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Kalli Davis and Ryan Sullivan

Davis Named Recipient of the 2018 Student Award for Outstanding Impact Through Pro Bono Service

12 Apr 2018    

Kalli Davis, ’18, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Student Award for Outstanding Impact Through Pro Bono Service.

During her time at the College of Law, Kalli served as a volunteer and chair for the CLEP program—organizing constitution day and other events, recruiting and coordinating volunteers, covering multiple shifts, and always being willing to fill in when gaps arose.  In addition to her amazing work with CLEP, Kalli committed her summers to Legal Aid of Nebraska, serving Nebraska’s poor.  The impact she has had during her three years at the College of Law is commendable, impressive, and most certainly outstanding.

Each year one law student is recognized for their commitment to pro bono service while enrolled at the College of Law.  The impact may be measured by reviewing a single act or project, or multiple acts or projects performed by the student during his or her enrollment at the College of Law.  The selection committee takes into consideration not only the total number of pro bono hours performed, but also the overall impact the pro bono work has had on the community and underserved populations.

Professor Gardner

Gardner publishes updated book on juvenile law

10 Apr 2018    

Carolina Academic Press has released Understanding Juvenile Law, fifth edition, by Martin Gardner.

The book discusses the various bodies of law in relation to a fundamental issue permeating the entire field of juvenile law: the extent to which the law should protect young people rather than recognize them as autonomous persons. While the law traditionally adopted a protectionist posture, recent legal developments appear to recognize autonomy rights of adolescents in certain contexts. These developments are praised by some commentators who advocate wholesale rejection of the paternalistic model in favor of a system that treats adolescents as full-fledged persons under the law. This book does not advocate any particular resolution of the current debate about the nature of the rights of young people; rather, it suggests that sensitivity to the issues and arguments entailed in that debate is essential to any true understanding of the present state of juvenile law.

With these concerns in mind, Understanding Juvenile Law begins with a general discussion of the nature of the rights of juveniles and the perception that young people constitute a unique class under the law. This theoretical introduction serves as a background for subsequent discussion of juvenile law doctrine. The discussion separates aspects of juvenile law arising outside the juvenile justice system (defined in this text as the system of separate courts organized to deal with "delinquents" and "status offenders") from those arising within that system. This division is created as a useful means of organizing the doctrinal material, given the extensive body of rules that govern the juvenile justice system. Moreover, this organization permits the juvenile justice section to stand by itself as an independent text for students in courses that cover only that aspect of juvenile law.

This edition adds new material dealing with problems of child abuse and neglect outside the family. Liability of religious and educational organizations is addressed, including statutes of limitations issues. The Educational organization material includes discussion of rights of students to be free from harassment and bullying. 

Woomera Manual

Nebraska Law announces partnerships on manual on international law of military space operations

09 Apr 2018    

Space and military law experts from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined forces to take the lead on understanding how our Earth-bound laws will be applied in times of armed conflict in outer space.

Some of the best legal and policy minds at the University of Adelaide, UNSW Canberra, University of Exeter, and University of Nebraska College of Law will draft The Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations.

The Woomera Manual will become the definitive document on military and security law as it applies to space. The project will be completed in 2020 and will draw on the knowledge of dozens of legal and space operations experts from around the world.

The founding leaders of the Woomera Manual are: Professor Melissa de Zwart and Professor Dale Stephens (Adelaide), Professor Rob McLaughlin (UNSW Canberra), Professor Michael Schmitt (Exeter), and Professor Jack Beard (Nebraska Law).

"Conflict in outer space is not a case of 'if' but 'when'. However, the legal regime that governs the use of force and actual armed conflict in outer space is currently very unclear, which is why the Woomera Manual is needed," says founding partner Professor Melissa de Zwart, Dean of the Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide.

"The few international Treaties that deal with outer space provide very little regulation of modern space activities, including both military and commercial uses of space. Therefore, we need to cast our gaze more widely in our approach to determining what laws are applicable in space," she says.

Rob McLaughlin, Professor of Military and Security Law at UNSW Canberra, says: "Space is a key enabler for communications, surveillance, early warning, navigation systems and is a critical security and conflict domain.

"Such extensive use of space by military forces has produced a growing awareness that spacebased assets are becoming particularly vulnerable to adverse actions by potential competitors," Professor McLaughlin says.

The US Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, declared last year that the US must start to prepare for the possibility of armed conflict in outer space. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump also has recently made a call for a dedicated US military space force.

"We can no longer afford to ignore the legal implications of the military use of space," says Michael Schmitt, Professor of Public International Law at Exeter Law School, University of Exeter.

"The four universities who form the founding partnership of the Woomera Manual project are committed to developing an agreed understanding, and then subsequent articulation, of how international law more generally applies to regulate military space activities in a time of rising tension and even outright armed conflict," he says.

Jack Beard, Associate Professor with the University of Nebraska College of Law, says: "The Woomera Manual will be drafted in the full tradition of other manuals that have been developed by legal and policy experts over the last 20 years, including the San Remo Manual on Naval Warfare, the Harvard Manual on Air and Missile Warfare, and the Tallinn Manuals (1.0 and 2.0) dealing with laws applicable to cyber operations and warfare.

"Such manuals have proven to have a significant impact in their respective fields, and we envisage that the Woomera Manual will have the same impact for the military uses of space," Professor Beard says.

Why "Woomera"?

The Woomera Manual is named after the Woomera township in South Australia, which has a long association with both Australian and multi-national military space operations. In 1967, Woomera was the site from which Australia successfully launched its first satellite, becoming only the fourth nation in the world to do so. In Australian Indigenous culture, a "woomera" is a traditional spearthrowing device. The name "woomera" originates from the Dharug language of the Eora people.

Media contacts:

Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program, University of Nebraska College of Law, Phone: 402-472-1662,

Richard Moberly

Moberly's article published in North Carolina Law Review

09 Apr 2018    

Dean Richard Moberly’s recent article Confidentiality and Whistleblowing, was published by the North Carolina Law Review. Below is a brief summary of the article.

Companies often require confidentiality from their employees. Maintaining corporate secrets helps protect intellectual property and gives a company an edge in a competitive marketplace. The law generally supports this corporate desire for secrecy through statutes that prohibit disclosing trade secrets and by enforcing agreements requiring confidentiality from employees, even if those agreements bar employees from working for a competitor in order to keep the employees from revealing secrets. As a result, companies have utilized this legal structure aggressively to enforce trade secret laws, confidentiality agreements, and non-competition provisions.

Whistleblowing can undermine confidentiality. An employee blows the whistle by revealing inside information—often organizational misconduct—to an outsider, such as a government regulator. This disclosure, by definition, contains information the corporation would rather keep secret. Even if a company intends to correct and punish the underlying misconduct internally, whistleblowing can cause significant disruption because the company has to manage increased oversight from the government, bad publicity, and heightened public scrutiny. Once the information is revealed externally, companies can have a harder time fixing the underlying problem because battle lines are drawn and positions become entrenched. Nevertheless, over the last fifteen years, the law—in particular federal law—has increasingly encouraged whistleblowing as a means of corporate oversight. Newly enacted federal statutes broadly protect whistleblowers from retaliation, require corporate structures that make whistleblowing easier, and even reward employees who reveal certain types of corporate misconduct.

In short, the federal government has aggressively encouraged employees to become whistleblowers. In response, corporations have tried to mitigate potential damage by relying on broad confidentiality provisions to discourage employees from revealing insider information. As a result, uncertainty abounds when the corporate desire for confidentiality clashes with the government’s desire for employees to blow the whistle. This Article is about the increasing tension between these countervailing trends.

Professor John Lenich

Lenich publishes updated book on Nebraska Civil Procedure

05 Apr 2018    

Thomson Reuters (West) published the 2018 edition of Professor John Lenich’s book, Nebraska Civil Procedure.  The book has nearly 1200 pages of text and provides an in-depth analysis of the procedural rules that govern jurisdiction, venue, parties, pleading, joinder, service, motions to dismiss, interlocutory remedies, and discovery in civil actions filed in Nebraska state court. The book also discusses an assortment of other topics such as statutes of limitations and sanctions.

Colleen Medill

Medill named top teaching award winner by the University of Nebraska

03 Apr 2018    

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds today announced the 2018 winners of the university’s most prestigious awards for teaching, research and engagement.

The university-wide President’s Faculty Excellence Awards recognize faculty whose work has had a significant impact on students, the university and the state.

“The University of Nebraska is one of the most important drivers of our state’s economic competitiveness and quality of life. Our faculty, who are among the nation’s leaders in what they do, deserve a great deal of the credit,” Bounds said. “These faculty carry out our missions of teaching, research and service on a daily basis. I’m honored to serve among such dedicated and talented colleagues and to lift up their work to the university community and all Nebraskans.”

Winners – who are selected by a university-wide committee of faculty members and, in the case of the engagement award, community members – receive $10,000 each, a presidential medallion and an engraved plaque. Awards will be presented at a luncheon hosted by Bounds this spring.

The 2018 winners are:


Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award (OTICA): recognizes individual faculty members who have demonstrated meritorious and sustained records of excellence and creativity in teaching.

Tammie Kennedy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, University of Nebraska at Omaha: Since joining UNO’s faculty in 2009, Kennedy has developed 10 courses to meet the multidisciplinary interests of students and encourage them to create public scholarship for audiences outside the classroom. Much of her scholarly and creative work focuses on the rhetoric of remembering practices and how memory shapes identity, writing and knowledge production, especially for marginalized groups. She co-edited Rhetoric of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education, which was named 2018 Best Co-Edited Book by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Kennedy has also published in more than 20 top-tier journals and contributed chapters to several books. Kennedy serves as an affiliate faculty for the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Thompson Learning Community, and directs the Women’s Archive Project, a student-produced digital archive exhibiting the experiences and contributions of UNO-affiliated women.

Colleen Medill, J.D., Robert and Joanne Berkshire Family Professor of Law in the College of Law, University of Nebraska-LincolnMedill is recognized nationally for her innovative teaching techniques in the areas of employee benefits law, property law and professional legal skills development. Among her peers, she is known as a “teacher of teachers” who explains and models her techniques through the extensive teachers’ manuals that accompany her textbooks. Medill’s first law school textbook, Introduction to Employee Benefits Law: Policy and Practice, has been used at more than 40 accredited law schools, and she is a leader in the integrated teaching of doctrinal theory, legal skills and the professional ethical responsibilities of lawyers. At the College of Law, she has twice been selected by law students as Professor of the Year and has been honored with the Alumni Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award. She teaches three of her four courses using textbooks that she authored.


Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (ORCA) Award: recognizes individual faculty members for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance.

David Hage, Ph.D., Hewett University Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Hage, who joined the UNL faculty in 1989, has carried out research at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry and clinical chemistry for more than 30 years. His work has focused on the creation and development of new detection and separation methods for chemical and biochemical analysis for important applications in the life sciences, pharmaceutical research and environmental testing. He has published more than 285 scientific papers, book chapters and books in these areas. He has also edited a handbook in the area of affinity chromatography, his field of scientific expertise, and he holds six patents in this area. In addition, Hage has written several college-level textbooks on the topic of chemical analysis. Hage is currently editor-in-chief for the Journal of Chromatography B and is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry.

Dennis Molfese, Ph.D., Mildred Francis Thompson Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Molfese was the founding director of UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior. A developmental cognitive neuropsychologist who has been continuously funded since 1975, Molfese has extensive experience in conducting large-scale, longitudinal studies recording brain imaging and behavior measures from newborn and older infants, toddlers, preschool, school-age children, adolescents and adults. He revolutionized understanding of brain structure-function relations across the lifespan and broke new ground investigating dynamic brain changes associated with the short- and long-term development of language, social interactions, memory and cognitive processes from birth into adulthood. In research supported by NASA and NIH, Molfese and colleagues noted the detrimental effects of sleep loss on daily functioning and problem-solving skills on earth and in outer space. Molfese’s research using neuropsychological and multiple brain imaging techniques to study the effects of concussions on athletes noted even one concussion significantly impairs brain functioning.


Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA): recognizes faculty members who have extended their academic expertise beyond the boundaries of the university in ways that have enriched the broader community.

Joseph Evans, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the Munroe-Meyer Institute and the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, University of Nebraska Medical Center: A program innovator, Evans developed the pediatric integrated behavioral health in primary care model at UNMC that has been extended to 42 integrated care programs in Nebraska and numerous other states. Children, adolescents and families from more than 225 cities, towns and villages have been provided behavioral health services thanks to the program Evans developed. Evans was also instrumental in establishing the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology, the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute doctoral program in applied behavior analysis, and the MMI Autism Care for Toddlers program. He has been the recipient of more than $19 million in federal and state grants and contracts. Evans is committed to improving access to behavioral health for underserved rural and inner-city residents and has been widely recognized for his work in improving the quantity and quality of the behavioral health workforce.

Nicholas Stergiou, Ph.D., Professor and Distinguished Community Research Chair in Biomechanics; Director of the Biomechanics Research Building and the Center for Research in Human Movement Variability; and Assistant Dean of the Division of Biomechanics and Research Development, University of Nebraska at Omaha: Stergiou is the founding chair of the first-ever academic biomechanics department that graduates students with a B.S. in biomechanics. His research focuses on understanding variability inherent in human movement and he is an international authority in the study of nonlinear dynamics. Stergiou’s work spans from infant development to older adult fallers, and has impacted training techniques of surgeons and treatment and rehabilitation of pathologies like peripheral arterial disease. Stergiou has received more than $30 million in funding from the NIH, NASA, NSF and other agencies. He received the largest grant in UNO history, a $10.1 million NIH grant that allowed him to develop the Center for Research in Human Movement Variability. Stergiou also has several inventions and leveraged private giving to build the 23,000-square-foot Biomechanics Research Building that opened in 2013 as the first building in the world dedicated to biomechanics research.

Released by University of Nebraska.

Adam Thimmesch

Thimmesch's Article Published in Michigan Law Review Online

30 Mar 2018    

Professor Adam Thimmesch’s recent essay, A Unifying Approach To Nexus Under The Dormant Commerce Clause, was published in the Michigan Law Review Online. 

The essay evaluates the Supreme Court’s nexus requirement for purposes of defining states’ taxing jurisdiction under the dormant Commerce Clause and proposes that the Court should abandon that requirement in South Dakota v. Wayfair, a case that it will hear this term. The Essay analyzes the nexus requirement in the context of the Court’s tax and non-tax dormant Commerce Clause cases and argues that eliminating that requirement would be normatively desirable and bring much needed uniformity to this area of law.

Nebraska Law Mediation Tournament Teams

Nebraska Law Places 7th at International Law School Mediation Tournament, Receives Spirit of Mediation Award

13 Mar 2018    

The Nebraska Law team of Brian Lisonbee, Morgan Kristensen and Emily Wood, all 3Ls, earned 7th best mediation team in a field of 50 teams. 

The second Nebraska Law team of Ashley Fischer, Mark Foxall and Megan Meyerson, also all 3Ls, were awarded the Spirit of Mediation Award. This award is voted on by all competition participants, and is given to the team that best embodies what it means to be a peacekeeper.

The teams are coached by Professor Kristen Blankley.

The International Law School Mediation Tournament has held at Loyola Law College in Chicago. The competition was made up of 50 teams from the United States and around the world. 

Bijan Koohmaraie

Koohmaraie, '14, Featured in Congressional Quarterly 18 to Watch in '18

12 Mar 2018    

Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Magazine featured Bijan Koohmaraie, '14, is the 18 to Watch in '18. Article below. 

It was trial by fire for House Energy and Commerce staffer Bijan Koohmaraie, whose first day of work as counsel for the committee involved a markup on health legislation that lasted 27 hours.

Things barely slowed down from there.

Koohmaraie, 29, immersed himself in work on regulations of autonomous cars, which led to more late nights and “a lot of weekends” to put together a bill the committee unanimously reported favorably and the House passed by voice vote.

The bill (HR 3388) became the first autonomous vehicle-related legislation to pass in either chamber. Its easy passage belied the behind-the-scenes work Koohmaraie led to draft a consensus bill. Committee staff held hundreds of meetings with interested parties. Late in the process, as staffers closed in on consensus language, those meetings were bipartisan, which helped pave the way for speedy approval in committee and on the floor.

One need only look to the Senate, where a handful of senators have for months been blocking a similar bill (S 1445) from passage by unanimous consent, to grasp the challenge of writing one with near-universal approval.

A Nebraska native, Koohmaraie got his start in politics interning for home-state Republican Rep. Adrian Smith during his junior year at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He was hired on as staff assistant for the summer before returning for his senior year.

He later went to law school at the University of Nebraska and worked as an assistant attorney general in the state.

Koohmaraie was tasked with spearheading work on autonomous vehicles despite having no background in technology, simply because that’s what needed to be done when he was hired early last year, he says.

“When I got here, this was kind of the hot issue that the subcommittee was working on and I really just kind of dove in,” he says.

Koohmaraie read up on automotive regulations like the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which had to be tweaked to realize the benefits autonomous vehicles could offer, and he proved to be a quick study.

His training as an assistant attorney general provided valuable skills for navigating Congress, he says. Meeting with autonomous vehicle experts wasn’t much different for him than taking depositions on lots of other subjects unfamiliar to him.

“When you depose expert witnesses, you have to become almost an expert in their field,” he says.

Along with the expertise, Koohmaraie developed an enthusiasm for the subject. Driverless cars, he says, have the potential to save thousands of lives and improve many more.

Koohmaraie says the work on the first bill on driverless cars is just a starting point.

“This isn’t the last word on self-driving,” he says. “It’s the first word.”
"18 to Watch in '18: Bijan Koohmaraie." CQ Magazine (March 5, 2018).
Michael Orcutt

Orcutt, '07, Provides Expert Testimony Before the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee on Statute of Limitations for Appraisers and Mortgage Brokers

12 Mar 2018    

Michael Orcutt, ’07, a Partner in the Phoenix office of the Lipson Neilson law firm, was selected by the Coalition of Arizona Appraisers to provide testimony before the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill sponsored by Senator Kate Brophy McGee that would create a statute of limitations specific to appraisers, appraisal management companies, and mortgage brokers. Mr. Orcutt testified in favor of this bill on February 15, 2018, and after his testimony the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill. Senator Brophy McGee has asked Mr. Orcutt to continue his involvement and work with her as a primary supporter of this bill as it progresses.

Mr. Orcutt is an experienced commercial litigator with a particular emphasis on real estate, construction, and insurance matters. He has written several published articles and is the co-author of the Real Estate Broker Liability chapter of the Arizona Tort Law Handbook published by the State Bar.

Founded in 1985, the Lipson Neilson law firm has grown from three founding members to thirty-four attorneys located in three states, Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan. The firm is widely known for its excellence in the professional liability lines, offering invaluable insight and experience to its clients across all industries. You can learn more at

Damon Hudson and Kelsey Arends

Hudson and Arends Win Regional Client Counseling Competition

19 Feb 2018    

The team of Damon Hudson and Kelsey Arends, both 2L students, won the American Bar Association's 2018 Region 8 Client Counseling Competition. This marks Nebraska's 17th regional win. They will move on to represent Nebraska Law and Region 8 at the 2018 ABA National Client Counseling Competition in Durham, North Carolina in March. There they will face the winning teams from each of the ABA's other 11 regional competitions. 

Megan Meyerson and Lora Waeckerle, 3Ls, and Ken Yoho and Isaiah Frohling, 2Ls, also competed in the Region 8 competition. The teams are coached by professors Alan Frank, Craig Lawson, and Brett Stohs, and adjunct professor Audrey Polt, '12.

The 2017-2018 topic is intentional torts.

Joe Kelly

Kelly, '81, Confirmed as U.S. Attorney for Nebraska

16 Feb 2018    

The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly, '81, to serve as U.S. attorney for Nebraska.

The nomination was approved by unanimous consent.

Kelly was nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed Robert Stuart, who has served as acting U.S. attorney since Deborah Gilg, '77, retired last March.

Kelly was elected as county attorney in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Before his election, he served as chief deputy county attorney and has more than 30 years of experience as a prosecutor in the county attorney's office.


Nebraska Law Students Volunteer with Omaha Public School’s THRIVE Leadership Club

15 Feb 2018    

Twenty-eight law students and four College of Law professors volunteered at Benson High, Omaha Northwest, and Omaha South, as part of each schools’ THRIVE Leadership Club programming.

THRIVE is an after-school leadership program in five Omaha Public Schools: Benson, Bryan, Central, Northwest and South high schools. The club is designed to help students become leaders who give back to the community through acts of volunteer service. Students learn to communicate with each other, work together to accomplish a common goal, and to make good decisions in all areas of their lives.

During the events with Nebraska Law, high school students listened to presentations on responsible renting. They were then given hypothetical situations based on common problems Omaha renters face. The high school students were broken into groups, each led by Nebraska Law students, to work through how these situations should be handled. Each group presented a skit based on their situation.

Nebraska Law Students at THRIVE

The Nebraska Law students were also able to speak to the high school students about the Underserved Law Opportunities Program, share what law school is like, and discuss different types of legal careers.

Professor von der Dunk

Von der Dunk’s Article Published in Michigan State International Law Review

15 Feb 2018    

Professor Frans von der Dunk’s article Asteroid Mining: International and National Legal Aspects, was published in the Michigan State International Law Review.

Asteroid mining is one of the more challenging issues not only technology speaking but also legally speaking: the Outer Space Treaty, the sole international legal document in force relevant to the matter, only provides for fairly general legal principles. The particular interpretation thereof for asteroid mining consequently is currently a matter for debate; the current article defends the proposition that the most sensible and appropriate interpretation thereof allows for commercial asteroid mining under national licenses as long as such licenses provide for sufficient supervision and legal control over the operation by the licensing state and guarantee compliance of licensees with the few more substantive requirements currently imposed by international space law, such as concerning liability for damage and the avoidance of harmful interference with other legitimate space activities. Even the Moon Agreement, though not in force as for the major spacefaring countries, seems to allow such a conclusion, much as it seems to aim for an international licensing regime as opposed to national discretion to license.


Nebraska College of Law hosts Australian law students and faculty

12 Feb 2018    

Twenty-one undergraduate law students from the University of Adelaide visited the Nebraska College of Law as part of their Space Law and National Security Tour 

The students, accompanied by Professor Dale Stephens and Dean Melissa de Zwart, also made stops in Washington D.C., and Cambridge, Mass. The Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program and the International Law Students Association are hosting the group.

Since 2008, Nebraska has been the only law college in that nation to offer an LL.M. degree in space, cyber, and telecommunications law. The program, available on-campus or as an interactive online program, allows students to bridge the gap between law and technology. While in Nebraska, Adelaide students met with Professors Jack Beard and Matthew Schaefer to focus on the laws and policies specifically relating to national security and space law.

In addition, the Australian students attended law classes, learned about legal structures at the Nebraska Capitol and United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, visited the Strategic Air & Space Museum, and experienced the daily life of an American law student. 

Professors of the Year

Wittlin, Thimmesch Recognized for Outstanding Teaching

12 Feb 2018    

On Friday, February 9, College of Law students and faculty gathered at the Talon Room for the Student Bar Association’s annual Meeting of the Minds. Each year the event serves as an opportunity for students to recognize faculty with the Outstanding 1L Professor and Outstanding Upperclass Professor awards. This year’s awards were given to Professor Maggie Wittlin and Professor Adam Thimmesch, respectively. This is the second year in a row that these two professors have been honored with these awards, and the third time Thimmesch has been recognized as the Outstanding Upperclass Professor. In addition to these traditional awards, the students honored Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Marc Pearce for his tremendous contributions to the academic success of students. 

In addition to the faculty awards, students are also recognized for their academic achievements. This year the following students received the following awards:

McGrath North Mullin & Kratz Legal Writing Award:    
Troy Anderson
Mary Marcum
Claire E. Monroe
Christopher Page
John Rockenback
Sami Schmit             
Nick Knihinsky
Michaela Lutz
Lauren Nichols

Silver Quill Award:  Troy Anderson

Harold W. Kauffman Best Brief: John Rockenback, David Shea
Professor Arthur Bruce Winter Constitutional Law Scholar Award: John Rockenback   
Great Plains Federal Tax Institute Philip G. Johnson Scholarship: Gregory Moran
Great Plains Federal Tax Institute David A. Ludtke Scholarship: Brittney Moriarty
Marvin & Virginia Schmid Honor Scholars:
Alexander Clauson
James Michael Hannon
Sydney M. Huss
Adam J. Kost
Megan R. Meyerson
Gregory M. Moran
Chelsea Avent
Kalli Gloudemans
Nicholas Meyesenberg
William Nelson
Jeffrey Story
Jared Koch (Editor-in-Chief, Nebraska Law Review)
Margaret Jackson (Chair, Nebraska Moot Court Board)
College of Law

Potuto Discusses NCAA Role in Nassar Investigation

02 Feb 2018    

As the investigation of Michigan State University and Larry Nassar continues, Professor Jo Potuto discusses the role of the NCAA infractions committee.

Media coverage is available below.

Associated Press

The New York Times

CBS Sports

Inside Higher Ed

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Professor Eric Berger

Berger's Article Published in BYU Law Review

25 Jan 2018    

Professor Eric Berger’s article When Facts Don’t Matter was published in the BYU Law Review.

The article studies the Roberts Court’s penchant for brushing aside inconvenient facts in some high-profile constitutional cases.  Using three prominent decisions as case studies, it argues that a majority of Justices too often rely on novel constitutional doctrine to dismiss congressional findings and other facts. This collective disdain for facts muddles constitutional law, aggrandizes the judiciary, and privileges ideology over evidence. Of course, the relevance of particular facts is ultimately a legal question, so the Court clearly enjoys the prerogative to determine which findings have constitutional salience. That said, the Court still owes Congress and the country a more careful explanation when it deems irrelevant the very facts that prompted legislative action in the first place.

Rural Law Opportunities Program

Rural Law Opportunities Program Named 2018 American Bar Association Brown Select Award Recipient

18 Jan 2018    

The Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP) was named the 2018 American Bar Association (ABA) Brown Select Award recipient. Over 3,000 people voted to determine the winner.

The award is a component of the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access, which is an annual award that recognizes programs and projects that enable affordable access to legal services for those of moderate income in ways that are exemplary and replicable. 

All nominees for the Louis M. Brown Award are entered in the running for the Brown Select Award, which is determined by online votes from the public. This component of the award was developed to help elevate the awareness of the Award and advance insights into the work of the nominees. The Rural Law Opportunities Program was recognized as the Brown Select winner out of 43 nominees for the Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.

“This program exemplifies the tremendous value our colleges bring to the State of Nebraska,” said Stan Carpenter, Chancellor of the Nebraska State College System. “With the shortage of attorneys in rural Nebraska, this partnership benefits our students, institutions, and the community at large. We are honored to receive this prestigious award during the program’s first year of operation.”

The Rural Law Opportunities Program (RLOP) at Chadron State, Wayne State and the University of Nebraska at Kearney is a unique partnership with the University of Nebraska College of Law that aims to increase access to legal representation for all Nebraskans. Students from rural Nebraska are selected by each of the institutions and guaranteed a spot in the University of Nebraska College of Law if they maintain good grades in college, complete their undergraduate requirements and score well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Richard Moberly, Dean of the University of Nebraska College of the Law said, “The University of Nebraska College of Law appreciates being part of a partnership focused on bringing great students into the legal profession while also helping solve the problem that Nebraska’s rural areas do not have enough lawyers." The undergraduate program includes mentoring from the University of Nebraska College of Law, trips to the law school, LSAT preparatory courses, and undergraduate internships. Once these students complete their law program, the hope is that they will then return to rural areas in Nebraska to practice law. 

Initial discussions for the RLOP program began during the summer of 2016, implementation occurred fall of 2016, and the inaugural class of RLOP candidates was welcomed this past fall 2017. Each year, Chadron State, Wayne State and the University of Nebraska at Kearney will select five high school seniors to participate in the RLOP program. 

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services reviews the nominations and selects the Brown Award recipient. The awards will be presented at the ABA Midyear Meeting on February 2nd in Vancouver, Canada. The RLOP will receive the Brown Select Award and the Chicago Bar Foundation will receive the 2018 Louis M. Brown Award. The American Bar Association will also acknowledge the British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal and Chi City Legal for Meritorious Recognition.

Updated DACA Information

Updated Information on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

16 Jan 2018    

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently posted an advisory reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  This reinstatement is the result of a recent federal court decision that prevented USCIS from ending DACA, at least for the time being.  A copy of the federal court order can be found at

 The full advisory reinstating the DACA program can be found on the USCIS web site at:

The following individuals are eligible to reapply for DACA:

  1. Those who otherwise meet the guidelines of the original DACA program.  Those requirements can be found here:

  2. Those who had previously been granted DACA.  Individuals who have never received DACA before cannot now apply.  However, those who previously received DACA before can apply for it again, provided they meet the original program eligibility guidelines, even if their DACA status has already expired.  The USCIS advisory divides those eligible to reapply into two categories:
  • Individuals whose DACA status expired on or after September 15, 2016.  Those individuals should file their applications asrenewal applications.
  • Individuals whose DACA status expired before September 15, 2016.  Those individuals should file their applications as “initial requests.”

The USCIS web site has links to the forms and instructions necessary to complete both renewal and “initial request” applications.  Those who wish to apply should do so quickly, since the federal court litigation is ongoing and it is unclear how long USCIS may be required to accept applications.