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Professor Ryan Sullivan

Sullivan featured on The CAP·impact Podcast

10 Feb 2020    

Professor Ryan Sullivan was featured on the January 17, 2020 episode of the CAP·impact podcast.

During “Episode 56: Stopping Shoplifting Shakedown Letters with Ryan Sullivan,” Professor Sullivan discusses his work in the successful repeal of a Nebraska state law that allowed retailers to send letters to people they accused of shoplifting, demanding money from the accused, regardless of guilt.

Sullivan’s law review article about the topic was published in 2016.

 The CAP·impact podcast is a production of the blog, CAP·impact, and the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law. They strive to be a resource for better understanding and shaping law and policy.

Professor Jack Beard

Beard’s Work on Woomera Manual Continues

06 Feb 2020    

Professor Beard and Core Experts of the Woomera Manual met for the fourth plenary session/workshop of the drafting of the Woomera Manual at the University of New South Wales-Canberra, Australia.

Numerous states have now agreed to send their diplomatic and military representatives to a series of engagement sessions later this year in the Hague, Netherlands, to officially contribute their comments and views on the Woomera Manual.

The University of Nebraska College of Law is one of the four founding institutions and principal sponsors of the Woomera Manual Project. Professor Beard is a Core Expert, member of the Board of Directors, and an Editor of the Woomera Manual. 

Professor Jack Beard

Pictured here, Professor Jack Beard addresses military leaders and diplomats at the Australia Defense Force Academy, Canberra, Australia, regarding work on the Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations.

Colleen Medill

Medill Selected for Faculty Leadership Program

23 Jan 2020    

Professor Colleen Medill is one of 25 University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty members selected by the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Office for the 2020 cohort of the Faculty Leadership in Academia: From Inspiration to Reality (FLAIR) program.

 The FLAIR program provides professional development for University faculty who are considering a leadership role or are in their first leadership position and considering continuing on a leadership path. Participants will focus on learning about and preparing for potential leadership opportunities in campus administration, faculty governance, professional societies, research and academics.

Professor Medill is nationally recognized for her scholarship on federal employee benefits law and related public policy. Over the course of her career, she also has received numerous teaching awards. Most recently, in 2018, she received the University of Nebraska Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award, which is the highest honor for teaching awarded by the University of Nebraska system.

Anna Shavers

Shavers Honored for Focus on Expanding Diversity, Inclusion

22 Jan 2020    

Growing up in segregated Little Rock, Arkansas, Anna Shavers found lifelong inspiration in the marches and rallies of Martin Luther King Jr.

It was the last speech that King gave before he died, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” that left the deepest impression on her — one that would later motivate her to pursue a career in higher education and dedicate herself to the success of others.

“I’ve been reflecting on that ever since — about what it means to reach the mountaintop and see the promised land,” said Shavers, acting dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law. “Martin Luther King Jr. has been a big influence in my life. He led me to believe that first of all, I can accomplish certain things — but then I can also help other people accomplish their dreams, as well.”

In honor of her decades-long commitment to diversity and inclusion at Nebraska, Shavers was presented with the 2020 Chancellor’s Fulfilling the Dream Award on Jan. 22. The annual award celebrates an individual who has contributed to the university or Lincoln community by promoting King's goals and vision.

“I was very excited to be nominated and selected for an award that really values working with students and helping them reach their goals,” Shavers said. “To think that somebody thought I was deserving of this award, and to join the list of people that have received it in the past, is just thrilling.”

Since joining the law faculty in 1989, Shavers has brought a host of civil-rights focused classes to the college. Her course subjects include immigration law, refugee and asylum law, human trafficking, international gender issues and the intersection of gender, race and class.

Shavers was also named the College of Law’s associate dean for diversity and inclusion in 2018, putting an official title on the work she's done over many years. She describes her role as creating an environment where each law student can succeed, regardless of their background.

“Part of what I concentrate on is trying to help the law college, and also the university in general, have a diverse and inclusive student body,” Shavers said. “That means I get involved as much as I can in recruitment efforts for the law school, trying to make sure when students arrive here they have a good experience.”

Creating opportunities for students, Shavers said, is by far the most rewarding part of her job.

“My hope is that individual students look back and think that I’ve touched their lives in some positive or meaningful way,” Shavers said. “When it was announced that I was going to be acting dean, I heard from former students that I hadn’t heard from in a long time, extending their congratulations. Some of them said how helpful I’d been to them when they were here, helping them manage getting through law school. I’ve run into other alums who focus more on a particular class that I taught. Those kinds of interactions are what make me feel great, and they convince me that I've had a role in fulfilling the dream for others as well as myself."

In her 30-plus years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Shavers has seen campus transform. Still, she looks forward to the work that’s being done to make even more future Huskers feel welcome and accepted.

“I think we need to continually ensure that we have a diverse faculty and staff, as well as student population, here at the university,” Shavers said. “That can be in a number of different areas, including gender, race and class. We’ve seen those numbers increase, and now that we have vice chancellor Marco Barker, I think he’s going to help us in a great respect to achieve those goals.”

Story by University Communication.

Kelsey Heino

Heino, '17, Joins Woods Aitken

21 Jan 2020    

Woods Aitken LLP is excited to announce that Kelsey Heino, '17, has recently joined the firm, focusing her practice on labor and employment law.

“Kelsey is an exceptional attorney and had valuable career experience prior to entering law school,” said Pam Bourne, '00, a managing partner at Woods Aitken. “She brings a real-world approach to understanding, serving, and representing our clients.”

Kelsey worked at a Fortune 500 company as a claims professional prior to entering law school.  She received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  

Founded in 1921, Woods Aitken LLP works with clients ranging from individuals and local organizations to regional businesses and national corporations. The firm has offices in Denver, Lincoln, Omaha, and Washington, D.C.  Learn more at

Professor Gus Hurwitz

Hurwitz to Testify during House Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing

08 Jan 2020    

Professor Gus Hurwitz will testify as a key witness during the House Committee on Energy & Commerce hearing on Jan. 8 at 9:30 a.m. CT.

During his testimony, Hurwitz, will share his research and discuss “dark patterns.” The Committee is defining dark patterns as techniques incorporated in user interfaces designed to encourage or trick users into doing things they might not otherwise do.

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. He has a particular expertise in telecommunications law and technology, including data- and cybersecurity, and was recognized as a Cyber Security & Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal.

 In 2017, Hurwitz was named co-director of the College of Law’s Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program, and he currently serves as the director of the NU Governance and Technology Center.

The Subcommittee legislative hearing entitled, “Americans at Risk: Manipulation and Deception in the Digital Age,” will be available via livestream or following the hearing at

Professor Stephen Kalish

Obituary | Stephen E. Kalish

06 Jan 2020    

Professor Emeritus Stephen E. Kalish, 77, died December 18, 2019, at his home in Redmond, Washington, surrounded by his family. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and received his B.A., J.D, and LL.M degrees from Harvard University.

Upon graduation from law school, he clerked for Judge L. P. Moore, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He practiced law in Los Angeles for a law firm and the Western Center for Law and Poverty before joining the faculty of the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1971 where he taught Legal Process, Legal History, Legal Profession, Corporations, and Advanced Corporations. He also served as the director of the Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics. While at the College, he served as a Fellow in Law and Humanities at Harvard, a Fellow in Law and Economics at the University of Miami, an academic visitor at the London School of Economics, and a scholar in residence at King’s College, London. He retired in 2005 and moved with his wife Suzanne to the Seattle area.

Steve married Suzanne Hoodenpyle in 1971 and was the father of Karen (David) Rigberg of Santa Monica, California; Andrew (Wendy) Kalish of Denver, Colorado; and Daniel (Grace) Kalish of Seattle, Washington, and the grandfather of Sandra and Jonny Rigberg; Manning, Wyatt, and Eva Kalish; and Alex and Sam Kalish. He is also survived by his brothers Lyle (Sue) Kalish and Eugene (Anne) Kalish and his nieces and nephews.

Steve’s many interests included bridge, photography, books, bicycling, opera, chamber music, traveling the world with Suzanne, and spirited conversations during which he often took controversial positions to provoke discussion. He had an avid interest in attorney Clarence Darrow and taught a number of courses based on his life.

His life will be celebrated at a gathering at Trilogy Clubhouse in Redmond on Sunday, January 19 at 1 p.m. Donations in his memory may be made to, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, or the University of Nebraska College of Law.

Condolences can be left here.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker’s Book Chapter Published

20 Dec 2019    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s book chapter, The Challenges of American Indian Land Tenure and the Vastness of Entrepreneurial Potential, has been published in Creating Private Sector Economies in Native America.

Shoemaker’s chapter establishes a unique link between entrepreneurship and the larger project of reservation land tenure reform. Instead of focusing only on the development challenges created by the difficult aspects of American Indian land tenure, the chapter instead emphasizes that the uncertainties created by complex land tenure systems actually create unique opportunities for entrepreneurs in particular and that encouraging this kind of entrepreneurial response could actually help transform Indigenous property systems for the better.

In the introduction to the book, Miriam Jorgensen (editor) described this point like this: “But rather than reverting to the simple solution that has attracted many pundits – privatizing reservations and essentially reviving the era of tribal land allotment – Shoemaker looks with both hope and evidence at the possibilities for locally engineered, Indigenous, creative solutions to the property-related barriers to entrepreneurship.”

Professor Rich Leiter

Leiter Named Chair-Elect for Association of American Law Schools Section

19 Dec 2019    

Professor Rich Leiter has been named the chair-elect for the Association of American Law Schools Law Libraries and Legal Information Section. Leiter will serve on the executive committee from 2020 through 2023.

The Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information promotes the communication of ideas, interests and activities among members of the section, provides a forum for the presentation of research reports and scholarly papers relating to law libraries, and makes recommendations to the Association on matters concerning academic law libraries.

Clinic Staff with Challenge Coins

Clinic Staff and Students Recognized for Work Supporting Veterans

19 Dec 2019    

Staff of the College of Law’s clinical programs were recognized for their work in supporting the Veterans Advocacy Project. Joe Brownell, director of UNL’s Military and Veteran Success Center presented staff members with challenge coins.

Earlier this semester, Brownell recognized clinic students for their work on the Veterans Advocacy Project. As part of the presentation, Brownell shared the history and customs behind military challenge coins.

The Veterans Advocacy Project seeks to examine and address both individual and systemic legal issues affecting veterans and their families. Clinic Student with Challenge CoinsLaunched in 2015, the Project sought to address the lack of affordable legal services for veterans.  To fill this need, the Project developed the Veterans Coffee and Counsel Program, wherein student attorneys provide limited scope legal services to veterans in need, and the Wills for Heroes Program, wherein student attorneys draft wills and other estate planning documents for veterans and their spouses.  The Project also provides full service representation in certain civil matters and through the Clinic’s Clean Slate Project.  The Veterans Advocacy Project also seeks to advance policies that both honor and benefit those who served.      

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley's Article Accepted for Publication in Washington University Journal of Law and Policy

19 Dec 2019    

Professor Kristen Blankley has accepted an offer to publish her article Creating a Framework for Examining Federal Agency Rules Impacting Arbitration with the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy. The article will appear in an issue focused on alternative dispute resolution.

The article proposes a framework for courts to examine agency regulations that would invalidate pre-dispute arbitration agreements. Specifically, the proposed legal framework involves extending a well-established test used in determining the enforceability of federal legislation impacting arbitration to federal agencies. The article is expected to be published in late Spring 2020.         

Dan Wintz

Wintz, '75, Receives NSBA George H. Turner Award

13 Dec 2019    

The Nebraska State Bar Association The George H. Turner Award was awarded to John Atkins and Dan Wintz, '75, October 10, 2019.

This award is presented to an NSBA member who has demonstrated exemplary efforts in furthering public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice and confidence in the legal profession.

This year’s award was presented jointly to Atkins and Wintz. In addition to serving as planning chairs and CLE speakers in 2018 for the Real Estate Probate and Trust Section and co-authoring Chapter 18 of the 2018 Nebraska Probate Manual, they spent considerable time working to modify the National Uniform Directed Trusts Act so it would be compatible with the Nebraska Uniform Trust Code.
Nikki Nobbe

Nobbe, '14, Named Partner at Moore, Heffernan, Moeller & Meis, L.L.P.

11 Dec 2019    

Moore, Heffernan, Moeller & Meis, L.L.P. is pleased to announce that Nikki K. (Blazey) Nobbe, '14, has been named as a Partner in the Firm. Nobbe joined the firm as an associate attorney in September of 2014, after graduating from the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Nobbe grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is licensed to practice in Iowa and Nebraska. Her practice focuses on litigation and employment law. Nobbe also has a national practice in Vaccine Injury Law representing individuals in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
Nobbe is an active member of the Junior League of Sioux City serving as the Vice President of Community for the 2019-2020 league year.
Professor Eric Berger

Berger Publishes Piece on Article V Convention for the Scholars Strategy Network

10 Dec 2019    

Professor Eric Berger’s piece Delegate Selection, Representation Problems, and the Difficulties of an Article V Convention, has been published on the Scholars Strategy Network. The piece outlines the Article V process to amend the Constitution.

The Scholars Strategy Network connects journalists, policymakers, and civic leaders with America’s top researchers to improve policy and strengthen democracy.

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker’s Article Published in California Law Review

10 Dec 2019    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker’s article Transforming Property: Reclaiming Indigenous Land Tenures, has been published in Volume 105 of the California Law Review.

This article is the culmination of many years of work on Indigenous land tenure challenges in the United States. After several prior articles trying to build a deeper understanding of the challenges of modern reservation property systems, this article looks to the future. In Transforming Property, Professor Shoemaker posit a novel view of property law as an adaptive, dynamic system that is full of transformative potential, and charts a series of specific strategies tribal governments could choose to pursue in order to unlock this potential and rebuild new Indigenous land tenure systems from the ground up.  

Professor Shoemaker focuses her research at the intersection of property, law, and community economic development, with particular attention to land use challenges on modern rural landscapes and Native American reservations in the United States. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Professor Shoemaker served as the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Legal and Resource Rights at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in Edmonton, Canada.

Marty Gardner

Obituary | Martin 'Marty' Gardner

04 Dec 2019    

Martin Gardner, 75, of Lincoln, died on November 27th, in Lincoln, following a brief illness.

Marty was an important member of the College of Law community for 42 years. In addition to his teaching, Marty served on numerous committees and assisted our admissions team in recruiting efforts. His colleagues and students will miss him greatly.   

Services celebrating Marty’s life will be Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3000 Old Cheney Rd., Lincoln.


Martin Gardner, 75, of Lincoln, died on November 27th, in Lincoln, following a brief illness. He was surrounded by friends and family. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Marty was a retired member of the Utah and Nebraska National Guard Bands with twenty years of service on clarinet. He attended the University of Utah, receiving his BS in 1969 and his JD in 1972, where he was editor for the Utah Law Review.

He was an Instructor at the Indiana University School of Law 1972-73, and on the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Law from 1973-77. During the 1975-76 academic year Marty was a Fellow of Law at Harvard University. Marty joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1977 as an Assistant Professor of Law, becoming an Associate Professor in 1978 and Professor in 1980. While at Nebraska he taught Family Law, Juvenile Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.

In 1987 he was named the Steinhart Foundation Professor of Law and in 2002 the Cline Williams-Flavel A. Wright Professor of Law. His time at UNL and Alabama resulted in the publication of many articles and books, including; Understanding Juvenile Law, which is in its 5th edition. Marty also taught Family Law at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK in 2006 and 2013.

Marty cherished his family and his students. He loved the music of Ralph Vaughn Williams, Edward Elgar, Gustav Mahler, and the Bach B minor Mass. He was a fan of golf and Husker football and basketball. An active member of the Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, he was an avid reader of church history and the Holy scriptures. He attended every event or game of his grandchildren. He loved attending the Winter Quarters Temple with his wife and eternal companion, Anne.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Sheedy; children, Joshua (Paula) Gardner, Erin Gardner, Bryn Gardner (Miles Kos), Lynsey (Alex) Stewart, Jacob Gardner, stepson Max Yeston; sisters, Janice Ruth Tabish and Sharon Gardner Howes; his nine grandchildren and former spouse, Jane Murdoch. Marty is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Elaine Gardner.

Services celebrating his life will be Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3000 Old Cheney Rd, Lincoln. Donations may be made to the Lincoln Community Foundation (Faith Coalition of Lancaster County) or the Nebraska National Guard Foundation.


Professors Beard, Lepard, Schaefer and von der Dunk

Professors Beard, Lepard, Schaefer, von der Dunk Present at International Law Weekend

03 Dec 2019    

Professor Jack Beard, Brian Lepard, Matt Schaefer and Frans von der Dunk presented at the American Branch of the International Law Association’s (ABILA’s) International Law Weekend hosted by Fordham University. The theme for the weekend was “The Resilience of International Law.”

Professor Beard, an ABILA board member, chaired a panel on the “Growing Risk of War in Space: What Role Will International Law Play?” The panel covered a wide range of legal and policy issues. Given the Woomera Manual representation on the panel, the audience also showed considerable interest in the work of the Woomera Manual project and the issues and methodology adopted by the project. 

Professor Lepard and Professor von der Dunk presented on the panel themed “At a Crossroads: Can Customary International Law Provide a Stabilizing Influence in a Fractious World?” The panel explored the challenges posed by rising nationalism and factionalism to the ability of customary international law to generate consensus-based norms that can effectively regulate politically charged problems such as the use of outer space, international investment, and human rights. It examined whether customary international law can meet this challenge, and how it can provide a stabilizing influence in a fractious world.

Professor Schaefer chaired a panel presentation entitled “The Resilience of the International Law of Outer Space in Light of Technology, Business and Military Developments.” This panel discussed the hard and soft international laws governing the increasingly competitive, congested and contested outer space domain.

Deputy Athletic Director Pat Logsdon and Professor Jo Potuto

Potuto Named 2019-2020 Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award Recipient

03 Dec 2019    

Professor Jo Potuto has been named the 2019-2020 Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award Recipient. Potuto was recognized on November 16 during the Nebraska vs. Iowa women’s volleyball game.

The University of Nebraska Athletic Department presents this award to an individual or family who has given outstanding support and generous contributions to women’s athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Potuto is the 20th recipient of this award. 

Since Potuto was named Nebraska’s Faculty Athletics Representative in 1997, she has worked to ensure that all of Nebraska’s student-athletes are provided with a safe and fair atmosphere in which to compete.

 Past recipients of the Trailblazer Award include Dr. Barbara Hibner, the Raimondi family, Ione Bowlin, Betty Geis, Carol Frost, Pinnacle Sports Productions, Dr. Joanne Owens Nauslar, Rhonda Revelle, the Stephen Rohman family, Terry Pettit, Tom and Mary Hendricks, Dick Herman, JoAnne Martin and Ameritas, Linda Olson, Sid and Hazel Dillon, Bill and Ruth Scott, Gary and Janet Latimer, Marian Andersen, and Larry and Sheryl Snyder.

Carl Circo

Circo, '76, Publishes Book Chronicling Contract Law in the Construction Industry

18 Nov 2019    

Carl Circo's, '76, book Contract Law in the Construction Industry Context was published in October by Routledge PressThe book offers scholarly insights into how construction industry relationships and practices have influenced the common law of contracts.

Professor Kristen Blankley

Blankley Appointed 2019-20 ACE Leadership Fellow

07 Nov 2019    

Professor Kristen Blankley has been appointed a 2019-20 ACE Leadership Fellow to examine and assess the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s ethics (ACE 8) undergraduate graduation requirement. ACE 8 requirements must “use knowledge, theories, and analysis to explain ethical principles and their importance in society.”

During the course of the fellowship, Professor Blankley will work with a team of 4-5 faculty members to:

  • explore methods for evaluating success in general education programs and tools to facilitate continuous improvement of teaching and learning 
  • discuss the overarching goal of the ACE program and the value and goal of each group’s specific learning outcome
  • review samples of the current year’s assessment reports within the group’s outcome to develop a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current ACE program
  • summarize what has been learned in order to share best practices with fellow ACE instructors across the university

 Professor Blankley is also the Director of the Robert J. Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics at the University of Nebraska.