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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.


McCarthy,'75, Langan Mach, 95, and Sapp, '89, Assume NSBA Leadership Roles

18 Oct 2018    

Mike McCarthy, ’75, took over as Nebraska State Bar Association House of Delegates Chair and Jane Langan Mach, ‘95, began her term on the NSBA Executive Council this week at the NSBA’s Annual Meeting in La Vista.   

Mike is a partner in the North Platte law firm of McCarthy & Moore, LLP. He earned his undergraduate degree in 1972, and his law degree in 1975, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Immediately following his graduation he joined his father in the private practice of law in North Platte. Mike practices primarily in the areas of estate planning and probate, real estate, and corporate & business planning.

Mike is married to Janie McCarthy who is a retired speech and language teacher with North Platte Public Schools. Mike has four children and eight grandchildren. Mike has served on the North Platte Board of Education, and served as the Board’s President, the Great Plains Health Board of Directors, where he also served as the Board’s Chair, the Board of Directors of the North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation, where he served as Chair, the Nebraska Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, where he served as Chair from 2008 to 2012, the Nebraska State Bar Association House of Delegates, and he served as the Sixth District Representative on the Executive Council of the Nebraska State Bar Association, from 2013 to 2016.

Jane Langan Mach also began her term on the NSBA Executive Council representing the First Judicial District. 

Langan Mach is a partner at Rembolt Ludtke LLP where she has been practicing since 1995. She focuses primarily on family law issues, particularly complex divorce, paternity, custody, child support, and adoption matters including both trial and appellate work. Jane is a Certified Parenting Act Mediator. She also works with the rehabilitation or liquidation of insurance companies. Langan Mach teaches Pretrial Litigation Skills and Family Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and has been a regular speaker at the Family Law Section’s annual seminar. 

Langan Mach is listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers and in Nebraska’s 10 Best in client satisfaction with the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys. She is active in the Nebraska State Bar Association. She has served: as Chair of the House of Delegate (2018); on the Ad Hoc Committee on Parenting Time (2013); Legislation Committee (2011-present); Budget and Planning (2011-2012); Annual Meeting Committee Chair (2002-2003); and was on the Executive Committee and Chair (2000-2001) of the Young Lawyers Section.

A lifelong Nebraskan, Jane lives in Lincoln with her husband Jeff and their five children. 

Also becoming NSBA officers are the Hon. Tricia Freeman and Susan Sapp, ‘89.  Judge Freeman of the Sarpy County Court took office as Chair-Elect. Susan Sapp with Cline Williams Wright Johnson and Oldfather, LLP in Lincoln took office as Chair-Elect Designate.

Nicole Iraola and Paloma Contreras

Immigration Clinic Students Participate in Attorney Of The Day Program

11 Oct 2018    

On October 10, 2018, 3Ls Paloma Contreras and Nicole Iraola, two of the students in this year's Immigration Clinic, participated in the Attorney Of The Day Program (AOTD Program) at the Omaha Immigration Court.  The purpose of the AOTD Program is to match pro bono attorneys with unaccompanied minors who are appearing in Immigration Court removal proceedings and who do not have a lawyer to represent them.  AOTD attorneys consult with the unrepresented minors, interview them to determine if they are eligible for any relief from removal, suggest resources where they might obtain counsel, and then accompany them to their hearings before the Court.  The AOTD project is a collaborative effort involving the Omaha Immigration Court, the Immigrant Legal Center (ILC), and volunteer attorneys.

This semester, each Immigration Clinic team of two students will participate in the AOTD Program at least once.  Students sign up for either a morning or afternoon session.  Paloma and Nicole were the first team to participate in the AOTD Program this semester.  All other teams will participate at least once before the end of the fall semester.

To prepare for their appearances in the AOTD Program, students received training from ILC staff attorneys, all of whom are Nebraska Law alumni.  The attorneys conducting the training were Mindy Rush Chipman, '07, Roxana Cortes Reyes, '16, and Joshua Snowden, '17.

Immigration Clinic students continue to represent individual clients in immigration cases, but are also participating in a number of projects this semester, including community outreach programs, limited scope counseling with clients who have immigration questions, and drafting an amicus brief in an appellate case before the Nebraska Court of Appeals that contains immigration issues.  Other projects are planned for the balance of this semester and next semester.
Daniel Kaplan

Kaplan, '18, Joins Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford

08 Oct 2018    

Daniel K. Kaplan, '18, has joined the Lincoln law firm of Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford, P.C., L.L.O. as an associate attorney.

Kaplan received his bachelor's degree in 2015 from the University of Nebraska where he studied History. He received his law degree with distinction in 2018 from the University of Nebraska College of Law. While in law school, Kaplan served as the executive editor of the Nebraska Law Review. Kaplan is admitted to practice in Nebraska and is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford, P.C., L.L.O. is a general practice law firm located in Lincoln with emphasis in the areas of civil litigation, school law, employment law, commercial and transactional law, estate planning and probate and banking law.

Don Verrilli

Former Solicitor General of the United States to deliver Lane Lecture

25 Sep 2018    

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., former United States Solicitor General, will deliver the College of Law’s Lane Lecture at noon on Sept. 21.

Verrilli, now a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson, and the founder of its Washington, D.C., office, will discuss “The Rule of Law: Not Just a Law of Rules.”

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is at the College of Law. Verilli will offer his perspectives on the rule of law, the Constitution, and contemporary events in American society.

Due in large part to the influence of Justice Scalia, conservative judges, academics and practicing lawyers have expressed their commitment to textualism in statutory construction and originalism in constitutional interpretation as a reflection of a deeper commitment to the rule of law – that is, to the idea that these methods of interpretation ensure that we remain a nation of laws in the sense that judges defer to the democratically legitimate expression of the law by the people and their representatives, rather than substituting their own moral or policy judgments.  For all of its force and the positive disciplining effects this set of ideas has had on the way we approach legal texts, the centrality of the “rule of law as a law of rules” idea in conservative jurisprudence has produced at least two serious unfortunate consequences.  First, it tends to promote divisiveness in the legal culture because it defines other interpretive methods, and the outcomes they produce, as illegitimate, and not merely the product of good faith disagreement.  Second, and more pressingly, it tends to induce  myopia.  As the present moment illustrates, many adherents are acting in a manner that suggests that they value the confirmation of judges who share their views as a higher value than protection of the integrity of the legal institutions and the overall constitutional structure, without which their interpretive commitments ultimately will mean very little.

Verrilli is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier Supreme Court and appellate lawyers. He served as Solicitor General from 2011-2016 and argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.  His landmark victories include, among many others, his successful advocacy in defense of the Affordable Care Act in NFIB v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell; his successful advocacy for marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges and United States v. Windsor; and his vindication of federal immigration authority in Arizona v. United States

The Nebraska Law Review has published “The Rule of Law: Not Just a Law of Rules,” Verrilli's cooresponding article. 

Professor Matt Schaefer and Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton

University of Nebraska to Create Space Law Network

24 Sep 2018    

The University of Nebraska has received a $250,000 NASA Space Law pilot-program grant to create a nationwide network of students, faculty and practitioners interested in space law and policy.

“NASA understands workforce development is crucial to the United States’ prosperity in space. We hope to foster a great pool of attorneys to pull their legal workforce from,” said Elsbeth Magilton, executive director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program in the University of Nebraska College of Law. “The key objective of the Space Law Network is to implement a system to support, educate and provide opportunities to law students across the country interested in space law and policy.”

The project is facilitated by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant office at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, led by Scott Tarry, director; and Michaela Lucas, associate director. It will be implemented by Nebraska’s space law program, led by Matt Schaefer, co-director and program faculty; and Magilton.

“This grant allows the Space Law Network to fund legal internships at NASA, as well as bring students from all over the U.S. to numerous national conferences, where they’ll hear from leading scholars,” Schaefer said. “This April, Nebraska Law will host a student and new scholar space law workshop, focused on research, writing and publication, while also giving students the opportunity to build career-development plans targeting careers in space.”

The Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program and the Nebraska Space Grant are uniquely situated to create the Space Law Network, which will strengthen, enhance and diversify connections between U.S. law schools and space law experts. Over the past 10 years, Nebraska’s space law program has trained attorneys who serve in the military, including U.S. Air Force Space Command; civil government, including the U.S. State Department; and commercial space law positions, including SpaceX and Firefly Aerospace. The program hosts one of the largest annual conferences in space law each year in Washington, D.C., and is guided by a world-class advisory board.

Schaefer and Magilton are prominent figures in space law education. Schaefer is co-chair of the American branch of the International Law Association’s Space Law Committee and a member of the International Law Association’s Space Law Committee. His writings have influenced congressional commercial space legislation the past three years, and he is the principal organizer of the D.C. space law conference. Magilton is vice chair of the American Society of International Law’s Space Law Interest Group. She was recently nominated for the Women in Aerospace Awareness Award for her work at the university, including increasing the number of Judge Advocate Generals from military services benefitting from space law-specific education; and organizing the annual Operational Law conferences at U.S. Strategic Command, focused in part on space operations.

The Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law faculty also includes Frans von der Dunk, author of the leading handbook in the field and adviser to foreign governments on commercial space legislation; Jack Beard, a leading figure in the Woomera Manual on the international law of military operations in space; Matt Novak, designer and teacher of a groundbreaking course in space law research; and co-director Gus Hurwitz, a leading cyber, cybersecurity and spectrum scholar.

Hannah Carroll-Altman

Carroll-Altman, '18, Joins Berry Law

12 Sep 2018    

Hannah Carroll-Altman, '18, recently passed the Nebraska Bar and will be joining Berry Law Firm as its newest criminal defense attorney. Hannah brings a wide variety of legal experience to the Berry Law team. Hannah has argued in front of the Nebraska Court of Appeals and second-chaired the defense for sexual assault jury trial, which resulted in an acquittal.

Hannah is originally from Kearney, Nebraska. She received her B.S. in Criminology, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Nebraska – Omaha in 2014. She received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska – College of Law in 2018. While at Nebraska Law, Hannah was the recipient of the prestigious CALI Excellence for the Future Award in both Trial Advocacy and Advanced Trial Advocacy. The CALI Award is given to the highest scoring student in each law school class. Hannah is also the author of a “Self-Help Guide” for inmates to pursue declaratory relief claims for miscalculations of their ‘good time’ served.

During her time in law school, Hannah worked as a Senior Certified Law Clerk at the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, a government organization which provides legal representation to indigent defendants charged with first degree murder and serious violent and drug-related felonies. In law school, she also worked for two years as a Senior Certified Law Clerk for Anderson, Creager, Wittstruck, P.C., L.L.O., a full-practice law firm in Lincoln. In this position, Hannah worked mainly in the areas of state and federal criminal defense.

Also, during law school, Hannah participated in Nebraska Law’s Criminal Clinic, in which she prosecuted misdemeanors for the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office. Through the Clinic, she successfully prosecuted a bench trial and won a sizeable restitution award for the victim.

Hannah was the President of the Student Chapter of the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association for two years in law school. She also is currently a member of several distinguished associations, including the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association, the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, the Nebraska State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

At Berry Law Firm, Hannah will focus her legal practice on criminal defense, specializing in sexual assaults and sex crimes, Title IX investigations, interstate drug stops and drug crimes, and DUI/DWI defense.

When she is not focusing on her legal career, Hannah enjoys traveling and scuba diving. She has over 60 logged dives and is a Certified Rescue Diver and a Certified Night Diver.

Berry Law Firm is happy to add Hannah to the team!

Professor Jessica Shoemaker

Shoemaker's Article Accepted by California Law Review

10 Sep 2018    

Professor Jessica Shoemaker's article, Transforming Property: Reclaiming a Modern Indigenous Land Tenure, has been accepted by the California Law Review. The California Law Review is committed to publishing the most “innovative and insightful legal scholarship.”

In Transforming Property, Shoemaker builds on her prior work on the unique and complex challenges of modern reservation property systems and, for the first time in the literature, opens a new pathway to reclaim tribally driven property regimes within reservation boundaries. This article makes unique contributions to property theory, provides a robust analysis of property system dynamics, and powerfully situates this entire property project in the broader context of indigenous rights. 

The research and writing of this article was supported by both a McCollum grant and the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.

The abstract is below:

This Article challenges existing narratives about the future of American Indian land tenure. The current highly-federalized system for reservation trust property is deeply problematic. It is expensive, bureaucratic, oppressive, and directly linked to persistent poverty in many reservation communities. Yet, for complex reasons, this trust property has proven largely immune from fundamental reform. Today, there seem to be two primary options floated for the future: a “do the best with what we have” approach that largely accepts core problems with the existing trust, perhaps with some minor tinkering focused on efficiency, for the sake of the benefits and security it does provide, or a return to old, already-failed reform strategies focused on simply “liberating” American Indian people with a forced transition to state-based fee-simple property. Both strategies respond, sometimes implicitly, to deep impulses about how property should work, especially in a market economy, but both also neglect sufficient respect for the true potential of more autonomous tribal property regimes.

This Article engages property theory and related work on adaptation and change in complex systems, including property, to make the case for more radical institutional land reform as a realistic alternative choice, even in the complex and multi-layered environment of existing reservations. Property systems are full of dynamic, pluralistic potential, and property powerfully shapes the contours of both human communities and physical landscapes. This Article unearths this existing potential and charts a series of alternative steps, driven primarily by respect for tribal governments’ own actions and choices, to reclaim new, modern versions of indigenous land tenure within reservation spaces.                

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Teaches Course at Brazilian Law School on “Hot Topics in International Law”

05 Sep 2018    

In July and August of this year Professor Brian Lepard taught a one-week course entitled “Hot Topics in International Law” at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (“UFRGS”) in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  About 30 students participated in the course. 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 and comparative law.

Topics discussed in the course included the regulation of war and the pursuit of peace; the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons; the legality of the threat or use of chemical weapons; the protection of civilians in armed conflict; the prosecution of war criminals by international criminal tribunals; the responsibility to protect victims of mass atrocities; the protection of the human rights of minorities; the protection of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers; the legality of hate speech; the prevention of global warming and the protection of the environment; the legal implications of tariffs and trade wars in the global economic system; and growing skepticism about international organizations.

Here is a photo of the students proudly holding their course certificates, along with Professor Lepard and Professor Claudia Lima Marques of UFRGS, who helped organize the course:

Students in Brazil

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Interviewed about the 2017 U.S. Tax Cut and Jobs Act and Its Implications for Brazil

24 Aug 2018    

Zero Hora, one of Brazil’s largest circulation national newspapers, published an interview in its August 6, 2018 edition with Professor Brian Lepard.  (A reproduction of the page containing the interview can be found here.  An online version is available here.)  Professor Lepard is the Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and a recognized expert on tax law, including international tax law.

The interview concerned the Tax Cut and Jobs Act adopted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2017.  The interview was conducted by Zero Hora economics columnist Marta Sfredo with Professor Lepard while he was in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  Professor Lepard gave a major talk, sponsored by the Instituto de Estudos Tributários (Institute for Tax Studies), on the tax law and its implications for Brazilians and Brazilian companies.  He also taught a one-week course entitled “Hot Topics in International Law” at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (“UFRGS”).  Furthermore, he was a guest speaker in a course at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (“PUCRS”) on freedom of expression and the regulation of hate speech under international law. 

Brian Lepard

The published version of the interview was captioned, “Capital Responses – Brian Lepard, Professor of the University of Nebraska.”  Here is an English translation of the interview:

“The Base of Taxation is Income”

The American tax expert Brian Lepard, professor at the University of Nebraska, in the United States, was in Porto Alegre for the inaugural class of a course sponsored by the Institute for Tax Studies. In good Portuguese, using English only to avoid ambiguities, he offered an interview for this column reinforcing critiques of Donald Trump’s tax reform and the Brazilian system. He recounted that he learned the Portuguese language in a three-month course, motivated by cooperation agreements that the University has with UFRGS and PUCRS.

Question: It is said that the tax reform can stimulate the American economy, which is already strong, even more.  Going forward, can this cause a whiplash effect?

Response: Yes, there is a perception that it is not necessary to have a tax stimulus in the economy at this moment.  There are doubts about whether it was necessary. The effects can be diminished because the economy is growing. Normally, there are stimuli during periods of crisis or slow growth.

Question: Would there be better effects in a slower economy?

Response: We have other examples, not only from the tax system but involving the direct injection of money by the U.S.  Government and the lowering of interest rates.  These types of intervention are more effective in periods of recession or slow growth. But there is the perspective that lower rates for corporations are good in the long term. Before, the U.S. had corporate tax rates of up to 35%, which were higher than in most of the rest of the world and were a disincentive to investment.  Businesses went to other countries. One purpose of the new law was to eliminate that problem.  

Question: What are some other points concerning the new law?

Response:  Another question regarding the law is why it reduces the rate applicable to corporations and not as much the rate applicable to individuals. The law reduces the rate for individuals, but not by much. Before the new law, the highest rate was 39.6% for the wealthiest, which fell to 37%. In the tax reform act adopted under the Ronald Reagan Administration, in 1986, the rates applicable to individuals were reduced much more, from almost 50% to 28%.  So in this new law the reduction was much smaller.  Congress also hoped that corporations would use the tax reduction to make investments, create jobs, and pay more to their employees.  The effects have been more muted in these areas.  Some corporations have announced they are paying a little more to their employees, but many are using the tax savings to buy back their own shares on the stock market.  If the price is considered low, the corporation can benefit by buying back its own shares because in the future it can sell them for a higher price.

Question:  Would the appropriate reaction of Brazil to the American reform be simplification?

Response: Yes, simplification.  This was one of the purposes of the 1986 tax reform act.  In Brazil, there are many taxes on consumption -- the purchase of goods and services.  I understand that almost 50% of Brazilian government revenues come from taxes on consumption of some kind. By contrast, only 20% of revenues come from taxes on income. In the U.S., the situation is almost reversed. Taxing income is better from the point of view of equity.  The richest earn more and therefore pay more, leading to a progressive system. Taxes on consumption represent a smaller proportion of the income of the rich than they do of the poor.  [In an income tax] the base of taxation is income.  I understand that dividends are not taxed in Brazil.  Usually they are received by wealthier taxpayers.  Therefore it is also necessary to modify the definition of taxable income and increase the types of income that are taxable to make the system more equitable.    


Magilton Moderates Panel at USSTRATCOM Deterrence Symposium

Magilton Moderates Panel at USSTRATCOM Deterrence Symposium

20 Aug 2018    

On August 2nd, Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program Executive Director Elsbeth Magilton represented the Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance (DAAA) at the Annual U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Deterrence Symposium in front of 750 people, including the USSTRATCOM Commander General Hyten and multiple generals from the US military and those of our allies, featuring impressive student research the Alliance selected to highlight at this larger conference.

 Last year the College of Law joined with the University’s Political Science department to co-host the annual Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance spring conference this March. The USSTRATCOM DAAA harnesses the work of academics and researchers, asking them to collaborate with both one another and with individuals inside USSTRATCOM to think about deterrence in new and challenging ways. The DAAA is an alliance made up of over 40 academic institutions focusing on the modern complexities of assurance and deterrence.

In introducing her panel of student authors, Magilton said “This year my conference co-planner Professor Tyler White and I wanted to push the boundaries of traditional approaches and simultaneously indulge in a pun, calling our event, “Thinking Outside the Silo: Creative Problem Solving in Deterrence and Assurance." Our goal was simple. To challenge conventional wisdom to address the changing landscape of security threats and war fighting domains. Presentations featured outside the box thinking and used new and innovative methodologies to reassess old problems and address new ones in deterring adversaries and assuring our allies. Over two days, students and faculty presented, debated, and pushed one another to higher levels. The conference featured a student-centric table top exercise and challenged our interdisciplinary group to strategize and think in ways they hadn’t before. In summary, I know my institution and our students greatly benefit from our participation in the Alliance and I am hopeful that our work contributes to their men and women who work at STRATCOM every day.”

The highlighted papers covered a range of topics, from cyber threats facing NC3 to explaining conflicts that fall short of war, from analyzing how urban geography shapes nuclear strategy to mining the rhetoric of North Korea. In Magilton’s words, “Their work represents what the Alliance does best: engage a new generation of deterrence thinkers and push the boundaries of traditional thinking.”