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Lincoln Paint-A-Thon 2017

Husker Civic Challenge aims for 1.5M hours of service

17 Jan 2019    

In commemoration of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 150th year, the Center for Civic Engagement has challenged the university community to grow its helping handprint.

The Husker Civic Challenge is encouraging students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the university to record more than 1.5 million service hours during 2019.

“We want to be able to capture and record the impact of giving back to the state of Nebraska and beyond,” Linda Major, director of the Center for Civic Engagement, said.

The challenge began Jan. 1 and formally kicked off with the Husker Civic Challenge Service Fair Jan. 16, where students learned about volunteer opportunities with local nonprofit organizations.

Major said there will also be monthly events in which students can participate and record service hours, beginning with the MLK Reading Challenge Jan. 21 and a Valentines for Troops event in February. Additional events will be announced as they are finalized.

The university is using GivePulse, a civic service tracking website, to record service hours. Any person who wants to log hours toward the challenge can register with the site at unl.givepulse.com.

The website also lists volunteer opportunities from more than 400 local organizations, service events and service learning classes, tracking the hours given in real time. Users can log hours and get information via a GivePulse app, as well. Linda Moody, assistant director of civic engagement, has led the integration of GivePulse at the university and in the Lincoln community.

Major thinks the goal is reachable. Hours from service learning coursework and some student events, like the Big Event, have been estimated at around 900,000 per year.

“And that’s not accounting for service done by groups such as student organizations like Dance Marathon, and sororities and fraternities, and many others,” she said. “It will be interesting to see at the end how much service learning is happening on campus.”

Major encouraged the university community to broaden perceptions of service.

“Historically, we think about community service as working at a food bank or helping with the neighborhood cleanup,” Major said. “I think a lot of people serve in various capacities, on advisory boards or unpaid elected positions, for example, without thinking of it as service.”

Logging hours in GivePulse to show impact and volunteering will also help Nebraska reach a goal laid out by Chancellor Ronnie Green during the State of University address Jan. 15. Green said he would like to see Nebraska gain the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, which recognizes institutions’ commitment to community engagement.

“If we seek that elective classification, GivePulse will serve a role in the application process and will have already recorded our impact,” Major said.

Story from University Communication.

Karie Scheer

Scheer, '08, Named Partner at Woods & Aitken LLP

15 Jan 2019    

Kari A. F. Scheer, ’08, has been named a partner at Woods & Aitken LLP. Scheer joined the firm as an Associate in 2013. 

Scheer practices primarily in the areas of construction law and commercial litigation. She advocates for businesses of all sizes throughout court proceedings, mediations, and arbitrations. She also has experience litigating personal injury and labor and employment matters.

 Scheer is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts in Iowa and Nebraska, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She is an active member of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association where she serves on the Board of Directors. In 2008, she received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law with high distinction. 

Since 1921, Woods & Aitken LLP has focused its practice of law on achieving long-term client success. This commitment to client service has also afforded Woods & Aitken LLP the opportunity to emerge as a regional and national leader in the practice of construction, telecommunications, labor and employment, real estate, and banking and finance law. Learn more at www.woodsaitken.com.

Jason Cantone

Cantone, '08, Featured in American Psychological Association's "Monitor on Psychology"

10 Jan 2019    

Jason A. Cantone, '08, is the subject of a feature story in the January 2019 issue of Monitor on Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association. Cantone is a senior research associate for the Federal Judicial Center (FJC), an independent federal agency dedicated to identifying ways to streamline and inform the work of the federal judiciary.

The article, "Improving order in the courts," touches on Cantone's work at the FJC, how his combined experience in law and psychology supports his current work, and his experience helping judges in Uzbekistan.

Read the APA's full article here. 

Ben Kramer

Kramer, '11, Named Partner at Gast Johnson & Muffly PC

09 Jan 2019    

Gast Johnson & Muffly PC, a leading civil practice law firm, is pleased to announce that Benjamin D. Kramer, '11, has become a shareholder in the firm.

Kramer joined the firm in 2015. His practice focuses on business, real estate and estate planning matters. Kramer is co-chair of the Pro Bono Program and president of the Young Lawyers Division for the Larimer County Bar Association. Kramer emphasizes a practical approach to representing clients, focusing on their specific objectives and offering creative solutions. Prior to joining Gast Johnson & Muffly, PC, Kramer worked in Lincoln, Nebraska practicing general civil law. A Fort Collins native, it was not difficult to convince his wife to move back to Colorado.

“I am honored to become a partner with a talented group of attorneys,” said Kramer. “I look forward to adding to a great firm and giving back to the community.”

Gast Johnson & Muffly is an AV® preeminent peer rated law firm with Martindale Hubbell® and was recently recognized as a Tier 1 selection in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” for Colorado in Real Estate Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, which recognizes the top law firms in the country for professional excellence.

 

Amy Knox Brown

Brown, '92, Received 2018 Nebraska Book Award

09 Jan 2019    

Amy Knox Brown's, '92, nonfiction book, What is Gone (Texas Tech University Press, 2017), received the 2018 Nebraska Book Award in the category of Memoir. 

Brown is an associate professor and program director of English at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha.

Bergan Schumacher

Schumacher, '15, Named Partner at Bruner Frank Schumacher, L.L.C.

09 Jan 2019    

Bergan (Carr) Schumacher, '15, became a partner of the law firm of Bruner Frank Schumacher, L.L.C. The firm is made up of six attorneys with offices in Kearney and Ainsworth.
Andrew La Grone

La Grone, '16, Appointed to Nebraska Legislature

19 Dec 2018    

Gov. Pete Ricketts appointed Andrew La Grone, '16, to fill the District 49 vacancy in the Legislature on Monday, Dec. 17.

La Grone, 28, is the legal counsel for the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, chaired by current District 49 state Sen. John Murante.

Murante was elected state treasurer and will be sworn into that office early next year.

La Grone, who advised the committee on legal matters and worked out of Murante's office, will begin his appointment representing Gretna and western Sarpy County on Jan. 9.

"I am deeply honored by the governor's appointment," La Grone said in a statement. "The people can count on me to put District 49's conservative principles to work to help deliver new property tax relief, hold the line on state spending, and stand up for Nebraska's unborn children."

La Grone holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and also graduated from Nebraska College of Law.

He is the president of the Gretna Optimists, a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, the Gretna Chamber of Commerce, and the Nebraska chapter of the Federalist Society.

Ricketts said La Grone's work as a private-practice attorney, as well as his work within the Legislature made him well-prepared to serve in the body.

"He is a solid conservative who will push to cut taxes, protect public safety, and champion pro-life policy," Ricketts said in a statement. "I look forward to working with Andrew to help grow our state in the coming years."

Ricketts will appoint another state senator, this one replacing Sen. Dan Watermeier, who won election to the Public Service Commission in the November election, before the beginning of the 2019 session.

Story from Lincoln Journal Star.

Ben Siminou

Siminou, '07, Receives Pound Civil Justice Institute's 2018 Appellate Advocacy Award

03 Dec 2018    

The Officers and Trustees of the Pound Civil Justice Institute have bestowed the Institute’s 2018 Appellate Advocacy Award on Leslie Brueckner of Public Justice in Oakland, CA and Benjamin Siminou, '07, of Siminou Appeals in San Diego, CA. They were honored for their distinguished work resulting in the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 407 P.3d 18 (Cal. 2017). 

In T.H., a unanimous California Supreme Court held that, because brand-name prescription drug companies write the labels for all drugs, they may be sued for failing to warn of the dangers of mislabeled, generic versions of their drugs. A majority of the Court also held that even former brand-name manufacturers are subject to suit if their failure to update their labels to warn of their drug’s dangers foreseeably injure consumers of generic drugs. T.H. is the only standing decision of any appellate court granting consumers the right to seek compensation when they are injured by mislabeled generic drugs. More than 90 percent of all drugs sold in the U.S. are generic, and, under current federal law, generic drug manufacturers have complete immunity from suit because they do not write their products’ labels. Because there are no issues of federal law in T.H., it cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ben brought the case from the trial level through to the California Court of Appeals. Once at the California Supreme Court, Leslie and Ben jointly wrote the appellate briefs for the plaintiff, and both argued orally. Their efforts were supported by an amicus curiae brief of Consumer Attorneys of California and the American Association for Justice, authored by Charles Dell’Ario, of Napa, California, and Jeffrey R. White of AAJ.

Leslie is a Senior Attorney at Public Justice, a national public interest law firm, where she has worked for 25 years. She specializes in cutting-edge appellate litigation in the state and federal courts, such as class actions, constitutional law, federal preemption, consumer rights, personal jurisdiction, food safety, and combating court secrecy. She has handled numerous appeals in the federal and state courts, including the Supreme Courts of California, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virgnia, and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Ben Siminou is the founder and principal of Siminou Appeals in San Diego, specializing in appeals of civil cases. Prior to establishing Siminou Appeals, Ben worked nearly a decade as a trial lawyer with the San Diego-based plaintiffs’ firm, Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP, where he handled virtually every aspect of civil litigation. Ben has handled numerous civil and criminal appeals in the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit.

Leslie and Ben's dedication to the civil justice system, and their persuasive advocacy in T.H. v. Novartis, have had a significant impact on the right of access to justice in civil cases in the United States.

Adam Hoesing

Hoesing, '12, Graduates from Nebraska Water Leaders Academy

20 Nov 2018    

Adam Hoesing, '12, of Scottsbluff recently graduated with the eighth class of 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 of Nebraska.

Hoesing holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in justice studies from Chadron State College. He also earned a Juris Doctorate with High Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Hoesing is an associate attorney and shareholder in the Simmons Olsen Law Firm in Scottsbluff. 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 www.waterleadersacademy.org.
Henderson, Klein and Page Advance to National Moot Court Competition Finals

Henderson, Klein and Page Advance to National Moot Court Competition Finals

19 Nov 2018    

3Ls Paul Henderson, Nathan Klein and Chris Page defeated a University of Kansas team to win to Region 9 competition of the New York City Bar Association’s National Moot Court Competition. The team, coached by alumnus Shannon Doering, ’99, will advance to the national competition finals to be held in New York City January 21-28, 2019.

A second Nebraska Law team comprised of Adam Kost, Maureen Larsen and David Shea also made an impressive showing at the competition, advancing to the semi-final round before they were defeated.

The following teams competed in the competition, which was hosted by Saint Louis University: University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, University of Arkansas – Little Rock, Creighton University, University of Kansas, University of Missouri – Kansas City, University of Missouri – Columbia, University of Nebraska, Oklahoma City University, University of Oklahoma, Saint Louis University, University of Tulsa, Washburn University, Washington University.

Region 9 Moot Court Competition

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Nebraska Law to Host Commemoration of Seventieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

14 Nov 2018    

The University of Nebraska College of Law will host a commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, November 26 from noon to 1:30 pm in the Hamann Auditorium. The Universal Declaration, which proclaims human rights to which everyone is entitled, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, seventy years ago. 

The theme of the commemoration will be “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: Reflections on Its Relevance for Nebraskans.”  The commemoration is co-sponsored by the College of Law and the University of Nebraska’s Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

Dr. Micheline IshayThe keynote speaker at the commemoration will be Dr. Micheline Ishay, Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and a renowned expert on the history of human rights.  She is the author of a number of acclaimed books on human rights, including The History of Human Rights, from Ancient Times to the Globalization Era; The Human Rights Reader: Major Political Essays, Speeches and Documents from Ancient Times to the Present; and The Levant Express: The Arab Uprising and the Future of Human Rights (forthcoming).

Dr. Ishay will be joined by two other speakers.  The first will be Professor Anna Shavers, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law.  Professor Shavers is an internationally recognized expert on human trafficking and women’s rights.  The second will be Dr. David P. Forsythe, Emeritus University Professor and Charles J. Mach Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska. Dr. Forsythe is an eminent scholar of international human rights and is the founding benefactor of the Forsythe Family Program.

Professor Brian Lepard of the College of Law will introduce the speakers.  Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht, Director of the Forsythe Family Program and Samuel Clark Waugh Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science, will moderate the discussion among the panelists. 

The program is free and open to the public.

Ashley Dugan

Dugan, '18, Joins Woods & Aitken LLP

05 Nov 2018    

Woods & Aitken LLP is delighted to announce that Ashley H. Dugan, '18, recently joined the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. Ashley represents public and private employers in all areas of labor and employment law, focusing on preventative assistance and counseling. 

Ashley joins Woods & Aitken after clerking in the firm for two years. She also previously served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable C. Arlen Beam of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  She received her J.D. with highest distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she served as executive editor for the Nebraska Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif. Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  

Since 1921, Woods & Aitken LLP has focused its practice of law on achieving long-term client success. This commitment to client service has also afforded Woods & Aitken LLP the opportunity to emerge as a regional and national leader in the practice of construction, telecommunications, labor & employment, real estate, and banking and finance law.

Voting Stickers

Nebraska Law duo raises bar for civic activism on Election Day

05 Nov 2018    

Building on a program launched by a Big Ten colleague, two Huskers have created an opportunity for Nebraska Law students to volunteer as poll watchers on Election Day.

Launched by Nebraska’s Josh Waltjer, '20, and Carter Reed, '20, the “Day of Civic Engagement” program includes a lunch discussion between state officials.

“The Day of Civic Engagement is an effort to support a fundamental and incredibly important principle of our democracy — free and fair elections,” said Waltjer. “Although I may disagree with some individuals on political and legal issues, our friends in the Federalist Society and I realize that the healthiest democracy is one where we encourage civil debate, protect our democratic process, and respect Constitutional principles. The Day of Civic Engagement gives law students a practical way to do just that.”

Inspiration for the event grew from a talk between Waltjer, Reed and a Northwestern University law student while the trio attended the American Constitution Society conference in Washington, D.C., in June.

During the talk, the Northwestern U student outlined work to start a Day of Civic Service. The project — which started in 2016 at Northwestern — successfully encouraged student organizations, drawing representatives from various political ideologies to volunteer on Election Day.

When Waltjer and Reed proposed the idea to Nebraska Law colleagues, they received support from Justin McCully, '20, president of the Federalist Society chapter. They project was also endorsed by law school student government.

Along with working as poll watchers during midterm elections on Nov. 6, law professors have the option to reschedule classes to allow students to volunteer. The college will also hold a lunch panel with Wayne Bena, Nebraska’s deputy secretary of state for elections, and Danielle Conrad, executive director of American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, discussing election-related issues.

The panel discussion, which is noon to 1 p.m. in the Law School Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Organizers at Nebraska and Northwestern hope their combined efforts inspire similar civil activism programming at universities and law schools nationwide.

Immigration Clinic Students Visit Omaha Immigration Court

Immigration Clinic Students Visit Omaha Immigration Court

02 Nov 2018    

 On Thursday, November 1, students in this year's Immigration Clinic visited the Omaha Immigration Court to learn more about the Court and visit with Court personnel.  The visit and tour were arranged by College of Law alum Spencer Shucard, '14, who is an attorney advisor with the Omaha Immigration Court.

The students heard presentations by and asked questions of Immigration Judges Nancy Paul, Matthew Morrissey, and Abby Meyer, three of the four Immigration Judges currently on the bench at the Omaha Immigration Court.  Judge Meyer is a 2007 alumna of the College of Law and the Immigration Clinic.  Darrin Hetfield, who is currently head of the Omaha Office of Chief Counsel of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), also spoke to the students and answered their questions.  The meetings, which lasted nearly two hours, occurred in two separate courtrooms of the Omaha Immigration Court: one courtroom in which hearings take place for non-citizens who are not being detained by ICE, and one courtroom in which hearings take place for non-citizens who are in ICE detention.

This semester, each team of Immigration Clinic students is taking either a morning or afternoon session at the Omaha Immigration Court as "attorney of the day" for juvenile respondents in removal (deportation) proceedings.  Students meet with unrepresented juvenile respondents, screen their cases for possible relief from removal that may be available to such respondents, and then appear with the respondents at their Master Calendar hearings in Immigration Court.  The representation is limited in scope, and only extends for the duration of the Master Calendar hearing, but affords juvenile respondents an opportunity to have questions answered about their cases and get referrals to other organizations that may be able to provide long-term representation to them.  Next semester, Immigration Clinic students will appear in bond hearings, representing detained respondents who either seek to have a bond set by the Immigration Court, or who seek to have the amount of their bond reduced.  As a result, each team of students will appear in Immigration Court a minimum of two times during their tenure in the Immigration Clinic.

Students in the Immigration Clinic this year are Shannon Bond, Addison Fairchild, Burke Brown III, Andy Huynh, Paloma Contreras, Nicole Iraola, Damon Hudson, David Shea, Daniel Martin, and Deanna Pina.
Professor John Lenich

Lenich Recognized by Association of Students of the University of Nebraska

30 Oct 2018    

Professor John Lenich was recognized with ASUN Government Bill 15, a bill which officially thanks and commends Professor Lenich for his assistance in revising the Student Code of Conduct. 

A complete recap of the Wednesday, Oct. 24 meeting, including legislation related to the Student Code of Conduct, ASUN outreach initiatives and the Committee for Fee Allocations is available from the Daily Nebraskan.

Arthur Maria Ferreira Neto

Neto to Deliver Presentation on Brazilian Tax Reform

26 Oct 2018    

Dr. Arthur Maria Ferreira Neto, Professor of Law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), a major regional private law school in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Vice-President of Brazil’s Institute of Tax Studies, will deliver a short presentation at noon on Nov. 14. 

Dr. Neto will discuss “The Current Debate on Brazilian Tax Reform and the Brazil Constitution: A Comparison with International and U.S. Approaches.” The talk, which is free and open to the public, is at the College of Law.

Dr. Neto will discuss the current debate on tax reform in Brazil in light of related debates about amending the Brazil Constitution, which was adopted in 1988. These debates will become even more important in the aftermath of the Brazil presidential election in October 2018. Brazilian leaders and policymakers are considering other tax reform approaches, including guidelines on value added taxes recently promulgated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) as well as the reforms made in U.S. tax law as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Dr. Neto’s talk will focus on the Brazilian experience while comparing it with approaches advocated by the OECD as well as those reflected in U.S. tax law reforms and tax policy debates. He will also touch on some differences and similarities between the Brazil Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

Dr. Neto has a Master’s and Doctorate in Tax Law from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He also has a Master’s and Doctorate in Philosophy from PUCRS. He is Coordinator of the Public Law Department at PUCRS Law School, and is Vice-President of the Institute of Tax Studies in Brazil. Dr. Neto has published numerous books and articles on the philosophy of law, human rights, Brazilian constitutional law, and tax law. Dr. Neto gave a talk at the Nebraska College of Law on the right to be forgotten in September 2017.

The Honorable Raymond J. Lohier, Jr.

Honorable Raymond J. Lohier, Jr. to deliver Cline Williams Jurist-In-Residence Presentations

24 Oct 2018    

The Honorable Raymond J. Lohier, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will deliver presentations to the College of Law community at noon on Oct. 29, and at noon on Oct 30. Judge Lohier’s presentations are part of the Cline Williams Jurist-In-Residence Program. Both programs will be held in the Hamann Auditorium at the College of Law and are free and open to the public. Each program is approved for 1.0 hours of Nebraska CLE credit.

On Oct. 29, the Honorable Joseph Bataillon, a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, will join Judge Lohier for a discussion of the U.S. Courts, with special focus on Federal and U.S. Circuit Courts.

On Oct. 30, Judge Lohier and Professor Maggie Wittlin will present “The Roles of Judges and Lawyers in Doing Justice: A Conversation.” In this conversation, Judge Lohier will address the role of judges in ensuring adequate defense representation, as well as the role of prosecutors in protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system. Professor Wittlin served as a law clerk for Judge Lohier in 2012-13.

Judge Lohier was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit after being unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in December 2010. Judge Lohier served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and was associated with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Following this work, Judge Lohier served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where he spearheaded employment discrimination-related litigation and worked on other civil rights matters. 

Judge Lohier thereafter served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he served, among other roles, as Senior Counsel to the United States Attorney, Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, and Chief of the Narcotics Unit. As Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Judge Lohier was responsible for overseeing the Bernard Madoff prosecutions, the investigation and prosecution of Marc Dreier, the Galleon and other hedge fund-related insider trading cases, as well as several other high-profile fraud cases. Judge Lohier is the current Chairperson of the Defender Services Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. 

The Cline Williams Distinguished Lectureship began in 1972. Law firms Cline Williams and Nelson Harding were asked to sponsor the lectureships on an as-needed basis.  In 1988, the Cline Williams Distinguished Lectureship was converted to a Jurist-in-Residence program.  Past guests have included William Fletcher, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Donald P. Lay, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Shirley S. Abrahamson, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court; and most recently Judge David Ebel, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard to Chair Panel at International Law Weekend

18 Oct 2018    

Professor Brian Lepard will chair a panel at International Law Weekend at Fordham Law School in New York City on Saturday, October 20. The theme of the panel is “How Customary International Law Matters in Protecting Human Rights.”

Professor Lepard is the Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and a recognized expert on international law. His most recent book is Reexamining Customary International Law, which he edited and to which he contributed several chapters. The book was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.

The panel on October 20 will explore why and how customary international law matters in protecting human rights. In particular, it will empirically analyze the use of customary international law by national and international courts to safeguard human rights. It will critically examine recent judicial decisions involving attempts to hold business corporations accountable for violations of customary human rights law, including Jesner v. Arab Bank PLC, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2018, and Araya v. Nevsun Resources Ltd., decided by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in November 2017. The panel will also investigate whether negotiations for a Global Compact on Refugees and other global standards on refugees may be contributing to the development of norms of customary international law relevant to the protection of refugees. Finally, the panel will also look at the practical role that customary international law has played in defining and protecting the right to religious freedom.

Other panelists include Niels Petersen, Professor of Public Law, International Law, and European Union Law at the University of Münster; Alan Franklin, Managing Director of Global Business Risk Management and Faculty, Athabasca University and Diplo Foundation; Dana Schmalz, Visiting Scholar at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School; and Mark Janis, William F. Starr Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut.

Justice John F. Wright

Wright, ’70, Recognized with George H. Turner Award

18 Oct 2018    

Justice John F. Wright, ’70, has posthumously been awarded the George H. Turner Award. The Turner Award is presented to a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association who has demonstrated exemplary efforts in furthering public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice and confidence in the legal profession. Justice Wright lead a life of service, both as a lawyer and as a Nebraska Supreme Court Justice. He was revered for his intelligence, humility, decisiveness, civility and leadership. The NSBA thanks him for his service to the courts, the profession and the citizens of Nebraska.

Steve Mattoon

Mattoon, ’76, Elected 2020-2021 Nebraska State Bar Association President Elect

18 Oct 2018    

At the Nebraska State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Steve Mattoon, ‘76 and Jill Robb Ackerman assumed their posts as President Elect and President-Elect Designate of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Steve Mattoon, of Sidney, will succeed J. Scott Paul as President-Elect and will serve as NSBA President from October 2019 to October 2020.

Mattoon is a partner with Matzke, Mattoon, Martens & Strommen, L.L.C. His representation in the oil and gas industry includes Title Opinion examinations in more than 20 counties in western and southwestern Nebraska, both for drilling purposes and for division order purposes, and extensive practice before the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  His representation before the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission includes Applications for pooling, unitization and secondary recovery operations.  He is a frequent speaker regarding oil and gas law.  Furthermore, he has practiced extensively in the areas of real estate, estate planning, probate, corporate and commercial development. 

Mattoon has been actively involved in the Nebraska State Bar Association serving as Chairman of the House of Delegates in 2013.  He has served two terms on the Executive Council from 2002 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2015, and was a member of the House of Delegates for over 20 years. Mattoon also previously served as Trustee to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and served as Secretary of the Natural Resources Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Mattoon is a graduate of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and also a Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  In law school he was selected to the Order of the Barristers and was the Junior Round Moot Court Supervisor. Steve and his wife Cathy have two daughters: Kendra Rignenberg, who is a partner with Dvorak Law Group, LLC, and Stephanie Mattoon, who is a partner with Baird Holm, LLP.

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