Capital Punishment

Eric Berger

Eric Berger Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law

Professor Eric Berger joined the faculty in 2007. He received his B.A. with Honors in History from Brown University, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and an Articles Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After law school, Professor Berger clerked for the Honorable Merrick B. Garland on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then practiced in Jenner & Block's Washington, D.C. office, where he worked on litigation in several state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Professor Berger's matters there included cases involving lethal injection, same-sex marriage, the detention of foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay, and internet obscenity.

Professor Berger teaches Constitutional Law I (structure), Constitutional Law II (rights), Constitutional History, Federal Courts, First Amendment, and Statutory Interpretation. He also teaches a class for undergraduates on Legislation and Regulation. He has been voted Professor of the Year by the upperclass law students six times. He has also received the College Distinguished Teaching Award (in 2010), the Law Alumni Council Distinguished Faculty Award (in 2018), and the John H. Binning Award for Excellence (in 2019). 

Professor Berger's scholarship focuses on constitutional law.  Much of his work explores judicial decision making in constitutional cases, with special attention to deference, fact finding, rhetorical strategies, and other under-theorized factors that help shape judicial opinions in constitutional cases.  His article Individual Rights, Judicial Deference, and Administrative Law Norms in Constitutional Decision Making, 91 B.U. L. REV. 2029 (2011), was named the 2011 winner of the American Constitution Society's Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law.  Professor Berger has also written extensively about lethal injection litigation.   

Professor Berger has testified in the Nebraska legislature about a variety of constitutional issues, including free speech, lethal injection, and the process for amending the U.S. Constitution.  He is also the faculty advisor to the Law College's chapter of the American Constitution Society and to the Community Legal Education Project, which sends law students into Lincoln public schools to teach about the Constitution.

Professor Berger served as Associate Dean for Faculty from 2016 to 2020.

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Professor Brian Lepard

Brian D. Lepard Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of LL.M. Program in Global Legal Practice

Professor Lepard is a leading expert in the fields of international law, human rights law, comparative law, and tax law.  He joined the faculty in 1995. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1983. At Princeton, he was named a Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and concentrated on the study of international law and organization, receiving a prize from the Woodrow Wilson School for his thesis on the development of the idea of the League of Nations in France during the First World War. Following his graduation from Princeton, he worked for three years as an international human rights law specialist at the United Nations Office of the Baha'i International Community, a non-governmental organization. In 1989, he received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law.  From 1989 until 1995 he practiced tax law as an associate with the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads, with a special focus on international tax law as well as exempt organizations law.

Professor Lepard has multidisciplinary scholarly and teaching interests in the fields of international human rights law; humanitarian intervention; international legal theory; comparative law, including comparative religious law; ethics; and tax and business law, including international tax law. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles relating to these diverse subject areas. Professor Lepard has spoken on the subjects of international law, human rights, and comparative law at conferences and other gatherings around the world, including in Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, French Polynesia, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Professor Lepard holds the Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law chair at the College of Law.  He also serves as Academic Director of the Law College’s LL.M. in Global Legal Practice Program.  He is the faculty adviser for the Law College’s program of concentrated study on international human rights law.  He is a member of the editorial review boards of a number of academic journals, including The Journal of Human Rights, Religion and Human Rights:  An International Journal, and The Journal of Baha'i Studies. He currently serves as chair of the Committee on the Formation of Customary International Law of the American Branch of the International Law Association and has served as chair of the International Legal Theory Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.  He is a member of the International Board of Consultants of the Global Ethics and Religion Forum and of the Board of Advisors of Genocide Watch.  He has also served as faculty adviser to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bahá'í Association.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Professor Lepard is teaching International Human Rights Law Seminar, Comparative Law: World Legal Systems and Their Relevance to U.S. Law and Practice, International Perspectives in the U.S. Legal System: Practicing Law in a Global Legal Environment, and Business Planning.

Professor Lepard is admitted to practice in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and before the U.S. Tax Court.  He is fluent in French and proficient in Portuguese. 

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Professor Bob Schopp

Robert Schopp Robert J. Kutak Professor of Law

Professor Schopp practiced clinical psychology before turning to the study of law and philosophy in an attempt to understand some perplexing issues that he encountered during ten years of clinical practice. So far, he remains perplexed, but he likes to think that he is perplexed in a deeper and more comprehensive manner. He joined the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1989 after completing the concurrent law/philosophy program at the University of Arizona. His primary areas of interest involve questions that lie at the intersection of law, psychology and philosophy. These issues tend to arise in criminal law, mental health law, jurisprudence and professional ethics.

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