Nebraska Law Students Study at Xi'an Jiaotong University in China
01 Jun 2017
Eleven University of Nebraska College of Law students recently returned from a study abroad trip at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China. Professor Harvey Perlman coordinated the trip with support from Hanban, the Chinese agency that sponsors Confucius Institutes around the world including at UNL.
The for-credit course occurred during the summer pre-session so that students were able to participate in the trip and return to the United States for other summer work experiences.
“…the timing was perfect because it gave me something to do that was far away that would take my mind off thinking about finals and potential grades,” said Dylan Bakken, Nebraska Law 2L. “And it allowed me to come back and start work right away.”
The course in Comparative Chinese Law included daily lecturers from Xi’an Jiaotong law professors and Professor Perlman. Students also attended lectures on Chinese economics and culture. They were given a special tour of the Intermediate People’s Court. Judges from the Court led the tour and spent time with the students discussing the differences in Chinese and American legal processes.
In Beijing they visited the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission which provides arbitration services similar to the American Arbitration Association.
“This trip was a great extension of our International Perspectives course and gave me the benefit of seeing a civil code jurisdiction up close,” said Bakken. “This experience has widened my view of the pros and cons to legal systems outside the U.S.”
Aerts Awarded Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award
26 May 2017
The Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic has selected Anthony Aerts as the 2017 Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award recipient.
Aerts graduated in May with the Class of 2017. During his time at Nebraska Law, Aerts was a member of the Environmental and Agricultural Law Society; a member of the Student Bar Association; and spent the fall semester as a student attorney in the Weibling Entrepreneurship Clinic.
The Koley Jessen Entrepreneurship Award was established to recognize Weibling Entrepreneurship 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Convictions, John 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.
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.
Professor 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 www.cambridge.org/Lepard.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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