussion included coverage of the recent bills passed by the House (HR2262) and Senate (S1297) that will soon be discussed by a conference committee.  Professor Schaefer’s recommended approach in 33 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 223-273 (2015) to third-party liability is included in both bills and his recommended approach to space flight participant liability issues is included in the House bill.   Professor Schaefer has also participated in the drafting and co-signed two letters in May and September to Congressional leaders in support of the property rights provisions in the House bill. 


Professor Richard Moberly

On September 17 and 18, Professor Richard Moberly participated in a conference about whistleblowing in the Czech Republic, which is considering passing new legislation to protect whistleblowers. The conference, “A Challenge for Czech Republic: Whistleblowing - the Way to Protect the Financial Interests of the EU,” was sponsored by Oziveni, a Czech anticorruption advocacy group, and OLAF, the European Union Anti-Fraud Office, and being provided support by the City of Prague and the British Embassy in Prague. Professor Moberly spoke on “External and Internal ’Safety’ Methods of Reporting,” and participated on a Grand Panel Discussion on “Implementing Whistleblowers Protection into National Laws.”   More information on the conference can be found here.


Professor Colleen Medill

Professor Colleen Medill was selected to participate in an invitation-only national workshop on the financial future of retirement systems for public employees from September 17-20, 2015, in Palo Alto, California.   The workshop, sponsored by George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center, was designed to educate law professors concerning the financial and structural crises facing state retirement systems with the goal of stimulating additional research in the field.  Workshop topics included the core concepts of public pension reform, including financial economics for public policy, pensions and the public employee labor market, measuring pension liabilities, the challenges and opportunities of public pension reform, retiree health benefits for public employees, and a case study on attempted reforms to the Illinois pension system.


Professor Richard Duncan

Professor Richard Duncan traveled to Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan in September to discuss Kermit Gosnell, Planned Parenthood and the Masks of the Law (of Roe v. Wade). Professor Duncan’s visit to Indiana University was discussed in the campus newspaper. Read the story here.


Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley gave a presentation on Ethics and Collaborative Law at the 11th Annual Civil Collaborative Law Conference in Dallas, Texas.  The conference is one of the preeminent conferences in the field of collaborative law.

Professor Matthew Schaefer

Schaefer Speaks at Space Foundation’s Inaugural Space Technology and Investment Forum

05 Oct 2015    

Professor Matthew Schaefer spoke on the legal and regulatory panel at the Space Foundation’s inaugural Space Technology and Investment Forum on Oct. 1, 2015 in San Francisco.  The conference was attended by start-up space companies as well as established ones, and by the venture capital and angel investor community.  The discussion included coverage of the recent bills passed by the House (HR2262) and Senate (S1297) that will soon be discussed by a conference committee.  Professor Schaefer’s recommended approach in 33 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 223-273 (2015) to third-party liability is included in both bills and his recommended approach to space flight participant liability issues is included in the House bill.   Professor Schaefer has also participated in the drafting and co-signed two letters in May and September to Congressional leaders in support of the property rights provisions in the House bill. 

Professor John Langbein

Yale Professor, John H. Langbein, to Present Lane Lecture

04 Oct 2015    

John Langbein, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Legal History and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, will deliver the University of Nebraska College of Law's Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation Lecture at noon Friday, Nov. 6, at the college's Hamann Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Probate, the state-operated system of family wealth transmission, has been marginalized in contemporary American practice by the rise of free-market competitors in the financial services industry.  Today, it is banks, mutual fund companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and retirement plan operators who handle most intergenerational wealth transfer. Langbein's lecture, "The Nonprobate Revolution: Privatizing Family Wealth Transfer in the United States," will address the causes and extent of the nonprobate revolution, and about some worrisome drawbacks that are emerging as this new system of wealth transfer takes hold.    

"We are delighted to host Professor Langbein as this year's Lane lecturer," Dean Susan Poser said. "He is very respected and we are fortunate to have the support of the Lane Foundation so that speakers of his caliber can be brought to our academic community."

Langbein is an eminent legal historian and a leading American authority on trust, probate, pension and investment law. He teaches and writes in the fields of Anglo-American and European legal history, modern comparative law, trust and estate law, and pension and employee benefit law, or ERISA. He has long been active in law reform work, serving under gubernatorial appointment as a uniform law commissioner since 1984. He was the reporter and principal drafter of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act (1994), which governs fiduciary investing in most American states, and he was associate reporter of the American Law Institute's Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers (3 vols. 1999-2011).

Langbein has written extensively about the history of civil and criminal procedure, and about the contrasts between modern American and continental procedure. His book "The Origins of Adversary Criminal Trial" (2003) received the Coif Biennial Book Award (2006) as the outstanding American book on law. In 2009 he co-published "History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions," a textbook on the history of the legal system. He also co-authors a course book on pension and benefit law.

The Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation provides scholarships to students at the College of Law and Creighton Law School. The foundation also provides grants to support law faculty research and to underwrite the Lane Foundation Lecture. Winthrop Lane was born in Omaha in 1889 and attended Harvard Law School. He was a partner in the firm of Rose, Wells, Martin and Lane, a predecessor to the present Baird Holm law firm in Omaha.

Attorneys will received 1 CLE credit for attending. RSVP by Thursday, November 5, 2015:


Professor Anna Shavers

Shavers Appointed to American Bar Association Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services

24 Sep 2015    

Professor Anna Shavers has been appointed to the American Bar Association Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services. The primary purpose of the Task Force is to: monitor onging tade negotiations and other initiatives that impact trade in legal services; inform and educate ABA members and state regulators about legal services trade issues and their implications for the regulation and practice of law in the U.S. and abroad; and regularly communicate with Office of U.S. Trades representatives and the Department of Commerce regarding legal services. Shavers appointment will conclude at the 2016 ABA annual meeting in August. 

Wilson to Join the Federal Reserve Board Community Advisory Council

22 Sep 2015    

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced the members of its newly created Community Advisory Council (CAC).

The CAC is composed of individuals with consumer- and community development-related expertise who will provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Board on a wide range of relevant policy matters and emerging issues of interest. The fifteen members of the CAC were selected from a pool of individuals who responded to the Board's public request for candidates (PDF). CAC members will initially serve one-, two-, or three-year staggered terms to provide the CAC with continuity. Going forward, new members will be appointed to three-year terms.

The first meeting of the CAC will be held in Washington, D.C. on November 20, 2015. 

The members of the CAC are:

Roberto Barragan
Angela Glover Blackwell
Patrick Dujakovich
Benjamin Dulchin
Brian Fogle
Ben Mangan
Rodrick Miller
Noel Poyo
Michael Rubinger
Arden Shank
Adrienne Smith
Sue Taoka
Mary Tingerthal
Raul Vazquez
Catherine Wilson

#1 Best Value Law School

Nebraska Law Named #1 Best Value Law School in the U.S.

15 Sep 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law has been ranked the No. 1 best value law school in the country by The National Jurist magazine. While the college has consistently been ranked as one of the country’s top 10 best value schools, this is the first time it has received the publication's top ranking.

“Each year we are thrilled to be recognized as a top value law school,” Dean Susan Poser said. “The National Jurist ranking acknowledges that our graduates receive an incredible education that sets them up for success and because of their low debt upon graduation, they have great freedom to choose whatever career path they want.”

The methodology behind the ranking takes into account bar passage rate, tuition costs, post-graduation employment rate, cost of living and average indebtedness. The employment rate is weighted heaviest in the calculation.

Poser said since the recent economic downturn, the College of Law has maintained its academic standards while building the curriculum to make certain that graduates can compete in an increasingly competitive job market.

“Our faculty has taken a hard look at the curriculum in the last five years and we have made some changes that have benefited our students,” she said.

Examples of these curriculum changes include the addition of an international law course to the first year curriculum, the creation of an entrepreneurship legal clinic and the development of a solo/small firm practice area of concentrated study.

“Employers know what we have always known. Our students graduate with an impressive knowledge base and with the skills needed to put that knowledge into practice effectively,” she said. “This is why Nebraska Law graduates have jobs around the country, from top New York law firms to the most rural parts of our state.”

In March, the college was ranked No. 56 of 198 law schools by U.S. News and World Report. In three years, it has climbed more than 30 spots in the annual rankings.

Professor Matthew Schaefer

Schaefer Participates in Space Commerce Roundtable at AIAA SPACE 2015 in Pasadena

15 Sep 2015    

Professor Schaefer was one of fifteen participants in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Commerce Roundtable to discuss best methods and approaches for regulating space activities, including new space activities such as space tourism, asteroid mining, on-orbit satellite servicing and similar activities.  The discussion included coverage of the recent bills passed by the House (HR2262) and Senate (S1297) that will soon be discussed by a conference committee.  Professor Schaefer’s recommended approach in 33 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 223-273 (2015) to third-party liability is included in both bills and his recommended approach to space flight participant liability issues is included in the House bill.   Professor Schaefer has also participated in the drafting and co-signed two letters in May and September to Congressional leaders in support of the property rights provisions in the House bill. 

Stephanie Taylor

Taylor, '02, Joins Stites & Harbison Entertainment Law Group

08 Sep 2015    

Stites & Harbison, PLLC announced today the launch of a new Entertainment Law practice with the addition of Member (Partner) Stephanie R. Taylor to the Nashville, Tennessee, office.  Taylor will lead the team with help from current Stites & Harbison attorney, Jeremy Brook.  

 As an entertainment and music industry attorney, Taylor provides a broad range of legal services to clients involved in the creation, production and management of creative works. She understands the special needs of the entertainment industry and represents clients in all areas of the industry including music and television.

Besides being an accomplished attorney, Taylor is a classically trained violinist and has toured as a professional country/bluegrass fiddle player.  She received her J.D. and B.A. in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her M.B.A. from Belmont University. Prior to joining Stites & Harbison, Taylor was a Partner and Chair of the Entertainment Law Division at Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville.  Prior to that, she was a tenured professor of music business at Middle Tennessee State University where she directed the school’s Recording Industry Exchange program with Russia.

“As the needs of the entertainment industry become more diverse, I am thrilled to have talented attorneys on my team with expertise in areas such as business transactions, litigation, real estate, estate planning and family law,” said Taylor.  “I am confident the team approach at Stites will benefit my clients in all facets of their life and career.”

“We are thrilled to have Stephanie join us,” stated Gregory D. Smith, Nashville Office Executive Member.  “She is a wonderful individual, a very fine lawyer, and a world-class fiddle player.  She has built an impressive entertainment law practice, and we look forward to working with Stephanie and her clients.”

Outside of the firm, Taylor is active in community and professional organizations.  She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Bluegrass Music and the International Bluegrass Music Museum.  Taylor also donates her time to Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts.  She is a member of the American Bar Association (Entertainment and Sports Law Forum), Americana Music Association, Country Music Association, International Bluegrass Music Association, The Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) and the Tennessee Bar Association (Entertainment and Sports Law Forum).


Professor Brian Lepard

Brian Lepard Publishes Book Review on Islamic Law and Human Rights in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

31 Aug 2015    

Professor Brian Lepard recently published a book review on Islamic law and human rights in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion.  The review was of the book Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law: Searching for Common Ground?, by Anver M. Emon, Mark S. Ellis, and Benjamin Glahn, and published by Oxford University Press in 2012.  

Professor Lepard is the author of numerous books and articles on international law, human rights, world religions, and ethics, including Hope for a Global Ethic: Shared Principles in Religious Scriptures (Bahá’í Publishing, 2005) and Customary International Law: A New Theory with Practical Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2010). 
Robert McCalla

McCalla, '61, Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

21 Aug 2015    

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced today that seven attorneys in the New Orleans office have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016®, including Robert McCalla, '61.

The attorneys, who specialize in labor and employment law, labor and employment litigation, employee benefits law, or immigration law were honored for their labor and/or employment work unless otherwise noted. Recognitions include: 

  • Sandra Mills Feingerts, Employee Benefits Law (20 years listed) 
  • Edward F. Harold 
  • Robert K. McCalla (30 years listed) 
  • Michael S. Mitchell 
  • Keith M. Pyburn, Jr., Labor Law - Management “Lawyer of the Year” (15 years listed) 
  • Scott D. Schneider 
  • Timothy H. Scott 

The New Orleans based lawyers are among the 84 Fisher & Phillips attorneys in this year’s publication, representing 25 regional offices nationwide 

James Walters

Walters, '70, Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

21 Aug 2015    

James Walters, '70, has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016®Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Their lists are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

Walters is a senior partner in the Atlanta office. His practice has a strong emphasis on the representation of employers under the two principal federal labor laws, the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act. In addition to representing employers in various industries in both collective bargaining and arbitration matters, he devotes a substantial amount of his time to defending companies charged with unfair labor practices or similar claims in cases before the NLRB, the NMB and numerous federal courts.

Brian Fahey

Fahey, '15, Wins National Employee Benefits Writing Competition

20 Aug 2015    

Brian Fahey, ’15, won the 2015 Sidney M. Perlstadt Memorial Award in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel’s Eleventh Annual Employee Benefits Writing Competition. Fahey’s winning submission was entitled “Make-Whole Relief: Non-Economic Loss, Punitive Damages & Back-Pay Availability Under ERISA §502(a)3) in the Wake of Cigna Corp. v. Amara.” Fahey received the award at the Counsel’s annual black tie induction dinner on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at The Chicago Club in Chicago, Ill.  

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Participates in Gathering in Montreal to Draft a “Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions"

19 Aug 2015    

On the weekend of August 1-2, 2015 Professor Brian Lepard participated in a roundtable of academic experts on world religions in Montreal, Canada.  He and the other participants discussed the draft text of a “Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World’s Religions,” designed to complement the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948.  The objective of the new document is to articulate a common religious perspective on human rights that emphasizes the positive contribution that religions and their followers can make to the full realization of human rights. 

An earlier version of the text was published in The New York Times in 2005.  The draft was then released for discussion in the academic and faith communities by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Madame Shirin Ebadi, at the first global conference on World’s Religions After September 11, when it met in Montreal from September 11-15, 2006.  It was attended by 2025 delegates from 84 countries and a number of suggestions were received in its wake. A revised version was prepared in light of these and other suggestions, which was then released for further discussion at the second global conference on World’s Religions After September 11, when it met on September 7, 2011 in Montreal.

This conference was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama, who is a Patron of the project, along with four other Nobel Peace laureates:  Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Madame Shirin Ebadi, Bishop Belo of Timor Leste, and Professor Elie Wiesel. An overwhelming majority of the 3007 participants present at this conference voted in favor of bringing the project to a conclusion.   

Professor Lepard participated in a conference from June 1 to 2, 2013 to discuss the text, and at this latest gathering in August 2015 the text was virtually finalized.  The supporters of the project plan to release the final document at a third global conference on World’s Religions After September 11, which will meet in Montreal on September 11, 2016.

Professor Lepard is the author of numerous books and articles on international law, human rights, world religions, and ethics, including Hope for a Global Ethic: Shared Principles in Religious Scriptures (Bahá’í Pubishing, 2005) and Customary International Law: A New Theory with Practical Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2010).


Participants at the roundtable in Montreal from July 31 to August 2, 2015.  From left to right: Praveen Vijayakumar, Daniel Cere, Vivian-Lee Nyitray, Amir Hussain, Arvind Sharma, Faye Sutherland, Brian Lepard and Douglas Oliver.  

Alissa Doerr

Doerr's Research Published in Energy News Publications

18 Aug 2015    

As part of Alissa Doerr's (3L) externship with the Center for Rural Affairs, she analyzed zoning issues as they relate to wind turbine siting in Nebraska and other wind-rich states. The Center released her research as a white paper this summer, and it has been published in numerous energy-related publications including Midwest Energy News, Governors' Wind Energy Coalition and North American Windpower.

Stacy, '91, Named to the Nebraska Supreme Court

14 Aug 2015    

Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy will succeed Justice Kenneth C. Stephan on the Nebraska Supreme Court.

“Judge Stacy’s judicial and legal experience have served the State of Nebraska well,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a news release Friday. “Her expertise and judicial temperament will continue to be an asset to the people of Nebraska and now also to our State’s Supreme Court.”

Before being named a district court judge in 2011, Stacy was a partner at Baylor, Evnen, Curtiss, Grimit & Witt, LLP. She also taught trial advocacy and pretrial litigation at the University of Nebraska College of Law, from which she graduated in 1991.

On the district court, Stacy handled felony criminal, civil and domestic cases and appeals from county court and administrative agencies, as well as lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of state laws, election issues and suits against the state and state officials.

Last year, Stacy sided with the three landowners in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and ruled that a 2012 law improperly bypassed the authority of the Nebraska Public Service Commission by allowing the governor to approve the pipeline route and give TransCanada the power to use eminent domain. Ultimately, the state appealed and the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the law.

Since February 2015, Stacy also has been one of two judges to preside over the Lancaster County Adult Drug Court. She has received the Exceptional Performance Citation from the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association and been peer nominated to national honoraries including the American Board of Trial Advocates, International Association of Defense Counsel and the Litigation Counsel of America.

Stephan retired July 1. Stacy's appointment marks Ricketts’ first to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Story via the Lincoln Journal Star.

Professor Gus Hurwitz

Hurwitz and International Center for Law & Economics Challenge FCC's Open Internet Order

07 Aug 2015    

Professor Gus Hurwitz was the primary co-author of an amicus brief filed yesterday in the DC Circuit by the International Center for Law & Economics. In addition to Hurwitz, nine other law & economics scholars helped draft the brief which challenges the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order and explains why it should be vacated by the court. 

More information, including a copy of the brief, is available on the International Center for Law & Economics website.
Library Director Richard Leiter

American Association of Law Libraries 2015 Conference Highlights

04 Aug 2015    

On July 18-22, the Schmid Law Library librarians attended the 2015 American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) annual meeting in Philadelphia. The librarians who attended, Richard Leiter, Sandy Placzek, Marcia Dority Baker and Stefanie Pearlman hold positions on several national committees and special interest sections. 


Library Director, Richard Leiter, demonstrated the beta version of a new Hein Online database being developed by the Wm S Hein & Co, the publisher of the 7th edition of his reference book, National Survey of State Laws. The book and database will be released in September 2015.

Photo via @HeinOnline


Sandy Placzek, Associate Director and Professor of Law Library, participated in a program on e-books with a New York law firm librarian. Sandy’s remarks focused on the integration of e-books and digital content in academic law libraries. The program, “Strategic Integration of E-books and Digital Content in Law Libraries” was standing room only.


Stefanie Pearlman, Professor of Law Library and Reference Librarian finished her term as President of the Animal Law Caucus, and is the incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the Social Responsibilities-Special Interest Section.


Marcia Dority Baker at conferencePhoto via @JenWondracek

Marcia Dority Baker, Associate Professor of Law Library and Access Services Librarian, attended the AALL Hackathon: Connecting Legal Information. She was part of the winning team with a finished project; P.Law.G or the Public Law Timeline of the Popular Names Table. The goal of the team’s project was t0 visualize the Popular Names Table by showing the “weight” of a public law by the amount of legislation it has. Marcia also presented at the Cool Tools Café Dive Deep program on using Google Forms. 


Photo via @deshrager

Law Librarian Conversations,
a popular radio show/podcast hosted by Richard Leiter, Marcia Dority Baker and Roger Skalbeck (University of Richmond School of Law), produced three live podcasts during the conference. The shows were scheduled at the end of the program day and were intended as daily wrap-ups for the conference. Guests on the show included the presidents of major publishing companies, the Superintendent of Documents at the Government Printing Office (GPO), as well as several past AALL presidents and sitting board members. Episodes can be heard on iTunes or the Blog Talk Radio site. 


Photo via Rich Leiter

Schmid Law Library hosted the first get-together for Nebraska Law alumni. Four former students including: Josh Pluta (Texas Tech Law School), Candle Wester (University of South Carolina Law), Melissa Beehner Pinch (K & L Gates, Seattle) and Michael McCarthy (University of Michigan Law School) attended the gatherine. Casey Duncan (new director at University of Wyoming Law School) and Stacy Etheredge (University of West Virginia Law School) were among the other Nebraska Law alumni in attendance.

Randy Stevenson

Stevenson, '85, Inducted as Fellow of College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

15 Jul 2015    

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers is proud to announce the election of R.J. (Randy) Stevenson, partner at Baird Holm LLP in Omaha, Nebraska, as a newly elected Fellow. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one's colleagues of sustained, outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence.

"We congratulate Randy, the head of our Labor and Employment practice, on his election as a Fellow of The College," said Baird Holm LLP Managing Partner, Richard E. Putnam. "This is a great honor for Randy and our firm."

The twentieth installation of the Fellows will be held November 7, 2015, in Philadelphia, coincident with the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section's Continuing Legal Education Conference. With the current installation, the College is represented by more than 1300 members in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and eight provinces from Canada.

About The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

The College was established in 1995 through an initiative of the Council of The Section of Labor and Employment Law of the American Bar Association. It operates as a free standing organization recognizing those who, by long and outstanding service, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field.

About Baird Holm LLP

Baird Holm LLP's integrated team of more than 85 attorneys, licensed in 20 states, is committed to connecting each of its valued clients to the positive outcomes they seek. With extensive and diverse expertise, Baird Holm leverages each attorney's skills to respond efficiently to its clients' local, regional, national and international legal needs.

Rooted by the promise to constantly evolve in anticipation of our clients' rapidly changing needs, Baird Holm has enjoyed steady and measured growth since its founding in 1873. Today, Baird Holm attorneys look to the future as they carry on the legacy created by their visionary founders.

Professors Eric Berger and Gus Hurwitz

Nebraska Law Professors Part of Supreme Court Decision Discussions

09 Jul 2015    

Professors Eric Berger and Justin (Gus) Hurwitz have had a busy couple of weeks. Many of the landmark cases recently decided by the United States Supreme Court are rooted in legal areas in which they are experts.  Below is a collection of op-ed articles and media interviews done by these professors: 

Eric Berger

Justin (Gus) Hurwitz

Tyler Spahn

Spahn, '13, Joins Sattler & Bogen as Associate Attorney

01 Jul 2015    

Sattler & Bogen, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of an associate attorney.   Tyler Spahn attended the UNL College of Law and graduated with an emphasis in civil litigation. During law school, he served as an Executive Editor of the Nebraska Law Review, participated in the Order of the Coif, and clerked for a local law firm assisting with personal injury litigation. After graduation, Tyler served as a judicial clerk for the Hon. William B. Cassel of the Nebraska Supreme Court from 2013–2015.
Sandra Zellmer

Zellmer Participates in 15th World Water Congress

18 Jun 2015    

Professor Sandra Zellmer attended the 15th Word Water Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland as part of the panel discussing "Global challenges in water governance: Vulnerability Assessments."

Professor Zellmer provided a summary of the Congress below:

The World Water Congress, organized by the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), is one of the most important global events in the water field.  Held every three years since 1973, the Congress provides a forum for experts in water-related fields from around the world, and allows participants to share experiences and to present new knowledge, research, and developments related to water resources.  In this way, the Congress places water-related issues at the forefront of international policy and management.  

Just under 1,000 professionals attended the 15th World Water Congress, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, gathering from more than fifty nations and five continents. Additionally, the Congress featured a distinct “law” track with eight panel programs, as well as an additional dozen or so special sessions and side events organized around law/policy topics.

The 15th Congress focused on the opportunities, challenges, and constraints facing global water resources. We call upon our freshwater resources to promote development, reduce poverty, and conserve the environment and hundreds of thousands of plant and animal species, but at both the national and sub-national levels, water is often scarce, polluted, mismanaged, and misallocated. Water management is at a critical juncture in our increasingly complex world. The Congress organizers recognized, “A main handicap has been that water management has often been considered as an end by itself, and not as a means to an end, the end being to achieve overall development, economic prosperity, improvement of quality of life and environmental conservation. In spite of its relevance, water is often not regarded as a key determinant for development, absent from many political agendas.”

The University of Nebraska College of Law and Water for Food Institute enabled me to participate as a delegate at the Congress, where I explored an array of issues related to water as a global resource for economic, social, and environmental development and conservation. Three of the panels at the Congress were of particular interest to me.  I spoke on the first.

1.  Global Challenges in Water Governance: Vulnerability Assessments.  Dr. Roy Middleton of Scottish Water, the publicly owned drinking water supplier in Scotland, served as our moderator and also spoke about sustainable urban drainage systems in the built environment.  Mark Wilkinson of the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, turned our attention to the rural landscape, where intensive farming practices often increase local runoff rates, resulting in water quality issues and local flooding. Dr. Wilkinson explained the potential for agriculture to become part of the solution, rather than being part of the problem, with the support of European Union policies that attempt to reduce flooding and improve water quality through preserving, enhancing, or reinstating natural processes and features. He demonstrated how agricultural Runoff Attenuation Features (RAFs), such as edge of field disconnection bunds, offline ponds, and wetlands, promote the storage, slowing, and infiltration of runoff at the source.

I addressed Floods, Coastal Losses, and the Role of Law in Disaster Management, drawing from my book with co-author Christine A. Klein, Mississippi River Tragedies: A Century of Unnatural Disaster (NYU Press 2014).  Storms may well be natural phenomenon, but humans have demonstrated an uncanny ability to exacerbate their own vulnerability to them by shortsighted engineering projects, undue faith in technology, improvident development activities that cause the loss of coastal wetlands and barrier islands, and poor decision-making processes that encourage development in the floodplain. These are often compounded by an array of government incentives, such as subsidized crop and flood insurance. The acknowledgement of our own responsibility for unnatural disasters can lead to blame and finger-pointing, but it can also prod us to confront the consequences of our actions, leading to the knowledge necessary to avoid future disasters. This, in turn, can lead to a liberating sense of possibility and opportunity--melding our own social and economic aspirations with the environmental imperatives of water and waterbodies. If we acknowledge that at least some disasters are unnatural, not uncontrollable "acts of God," then we have a fighting chance at making better laws and better decisions in the future. Potential legal reforms include fine-tuning or eliminating subsidies that create perverse development incentives, redefining landowners' expectations and property rights in coastal zones and floodplains, adjusting our approaches to navigation and channelization of flood-prone rivers, preserving wetlands and barrier islands, and restoring degraded riparian and coastal ecosystems.

2.  Water Allocation Among Competing Urban and Agricultural Uses. This session addressed the topic of water markets and the allocation of agricultural and urban water rights, with an eye toward the question: will agricultural production be reshaped in the future by the demand for and supply of scarce water resources?  Laura Schroeder and Therese Ure, of Portland, Oregon, assessed several case studies in the Western United States where water was moved out of agriculture production to urban uses. First, California's Imperial Irrigation District faced the problem of scarcity in the face of drought head on by negotiating contracts with its agricultural producers to fallow certain fields, thus leaving water available for urban uses. By contrast, in Nevada, movement to take water from agriculture and restructure river systems modifying federal decrees was seen through federal litigation and modification of delivery contracts.  The speakers recognized a clear and present trend in the Western United States to move water out of agriculture to urban and municipal uses, with a definite impact on food and fiber production.  They posed the question: at what point will we prioritize agriculture to ensure sustainable food production without increased reliance on imports.  They emphasized that cooperation must be prioritized in lieu of spending resources in litigation.

3.  Getting the Best Out of Global Water Conventions. The entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention in August 2014 and the opening up of the UNECE Water Convention to all UN member states mark two major milestones in the evolution of international law relating to transboundary watercourses. This panel assessed how these two global framework instruments can play a critical role in strengthening the equitable and sustainable management of the world’s transboundary waters. It aimed to deepen our understanding of the role and relevance of these conventions, and the benefits of having them both in operation and alongside other existing global legal instruments.  Speakers included Ms. Zaki Shubber, UNESCO IHE Delft, Dr. Marian Patrick, Stockholm International Water Institute, Dr. Christina Leb, World Bank, Professor Gabriel Eckstein, Texas A&M University, and Dr. Salman Salman, IWRA Fellow and former Legal Counsel, World Bank.

For those that would like further information, a short video of the 15th World Water Congress is available at:

By Sandra Zellmer, Robert B. Daugherty Professor, Nebraska College of Law

Taylor Brooks

Brooks, '15, Named Scoville Peace Fellow

18 Jun 2015    

Taylor Brooks, '15, was named a Scoville Peace Fellow for Fall 2015 by the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship. The fellowship program recognizes outstanding individuals who have a strong desire to work with nonprofit, public-interest organizations addressing peace and security issues. Brooks will work at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, contributing to research on cyber arms control, anti-satelitte, and missile defense issues. 

Brooks recently graduated from Nebraska Law with distincition and a concentration in Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law. While at Nebraska, Brooks was a member of the Nebraska Law Review, served as the advocacy chair for Allies and Advocates, and wokred at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand,  U.S. Strategic Command's University Affiliated Research Center and Nebraska Appleseed.
Professors Eric Berger and Richard Duncan

Professors Berger and Duncan Write Death Penalty Repeal Opinion

16 Jun 2015    

Constitutional law professors Eric Berger and Richard Duncan submitted an opinion article to the Omaha Wolrd-Herald outling their stance on the Nebraska legislature's repeal of the death penalty. In the article, they point out the expense to the state and make clear that neither believes the program is working. 

Read the full article in the Omaha World-Hearld.

Megan McDowell

McDowell Receives Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award

10 Jun 2015    

For her exceptional work as a student attorney in the Nebraska Law Civil Clinical Law Program, Megan McDowell received the Outstanding Student Award presented annually by the Clinical Legal Education Association.  Megan was nominated for the award by her supervisors, Professors Kevin Ruser and Ryan Sullivan.  Criteria for the award were:

  • excellence in field work and client representation
  • excellence in the seminar component of the clinical course  
  • significant contribution to the clinical community

During her time in the Clinic, Megan assisted low-income clients in resolving matters in the area of family law and guardianship, and drafted estate planning documents for senior citizens as part the Clinic’s Advance Directives Clinic project.  Following admission to the bar, Megan intends to practice family law with the Lincoln firm Gordon Law, LLC.

Bill Ojile

Ojile, '85, Joins Armstrong Teasdale's Litigation Practice

09 Jun 2015    

Armstrong Teasdale announces the addition of Bill Ojile, partner, to its Litigation practice group. Ojile is based in the firm’s Denver office.

With more than 25 years of experience, Ojile focuses on resolving difficult legal and policy issues for higher education institutions, telecommunications companies and other entities operating in highly regulated environments.

Ojile has extensive in-house counsel experience, including serving as the general counsel for Valor Telecom, a publicly traded telecommunications carrier and Alta Colleges, Inc, operator of a system of private post-secondary educational institutions.  In those roles he developed companies’ strategic direction and compliance programs to help them adhere to laws and regulations.  Also, as an in-house counsel and private practitioner, Ojile has defended companies in administrative, state and federal cases.

He earned his J.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law and B.S. in accounting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Ojile is admitted to practice law in Colorado, Minnesota and Nebraska.

About Armstrong Teasdale: With more than 225 lawyers in offices across the United States and China, Armstrong Teasdale LLP has a demonstrable track record of delivering sophisticated legal advice and exceptional service to a dynamic client base. Whether an issue is local or global, practice area specific or industry related, Armstrong Teasdale provides each client with an invaluable combination of legal resources and practical advice in nearly every area of law. The firm is a member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms with locations in more than 100 countries, and the United States Law Firm Group, a network of 18 law firms headquartered in major U.S. cities. Armstrong Teasdale is listed in the Am Law 200, published by The American Lawyer, and the NLJ 250, published by The National Law Journal. For more information, please

Dr. Marlena Jankowska

Nebraska Law to Host Visiting Researcher

09 Jun 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will host Dr. Marlena Jankowska in the month of June. 

Dr. Jankowska is an assistant professor in the faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Silesia in Katowice in Poland, as well as an experienced attorney specializing in intellectual property, new technologies and geoinformation law. She will visit the University of Nebraska College of Law June 10 through July 11, 2015 as a Visiting Researcher in order to further research legal issues concerning spatial data.

Dr. Jankowska holds an extensive publication record in the fields of civil law, copyright law, energy law, geoinformation law, commercial law and public procurement law. Recently she edited and co-authored the book Geoinformaton. Law and Practice (IusPublicum, Warsaw 2014) together with many prominent researchers and experts in the field. She defended her PhD dissertation in Intellectual Property Law, entitled Author and the Right of Attribution, in 2010 at the University of Silesia in Katowice, after which it was published as a book under the same title by Wolters Kluwer Poland in 2011 (555 p.). She has been guest lecturer at several institutions, namely the University of Hertfordshire (June 2013), Nottingham Law School at Nottingham Trent University (February 2014) and University of Nantes (March 2015) and has carried out research at Max Planck Institute in Munich, ALS Library in London and the library of WIPO in Geneva. 

Currently, Dr. Jankowska is preparing her book on copyright issues concerning maps. Significant changes in the nature of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) have created new legal uncertainties that have not yet received sufficient attention from the legal profession in Europe.  The practice of using SDI has nevertheless shown that there are  many legal issues worth noting, especially concerning  intellectual property rights. On that subject, what we have to confront in the doctrine of copyright law is the balance between the competing  principles of accessibility of public information against the principles of copyright protection. At the same time, the technological challenge stimulates doubts about the copyright protection even more, as it is not certain whether SDIs are copyrightable at all. As there are many standpoints in that matter, it has to be answered whether U.S. and European legal regulations, as well as the technical framework of creating the digital data and databases (e.g. the ISO standards), can strip away the creative element from the work. It should also be noted that the current legal standpoint on maps is a vague one that leaves many unanswered questions. Should we, for example, assume that an idea may only be copyrightable if it is individualized, creative and has been articulated in some form? Do we need to re-imagine the relationship between factual content (e.g.  geographical information) and a creative form of expression (e.g. a cartographic map)? Additional challenges emerge when we consider the relationship of the above to space law.

Dr. Jankowska would like to express her gratitude to Dr. Susan Poser, the Dean of University of Nebraska College of Law, and Professor Frans von der Dunk, Harvey & Susan Perlman Alumni Othmer Professor of Space Law, for this opportunity to research legal spatial data issues at the Nebraska Law.

Brianna McLarty

McLarty Receives National Association of Women Lawyers 2015 Outstanding Law Student Award

03 Jun 2015    

Brianna McLarty, '15, received the University of Nebraska nomination for the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) 2015 Outstanding Law Student Award. McLarty will be featured in an upcoming issues of the Women Lawyers Journal. 

The NAWL award recognizes graduating third-year law students who have met the following criteria:
      • Contributes to the advancement of women in society
      • Promotes issues and concerns of women in the legal profession
      • Exhibits motivation, tenacity, and enthusiasm
      • Demonstrates high academic achievement
      • Earns faculty and administrative respect
Before coming to Nebraska Law, McLarty was a Regional Organizer for Planned Parenthood, where she was an advocate for women's rights and access to health care. She continues to volunteer for the organization and other local women's organizations. While at Nebraska Law, McLarty was actively involved in the Women's Law Caucus, mentoring younger members and volunteering to run the Susan B. Anthony Charity Auction twice. Upon graduation, Mclarty will continue to work as the Director of Voting Rights for the Nebraskans for Civic reform. 
Professor Matthew Schaefer

Schaefer and Burnett Sign Letters Read into Congressional Record

26 May 2015    

On May 21, the House of Representatives passed four space bills, including HR 1508 – the Space Resource and Utilization Act (HR 1508).  During committee consideration of the bill, a letter by Professor Joanne Gabrynowicz claimed portions of the Bill violated US obligations under the Outer Space Treaty, specifically Art. II.  In response, prior to full House consideration of the bill, Nebraska Law Professor Matthew Schaefer, Nebraska Law Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Advisory Board Vice-Chair and Adjunct Professor of Law Dennis Burnett, and three others submitted letters rejecting that claim and providing analysis of why HR1508 (and its companion bill S. 976) is fully consistent with US international obligations under the Outer Space Treaty.  The letters were quoted on the floor by Rep. Posey (R-WA) and placed in the Congressional Record on May 21, 2015 at page H3518 et seq.   Another bill passed by the House that day has a provision that would extend the promise of government indemnification for third-party liability claims exceeding the Maximum Probable Loss until 2025.  Professor Schaefer’s White Paper for Nebraska Law’s Seventh Annual DC Conference (Nov. 2013) and his accompanying article in the Berkeley J. of International Law recommended a long-term extension of the promise of government indemnification if a pure liability cap was not enacted.

Professor Rob DEnicola

Denicola Featured in Intellectual Property Essay

26 May 2015    

Three articles written by Professor Rob Denicola were featured in Lost Classics of Intellectual Property, an essay written by University of Pittsburgh professor Michael Madison. The essay was written to provide information to junior scholars about the most important intellectual property articles that were written before 1985. 

In total, 73 articles made the list. Among them were one trademark and two copyright articles written by Denicola.
  • Copyright and Free Speech: Constitutional Limitations on the Protection of Expression, 67 CAL. L. REV. 283 (1979) 
  • Applied Art and Industrial Design: A Suggested Approach to Copyright in Useful Articles, 67 MINN. L. REV. 707 (1983) 
  • Trademarks as Speech: Constitutional Implications of the Emerging Rationales for the Protection of Trade Symbols, 1982 WIS. L. REV. 158 

Professor Willborn

Willborn Publishes Yearbook of Comparative Labour Law Scholarship 2014

21 May 2015    

Professor Steven Willborn's book, Yearbook of Comparative Labour Law Scholarship 2014, was released this week. The book brings together a wide range of cutting-edge research and analysis on labour and employment law themes from around the world, chosen from the pages of the member journals of the International Association of Labour Law Journals. A collaborative project of that Association and the International Society of Labour and Social Security Law, this edition of the Yearbook — the inaugural volume in an annual series — spans contributions from eleven countries across five continents. The contributions deal with such diverse subjects as labour trafficking in China, the impact of austerity measures on labour law systems within the EU, so-called "right to work" initiatives in Canada, freedom of movement for migrant workers in the ASEAN states, recent trajectories in the framework of Australia’s labour law, and many others. Written by renowned scholars in the field, the papers in the Yearbook reflect the critical and growing importance of comparative and international perspectives on labour and employment law in an era of globalization.
Katie Joseph

Joseph Awarded Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award

20 May 2015    

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic Board of Advisors named Katie Joseph the 2015 recipient of the Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award. 

Joseph graduated in May with the Class of 2015. During her time at Nebraska Law, Joseph served on the Faculty Grade Committee and Faculty Lectureship Committe; was the managing editor of the Nebraska Law Review; president of both the Women's Law Caucus, and The Defense Research Institute; participated in the Client Counseling Competition winning the national championship and placing second in the international competition; and spent a semester as a student attorney in the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic.

The Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award was established to recognize Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic students who have demonstrated exceptional legal skills, provided outstanding service to clients and furthered the mission of the Clinic. The firm was founded in 1988 with a vision of creating an environment that would foster trust and teamwork. Through the years, their guiding principles of integrity, client focus, and integrity have created the environment they envisioned years ago. Don Swanson, a partner in that firm, was instrumental in creating the endowed fund for this award. 

Professor Rich Leiter

Leiter Contributed Chapter to Book for Academic Law Librarians

18 May 2015    

Professor Richard Leiter contributed the chapter, "Law Librarians' Roles in Modern Law Libraries," to Academic Law Library Director Perspectives: Case Studies and Insights, a book edited by Michele Wu, Professor & Law Library Director at Georgetown University. 

The chapter discusses the way that the shift from print to electronic collections and materials is changing many of the ways that libraries do things, but doesn’t fundamentally change what we do. The chapter highlights changes to management, research instruction and reference services; and, concludes that in many important respects, the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

Professor Eric Berger

Berger Discusses Nebraska Death Penalty Law as Nebraska Legislature Debates

18 May 2015    

On Friday, the Nebraska Legislature debated LB 268, a death penalty repeal bill. Professor Eric Berger attended the debate, and did interviews with several media outlets. 

NBC News: 'Boys Don't Cry' Mom: Keep Nebraska's death Penalty

incoln Journal Star: Ricketts: state has bought death penalty drugs

maha World Hearld: Nebraska's death penalty teeters toward repeal as final vote looms

ebraska Radio Network: Legislators return to debate on repeal of death penalty (AUDIO)

Professor Schaefer Inducted as Corresponding IAA Member at Ceremony at SpaceX Headquarters

13 May 2015    

In a ceremony on May 8 that featured the induction of SpaceX Founder Elon Musk as a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Professor Schaefer and two others were inducted as corresponding members of the IAA at a IAA regional meeting at SpaceX facilities in Hawthorne, CA.  The IAA was founded in 1960 through the efforts of legendary rocket developer Theodore von Karman.   Professor Schaefer was recognized for his contributions to the establishment of the USA’s first degree bearing program in space law (combined with cyber and telecommunications law) and his outreach to government and the private sector on matters of importance to the space sector.  He presented a paper on commercial space liability at the conference prior to the IAA’s Heads of Space Agency Summit in Washington, D.C. in January 2014.

Professor Stefanie Pearlman

Pearlman Elected to Special Interest Section for American Association of Law Libraries

11 May 2015    

Professor Stefanie Pearlman has been elected the Chair-Elect of the Social Responsibilities - Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). 

The Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section (SR-SIS) of the AALL addresses issues of social change and social responsibility that are of concern to AALL members by sponsoring education programs at the Annual Meetings and through the introduction of resolutions. Three active standing committees: Law Library Services to Prisoners and the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues, and Standing Committee on Disability Issues contribute to the work of the SIS.
Order of the Barristers

Nine Students Selected for the Order of the Barristers

08 May 2015    

Nine 3L students have been selected for the University of Nebraska College of Law chapter of Order of the Barristers. This honorary recognizes 3L students who have demonstrated outstanding ability in the preparation and presentation of moot appellate argument. The students selected are: Michael Boal, Sarah Clark, Katherine Doering, Brian Fahey, Titus Hattan, Mark Seda, Audrey Svane, Jacob Tewes and Meridith Wailes.
Jake Hinkins

Hinkins, '07, Named Attorney to Watch

04 May 2015    

Litigator Jake Hinkins was encouraged to attend law school while serving on an LDS mission. “I enrolled in a business law course and loved it,” he said. Throughout law school, Hinkins still seriously considered remaining in the business world. After clerking and working in a civil clinic, however, he became enamored with the practice of law and the strategy involved in litigation.

Today, Hinkins has his own boutique litigation firm, Anderson Hinkins LLC. “We enjoy being in the courtroom,” he said, “fighting zealously for our clients.” After he launched the firm in 2009, he became very focused on personal injury and business cases. “I soon realized the aspect I enjoyed most was litigation,” he said. “So, I expanded my practice and hired additional attorneys.”

The firm focuses on bankruptcy, business, criminal, family, personal injury, probate and workers’ compensation litigation.

With a host of mentors, including, David Allred, McKette Allred, Jeff Gooch, Rich Humpherys, Tim Lewis, David Olsen, Kevin Ruser, Derek Snow and Mark Tanner, Hinkins knows that he wouldn’t be practicing in his own firm without them and many others who have helped him along the way. Of particular importance was the constant encouragement of his family members who have always made him feel like he could accomplish anything.

While working at an insurance defense firm, Hinkins drafted a summary judgment motion in a case where the client had already offered a significant six-figure settlement. After being granted summary judgment, Hinkins recalled, “I remember thinking winning that motion was a fairly big deal. Their response, however, was fairly nonchalant and the client saw it as business as usual.”

It was that case that encouraged Hinkins to represent individuals and small to midsize businesses. “I want to be able to interact personally with my clients,” he said. And, in his practice, he has the pleasure of working closely with his clients. “I’m committed to creating a law firm that provides excellent legal service and a flexible work atmosphere for my employees,” he said.

In looking to the legal industry as a whole, Hinkins notes that he appreciates the judges who follow the letter of the law. “I believe most of our judges really try to do that, but it is frustrating when a judge takes an outcome determinative approach and does not necessarily apply the law before a decision is reached,” he said.

“I also believe our justice system and society at large would benefit greatly by utilizing a family law court, with family law judges, which could streamline decisions that have such a personal and direct impact on families.”

As Hinkins and his firm prepare for 2015, he is excited to share that they now have attorneys in the firm who are licensed in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. This will allow the firm to expand into those states. “I will also be offering mediation services in the near future,” he said. “I’m excited to approach law as a mediator. I think it will be a great opportunity to interact with attorneys in a different capacity.”

Outside of the office, Hinkins spends time with family and serving his community and church. “We spend the summer boating and hiking and take to the slopes in the winter,” he said. “I’m an avid outdoorsman and recently took a Boone & Crockett Moose.” 

For more information, visit

Story via Attorney at Law Magazine, Greater Salt Lake City Edition.

Avis Andrews Visionary Award

Nebraska Law Alumni Win Nebraska Lawyers Foundation Visionary Awards

04 May 2015    

The Nebraska Lawyers Foundation recognized two  outstanding Nebraska Law alumni and members of the Nebraska legal community at the Barrister’s Ball held Saturday, April 18, in Omaha.

Avis Andrews received the Robert Spire Award for pro bono service, and Mike Kinney and Danielle Conrad received Visionary Awards. The ceremony is part of an annual fundraiser for the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation.

Avis Andrews, Spire Award 

At the award ceremony, Avis Andrews of Fremont, Nebraska, received the Robert M. Spire Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions by volunteer lawyers who provide pro bono legal services to the poor. 

The award is named for Robert M. Spire, Volunteer Lawyers Project founder. VLP matches indigent people in need of civil legal representation with lawyers willing to do pro bono work. 

Program records show Andrews accepted eight cases in the last two years and 58 cases since 2001. Most cases dealt with family law issues, custody issues, and divorce involving domestic violence.

VLP Director Jean McNeil expressed appreciation for Andrews’ service. “VLP greatly appreciates her work and support,” said McNeil. “She’s always eager to help and rarely turns down a request for assistance. We need more volunteers like her.”

Andrews, a UNL College of Law graduate, says that not everyone can afford an attorney and that it’s important that lawyers do what they can to help. “Sometimes people are in pretty desperate situations,” said Andrews, “and it’s unfortunate, but you get to help them. You also get a better sense of what some less-fortunate people face in day-to-day life.”

Danielle Conrad, Visionary Award

Danielle Conrad, former state senator and current Executive Director for ACLU Nebraska, also received the esteemed Visionary award at the Barrister’s Ball.

Conrad was recognized generally for her efforts in helping the state bar achieve its mission, and in particular for her role in helping establish the Loan Repayment for Rural Practitioners Program.

In 2014, Conrad and a few of her fellow legislators sponsored a legislative bill that would provide loan forgiveness assistance to law graduates who choose to practice in rural areas of the state, or who choose public interest law jobs. 

Rural areas of Nebraska suffer from a lack of qualified attorneys. A 2012 study by the NSBA found 12 counties with no lawyers and 49 counties with ten lawyers or less.

“All Nebraskans have a right to access justice," said Conrad. "By providing support to rural practice and public interest attorneys, we can ensure more Nebraskans’ basic legal needs are being met.”

Conrad was also recognized for her efforts to ensure appropriate funding for the judicial branch, for working on judicial redistricting, and for her work on promoting law for the public interest. 

Conrad said about working with NSBA staff, “It’s always been a pleasure working with them…whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

Conrad graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law in 2003 and served on the Nebraska State Legislature from 2007–2015.

Building Exterior

College of Law graduates outpace nation in employment success

01 May 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law’s graduating class landed jobs in numbers well above national levels in 2014 — the fourth consecutive year the college’s employment placement rate has been well ahead of U.S. trends.

In its annual report on employment placement rates of recent law-school graduates, the American Bar Association recently stated that nationwide, 71 percent were employed in long-term jobs that either required or preferred a law degree.

At Nebraska, the rate was 87 percent – and it came as no surprise to Susan Poser, dean of the college.

The college has a record of outperforming national levels, she said.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our students and their ability to take the well-rounded education at Nebraska Law to find successful career paths in a wide variety of settings,” she said.

The ABA figures focused on graduates within 10 months of receiving their degrees. Nebraska graduates were placed in jobs both within the state and across the nation, including placements in state and federal government positions and at local, national and international firms, Poser said.

Nebraska Law offers a traditional curriculum interspersed with cutting-edge courses, such as International Law in the first year, an Entrepreneurship Clinic for third-year students, and the opportunity for students to tailor their program in their second and third years to develop expertise in one or two specialized areas of the law, Poser said.

“These consistently outstanding employment statistics demonstrate that law remains an excellent career choice, and first-rate legal education can be obtained at a very reasonable cost and lead to great outcomes at a state-supported institution like the University of Nebraska,” Poser said.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker has Article Accepted by Pepperdine Law Review

20 Apr 2015    

Assistant Professor Jessica Shoemaker's most recent article, Emulsified Property, has been accepted for publication by the Pepperdine Law Review. The article analyzes the complex property and sovereigty institutions within modern American Indian reservations through the lens of mixed tenure (fee and trust co-ownership) properties. 
2014 Nebraska Law Team

Nebraska Law Hosts International Client Consultation Competition

15 Apr 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will host teams of law students from 20 countries during the Louis M. Brown/Forrest S. Mosten Client Consultation Competition from April 15-18.

The Brown-Mosten competition is an international contest in which participating teams use client-interviewing techniques to assess a mock client's legal claims and provide advice. The competition emphasizes relating to the clients; understanding their needs and the situations that brought them to the law office; analyzing the clients' situations from both legal and non-legal perspectives; and informing the clients of possible options to try to reach a resolution.

UNL's law college was chosen to host the 2015 event because of its tradition of success in the competition. Last year, the college’s team represented the United States at the international competition and placed second. In total, the law college has won one international competition, five national competitions and 15 regional competitions.

"Under the direction of two longtime faculty members, professors Alan Frank and Craig Lawson, Nebraska Law has developed an international reputation as a leader in training students in how to interview new clients and assess legal needs," said Susan Poser, dean of the law college. "Because of this reputation and past success, the college was chosen to host the competition in Lincoln this year."

The format of the competition simulates a law office where two lawyers interview a client and then, when the client leaves, reflect on the process and outcomes of the interview. This occurs before a panel of three judges, typically two lawyers and a member of a counseling profession. Interviews are evaluated on several criteria related to interviewing and fact-gathering skills. After the 20 teams conduct two interviews -- one on Thursday and one on Friday -- the top nine teams compete in the semifinal round Saturday morning, and the top three in the final round on Saturday afternoon.

While on campus, competitors will also have opportunities to participate in an all-American barbecue and tour landmarks such as the Nebraska State Capitol, the Nebraska Supreme Court and Memorial Stadium. More than 85 student-competitors, observers, coaches, national representatives and ICCC officials are to attend the competition, representing Australia, England and Wales, Canada, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine and the United States.

College of Law Groundbreaking

Addition to Enhance Student Legal Clinics

15 Apr 2015    

A $4.5 million addition to the University of Nebraska College of Law to open in fall 2016 will literally move the college's clinical programs front and center.

The 14,000-square-foot addition, to house the college's four legal clinics and allow for potential expansion of those programs, will be located adjacent to Law College's main entrance, on the south side of Ross McCollum Hall. Administrators, donors, students and friends of the college gathered for a groundbreaking on April 10.

Legal clinics, which give law students hands-on experience serving real-world clients, are an increasingly important part of legal education in a tight job market, said Susan Poser, dean of the college of law. They also teach students how valuable and gratifying it is to provide critical legal assistance to underserved clients.

The new location will provide easy access for clients seeking legal assistance and will stress the importance of experiential learning at the college, Poser said.

"We're sending a message about skills training at the law school," she said. "We're making sure that students who want that kind of practical experience can get it."

Kevin Ruser, M.S. Hevelone Professor of Law and director of clinical programs, said the college's new clinical space will be second to none.

"It's more important than ever to have a strong, experiential learning opportunity for students," he said. "I'll put this space up against any other place in the country."

Though expansion plans remain under discussion, the addition will allow "more than adequate" room for Nebraska's clinics to grow, he said.

Poser said two donors, Esther Beynon of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Dennis Weibling of Seattle, were instrumental in making the project a reality. Beynon donated $1 million to the effort in honor of her father, Ira Beynon, a 1919 Nebraska Law graduate. Weibling, a Seattle attorney who graduated from Nebraska's law-psychology program, contributed $1 million via a matching grant that generated an additional $1 million from other donors. Poser said several other donors made contributions of $100,000 to $250,000.

Weibling said he feels passionate that students should get a taste of practicing law before they graduate. Though Weibling did not participate in a clinic as a student, he recalled his own positive experience as a young attorney first using his education to help clients.

"It just brought such life to the law," he said. "If I could have had that earlier, it would have created more enthusiasm and direction for my studies."

The college of law offers four legal clinics -- the Civil Clinic, Criminal Clinic, Immigration Clinic and Entrepreneurship Clinic, with 32 third-year law students accepted to participate in one of the four each semester.

The programs are in demand, with more students seeking to enroll each semester than slots available. The clinics also have waiting lists for clients.

The Entrepreneurship Clinic, for example, has served 70 clients since it was established in 2013, director Brett Stohs said. Another 58 potential clients are on a waiting list.

Yet the clinics are housed in fragmented spaces that have seen few updates in recent years. The Entrepreneurship Clinic is in a cramped basement suite of offices, with barely enough room for its eight students to work at one time.

Criminal clinic director Steven Schmidt borrows classrooms to teach an intense 30-hour training course during the first three weeks of the semester before his students report to the Lancaster County Attorney's Office to begin prosecuting misdemeanors and felonies.

The 16 students who participate in the civil and immigration clinics each semester are housed in quarters that haven't been updated since the mid-1980s. The space was not designed with computers in mind and requires heavy use of extension cords to meet the technology demands of a modern law practice.

"The only part of our building that has not been renovated during the past 15 years is the clinic," Poser said. "It was noted during a 2011 American Bar Association reaccreditation visit that the space didn't seem adequate to serve clients."

Yet, in light of a sharp nationwide decline in law school enrollments that began in 2011, there seemed little could be done to remedy the situation.     

An unsolicited $1 million check from Beynon, mailed to Poser in 2012, allowed "us to begin to dream," Poser said.

Designed by The Clark Enersen Partners, the new space will feature a reception area, private interview rooms to consult with clients, conference rooms and a mock courtroom. A classroom and faculty offices will allow the four clinic directors to better coordinate teaching.

Desk space in a large open area will accommodate up to 40 law students, allowing them to trade ideas and consult on strategy without waiving attorney-client privilege.

Clients can arrive for appointments through an entrance directly off the college's main foyer without wandering the hallways looking for an office in the basement or at the far side of the building.

"It will give students a better sense of what it would be like to be in a law firm," Poser said. "It's a very professional space."

Writer: Leslie Reed, University Communications

Professor Richard Leiter

Leiter Appointed to American Association of Law Libraries Government Relations Committee

14 Apr 2015    

Professor Richard Leiter has been appointed the American Association of Law Libraries (AALS) Vice Chair of the Government Relations Committee. The committee serves to represent, promote, and advocate the information policy interests of AALS regarding policies, laws, regulations and other developments that may affect the Association, law librarianship, law libraries, or the dissemination of information, with the exception of copyright issues. Lieter will serve this term for 2015-2016. 
Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker and International Grant Team Travel to England and Wales

14 Apr 2015    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker and a transdisciplinary, international research team are working to build on existing land use planning simulation tools, and create a more flexible and powerful simulation resource kit for public participation in land use issues. As part of this project, Professor Shoemaker is traveling to Birmingham City University in Birmingham, England and to Aberystwyth, Wales. 

While in Birmingham and Aberystwyth, Professor Shoemaker will present her work to a diverse group of faculty from a wide variety of different disciplines and countries, international policymakers, and engaged citizens from the United Kingdom. Part of her work includes the planning simulation tool, Plainsopoly. Plainsopoly, has proven to be an exciting engagement tool to facilitate dialogue and learning around contemporary rural development and natural resource issues in the Great Plains.

Professor Shoemaker will also hold a seminar at Birmingham City University on indigenous land tenure and property law issues. 
Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley has Article Accepted by George Mason Law Review

09 Apr 2015    

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley’s newest article, A Uniform Theory of Federal Court Jurisdiction Under the Federal Arbitration Act, has been accepted for publication in the George Mason Law Review.  This article explores current problems and inconsistencies in the area of federal court jurisdiction for issues relating to arbitration practice.  The article is scheduled to be published early 2016.

Daniel Gutman and John Zimmer

69th Annual Thomas Stinson Allen Moot Court Competition

07 Apr 2015    

Daniel Gutman and John Zimmer are the winners of the 69th Annual Thomas Stinson Allen Moot Court Competition. Katherine Hazen and Kathleen Miller finished in second. Kayla Hathcote and Tess Moyer won the Kenneth L. Noha award for the best brief in the competition, and John Zimmer won the Roscoe Pound award for best oral advocacy.
Professor William Lyons

Lyons Teaching at the International Tax Center of the University of Leiden

06 Apr 2015    

Richard H. Larson Professor of Tax Law Bill Lyons is teaching an introductory course in United States individual income taxation to tax LL.M. students at the International Tax Center of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands from April 4 through April 18, 2015.  The ITC has invited Lyons to teach this course for several years.  He has taught an introductory course in United States corporate income taxation in the same program.  The ITC students come from many countries, including, this year, Brazil, Venezuela, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Columbia, China, and Italy.  Lyons also meets with the University of Leiden’s tax faculty at the University’s law school and with members of the European tax community who teach at the ITC. 

Professor Richard Moberly

Moberly's Article Published in ABA Journal Labor and Employment Law

06 Apr 2015    

De-Facto Gage Clauses: The Legality of Employment Agreements that Undermine Dodd-Frank's Whistleblower Provisions, an article authored by Nebraska Law professor, Richard Moberly, with Jordan A. Thomas and Jason Mark Zuckerman, has been published by the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law. The article discusses the enforceability of increasingly prevalent contractual restrictions on whistleblowing, which the authors label "de facto gag clauses." While no court has yet opined on the legaility of de facto gag clauses in the Dodd-Frank whistleblower context, the article argues that SEC rules and key principles of contract, qui tam, employment and securities law strongly suggest that courts will, and should, refuse to enforce agreements that preclude voluntary cooperation with the SEC or materially diminish the incentives created by Congress to promote SEC whistleblowing.

Read the full article.
Angela Dunne

Dunne, '00, Receives NAFLA Award

03 Apr 2015    

Angela Dunne, '00, has been awarded the prestigious Top Ten Attorney Award for the State of Nebraska from the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA). She was awarded this honor because of her hard work and the dedication she has shown in representing family law clients.

NASA Satellite

Nebraska Law to Host the 9th Annual Spring Space Law Conference

02 Apr 2015    

The 9th Annual Spring Online Space Law Conference will be held Friday, April 3, 2015. The Conference titles "Big Sat: Where's it At? Contractual and regulatory Issues of Big Satellite Operators" features Stefan M. Lopatkiewica, General Counsel at Eutelsat American Corp. 

For more information about the conference and to register, visit:
Matt Schaefer

Space Lawyer Featured on Front Page of Wall Street Journal; Schaefer Quoted

01 Apr 2015    

Professor Matt Schaefer was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article"'Space Lawyers' Help Startups Navigate the Final Legal Frontier". Schaefer discusses the realness of space law. 

Read full article.
Faculty Speak on Range of Topics

Faculty Speak on Range of Topics

30 Mar 2015    

Professor Eric Berger

Professor Eric Berger presented a paper at a conference about Chief Justice Rehnquist’s legacy entitled “The Rehnquist Court: Ten Years Later" held in Tucson, Arizona.  The conference was hosted by the William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.  Berger's paper is entitled “The Rehnquist Federalism Revolution and Stealth Constitutional Decision Making.”


Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley presented a faculty colloquium on her upcoming paper: A Uniform Theory of Federal Court Jurisdiction Under the Federal Arbitration Act at South Dakota University School of Law.  Her paper considers the intersection of arbitration and the federal courts and suggests a simplified and universal jurisdictional test to replace this confusing area of law.

Professor Blankley also testified, in a neutral capacity, before the Nebraska Legislature on Thursday, March 12, 2015, before the Judiciary Committee regarding Legislative Bill 437, a bill that, if passed, would create a presumption of joint legal custody and shared parenting time of at least 35% time for non-custodial parents undergoing a divorce or separation.  Professor Blankley testified in her capacity as President of the Nebraska Mediation Association and discussed issues of mediation in child custody cases. 


Assistant Professor Jessica Shoemaker

On March 27, Assistant Professor Jessica Shoemaker participated in a Property Roundtable co-hosted by Tulane Law School and the Tulane University Murphy Institute in New Orleans. The subject of the Roundtable was “Regulating Private and Public Property,” and Shoemaker's panel was called, “Maximizing Social Benefits through Property Law.” Shoemaker was one of eight property law scholars from around the country invited to participate in this fascinating event. She also presented her new paper, Emulsified Property, which analyzes the complex property and sovereignty institutions within modern American Indian reservations through the lens of mixed tenure properties.


Professor Frans von der Dunk

Professor Frans von der Dunk gave a presentation titled "Transmissions to Extraterrestrials and the Law: Where Do We stand, Where Should We Stand?" at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence workshop on February 14th.

Additionally, Professor von der Dunk co-chaired the annual European Centre of Space Law (ECSL) Practitioners’ Forum in Paris. The theme of the forum was “Space Governance in Europe: Regulation of Space Activities,” focusing on the roles the European Union and member states play in regulating space activity.

Andreas Loukakis

Nebraska Law to Host Visiting Researcher

27 Mar 2015    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will host Andreas G. Loukakis in the month of April. 

Loukakis is currently a doctoral candidate and assistant researcher at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxembourg. He received a Master of Laws (LL.M) in European Law from the University of Maastricht (Netherlands), in April 2011 and a Law degree from Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), in December 2007. Moreover, he also was a Robert Schuman Scholar in the legal service of the European Parliament in Brussels from March until August 2011. 

Since February 2012, Loukakis has been working on a doctoral research project dealing with the liability aspects of space-based services under the supervision of Professor Mahulena Hofmann, SES Chair in Satellite Communications and Media Law at the University of Luxembourg, delving in particular into the non-contractual civil liabilities that could come into play from the operation of the Galileo program, the European Union’s initiative in field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Loukakis will visit the University of Nebraska College of Law Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program, in April of this year. During this visit, he will conduct a part of his research activities for his doctoral project on issues related to responsibility and liability connected to the provision of GPS services, the US corollary to Galileo, taking into account that GPS is operated by the United States’ Department of Defense. For example, in the foreseeable future, GNSS receivers will be expected to be interoperable, meaning that they will be able to receive and exploit signals emitted from both Galileo and GPS. 

Nebraska Law Students Place 2nd at International Mediation Tournament Championships

Nebraska Law Students Place 2nd at International Mediation Tournament Championships

23 Mar 2015    

Two Nebraska Law teams competed at the 14th Annual INADR International Mediation Tournament Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on March 20-21, 2015. The tournament featured 28 teams from law schools around the world. 

Both teams advanced from the field of 28 into the semifinals for their mediation skills. The team of 2Ls John Duggar, Lily Spader and Lyle Wheeler won their semi-final and final rounds, and earned Nebraska Law a second place finish. 

In addition to the team honor, John Duggar and Lyle Wheeler both earned individual honors for being the 4th best client/advocate team, and 2L Cory Masi earned the individual honor of 8th best mediator. 
Daniel Dawes

Dawes, '06, to Speak at American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics Health Law Professors Conference

17 Mar 2015    

Daniel E. Dawes, '06, was invited to speak at the Opening Plenary of the 2015 American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) Health Law Professors Conference. The conference is the major annual conference of ASLME and the largest covening of academics teaching health law and bioethics in law school, medical school, public health and other university settings. The Opening Plenary is inteded to prompt a discussion about health equity, and how health law professors can/should be engaged in advancing racial and ethnic health equity through their teaching, scholarship and service. 

Dawes is a healthcare attorney and the Executive Director of government relations, health policy, and external affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine. In addition to his executive role, Daniel is a director of health policy and a lecturer of health law and policy at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine. During the negotiations around health reform, he founded and chaired the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform, a working group of more than 300 national organizations and coalitions that worked to ensure that the health care reform law included health equity provisions to reduce disparities in health status and health care among vulnerable populations. 
Joseph Kafka

Kafka, '79, Publishes Novel

11 Mar 2015    

Josephy Kafka, '79, wrote Lawyer for the Little Guy, a suspensful, humourus and inspiring novel (avialble in ebook) about young lawyer Jake Beck. 

Here is a brief description:
Trial is a month away and closing fast on young lawyer Jake Beck. The scumbag who ripped off his client for one million dollars will get what's coming to him if Jake has anything to do about it. It's a tough case when your client is shy and sweet and your adversary is hard and mean. And when he's a lawyer. And the brother of your client. Jake's first trial has him facing impossible odds and many obstacles. But the underdog wins some of the time, right? Jake's wisecracking boss, the judge for his case, and even his client have their doubts. Still, it's not all legal work and no play when Jake falls for a brainy blonde and she introduces him to her "adopted" Greek family. Maddy Carter is an eco-minded Santa Cruz, California girl right down to her electric car and yoga classes. Jake embraces their love and support during the darkest times in his pursuit of justice for the little guy.
Four To Be Honored as Part of UNL Women's Week

Four To Be Honored as Part of UNL Women's Week

09 Mar 2015    

Four Nebraska Law students will be recognized  by the UNL Women’s Center as women of character, courage, and commitment as part of Women’s Week.

Arianna Crum, 2L, was nominated as a result of her commitment to bringing cultural competency programming to the College of Law and her leadership of the Black Law Students Association/Multicultural Law Society.

Roxana Cortes, 2L, is being honored because of her commitment to the cause of immigration. Her engagement in her field of interest, commitment to sharing her experiences, and mentorship of her fellow students make her an integral part of the College of Law Community.

Jessica Laughlin, 3L,  is being honored because she inspires so many with her positive outlook on and approach to life. She is an example to us all.

Ciara Coleman, 3L, is being recognized for her role in mentoring the students in the 1L and 2L classes. Her mentorship is both formal, as the skills’ class instructor, as well as an informal mentor, sounding block, and friend to the students at the Law College.

All four women will be recognized at the Women’s Week banquet on Thursday, March 19th.

Hurwitz has Article Accepted by Iowa Law Review

05 Mar 2015    

Assistant Professor Gus Hurwitz's article "Data Security and the FTC's UnCommon Law" has been accepted by the Iowa Law Review. The article critiques the Federal Trade Commission's ongoing efforts to regulate companies' data security practices, arguing that the FTC’s approach has both substantive and procedural flaws that make it's efforts ineffective. 

Professor Justin (Gus) Hurwitz joined the College of Law faculty in 2013. His work builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. He has a particular expertise in telecommunications law and technology.

Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch has Article Accepted by Utah Law Review

04 Mar 2015    

Assistant Professor Adam Thimmesch's article "Testing the Models of Tax Compliance: The Use-Tax Experiment" is set to be published in the Utah Law Review. The article analyzes the current lack of compliance with the state use tax and demonstrates how states and researchers could apply modern compliance theories to help increase the payment of that tax. The article argues that research in this area would not only help states to increase compliance, but would also help researchers to better understand the motivators of tax compliance and how modern theories apply in real-world settings. 

Thimmesch joined the faculty in 2012. He teaches Individual Income Tax, State and Local Taxation, Business Associations, and Corporate Finance.

Allen Overcash

Overcash Published Construction Law Article

04 Mar 2015    

Adjunct Professor Allen Overcash recently had his article "Introducing a Novel ADR Technique for Handling Construction Disputes: Arbitration" published in Construction Lawyer, a publication of the American Bar Association. The discusses traditional arbitration practices and their relevance to construction disputes. 

Overcash is associated with Woods & Aitken LLP with offices in Lincoln, Omaha, and Denver. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Construction Law at Nebraska Law.
Susan Poser

Poser to Moderate E.N. Thompson Forum on Effects of Regulating Carbon Emissions

25 Feb 2015    

A pair of experts will debate the pros and cons of carbon regulation through taxation, cap and trade and other measures at the next E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. The event will be 7 p.m. March 3 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.

The debate, “Cutting Carbon Emissions: Better Environment, Worse Economy?” is the 2015 Chuck and Linda Wilson Dialogue and will feature Marlo Lewis Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Gilbert Metcalf of Tufts University. The debate will be moderated by Susan Poser, dean of the UNL College of Law.

The event will explore the pros and cons of regulating carbon emissions, with Metcalf arguing the primarily environmental benefits of the U.S. government restricting carbon emissions by taxation and other forms of regulation, and Lewis emphasizing the primarily negative economic impact and the complexities of such U.S. government intervention.

Lewis has written on global warming, energy policy and public policy issues and has been published in The Washington Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Tech Central Station, the National Review and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He has appeared on various television and radio programs, and his ideas have been featured in radio commentary by Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy. Prior to joining CEI in 2002, he served as director of external relations at the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles, California. During the 106th Congress, he served as staff director of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs. Lewis has also been the research director for Citizens Against Government Waste.

Metcalf is a professor of economics at Tufts University and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a research associate at MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and an associate scholar in the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard and MIT. He has frequently testified before Congress, been on expert panels including a National Academies of Sciences panel on energy externalities, and recently was the deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He is on the board of directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the international professional association for economists working on environmental and natural resource issues. He has published numerous papers in peer reviewed academic journals, has edited or co-authored four books, and has contributed chapters to a number of books on energy and tax policy.

John Anderson, UNL professor of economics, will lead a pre-talk at 6:30 p.m. in the Lied Center’s Steinhart Room.

Chuck Wilson is a retired cardiologist who served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for many years. Linda Wilson served on the Lincoln City Council and the Public Building Commission. The Wilsons’ goal in creating this dialogue is to present both sides of an important issue.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage debate.

More information:

Nebraska Law Federalist Society

Nebraska Law Federalist Society wins Feddie Award

24 Feb 2015    

The Nebraska Law Federalist Society received the Alexander Hamilton Award for Most Improved Chapter at the 2015 Federalist Society Feddie Awards. Nebraska Law was nominated for this award alongside Concordia University School of Law, Pacific McGeorge School of Law, University of Minnesota School of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, Savannah Law School and South Texas College of Law. In addition to the Most Improved Chapter award, the Nebraska Law Federalist Society was also nominted for the James Madison Award for Chapter of the Year. 

The Nebraska Law Federalist Society held several successful speaker events this year, including Former Texas Supreme Court Justice David M. Medina and Former NRA President Sandra S. Froman . In addition to the speaker presentations, Federalist Society members were given the opportunity to interact with presenters on a one-on-one basis. Nebraska Law Federalist Society events are generally open to attorneys and friends of the law school community, and offer Nebraska CLE credit.

Federalist Society Faculty Advisor Rick Duncan, Chapter President Lyle Wheeler, Chapter Treasurer Lance Roasa, and 2L Representative John Duggar attended the 2015 Federalist Society Student Symposium in Washinton DC, and  accepted the award on behalf of the chapter. 

Kristen Blankley

Blankley Heading National Access to Justice Committee

19 Feb 2015    

Assistant Professor Kristen Blankley was named the chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Task Force on Access to Justice.  This task force will be considering how dispute resolution services can increase access to justice and legal services, especially for low income and middle-class persons.  Professor Blankley was chosen to head this project given her previous research in this area.

Solt, '96, Joins Guidepost Solutions

19 Feb 2015    

Guidepost Solutions LLC grew its presence in the Washington, D.C. market with the addition of three new hires whose backgrounds include substantial government experience, including Kent Solt, an alumnus of Nebraska College of Law, who joined as senior director. 

“Over the past few years companies in a wide range of industries have faced a dramatic increase in compliance related responsibilities as a result of the growing number of regulatory mandates imposed by federal and state governments,” stated CEO Julie Myers Wood.  “Kent will help our clients navigate complex and changing regulations; assess their business compliance programs and plan initiatives to meet new compliance requirements.”

As a senior director for Guidepost’s diligence services group, Solt will work closely with investigation teams providing research and data analytics. Most recently, he was a senior investigative analyst with KeyPoint Government Solutions where he was a member of the monitoring team for a large international bank.  In addition, he provided due diligence and analytical services for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Loan Guarantee Program. Earlier in his career, Solt spent over a decade with LexisNexis Legal Publishing and held several positions including editorial manager and lead content planner.  He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in journalism/mass communications from the University of Northern Colorado. 

About Guidepost Solutions LLC

Guidepost Solutions ( is a global leader in investigations; due diligence; cyber and technology security consulting; immigration and cross-border consulting; and monitoring and compliance solutions. We help companies, government agencies, individuals and their advisors solve problems, advance business opportunities, mitigate risks and resolve disputes – among many other services. Our professional team includes former federal and state prosecutors and law enforcement officials and leaders in the security, investigations, intelligence, and public safety communities. Our solutions protect lives, assets and reputations. Guidepost is headquartered in New York and maintains offices and facilities across the globe including Chicago; Dallas; Honolulu; London; Los Angeles; Oakland; Palm Beach; San Francisco; Seattle and Washington, D.C.  Guidepost Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of SolutionPoint International, Inc. ( 

Professors of the Year

Lenich and Berger Named Professors of the Year

17 Feb 2015    

At the Meeting of the Minds event, Professor John Lenich and Eric Berger were named the 2015 Professors of the Year. Each year, the SBA hosts the event and administers nominations for the Professor of the Year Awards. The current 1L students nominated Professor Lenich and upperclass students nominated Professor Berger.
Colleen Medill

Medill Testimony Featured in Department of Labor Report

16 Feb 2015    

In 2014, Professor Colleen Medill testified before the ERISA Advisory Council on the topic of outsourcing employee benefit plan services. The United States Department of Labor released the Council's report in February 2015. In her testimony, Professor Medill discussed the lack of guidance from the Department or courts in regard to fiduciary allocation of trustee responsibilities and co-fiduciary liability and responsibilities. 

A summary of the report is available at
Brian Fahey Receives Sorensen Award

2014-15 Academic Awards Presented at Meeting of the Minds

16 Feb 2015    

At the Meeting of the Minds event on Friday, a number of academic awards were announced. Congratulations to all receiving awards!

McGrath North FLS Award
- Briana Hildebrand
- Megan Theesen-Fenton
- Kara Brostrom
- Joshua Christolear
- Tess Moyer
- Christopher Gruber
- John Zimmer
- Sean Kipp
- Shannon Schroeder
- Christopher Schmidt

Robert G. Simmons Legal Writing Award
- Sarah Clark

Arthur Bruce Winter Constitutional Law Award
- Joshua Christolear

Schmid Honors
- Jessop Adams
- Jordan Holst
- Jordan Talsma
- Josh Christolear
- Jessica Ledingham
- Alexander Gansebom

Schmid Scholars
- Nate Clark (Nebraska Law Rev Editor-In-Chief)
- Michael Boal (Moot Court Chair)

Sorensen Award
- Brian Fahey

Handbook of Space Law

Handbook for Space Law edited by von der Dunk

11 Feb 2015    

The Handbook of Space Law released in January was edited by Professor Frans von der Dunk with Fabio Trochetti. The book addresses the legal and regulatory aspects of activities in outer space and major space applications from a comprehensive and structured perspective. It fundamentally addresses the dichotomy between the state-oriented character of international space law and the increasing commercialization and privatization of space activities.

The book focuses on international space law in the broadest sense of the word, not only including the UN-based space treaties and international customary (space) law, but also the many specialized regimes such as those applicable to the international satellite organizations, the International Space Station, the international trade and the security-sensitive aspects of space technology exports, the financing of space ventures and environmental concerns. The novelty of this holistic approach to space law notably includes the profound and eve-increasing commercialization of space activities and the attendant involvement of the private sector in such activities. This authoritative book thus presents a unique standard work of reference for anyone interested in studying or researching the legal and regulatory aspects of space activities and their major applications in depth.

Offering the most comprehensive and holistic analysis on legal and regulatory aspects of space activities and major space applications to date this Handbook will be of particular interest to students in space law higher education, public international law, researchers (including JSD and PhD students) of space law and practitioners in the major sectors of space activities. 

UPDATE: the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) has given the Handbook of Space Law the 2015 Social Science Book Award

Hildebrand and Sholes Win Regional Client Counseling Competition

11 Feb 2015    

The team of Briana Hildebrand and Michael Sholes, both 2L students, won the American Bar Association's 2015 Region 8 Client Counseling Competition. They will move on to represent Nebraska Law and Region 8 at the 2015 ABA National Client Counseling Competition in March. There they will face the winning teams from each of the ABA's other 11 regional competitions. 

Equal Justice Society

Equal Justice Society Chili Cook Off Raises Over $1,000 for NPILF

11 Feb 2015    

In its inaugural year, the Equal Justice Society Chili Cook Off raised over $1,000 for the Nebraska Public Interest Law Fund. The NPILF provides grants to law students interested in working in the public interest during the summer.

Twenty faculty members, staff and administrators provided chili to be entered into the competition:

  • Brian Borenstein
  • Molly Brummond
  • Patty Cavanagh
  • Rob Denicola
  • Rick Dooling
  • Chris Evans
  • Tasha Everman 
  • John Lenich
  • Richard Leiter
  • Marc Pearce
  • Sandy Placzek
  • Susan Poser
  • Anna Shavers
  • Jessica Shoemaker
  • Anthony Schutz
  • Brett Stohs
  • Adam Thimmesch
  • Marcy Tintera
  • Tracy Warren
  • Catherine Wilson

Individuals voted for their favorite chili during the event. The winning chili will be announced at the Meeting of the Minds on February 13, 2015.

Students Beat Faculty Bowling Team

11 Feb 2015    


The International Law Student Association (ILSA) held a student-faculty bowling tournament for the second consecutive year. Teams of four to five students competed for the opportunity to take on the faculty team. In the end, the student team of Aditya Ezhuthachan, Alex Gavin, Jerry Jefferson, Rick Tast, and Jacob Tewes beat the faculty team of Professor Jack Beard, Professor Brian Lepard, Professor Matt Schaefer, Dean Richard Moberly, and former Dean Glenda Pierce.

The bowling tournament is held as a fundraiser for ISLA. International Law Student Association enables law students who are interested in international law and international trade to continue their education in this field beyond the classroom. Activities include: sponsoring the Jessup International Moot Court competition; counseling on graduate level and summer programs in international law, internships and career opportunities; and interdisciplinary programs sponsored by the College of Business Administration, the College of Agriculture, the Institute of International Affairs and other University of Nebraska colleges and departments involved in international relations and trade issues.

Susan Foster

Foster, '09, named UNL director for Institutional Equity and Compliance

30 Jan 2015    

Susan Foster, '09, is a senior associate attorney at the law firm Jackson Lewis PC in Omaha. She will begin her director duties Feb. 16.

A member of the chancellor's senior administrative team, Foster will serve as UNL's chief civil rights officer and Title IX officer. She will be responsible for providing leadership, direction and oversight for many of the federal and state regulatory mandates of the campus; for generating the university's affirmative action plans for women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities; for investigating allegations of illegal discrimination and harassment; and for leading the university in monitoring and helping to develop an inclusive, supportive campus climate.

Foster will chair the UNL Equity Council, which includes representatives from Institutional Equity and Compliance (formerly known as Equity, Access and Diversity Programs), the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Human Resources.

"The university is fortunate to be able to attract a person with Susan's experience as both an educator and a lawyer to lead our diversity and compliance office," Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. "She will provide excellent leadership in these critical areas."

Foster said she was honored and excited to join a university that is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse culture in which all students, faculty and staff are provided an opportunity to thrive, grow and contribute.

"Recognizing and appreciating diverse experiences, beliefs and perspectives expands our collective knowledge and allows us to successfully work together in our ever-expanding world," she said. "I am eager to work collaboratively with university leaders and organizations, community leaders and organizations, faculty, staff and students to implement strategic initiatives and programs that create, promote and support a thriving safe, diverse and inclusive environment for everyone."

Foster is a 2009 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law. She earned an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1999 and taught at Millard Public Schools for seven years.

During her tenure at Jackson Lewis PC, she has worked with and provided guidance to clients seeking advice in all areas of employment, including disability accommodation, wage and hour, conflict resolution, hiring, discipline and leave management. She also has trained human resources personnel and management in many aspects of employment law, including discrimination, harassment and disability accommodation training.

Nicholas A. Buda

Buda, '12, Named New Associate

27 Jan 2015    

Nicholas A. Buda has joined McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. as an associate. Buda is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and received his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2012. He is admitted to both the Nebraska and Iowa Bars. Mr. Buda practices primarily in business litigation. He also has experience with probate matters, natural resources and water law, and real estate. 

Based out of Omaha, McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. has been serving commercial enterprises and individual clients in a broad range of civil practice areas in the Midwest since 1975. 

 Mathew T. Watson

Watson, '06, Named New Shareholder

27 Jan 2015    

Mathew T. Watson has been made a Shareholder of McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. Watson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and also received his J.D., with distinction, from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2006. Mr. Watson joined the corporation as an associate in 2011. He practices in a variety of areas including commercial litigation, corporate, business, labor and employment law. 

Based out of Omaha, McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. has been serving commercial enterprises and individual clients in a broad range of civil practice areas in the Midwest since 1975. 

Amie C. Martinez

Martinez, '94, Named Nebraska State Bar Association President

12 Jan 2015    

Amie C. Martinez, '94, begins term as President of the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA). The NSBA is the largest professional organization of lawyers in Nebraska and elected Martinez as its President. The NSBA has a three-fold mission – sustaining the ongoing level of professionalism and confidence amongst the profession, strengthening the court system and serving the public. Martinez’s term as runs through October 2015. 

Martinez, a shareholder with the law firm of Anderson, Creager & Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O. in Lincoln, practices in the areas of family law, juvenile law, criminal defense, civil litigation and appellate work before the Nebraska Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She has been involved on the local, state and national levels of bar leadership as well as actively engaging in public service within the local community and across the country. 

Law Professors Present Around the Globe

22 Dec 2014    

Professor Eric Berger Presented at Law Schools Nationwide

Professor Berger presented, " The Executioner's Dilemma” at Richmond Law Review's Allen Chair Symposium on Lethal Injection, Politics and the Future of the Death Penalty, and at the Wisconsin Discussion Group on Constitutionalism at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Professor Berger also presented his paper, “The Supreme Court, Legislative Facts, and the Path of Constitutional Law” at the Fifth Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium at Loyola Chicago University School of Law.

At the UCLA law school, Professor Berger gave a presentation on “The Rhetoric of Constitutional Absolutism.” The talk explored the Supreme Court’s propensity to pretend that constitutional cases have certain answers, even when there are powerful arguments on both sides.

Professor Blankley Lead Discussion on Confidentiality and Privilege During Mediation

Professor Kristen Blankley presented at a “lunch and learn” session at The Mediation Center on the important issues of privilege and confidentiality in mediation.  Blankley lead a discussion on why confidentiality and privilege are policy choices for mediation’s success, but also discussed exceptions to confidentiality, such as mandatory reporting requirements for allegations of child abuse. 

Professor Kristen Blankley participated in a webinar on ethics in online dispute resolution.  This webinar was offered as part of Cyberweek, a week-long online conference focused on online dispute resolution.

Professor Duncan Presented “Masks of Law: at the Nebraska State Bar Association Annual Meeting

Christian Legal Society speaker Professor Richard Duncan’s spirited and thought provoking “Masks of the Law” presentation at the 2014 NSBA Annual Meeting discussed the creation of legal masks and their impact on important legal decisions and policies affecting groups treated harshly by the law.

Read the full story here:

Professor Moberly Served as Moderator at National and Local Conferences

Professor Richard Moberly served at the moderator for a whistle blower litigation panel and the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Conference.

Moberly also served as a presenter and moderator for the McGrath North Speaker Series. The presentation included insights on fraud prevention, whistleblowing and business skepticism.

Professor Potuto Discussed NCAA Around the Country

 As a guest on the Sports Conflict Institute she discussed issues and perspectives regarding reinventing the NCAA, and improvements to the system to make it a more enriching and consistently positive experience for student-athletes. Watch the discussion:

Potuto appeared as part of a panel at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities annual meeting. The panel focused on Presidents and Chancellors and the Management of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. 

At Elon University, Potuto served on a Legal and Structural Changes in the NCAA panel that was part of a law review symposium on Media, Regulatory & Labor Issues in College Sports. 

Potuto gave a presentation to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presentation titled, "Business, Media and Legal Issues in College Athletics," as part of a series of talks on business, media, and legal issues across a variety of businesses and activities.

Potuto participated in a Google Hangout with Winthrop Intelligence to discuss "the Role of the Faculty Athletic Representative and What Athletics Directors Need to Know" as part of a series of educational programs the organization is doing for athletic and greater campus administrators.

Professor Schaefer Presented at 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto

The number of presentations at major conferences made by Professor Schaefer in the past year grew to eight when Professor Schaefer presents his paper on the intersection of space insurance markets with liability regimes for third-parties and space flight participants in commercial space activities to the 65th International Astronautical Congress & 57th International Institute of Space Law (IISL) Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space in Toronto on October 1. Professor Schaefer has previously spoken on space law topics at seven major space law and international law conferences in the past year: ABILA International Law Weekend – Midwest (St. Louis, September 2013); American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) International Law Weekend (New York, October 2013); University of Nebraska 6th Annual D.C. Space Law Conference (Washington, D.C., November 2013); International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Space Exploration Conference (Washington, D.C., January 2014); National Space Symposium (Colorado Springs, April 2014); Newspace 2014 (San Jose, CA, July 2014); and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space 2014 (San Diego, CA, August 2014).

Professor Sheppard Presented at
SMU Dedman School of Law's Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues

Professor Sheppard was invited to speak on the Supreme Court and Intellectual Property Law, which took place October 2nd at the SMU Dedman School of Law's Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues. The Symposium addressed the latest theories and practices important to the development of intellectual property law through discussions with distinguished academics, jurists and leaders in the industry. This year’s Symposium featured three panels addressing the Supreme Court’s latest copyright and patent cases.

Professor Shoemaker Served as Moderator for Regional Summit

Professor Jessica Shoemaker presented and served as the moderator for a panel at the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance Summit.

Shoemaker also presented her paper, “Emulsified Property,” at the Central States Law School Association meeting in Baton Rouge.

Professor Thimmesch Presented at Central States Law School Association Conference

Professor Adam Thimmesch presented “Testing the Models of Tax Compliance: The Use-Tax Experiment,” at the Central States Law School Association meeting in Baton, Rouge.

Professor von der Dunk Presented at the International Academy of Astronautics

Professor Frans von der Dunk presented, From Space Tourists to Unruly Passengers? The U.S. Struggle with 'On-Orbit Jurisdiction' at the Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space organized by the International Institute of Space Law at the International Astronautical Conference in Toronto, on October 1, 2014. Von der Dunk also chaired the International Academy of Astronautics/International Institute of Space Law Scientific/Legal Round Table on the topic of the increasingly high resolution of space EO data, which combined with increasing location and navigation information provided by satellites, raises new questions regarding the risks and threats of abuse of such data, for example in areas of privacy, human rights and public order (terrorism).

Professor Willborn Presented at Events Nationwide

Professor Willborn gave a presentation on employee privacy at Elon University.

Willborn also served as a Senior Scholar at Seton Hall’s Young Scholars Forum. Willborn and other Senior Scholars offered critiques for Junior Scholars who were presenting their work. 

Finally, Professor Willborn presented a paper on employee privacy at a conference convened by the Cornell Law Review on the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of Employment Law.

Professor Wilson Presented at the University of California-Davis

Professor Catherine Wilson presented her paper "Economic Justice and Student Loans" Preventing Student Loans from Crippling Social Mobility," at UC-Davis. 

Below is the abstract from that paper:

Student loan debt now exceeds $1.1 trillion. With student loans now count for a higher percentage of household debt than credit card and auto loans, numerous reports are highlighting the impact that the student loan debt load has on social mobility by delaying many of the life choices that generate wealth. Recent calls for financial aid reform seem to focus on tuition reforms, increased disclosures about student loans and repayment options, and changes to the Bankruptcy Code. This paper adds to this discussion by evaluating modifications to the current American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), a refundable income tax credit, in a way that helps reduce the debt costs associated with acquiring an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The AOTC tax credit should be modified to provide more immediate support to students.

Professor Zellmer Gave Presentations Around the Globe

Professor Zellmer presented, “Unnatural Disasters: How Law Hurts, How Law Can Help,” at the University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study. Watch the presentation here:

Additionally, Professor Zellmer also took part in the IUCN World Congress in Sydney, Australia. Zellmer organized a panel for the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, on Reconciling Development Challenges Facing Protected Areas.

Jodi Hoos

Hoos, '00, Named Peoria County Judge

17 Dec 2014    

Longtime Peoria County prosecutor Jodi Hoos knew when she was 12 that she wanted to be an attorney, and on Monday, she learned her hard work garnered her a set of judge’s robes.

Hoos, 40, was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a judicial vacancy created when Circuit Judge Michael Brandt announced his retirement. Hoos remain on the bench until Brandt’s term expires in 2016, when she can run for election.

Hoos graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney with a degree in political science. She received her law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2000. She will be sworn in during a brief ceremony Dec. 29.

Read more:
Professor Frans von der Dunk

Von der Dunk Signs Asteroid Day Declaration

04 Dec 2014    

Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Organizers gathered an impressive group of scientists, policy makers, and astronauts to sign the declaration before the public announcement on Wednesday December 3rd, 2014. Professor Frans von der Dunk is among the public signatories. 

The Asteroid Day website explains, "Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history." 

"Regionally organised large and small events will be held on Asteroid Day – from live concerts and community events, to lectures and other educational programmes,  to support a movement calling for increased detection and mapping of asteroids. The 100x Asteroid Declaration, calling for this action, has been signed by astronauts, scientists, artists and leaders in business and technology.

Employing available technology to detect, track and defend our Earth from dangerous asteroid impacts is something we know how to do. This will assure the survival of generations to come as well as preserve our heritage and all that we have learned and created as a species. We have the knowledge as well as the technology to prevent these future catastrophic events. The fact that this initiative could save ALL the species on this planet that have evolved alongside us.  We have a responsibility as custodians, not just for the planet, but for all the abundant life which inhabits it.

Continuing to orbit our solar system without the knowledge of potentially dangerous asteroids in our orbital neighbourhood is equivalent to playing the odds in a game of Las Vegas roulette – only this time, we are betting our families, homes and indeed future generations. The probability of Earth being impacted in a random location by a 100-megaton asteroid in your lifetime is about the same as the probability of you being killed in an automobile accident. These odds on any individual day are small, yet few among us would drive a car without wearing a seat belt. The 100x Asteroid Declaration calls for the discovery and tracking of 100,000 asteroids a year over the next ten years. In addition to protecting our planet, this increased capability will provide dramatically improved knowledge of our Solar System for scientific and other purposes."

Learn More on

Professor Colleen Medill

Professor Colleen Medill Published Employee Benefits Law Casebook

02 Dec 2014    

Professor Colleen Medill has published the fourth edition of her law school casebook, Introduction to Employee Benefits Law:  Policy and Practice (West Academic 2014).  Professor Medill’s book, which has been adopted by over 40 American law schools, is the only legal textbook that contains comprehensive coverage of both health care and retirement plans established by private employers for their workers.  The book is unique in its extensive coverage of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on employer-sponsored health care plans.  Professor Medill uses her book each spring to teach her Employee Benefits Law course at the College of Law. 

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley becomes Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

25 Nov 2014    

Kristen Blankley has accepted an invitation to be a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  Professor Blankley was chosen due to her leadership within the State of Nebraska, and the nomination is in “recognition of a lawyer whose career has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the profession, service to society, and commitment to the ideals and objectives of the American Bar Association.”  This is an extraordinary honor as less than 1% of lawyers within each state are asked to join the Fellows.


2014 UNL Alumni Master Victoria Collier

Collier Visits College as Part of UNL Masters Week

24 Nov 2014    

Alumni Masters Week, a program sponsored by the Nebraska Alumni Association, Scarlet Guard and the Chancellor's Office, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. Since 1964, 400 alumni have participated in Alumni Masters Week. Its primary goal has always been to link the university's outstanding alumni with students who can benefit from their experiences and knowledge. All students were encouraged to take part in lectures, presentations and events with the alumni masters, who spoke about ways to apply formal education to working situations and career goals.

Victoria Collier, '02, visited Nebraska Law on November 20-21. In addition to meeting individually with students and various student organizations, Collier gave a presenation titled, "How to Build Your Law Practice grom the Ground Up" Lessons Learned," to a large audience on Thursday. 

Victoria Collier
 established her own law firm in 2002 in Decatur, Ga. A certified elder law attorney, Collier has chaired the Georgia chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the State Bar of Georgia elder law section and the Atlanta Bar Association elder law committee. She co-founded Lawyers with Purpose, Lawyers for Wartime Veterans, Veterans Advocates Group of America and Trust Associates Inc. Collier served in the U.S. Air Force, 1989 to 1995, and the Army Reserves, 2002 to 2005. A 2002 UNL law grad, she is hosted by the College of Law.

2015 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Team

2015 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Team Announced

17 Nov 2014    

The Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program is proud to announce the 2015 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court team for Nebraska Law. Third year students Danielle Miller and Jacob Tewes, and second year student Kiersten Haugen, will be representing Nebraska in the national competition this spring. The selection committee graded each candidate on their space law experience, their oral argument background and ability, and their brief writing.

The competition is based on a hypothetical space law dispute before the International Court of Justice. Participating teams are required to submit a formal written argument for both the Applicant State and the Respondent State on the legal issues of the hypothetical case and to argue each side of the case before panels of judges in their respective region. The winning teams from each Regional Round meet in the international final rounds, which are held in conjunction with the annual IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space. The Final Round is traditionally judged by three judges of the International Court of Justice. This unique feature makes the Manfred Lachs Moot Court one of the most prestigious moot court competitions in the world. The competition will take place in late March to early April 2015 in Washington DC at the Georgetown Law College. The winning team will attend the International Rounds, as part of the IISL Colloquium, in Jerusalem in 2015.

Professor Matthew Schaefer will serve as the faculty advisor and LL.M. student Nathan Johnson will be coaching the team this year. Nathan has an extensive background in the subject area and has competed twice in this competition as a J.D. at George Washington Law School. Nebraska Law has a strong presence in the competition, with many of space, cyber and telecommunications law LL.M. alumni judging arguments and briefs (memorials). LL.M. alumni, and current J.S.D. student Giugi Carminati is the now a regional organizer of the competition.

Thank you to Stefanie Pearlman, Matthew Novak, Elsbeth Magilton, Matthew Schaefer, and Nathan Johnson for serving on the selection committee.

Professor Christal Sheppard

Professor Sheppard helps draft Congressional testimony

17 Nov 2014    

Professor Sheppard helps draft Congressional testimony and will attend a U.S. Congress joint hearing by the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform

The Public Patent Advisory Committee on which Professor Sheppard is lead on finance and budget issues was called to testify before a rare joint hearing by the United States House of Representatives Committee of the Judiciary and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  The hearing, to take place Tuesday November, 18th at 1:30 EST, will explore allegations of USPTO employee abuse of government telework programs that was initially brought to light by the Washington Post and subsequently covered by most major news networks.  The hearing will not only explore the action of the USPTO employees but will call into question the effectiveness of telecommuting programs in regards of oversight of employees, accountability to the agency and quality of workproduct.  

PPAC, on which Dr. Sheppard is serving her third year, was created by Congress to oversee the management of and advise the leadership of the USPTO.  Dr Sheppard is one of nine citizens chosen by the US Secretary of Commerce to fulfill this role to review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the USPTO and advise the director on these matters.

Alumus Lynn Hendrix

Hendrix named Oil and Gas Lawyer of the Year

14 Nov 2014    

Bryan Cave (formerly Holme Roberts & Owen)  Partner Lynn Hendrix, '78,  was named Oil and Gas “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America! Lynn heads up Bryan Cave’s global Energy and Natural Resources Group.  In addition to being named “Lawyer of the Year” in Oil and Gas Law, Lynn’s practice depth and breadth is demonstrated by being listed in Best Lawyers in America in Native American Law, Energy Law, Natural Resources Law, Copyright Law, and Information Technology Law.

Best Lawyers is one of the oldest lawyer-rating publications in the U.S. and names a single lawyer in each specialty in each community as ‘Lawyer of the Year.’   Those honored have received particularly outstanding ratings in the surveys by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.

Von der Dunk Speaks to Dutch Radio Show on the Rosetta Mission

12 Nov 2014    

November 12, 2014 Professor Frans von der Dunk will join the De Kennis Van Nu, which roughly translates as The Knowledge Of Today,  radio program to dicuss the Rosetta mission, celestial resource exploitation, and more broadly commercial space activities. 

You can learn more about his segment on the De Kennis Van Nu website for the program.

2015 Nebraska Law Trial Team Announced

10 Nov 2014    

Six third-year students were named to the 2015 Nebraska Law Trial Team: Katherine Doering, Brian Fahey, Megan McDowell, Adam Odle, Audrey Svane and Rick Tast.

Students will compete in teams of three people in the regional competition that takes places in February. The competition includes several mock trials of a crimincal case, including preparing direct and cross examinations, opening statements and closing arguments. Students will focus on evidence, theory, theme, strategy and all aspects of a trial.

On-Orbit Jurisdication Conference a Success

07 Nov 2014    

The 7th Annual Washington, D.C. Space Law Conference on Monday, November 3, 2014 at the National Press Club featured discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented in on-orbit jurisdiction. 

The first panel, 
“On-Orbit Jurisdiction: Government and Industry Views” featured Laura Montgomery (Manager, Space Law Branch, FAA), Karl Kensinger (Deputy Division Chief, Satellite Division, FCC), Glenn Talia (Section Chief, Weather, Satellites, and Research Section, NOAA), Brian Israel (Attorney-Advisor, US Dept. of State), Caryn Schenewerk  (Counsel & Director of Government Affairs, SpaceX), Russ McMurry (Senior Counsel, Boeing Network & Space Systems), Franceska Schroeder (Principal, Fish & Richardson), and moderators Professor Frans von der Dunk & Dennis Burnett.

The second panel, “On-Orbit Jurisdiction -  Perspectives from Different Elements of Space Sector - Views from Property Rights Interests and Sub-Orbital Activities”included Mike Gold (Chair, COMSTAC), Peter Marquez (VP for Global Engagement, Planetary Resources), Marc Holzapfel (Senior VP & General Counsel, Virgin Galactic), Patti Grace Smith (Principal, PGS Consulting), Jim Muncy (Principal, PoliSpace Consulting), and moderators Professor Matthew Schaefer and Dennis Burnett.

The ABA Space Law Committee, together with, invited students and professionals in the DC area to meet up for drinks, community, and conversation following the 7th Annual Nebraska Law DC Space Law Conference at the District Commons.

Von der Dunk and Magilton Present at Doane College

07 Nov 2014    

Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program Professor Frans von der Dunk and the program's Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton (Nebraska Law Class of 2011) presented at Magilton's aluma mater, Doane College (Class of 2008), on Thursday October 30, 2014.

At the invitation of Professor Wendy Hind, von der Dunk and Magilton discussed the law college programs and the developing commercial space industry with two undergraduate Business Law courses on the Crete, Nebraska campus. Topics included third-party liability, space flight participants, and other upcoming legal issues facing the industry. 

LL.M. Student and Alumni Present at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

07 Nov 2014    

Current 2015 LL.M. canidate Nathan Johnson and 2013 LL.M. alumni George A. Long both participated in panels at the 1st Annual Space Traffic Management (STM) Conference hosted by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Commercial Space Operations degree program at the Daytona Beach campus.

The November 5th & 6th, 2014 STM conference offered academia and leaders of government and industry a forum for discussing the complex, diverse, and timely issues of aviation and space traffic coordination, space launch, space weather, and space debris. The conference’s plenary sessions brought together for discourse multiple disciplines and different aspects of the space traffic management world. 

The conference agenda is available on the Embry-Riddle website.

Thimmesch has tax discrimination essay published

06 Nov 2014    

Professor Adam Thimmesch's essay, "Comptroller v. Wynne and the Futile Search for Non-Discriminatory State Taxation," was just published as part of a roundtable put together by the Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc. The essay analyzes the meaning of tax discrimination under the dormant Commerce Clause and cautions the Court against adopting an overbroad standard that would conflict with states' historic taxing autonomy.

The piece can be found at​

Medill elected a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

27 Oct 2014    

Colleen Medill has been elected a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel in recognition of her sustained outstanding performance in the law profession. She is the first fellow from Nebraska and was inducted during the counsel's 15th annual dinner and ceremony Oct. 25 in Washington, D.C.

The ACEBC was established in 2000 to recognize the nation’s leading experts in the field of employee benefits law. Election as a fellow is the highest form of professional recognition in the employee benefits law field. Selection is based on proof of a sustained commitment to the development and pursuit of public awareness and understanding of the law of employee benefits through such activities as writing, speaking, participating in public policy analysis, public education or public service for at least twenty years.

At UNL, Medill teacher an employee benefits law course using her textbook, "Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy and Practice," (West Academic, fourth edition, 2014). The textbook is being used in more than 40 law schools in the United States.

Medill is the author of numerous law school articles on employee benefits topics and is a frequent speaker at national conferences on current trends in employee benefits law.

Moberly Re-Appointed to OSHA Committee

23 Oct 2014    

Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, re-appointed Professor Richard Moberly to a two-year term on the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. The Committee advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's whistleblower protection programs.

Faculty Elected to International Institute of Space Law Board

22 Oct 2014    

The International Institute of Space Law (IISL) Board of Directors was voted upon by Institute members in early September 2014. Advisory Board member and Adjunct Professor Dennis Burrnett was elected IISL Treasurer and Professor Frans von der Dunk was elected to an IISL Director position.

According to their purpose statement, "the purposes and objectives of the Institute include the cooperation with appropriate international organizations and national institutions in the field of space law and the carrying out of tasks for fostering the development of space law. It also includes the studies of legal and social science aspects of the exploration and use of outer space and the holding of meetings, colloquia and competitions on juridical and social science aspects of space activities."

The General Meeting of Members convenes once a year during the Colloquium.

Shoemaker has book review published

20 Oct 2014    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s recent book review was published in the latest volume of Great Plains Research. The piece discusses Judge Warren K. Urbom’s memoir, Called to Justice: The Life of a Federal Trial Judge. Judge Urbom is a well-known Nebraska federal court judge.
John Zimmer and Daniel Gutman

Gutman, Zimmer Win 2014 Grether Moot Court Competition

13 Oct 2014    

The final round of the 2014 Grether Moot Court Competition was held Friday, October 10, 2014 before the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Judges Bishop, Inbody and Pirtle presided over the competition. After oral arguments, Daniel Gutman, 2L, and John Zimmer, 2L, were declared the winners over finalists Kiersten Haugen, 2L, and Sara Rips, 2L. Gutman was also declared the best Oral Advocate for his passionate and emotionally evocative style in addition to his solid understanding of the law. 

The 2014 competition saw above-average participation, with a total of 18 teams taking part. Bill Straus, 3L, and Titus Hattan, 3L, served at the Grether Competition Coordinators, and Jordan Holst, 3L, served as this year's problem writer.

Boal and Odle Appear Before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

09 Oct 2014    

Micheal Boal and Adam Odle appeared before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 9, 2014. The 3L students worked with civil clinic professors Kevin Ruser and Ryan Sullivan, and other members of the Lincoln legal community to prepare their argument for the bankruptcy case.  

Their argument can be downloaded on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals website. 

Update (via Bloomberg): 

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit drew a road map to show creditors of consumer bankrupts how to avoid preference judgments (Pierce v. Collection Assocs. (In re Pierce), 8th Cir., No. 14-1365, 3/9/15). The case before the St. Louis-based court involved a creditor with a judgment who garnished a man's wages. In the preference period, the employer sent about $850 in garnished wages to the state court. The court had sent about $550 to the judgment creditor before bankruptcy. When the bankrupt notified the court that he had filed for bankruptcy, the court sent some $300 back to him. The bankrupt sued for a preference, seeking to “avoid” the entire $850 garnishment. The complaint only sought return of $550. Citing Section 547(c)(8) of the Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court dismissed the suit. That section of the law provides a defense in a suit regarding a consumer bankrupt barring a preference judgment when the transfer is less than $600. The decision was upheld by the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. In a 2-1 decision, the Eighth Circuit reached the same conclusion.

Writing for the majority, U.S. Circuit Judge Bobby E. Shepherd upheld the dismissal. Although he acknowledged that garnished wages are transferred to the creditor “when earned,” the judge said he couldn't overlook the fact that the suit only sought return of $550. U.S. Circuit Judge Steven M. Colloton dissented. He said Nebraska law provides that wages are earned when services are performed, not when paid. The creditor gained ownership of the wages when earned, he said. Colloton focused on how the complaint sought to avoid the entire $850. He said the complaint “merely reflects the fact” that $300 was already returned. The bankrupt was represented in the circuit court by the Clinical Law Program at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Professor Kevin Ruser, who was the supervising faculty on the brief, said in a phone interview that they are “evaluating” whether to request rehearing before all active judges on the Eighth Circuit. Where courts follow the Eighth Circuit majority, a creditor of a consumer bankrupt could return enough money after bankruptcy to reduce the net to less than $600, thereby avoiding a preference judgment for what it kept.

Burkstrand-Reid appointed to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Advisory Committee

06 Oct 2014    

Professor Beth Burkstrand-Reid was appointed by the United States Commission on Civil Rights to the Nebraska Advisory Committee. The Commission is a bipartisan agency of the federal government charged with conducting factfinding activities pertaining to discrimination or denial of equal protection laws based on race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or in the administration of justice. The Nebraska Advisory Committee is composed of citizens familiar with local and state civil rights issues who assist the Commission with its factfinding, investigative, and information dissemination functions. 

Gradwohl receives Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award

06 Oct 2014    

Jan Gradwohl, ’54, received the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award at the Nebraska Appleseed Good Apple Awards on October 2. 

The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all throughout his or  her career. It is given in the spirit of the late Jim Wolf, a founding Appleseed board member who possessed a lifelong dedication to promoting the common good. The award is given to an individual who is committed to public service without regard to his or her own economic or political gain.

Jan Gradwohl has dedicated her entire career to the principle of equal justice and fairness before the law after seeing how our systems of power kept long-standing barriers in place for many.

Jan began her career as an attorney, but quickly rose to become the first female appointed judge in Lancaster County. She worked to ensure fairness and equity in our legal system. For her work, she has been honored with both state and national level distinguished service awards.

Jan has also had a significant impact on the College of Law. She served as a professor and mentor to many of our law students, alongside her late husband, John, and continues to be involved in various capacities today.

Space Law Program Announces Conference in Washington, D.C.

03 Oct 2014    

University of Nebraska
7th Annual Washington, D.C. Space Law Conference
On-Orbit Jurisdication: Challenges and Opportunities
Monday, November 3, 2014
National Press Club


Currently, the FAA only has express regulatory authority to license launches and re-entries but not on-orbit or in-space activities. While some have argued FAA or other federal agencies have implied or inherent authority to so regulate, agencies are unlikely to act based on these types or arguments, rather awaiting express authority from Congress. Many new space activities are on the near horizon, including commercial human space flight, asteroid mining, lunar and orbital private research labs and hotels, and on-orbit servicing of satellites. Private investors are seeking certainty for their investments, including private property rights, as well as safety from interference in their activities by others. However, the US commercial space sector is also concerned that heavy-handed regulation in the early stages of such activities could inhibit the activity or drive investment abroad, and thus seek to limit any on-orbit regulatory authority to be “lite” in nature. The US government is anxious to ensure compliance with treaty obligations requiring it to authorize and continually supervise its commercial actors’ space activities to ensure compliance with treaty obligations. Foreign country reaction to US commercial activities in space may also depend on whether the US has sufficient regulatory regime in place, one that for example, would prevent contamination of Earth or celestial bodies in the case of mining, or risk to neighboring satellites during on-orbit servicing. Panel I will discuss government and industry views on the issue of on-orbit jurisdiction (or in-space regulatory authority) and Panel II will delve deeper into specific views of two sub-sectors of the US commercial space industry, those concerned with property rights and the sub-orbital marketplace.

11:30-12:40AM Public Panel I – “On-Orbit Jurisdiction: Government and Industry Views”

  • Laura Montgomery – Manager, Space Law Branch, FAA (confirmed)
  • Karl Kensinger – Deputy Division Chief, Satellite Division, FCC (confirmed)
  • Glenn Talia – Section Chief, Weather, Satellites, and Research Section, NOAA (confirmed)
  • Brian Israel – Attorney-Advisor, US Dept. of State (confirmed)
  • Caryn Schenewerk  - Counsel & Director of Government Affairs, SpaceX (confirmed)
  • Russ McMurry – Senior Counsel, Boeing Network & Space Systems (invited)
  • Franceska Schroeder – Principal, Fish & Richardson (confirmed)

Moderators:  Professor Frans von der Dunk –Nebraska Law & Dennis Burnett – Vice-President, Kymeta

12:40-1:30PM Networking Lunch

1:30-2:30PM  “On-Orbit Jurisdiction -  Perspectives from Different Elements of Space Sector - Views from Property Rights Interests and Sub-Orbital Activities”

  • Mike Gold – Chair, COMSTAC (confirmed)
  • Peter Marquez – VP for Global Engagement, Planetary Resources (confirmed)
  • Marc Holzapfel – Senior VP & General Counsel, Virgin Galactic (confirmed)
  • Patti Grace Smith – Principal, PGS Consulting (confirmed)
  • Jim Muncy – Principal, PoliSpace Consulting (confirmed)

 Moderators:  Professor Matthew Schaefer- Nebraska Law & Dennis Burnett – Vice-President, Kymeta

Join the conversation and see conference updates before and during the panels on Twitter @spacecyberlaw and #DCspacecyberlaw

If you have any questions or concerns please contact:

Elsbeth J. Magilton 
Space, Cyber & Telecommunications Law Program Executive Director | 402-472-1662 | 

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Video Available Online

03 Oct 2014    

Watch the conversation between Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Chief Judge William Riley here.

Client Counseling Competition Named in Honor of Professors Frank, Lawson

02 Oct 2014    

On the occasion of Professor Alan Frank’s retirement, the Nebraska Law faculty decided to honor him and Professor Craig Lawson by naming the Law College’s Client Counseling Competition the Alan Frank and Craig Lawson Client Counseling Competition. Frank began the College’s participation in the ABA-sponsored national Client Counseling Competition in the spring semester of 1975 and has been involved in the competition ever since. Lawson joined him four years later.

Over those years, Frank and Lawson-coached teams have assembled an enviable record. In 40 years, the College’s Client Counseling Competition teams have won 14 regional championships, 11 of which have occurred in the past 19 years; five national championships, four of which have occurred in the past 11 years and three of which took place in the past six years; and one international championship. The College’s teams have also finished second in the national competition twice and third twice. Its 2014 team finished second in the international competition. 

“Craig and I are deeply honored to have the College’s Client Counseling Competition named after us. I can think of no retirement gift that would mean as much to me,” said Frank. “It has been a pleasure to be involved in the competition and to work with the skilled and hard-working students that made the College’s success in the competition over the years possible.”

The naming became official at a lunch held at the Law College on September 27 during Alumni Weekend. Members of several of the previous competition winners were in attendance.  

Faculty Speak Across the Country in July, August and September

30 Sep 2014    

Several professors from the University of Nebraska College of Law spoke across the country in the late summer months of 2014. Professors Berger, Duncan, Moberly, Schaefer, Shavers and Thimmesch each presented topics specific to their respective areas of expertise.  

Eric Berger
Professor Eric Berger presented his paper “Lethal Injection Secrecy and Eighth Amendment Due Process” to the faculty at Drake University Law School on September 8. The paper argues that inmates challenging the constitutionality of the execution procedure by which they will be executed should have a due process right to information about the procedure. While there, Berger also gave a talk to the students, faculty, and local bar about recent developments in lethal injection litigation. 

Richard Duncan
Professor Rick Duncan took his religious liberty insights across America in September 2014, from the East Coast to the West Coast. He spoke on the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case at University of Pittsburgh School of Law on September 16, Duquesne University School of Law on September 17, UC Davis School of Law on September 23, and BYU Law on September 29.


Richard Moberly
Professor Richard Moberly served as a panelist on the National Security Whistleblowing for a Workshop on National Security Law, at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference in Amelia Island, Florida on August 5. 

Matthew Schaefer
Professor Matthew Schaefer moderated the only legal panel at Newspace 2014 on July 25, 2014 in the heart of Silicon Valley. The panel focused on property rights issues, in particular the recent bill introduced by Rep. Posey called the ASTEROIDS Act, how property rights are linked to the issue of on-orbit jurisdiction, and the consistency of proposed US legislation with US international obligations.

Professor Schaefer also presented a paper arguing that space act agreements for space debris remediation technology companies should be explored by NASA in the future at the AIAA Space 2014 in San Diego on August 6.

Anna Shavers
Professor Shavers spoke on the topic "Negotiating the Power of Words: Creating Space for Human Trafficking in Management Discourse Space for Human Trafficking" at the 74th annual conference in Philadelphia, PA.

Adam Thimmesch
Professor Adam Thimmesch presented his paper “Testing the Models of Tax Compliance: The Use-Tax Experiment” at the Oklahoma University Junior Scholars Conference in July and at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in August.

Professor Thimmesch also presented his paper “Taxing Honesty” at the at the Big Ten Junior Scholars Conference, also held in August.

Sheppard’s Article to Appear in Popular Patent Casebook

26 Sep 2014    

Professor Sheppard's article "Because Inquiring Mind Want to Know - Best Mode - Why is it One-Sided" was cited in the Third Edition of the widely used patent casebook "The Law of Patents."  This Craig Nard casebook is a lean yet comprehensive presentation on the law of patents. The casebook features helpful introductory text, technologically accessible cases, detailed comments, comparative and policy perspectives, and statutes.  The new Third Edition incorporates the America Invents Act, the most sweeping changes to the patent statute since 1952.

Dority Baker to Blog for AALL

26 Sep 2014    

Professor Marcia Dority Baker will be a regular contributor to the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Spectrum blog for 2014-2015. Her first blog titled, “We Want You! Why You Should Join Your Local Library Association,” was published on September 9, 2014.

UNL Dedicates Statues of Former Secretaries of Agriculture

22 Sep 2014    

Ronnie Green, Harlan vice chancellor of the University of Nebraska's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, led the dedication of statues honoring Nebraska's former secretaries of agriculture on Saturday, September 20, 2014. Clayton Yeutter, '63, was among those being honored.

Yeutter's statue is in the Jeanne Yeutter garden on UNL's East Campus, while the other three are placed in an area bound by the East Union, C.Y. Thompson Library and Filley Hall. With planned renovations to the library and the union, Green said, this Legacy Plaza will become a major focal point on East Campus, where the statues will serve to educate future generations of students about "these four distinguished Nebraskans who have served our country greatly."

Green said the idea for the statues was born during the celebration two years ago of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created the land-grant university system. Yeutter and Johanns were among four former ag secretaries who participated in a panel-discussion that fall.

Yeutter expressed appreciation. "I've been a Cornhusker all my life," said Yeutter, a Dawson County native.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Visits College

22 Sep 2014    

U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.’s appearance at the University of Nebraska College of Law Friday, September 19, 2014,  drew over 500 people including many reporters and VIPS.

In the conversational-style appearance, Roberts sat in a chair on stage right while he answered prepared questions from William Jay Riley, '72, Chief Judge of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Several of the questions had been submitted by students at Oakland-Craig and Wahoo schools, who watched the talk via web streaming.

The event was covered by reporters from ABC News, the Associated Press, and several Nebraska newspapers and broadcasters.

Some of the highlights, according to the Associated Press and Tweets posted during the talk:

  • Roberts is worried about partisanship in the judicial confirmation process and the public perception that the court is a political body, the AP reported.
  • He lamented that the “eminently qualified” Justice Elena Kagan was confirmed on an almost strict partisan vote, Joe Duggan of the Omaha World-Herald reported.
  • Jeff Zeleny, ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent, tweeted Roberts’ comment that neither Justice Antonin Scalia nor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could survive confirmation if they went before the Senate today. “Neither one of them would have a chance today. That’s not good.”
  • Jenn Schanz of KLKN TV Channel 8 in Lincoln tweeted this quote from the chief justice: “We need to keep the partisan divide on the other side of First Street.”
  • Lori Pilger of the Lincoln Journal-Star chose this Roberts quote for one of her Tweets: “We are not part of the political process. We don’t make decisions on political grounds.”

Other highlights recounted on Twitter:

Asked how his undergraduate degree in history influences his work, Roberts quipped “I went to law school because I couldn’t get a job in history.”

His aim is to be fair when he assigns opinions to other justices. Each gets a share of important cases and “dogs,” he said.

When asked what he does for fun, Roberts said “I have two teenaged kids. I go to soccer games, hockey games and school plays.”

Question: “Is being chief justice everything you imagined?” Answer: “More.”

A video of the conversation between Cheif Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Chief Judge William Jay Riley is available on the College of Law Alumni Continuing Legal Education and Programming page.


Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic Presents to Local Non-Profit Organizations

22 Sep 2014    

Four Students

Four Student Attorneys in the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic gave a presentation Thursday, September 18th to representatives of more than 60 local non-profit organizations.  The presentation, “Non-Profit Fundraising and the Law,” was hosted by at the Lincoln Community Foundation and Sarah Peetz, Vice President for Community Outreach.  

Third-year law students Andrew Joyce, Ashlea Whitney, Aditya Ezhuthachan, and Brianna McLarty offered guidance on legal issues relating to fundraising, including licensing for raffles and lotteries, sales and use tax issues, federal tax issues and record keeping requirements for donors and non-profits.  The students also provided information regarding best practices for non-profits in managing their fundraising efforts. 

The presentation was given as a part of the ongoing outreach efforts by the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law.  The Clinic, through the efforts of its Student Attorneys under the direction of Professor Brett Stohs, provides free transactional legal services for start-up endeavors throughout the State of Nebraska.  For more information about the Clinic, please visit

Brooks, ’15, Speaks at HRC Nebraska Kickoff

22 Sep 2014    

Taylor Brooks, ’15, spoke at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Nebraska kickoff reception on September 15th. He shared his experience of being a young gay professional in Nebraska and his aspirations of making the state a place that other young LGBT professional consider for their careers.

Walters, ’70, Selected to The Best Lawyers in America 2015

22 Sep 2014    

University of Nebraska College of Law graduate, James M. Walters, was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015. Walters is a senior partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the nation’s leading labor and employment firms.

Nebraska Law Students Lead Constitution Day Project

18 Sep 2014    

On Wednesday, Sept. 17, students for the College of Law lead more than 2,300 Lincoln Public Schools eighth-graders through a project to celebrate Constitution Day.

The project is part of the college's Community Legal Education Project, a student run organization that focuses on community outreach. The effort included more than 60 volunteers who talked about the importance and history of the Constitution in eight Lincoln middle schools.

"This is the second year we have worked with Lincoln Public Schools on this Constitution Day project," said Chris Schmidt, a second-year law student and event organizer. "The Constitution gets a bad rap for being this ancient and old document, but we try to get the students to realize it is alive and affecting us every day."

To show how the Constitution remains active, Schmidt said the presentations involved current topics, including debates on the need for school uniforms and if freedom of speech applies to social media posts.

"We think the topic of getting in trouble for what you post online will be a good one to get the students' blood going," Schmidt said. "It's going to be fun to show them what the Constitution says and how it even impacts the lives of 13 year olds."

Law students posed the question: Should a school be able to discipline a student for making an inappropriate comment online even if it didn’t happen at school? Some classrooms said yes, some said no, but most agree that cyberbullying is a problem that needs addressed.

The college's Community Legal Education Project provides law students with the opportunity to teach elementary and middle school students about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and other legal issues. During the spring semester, law students go into local elementary classrooms once a week for six weeks to teach prepared lessons.

von der Dunk Speaking and Chairing at International Astronautical Conference in Toronto

16 Sep 2014    

Professor Frans von der Dunk will be presenting, FROM SPACE TOURISTS TO UNRULY PASSENGERS? THE US STRUGGLE WITH ‘ON-ORBIT JURISDICTION’ at the forthcoming Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space organized by the International Institute of Space Law at the International Astronautical Conference in Toronto, on October 1, 2014. Von der Dunk is also chairing the International Academy of Astronautics/International Institute of Space Law Scientific/Legal Round Table on the topic of the increasingly high resolution of space EO data, which combined  with increasing location and navigation information provided by satellites, raises new questions regarding the risks and threats of abuse of such data, for example in areas of privacy, human rights and public order (terrorism).

Alumni and Exec Director Magilton Featured in Lincoln City Libraries Campaign

15 Sep 2014    

2011 JD alum and Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law programs, Elsbeth Magilton, was featured in the Lincoln City Libraries Idea Place Campaign, Monday September 15th. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the city libraries and all of their varied resources. 

1992 JD alum, Mark Fahleson was also featured by the campaign, on September 8th. 

The full poster and the other featured Lincolnites can be viewed at

Blankley Blogs on NASCAR Incident

11 Sep 2014    

Assistant Professor Kirsten Blankley published an article on the ADR Prof Blog. Blankley provided insights in regard to conflict, mediation and psychology surrounding the recent incident in which NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was involved in a fatal on-track collision with fellow driver Kevin Ward.

Professor Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch Published in Virginia Tax Review

11 Sep 2014    

Article by Professor Adam Thimmesch, Trailing Nexus, was published in the Virginia Tax Review. The piece is the first to comprehensively analyze the duration of states' taxing powers and proposes a new economic-latency approach that differs substantially from the policies currently applied by states. The article can be found at 33 Va. Tax Rev. 497 (2014).

Schaefer to Speak at 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto

10 Sep 2014    

Professor Schaefer to Speak at 65th International Astronautical Congress in Toronto Oct. 1, 2014; Will be Eighth Space Law Speaking Engagement at Major Conference in Past Year

The number of presentations at major conferences made by Professor Schaefer in the past year will grow to eight next month when Professor Schaefer presents his paper on the intersection of space insurance markets with liability regimes for third-parties and space flight participants in commercial space activities to the 65th International Astronautical Congress & 57th International Institute of Space Law (IISL) Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space in Toronto on October 1.  Professor Schaefer has previously spoken on space law topics at seven major space law and international law conferences in the past year: ABILA International Law Weekend – Midwest (St. Louis, September 2013); American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) International Law Weekend (New York, October 2013); University of Nebraska 6th Annual D.C. Space Law Conference (Washington, D.C., November 2013); International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Space Exploration Conference (Washington, D.C., January 2014); National Space Symposium (Colorado Springs, April 2014); Newspace 2014 (San Jose, CA, July 2014); and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space 2014 (San Diego, CA, August 2014).

Schaefer Presents Paper at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Space Conference

10 Sep 2014    

Professor Schaefer presented a paper on incentivizing US space debris remediation companies at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space 2014 Conference. The paper argued that space act agreements for space debris remediation technology companies should be explored by NASA in the future at the AIAA Space 2014 taking place in San Diego on August 6.  

Schaefer Moderates Property Rights Panel at Newspace

10 Sep 2014    

Professor Matthew Schaefer moderated the only legal panel at Newspace 2014 on July 25, 2014 in the heart of Silicon Valley.  The panel focused on property rights issues, in particular the recent bill introduced by Rep. Posey called the ASTEROIDS Act, how property rights are linked to the issue of on-orbit jurisdiction, and the consistency of proposed US legislation with US international obligations.  The panel session can be viewed at

UNL conference in D.C. to focus on broadband regulation

05 Sep 2014    

Justin “Gus” Hurwitz, a professor of telecommunications law at the University of Nebraska College of Law, says issues of broadband speed and availability are going to get more challenging for citizens and policymakers in coming years as people around the world become more deeply entwined with the Internet.

A September conference in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by the Nebraska Law’s Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program, the Federal Communications Commission and the American Enterprise Institute, will take aim at emerging policy and regulatory issues facing the broadband sector. The Sept. 10-12 event, to be held in the FCC’s main meeting room, will feature a half day of keynote panels that are open to the public, a full day of invitation-only panels, and a final half day public session to hone the overall themes of the conference.

UNL Communications reporter Leslie Reed covered the conference on September 4th, 2014. You can learn more from the FCC press release, posted August 29th, 2014.

Striman presented AALL Recognition Award

05 Sep 2014    

Professor Brian Striman was presented a recognition award at the July 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries. The award recognizes dedication and leadership for his work as Chair of the 2013-2014 Technical Services Special Interest Section.

Bri McClarty

McClarty Receives Scholarship from Nebraska Democratic Women's Caucus

25 Aug 2014    

Bri McClarty, ’15, recently received a scholarship from Nebraska Democratic Women's Caucus at the Helen Boosalis Inspiring Women luncheon. McClarty was selected for the award based on an essay she wrote on a female elected official or community leader that inspires her to be involved. McCLarty wrote her essay on Nebraska Law alumna Sen. Danielle Conrad, ’03.

Leiter Named 2014 Fastcase 50 Winner

25 Aug 2014    

Professor Richard Leiter was nominated and selected by Fastcase to be among its top 50 entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services.

preLaw Best Value Cover

National Jurist Names Nebraska Law #2 Best Value

15 Aug 2014    

The National Jurist magazine released its annual "Best Value Law Schools" list in its Back to School 2014 edition, ranking Nebraska Law #2 in that list. The rankings take into account the percentage of graduates who pass the bar examination, the percentage of graduates who find employment, tuition, cost of living, and average indebtedness upon graduation. "The College of Law has a consistent history of providing an excellent legal education at an affordable cost. This value provides our graduates with great flexibility in their career choices," said Dean Susan Poser. "We are thrilled to again be recognized for providing this value."
Professor Colleen Medill

Medill Testifies on the Duties of Employers Who Sponsor Retirement and Health Care Plans

13 Aug 2014    

On June 18th Professor Colleen Medill testified before the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council on the fiduciary responsibilities of employers who sponsor retirement and health care plans for their workers. The ERISA Advisory Council was established as part of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to advise the Secretary of Labor and to make administrative policy recommendations. Medill was invited to testify by Chair Ralph C. Derbyshire, who is the Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Fidelity Investments.
Best Grad Schools by US News and World Report Logo

College of Law Jumps Seven Spots in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Schools to No. 54

13 Aug 2014    

Nebraska Law continued its momentum in the new rankings, landing among the Best Law Schools at No. 54 out of 193 U.S. institutions. The seven-spot jump this year follows a 28-spot leap last year. Susan Poser, dean of the College of Law, said it was gratifying – but not surprising – to see such national recognition for the progress the law college has made. “The credit goes to the faculty, who are scholars and teachers who also participate in law reform at the local, state, national, and international levels, and to our innovative curriculum, which prepares students for a wide array of careers,” Poser said.

Linda Crump

Crump, ’90, Receives Honor from 8th Circuit Bar Association

06 Aug 2014    

Linda Crump, ’90, was honored at the 8th Circuit Judicial Conference on August 7th, receiving the Richard S. Arnold award for Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement from the Eighth Circuit Bar Association.
2014 Alumni Council Awards winners

Four Honored at Alumni Council Awards Lunch

14 Jul 2014    

The College of Law community gathered on April 11 for its annual Alumni Council Awards Lunch at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. At the luck, the Alumni Council awarded Associate Dean and Professor Richard Moberly the distinguished faculty award; Paige Amundson the Woods & Aitken outstanding student award; Hon. Vernon Daniels the distinguished alumnus award; and, Esther Beynon the outstanding service award.

Noelle Polk, 14

Recent Graduate Noelle Polk Wins National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award

14 Jul 2014    

Noelle Polk, 14, has been selected to be the University of Nebraska College of Law’s nominee for the National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award. Along with this award, she will be published in the Women Lawyers Journal as a recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Student Award. Congratulations, Noelle! Thank you so much for enriching our community through your commitment to women’s rights and other noble causes.

University of Nebraska seal

Alumnus John Albin Named Acting Commissioner of Labor

14 Jul 2014    

Governor Heineman named alumnus John Albin, ’79, as Acting Commissioner of Labor. Albin is currently General Counsel for the Nebraska Department of Labor. Albin is a native of Humbolt, NE and has been with the Department of Labor for more than 24 years, having begun as an administrative law judge in 1990. He joined the Department’s Legal Division in 1993 and became General Counsel in 2000. We wish him well in this new role.

Professor Berger speaking

Professor Eric Berger Presents Paper at the Law and Society Annual Conference

14 Jul 2014    

On May 30, Professor Eric Berger presented a new paper “The World According to the Court” at the Law and Society Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The paper was presented as part of a panel about “Inequality in the Eyes of the Court.” It explores Supreme Court fact-finding in recent constitutional decisions. Specifically, the paper argues that the Supreme Court aggressively finds facts to support the normative outcome it favors in a variety of constitutional contexts.

Professor Matthew Schaefer Speaks at 30th Annual National Space Symposium

22 May 2014    

Professor Schaefer spoke on a panel on the radio frequency interference with satellites and its impact on space sustainability in Colorado Springs on May 22, 2014 at the National Space Symposium.  The panel was sponsored by the Secure World Foundation and moderated by its President Mike Simpson.  Professor Schaefer was the lone lawyer on the panel and suggested some possible legal enforcement mechanisms for international obligations prohibiting harmful interference in response to satellite operators’ increasing frustration with the lack of concrete tools to stop intentional radio frequency interference with satellites.  For more, see Professor Schaefer’s inaugural blog on his new blog at to address legal issues connected with Space, Cyber, High-Tech, Aerospace, EU-US Relations, Free Trade, Export-Import Regulation, and Radio Frequency Interference.

Terri Minatra

Former General Counsel for NPR Addresses Graduates

09 May 2014    

Terri Minatra, former general counsel for NPR, was the keynote speaker at the College of Law’s commencement exercises on May 10th. As general counsel, Minatra managed and directed all legal services for NPR, working with the various business units to achieve corporate strategy while protecting the interests of the organization.
Sarah Safarik

Safarik to Argue Before Nebraska Supreme Court

30 Apr 2014    

3L Sarah Safarik will argue a case, State v. Mamer, before the Nebraska Supreme Court on April 30. Safarik is a student in the College’s Civil Clinic and has this opportunity as a result of her time there. Civil Clinic students represent clients under the supervision of Professors Kevin Ruser and Ryan Sullivan.
Students participating in a mock trial.

Criminal Clinic Partners with Forensic

29 Apr 2014    

A semester-long investigation of a staged crime scene culminated this week with testimony in a mock court case.The case is a collaboration between students in the UNL forensics program and the College of Law criminal clinic. Professors Larry Barksdale, Ashley Hall and Steve Schmidt lead the project, which allows forensic students to collect and analyze evidence from the mock crime scene, while College of Law students conduct direct and cross examinations of witnesses in the fictional case of State of Nebraska vs. Rodney Cliffe. Read More.

Professor Hurwitz and Alumni Sara Morris Quoted in Communications Daily

24 Apr 2014    

On April 24th Professor Gus Hurwitz and 2010 alumni Sara Morris wre both quoted in the Communications Daily regarding Net Neutrality.  
Danielle Miller and Jason Keen work with students

Students Volunteer at the Nebraska Science Festival

24 Apr 2014    

The Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program sponsored a booth at the Nebraska Science Festival expo at the Strategic Air and Space Museum on April 24-25th. On Day One Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton was joined by 2L Danielle Miller and LLM student Jason Keen talked to kids about orbital debris at the Strategic Air & Space Museum. Day Two LLM student David Cromwell and 1L student Peng Li volunteered. Students used a model of the earth and our atmosphere to try to simulate a shuttle, a rocket, or a large satellite reentering earth's atmosphere without hitting any "space junk!"

Von der Dunk interview with The Verge

23 Apr 2014    

Thursday April 4th 2014 Professor Frans von der Dunk was interviewed for the article NASA's breakup with Russia is a Manipulative Money Grab written by The Verge writer  Arielle Duhaime-Ross. In the interview von der Dunk discusses the historical and ongoing relationship between the U.S. and Russia in regards to space exploration. 
Professor Schmidt

Schmidt to Give Final S.T.I.R. Talk of 2013-14

16 Apr 2014    

Professor Steve Schmidt will give the final S.T.I.R. talk of the semester on Thursday, April 17 at 4:30 p.m. Schmidt’s talk is entitled, “Why Mexico Matters.” Refreshments and conversation will begin prior to the lecture beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Student Lounge.
Katie Joseph and Rick Tast

Joseph, Tast Place 2nd in International Client Counseling Competition

13 Apr 2014    

2Ls Katie Joseph and Rick Tast represented the United States at the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition held April 9-12 in Puerto Rico. Coached by Professor Alan Frank and Professor Craig Lawson,the team placed second in the competition. “We are so proud of Rick and Katie,” said Dean Susan Poser. “They represented the College and the nation incredibly well.”
Students and dogs

SBA Hosts Mental Health Week

30 Mar 2014    

The Student Bar Association is hosting events to recognize Mental Health Week, March 31-April 5, 2014. Events include an ice cream social, massage therapy sessions, and yoga. The week culminates on April 5th at SALDF’s Second Annual Laws 4 Paws 5k run/walk. Details for all of this week’s event can be found in the Sounding Block.

Professor Frans von der Dunk Speaks at Ouffutt Air Force Base

23 Feb 2014    

On February 5th Professor Frans von der Dunk delivered a keynote address at the 17th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference. He discussed commercial space flight and the changing industry. An audio recording of the address is available via Space Ref.

Professor Schaefer’s Op-Ed on Commercial Space Liability Appears in Orlando Sentinel February 11

11 Feb 2014    

Professor Schaefer presented his views on commercial space liability based on his White Paper to the editors of the Orlando Sentinel on February 11, 2014.  The op-ed in question and answer format appeared in both the print version (shorter) and online versions of the paper.  The lengthier version is available online

Schaefer Makes Presentation to International Academy of Astronautics

23 Jan 2014    

Professor Matthew Schaefer presented the White Paper he authored on commercial space liability issues to the IAA Space Exploration Conference on January 9, 2014.  The paper called for an immediate extension of the third-party liability government indemnification regime.  As Congress reexamines the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act in the coming year, the paper calls for Congress to create a third-party liability cap and for space flight participants to be subject to the full federal cross-waiver regime.  It also recommends the US government engage in international negotiations to clarify and enhance liability protections.

Professor Hurwitz Submits Comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee

23 Jan 2014    

At the end of January Professor Hurwitz helped prepare comments submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to a white paper the Committee release earlier this month to begin consideration of a revision to the Communications Act. The first set of comments (available here; discussed here) were drafted by a group of scholars affiliated with AEI. The second set of comments (available here) were drafted by a group of scholars (including Richard Epstein, Jim Speta, and Christopher Yoo) affiliated with the Free State Foundation. Both sets of comments argue that Congress should move away from the silo-based, technology specific regulation of the current Act, replacing it with technology-neutral, competition-oriented regulations. The AEI comments argue that, like the airline and railroad industries before it, the communications industry no longer needs a standalone regulator, such that the various functions and resources currently housed in the FCC should be reassigned to the Commission's various sister agencies. 

Professor Schaefer’s White Paper on Commercial Space Industry

23 Jan 2014    

Professor Matthew Schaefer wrote an influential White Paper that addresses liability protections for the US commercial space industry. The paper highlighted the immediate need for an extension of US government indemnification for third-party liability of commercial space launch operators.  The paper was the focus of the Law College’s 6th Annual Washington, D.C. Space and Cyber Law conference in November 2013.  It was distributed in early December 2013 to members and staff of the Senate Commerce and House Science Committees as well as the FAA, NASA, and Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.  Professor Schaefer presented it at the International Academy of Astronautics Space Exploration Conference in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 2014 and was quoted in Space on the issue.  On January 15, 2014, a three-year extension of the government indemnification regime for third-party liability was passed by Congress and was signed into law a day later by President Obama.  

 Professor Frans von der Dunk and Professor Steve Willborn provided comments on the paper, as did Giugi Carminati (LL.M. ’12) and friend of the program Cleveland-Marshall law professor Mark Sundahl, that were very helpful to the final product.  Sandra Teichert, LL.M. class of 2014, served as Professor Schaefer’s research assistant on the project. 

Telecommunications Expert Professor Gus Hurwitz Weighs in on Net Neutrality Decision

23 Jan 2014    

Tuesday Januray 14th the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals made a decision in Verizon v. FCC. The decision rejected the Open Internet Order's no-blocking and non-discrimination rules. Professor Gus Hurwitz weighed in on the decision on The Free State Foundation blog and Real Clear Markets.

Beard Honored by Department of Defense

30 Nov 2013    

Professor Jack Beard was awarded a medal for exceptional public service by the Office of the Secretary of Defense on November 6. Beard was presented with the medal during the College's annual Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Conference which was held in Washington, D.C., on November 5-6. Prior to joining the faculty, Beard spent part of his career as the Associate Deputy General Counsel (International Affairs) i the Department of Defense. As a result of his relationship with the Department, a student participates in an externship with the Department that is exclusive to Nebraska Law.

Nebraska Law International Faculty at ABILA

30 Oct 2013    

Several members of the faculty and administration at The University of Nebraska College of Law attended the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA) annual International Law Weekend (ILW) conference in New York City last week, October 24-26th. The annual event brings together hundreds of practitioners, law professors, and students. The theme of the 2013 conference was “International Law and Legal Practice.” Professor Jack Beard was a co-chairman of the conference and also spoke on the “Rethinking the Rules for Conflict and Competition in Cyberspace” panel, which examined evolving cyber threats to governments and businesses and reevaluated the rules that may govern them. Professors Matt Schaefer and Frans von der Dunk spoke on “Complexities of Regulating the Outer Space Domain by Analogy to Legal Regimes in the Other Four Domains,” where they compared existing legal regimes to the developing space law regime. Human trafficking expert Professor Anna Shavers spoke on “Combatting Human Trafficking Through International Law.” Professor Brian Leopard also attended the conference, led a committee meeting, and visited United Nations Officials during the conference. Executive Director of graduate programming, Elsbeth Magilton, met with JD students from across the world and discussed all that the Nebraska Law faculty has to offer.

2013 Alumni Giugi Carminati Writes Five Article Series For Space Safety Magazine

01 Oct 2013    

Nebraska Law's first online LL.M. graduate Giugi Carminati is writing a five article series for Space Safety Magazine. The articles aim to explain and teach space law principles to non-attorneys. 

Giugi's first article is already available online and discusses assumption of risk principles. 

Program's First Alum, Jeffrey Nosanov, Quoted in Forbes and The Guardian

30 Sep 2013    

2009 alum Jeffrey Nosanov appeared in The Guardian and Forbes magazine in September. Nosanov spoke with a Forbes writer on the possibility of interstellar space travel. He spoke with The Guardian on a similar topic regarding NASA's Starship Project. 

Jeff Nosanov is a NIAC Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, near Los Angeles, and was the first ever graduate of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications LL.M. program. 

Professor Schaefer Speaks to University of Florida International Law Society on Commercial Space Law

30 Sep 2013    

Professor Matthew Schaefer gave the inaugural academic year guest lecture to the University of Florida Levin College of Law International Law Society on September 18.  Approximately 30 students attended the lecture that gave an introduction to the major space law treaties and US federal and state laws and regulations governing commercial space activities.  The lecture looked at the implications of the treaties and laws for human space flight, third party liability issues, and mining.  Florida is one of six states that has enacted liability immunity legislation for commercial space operators.

Florida Law Online dicussed the event on their News Briefs page. 

Schaefer Presents at the American Branch of the International Law Association’s International Law Weekend with Alum Giugi Carminati

30 Sep 2013    

Professor Matthew Schaefer organized a panel on “Regulating and Incentivizing Commercial Space Activities” for the ABILA International Law Weekend Midwest taking place at Washington University in St. Louis Law School September 20, 2013.  Also presenting on the panel will be online LL.M. alum (’13) Giugi Carminatti (speaking on state liability immunity legislation for commercial space operators) and friend of the program Professor Mark Sundahl of Cleveland Marshall College of Law (speaking on ITAR and the Space Assets Protocol).  Professor Schaefer’s presentation will focus on commercial space liability issues and space debris removal.   For more information on the ABILA International Law Weekend Midwest, go to 

Professor Schaefer to Speak on Commercial Space Law Issues to NYU International Law Society

30 Sep 2013    

Posted September 24, 3013 - NYU Law School will be hosting Professor Matthew Schaefer for a talk on commercial space issues, including liability issues connected with third parties and space flight participants, and possible new commercial markets of space debris removal and mining on September 26th.  The talk will be the third at a law school this month for Professor Schaefer, who spoke previously at USC and the University of Florida.  UNL Law College has LL.M. numerous alums working in California (including SpaceX, NASA JPL, Vandenberg AFB)  and New York (including McKinsey and private law practice).

Professor von der Dunk Lectures at the Xi'an Jiaotong University Law School in China

30 Sep 2013    

September 29th and 30th, Professor von der Dunk visited the Xi'an Jiaotong University Law School after attending the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Beijing, China. He provided an Introduction to Space Law and lectured on National Space Legislation and International and U.S. Law on Export Controls of Dual-Sensitive Goods.

Photo by Peng Wang. 

Director and Alum Present Together at USC on Commercial Space

11 Sep 2013    

Professor Matthew Schaefer, 2009 LL.M. Alum Julie Jiru, of SpaceX, and Rita Lauria, an adjunct professor at USC, will gave a joint talk on commercial space law issue to the University of Southern California Law School Space Law Society on Wednesday September 11. Julie discussed Space Act Agreements and contracts between NASA and commercial space entities. Professor Schaefer discussed third party and space flight participant liability issues connected with commercial space activities. You can learn more about the discussion in the Daily Trojan article covering the event. 

Alumni Moderates New America Foundation panel on CSPAN-2

05 Sep 2013    

On September 5th, Alumni Sarah Morris (2010) moderated a panel on the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, livestreamed by The New America Foundation and broadcast on CSPAN-2. The event brought "together experts to discuss their vision for a modern regulatory framework that is rooted in longstanding principles and also reflects the realities of an emerging broadband, IP-based communications infrastructure." The New America Foundation live recording is availble on their website. The New America Foundation invited the public to join this important conversation on telecommunications on twitter using the hashtag #OpenInternet. 

Media Coverage of New J.S.D. Program

30 Aug 2013    

Following University Communications release of the College of Law's plan to launch a J.S.D. program in Space Law, the program received coverage from the Omaha World Herald, local broadcast station 1011 News, and Omaha broadcasters WOWT. News quickly left Nebraska and the program has been featured by such notable news out lets as The San Francisco CronicleThe Miami Herald, and Internationally, the new JSD program was featured in the Brazilan Jornal da Ciência (Journal of Science) in August.  The program is supervised by Professor Frans von der Dunk.

Professor and Program Director Schaefer Discusses Legality of Asteroid Lassoing with

30 Aug 2013    

Professor Schaefer's shared his views on the laws surrounding NASA's asteroid lasso plan with's Leonard David on August 30th. The article discussed whether NASA can legally go forward with the asteroid lassoing plan they announced this year. 

Magilton Spoke on Space Law at The Omaha Science Fiction and Education Society Convention

16 Aug 2013    

Program Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton sat on panels with Creighton physicist Gintaras Duda, Booz Allen Hamilton consultant and retired Air Force Officer Wade Watts, and Omaha attorney and shareholder at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht, P.C., L.L.O., Matt McKeever to discuss Space Law and military presence in space on July 27. Topics included state liability for private activity, rescue and return agreements under the Outer Space Treaty, and the use of nuclear power sources.

College of Law Launches Doctoral Program in Space Law (J.S.D.)

16 Aug 2013    

UNL will be the only U.S. law school to offer both an LL.M. and J.S.D. in space law. The J.S.D. program will break new ground as the only doctoral-level space law program in the United States, said Matthew Schaefer, professor of law and director of the college's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program.

Research-focused and dissertation-based, the J.S.D. program in essence will require students to write a book about an aspect of space law, such as regulation of satellite communications or liability issues relating to commerce in space. Students will play a pioneering role in developing the field of space law.

University Press Release

Hurwitz participated in the TOTM Blog Symposium: Regulating the Regulators.

16 Aug 2013    

Professor Gus Hurwitz participated in the Truth on the Market Blog Symposium: Regulating the Regulators. The symposium discussed unfair methods of competition (UMC) authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act. One of Professor Hurwitz's posts on the application of Chevron deference to Section 5 of the FTC act can be viewed here.

LLM Alumni published in the Denver Law Review Online

16 Aug 2013    

On August 16th Nebraska Law Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications LLM Alumni April Greene Apking was published in the Denver Law Review Online Supplement. Her article, A Step In The Right Direction: Colorado's First Space Legislation, studies Colorado's legislation and it's limitation on private industry liability. Congrats April! 

Poser & von der Dunk Present in Luxembourg

29 Jul 2013    

Professor Frans von der Dunk and Dean Susan Poser recently attended the Luxembourg Workshop where the topic of the workshop was "Satellite Communication and Dispute Resolution". Professor von der Dunk presented a paper on the Permanent Court of Arbitration's new satellite dispute resolution rules, and Dean Poser presented a paper on the intersection of tort law and federal and state law regulating U.S. satellite operators. The conference was co-hosted by the University of Luxembourg and the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law.

Frans von der Dunk quoted in Financial Times Article on Entrepreneurs in Space Tourism

29 Jul 2013    

Professor Frans von der Dunk spoke with Financial Times writer Alicia Clegg for her July 29th article 'When Gravity is No Obstacle.' Frans discussed whether passengers embarking on space tourism expeditions can give informed consent to the risks involved, saying “If a [spacecraft] is flying after only a few test flights, it’s questionable whether passengers can give informed consent, as there is virtually no data to assess risks on.”

Executive Director Magilton named one of Lincoln's '20 Under 40'

29 Jul 2013    

On June 9 Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director and Nebraska College of Law alumnae, was named one of Lincoln's 20 Under 40 by a panel of judges assembled by The Lincoln Journal Star. The group called for nominations to select young people in Lincoln who show dedication to their profession, are role models to their peers, and are active volunteers in the community. Magilton is the youngest professional to receive the honor in 2013. Two other University of Nebraska emloyees in other colleges also received the honor, out of 52 total nominations. 

Congratulations to all of the 2013 '20 Under 40' honorees!

ABA Journal article features LL.M. Alumna, Current Student and Professor

30 May 2013    

The American Bar Association Journal article, Space Law is Taking Off, features insights from current online student Maria-Vittoria "Giugi" Carminati, 2012 alumna Jenifer Lamie, and space law expert, Professor Frans von der Dunk. Lamie says, “We are at the very beginning of a completely new, very sexy and incredibly challenging industry that will push the limits of human ingenuity... If we can tailor the laws regulating the industry to foster growth—without being too overly sensitive to the inherent risks involved—I don’t see any limits to what we can accomplish in the future.”

Professor von der Dunk Quoted on Property Rights in Asteroid Mining

30 May 2013    

January 22, 2013, Professor Frans von der Dunk was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article by Peter Spotts, Asteroid mining: Second company announces plans. Time to stake a claim? von der Dunk discusses the need for "a sensible and balanced regime" for exploiting space resources is well in advance of "the first actual activities."

Nebraska Law Manfred Lachs Moot Court Team Places in Quarter Finals

30 May 2013    

The 2013 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition was held March 22-23rd in Washington DC at the Georgetown Law College. Nebraska Law 2L Corey Rotschafer and LL.M. student Adam Rouse placed in the Quarter Finals in the competition. The 2012 team placed in the Semi-Finals and in 2011 the Nebraska Law team won the award for best breif. The team was coached by Professor Frans von der Dunk.

Beard named Co-Chairman of the 2013 International Law Weekend (ILW)

30 May 2013    

The International Law Weekend of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA), which will be held in New York City on October 24-26, 2013, is the premier international law event of the fall season. 

The event attracts an audience of more than one thousand practitioners, academics, diplomats, members of the governmental and nongovernmental sectors, as well as foreign policy and law students who are learning about the range of practice and career opportunities.

Lincoln Journal Star Covers Annual Conference

30 May 2013    

On May 2 Lincoln Journal Star reporter, Corey Matteson, covered the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications LL.M. program, discussed progess in the manned spaceflight industry, and highted the 7th Annual Space and Cyber Law Lincoln Conference. 

Matteson noted that Professor von der Dunk was one of three panelists who discussed the impact of the commercial space industry and went on to emphasize the growth of the program.

Professor Campbell Speaking at 2012 Advanced Communications Summit

10 Dec 2012    

Adjunct Professor Fred Campbell will be speaking at the Advanced Communications Summit 2012, hosted by the Advanced Communications Law and Policy Institute (ACLP) at New York Law School in Philadelphia, December 11-12, 2012. The ACLP's mission is to promote robust and solution-focused dialogues amongst state and federal policy makers, industry, academe, the financial community and consumers concerning changes to the state and federal regulatory regimes governing wireline, wireless, broadband and IP platforms.
The Laws of Spaceflight, Giugi Carminati and Jenifer Lamie

Laws of Spaceflight Text Receives More Press

01 Dec 2012    

Current student Maria-Vittoria Carminati (Giugi) and alumni Jenifer Lamie, '12, co-authors of "The Laws of Spaceflight: A Guidebook for New Space Lawyers." received more praise and press in a article, "Do You Have Right Stuff to be a Space Lawyer?" The article focuses on their love of space and Giugi admits "I'm fundamentally a nerd."
Professor Frans von der Dunk

Professor von der Dunk invited by United Nations to speak in Buenos Aires

01 Nov 2012    

Upon the invitation of the United Nations Professor Frans von der Dunk was in Buenos Aires to present at the United Nations/Argentina Workshop on Space Law November 5-8, 2012. He spoke on 'Responsibility and Liability for National Space Activities' and 'Legal Aspects of GNSS Applications - The Case of Liability' as well as educated attendees about the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications LL.M. program.
Professor Fred Campbell

Professor Campbell Participates in 4G World Conference in Chicago

01 Oct 2012    

Adjunct Professor and Nebraska Law Alumni, Fred Campbell spoke at 4G World on October 29th. Professor Campbell's sessions included: Global Digital TV Migration Liberating 700 MHz for Mobile Broadband, participation in a Executive Round-table on Global and Regional 4G Spectrum Alignment, and a "fireside chat" with FCC Commissioner Pai.
Professor Matthew Schaefer and Professor Frans von der Dunk

Professors Featured on ABILA International Law Weekend Panel

01 Oct 2012    

October 25th-27th Professors Matt Schaefer and Frans von der Dunk spoke on the ABILA International Law Weekend Panel. The panel, titled Resource Management in Common (Non-Sovereign) Areas: Law of the Sea and Space Law Compared, focused on discussion of the legal and economic implications for space exploration and exploitation of the
Common Heritage of Mankind concept in the Moon Agreement and in UNCLOS, rights to mine, responsibilities to share, and regime characteristics.
Stratcom picture from

Contract to Expand Interaction Between U.S. Military and College of Law's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program

01 Oct 2012    

A partnership between NU and the United States Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base, created a University-Affiliated Research Center. "The UARC will allow the program to further fulfill U.S. government needs through additional research, conferences and training programs," Program Director Professor Matt Schaefer said said to Newsroom Announcments. "Since military space, civil space, and commercial space activities all have national security implications, the program will continue to focus on issues facing all these arenas of space activity."