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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

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.