Foundation Facts
December 2011

It is my great pleasure to bring you holiday wishes from the Bar Foundation!

Since our last newsletter, the 2011 State Mock Trial Championship named the V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School "Green" team as the winner of the annual competition.  The Ogallala High School team was named as the runner-up.  You may learn more about this event and all of the teams that won their regional competitions and participated in the State Tournament by reading the article below.

Soon, we will begin preparing for the 2012 LRE season by planning activities that relate to the annual theme, "Democracy and the Duty to Vote."  Secretary of State John Gale and his staff are cooperating with the Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court to develop the theme and related educational enrichment programs.

At the moment, it appears that Mother Nature will be cooperating by giving us good weather for traveling in the upcoming week.  Whether you are headed to tropical climes or staying by the fireside, I wish you joyful celebrations!   



Executive Director  


Bar Foundation Mourns Loss of Past President Tom Davies
Memorial Services Held December 22

Tom Davies accepts the Foundation Award in 2007  
Tom Davies passed away on December 18 at the age of 96.  He was an early member of the Bar Foundation and served as its President from 1973 to 1977.  This was the period during which the building of the Hruska Law Center went from a dream to a reality.

Davies attained the Distinguished Fellow status, and he was given the Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.  In 2007, Chief Justice Mike Heavican recognized Davies at the Fellows Dinner, where Davies was giving the Foundation Award, the highest honor the organization bestows.

Davies was a strong supporter of the Foundation's LRE programs, serving as a judge for the Mock Trial competition.  He was a partner in the Lincoln firm of Mattson, Ricketts, Davies, Stewart & Calkins and opened a satellite office of the firm in Hickman. 

Davies served in the Nebraska Legislature from 1949-1951.  He was also Chancellor Emeritus of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska.

In his 2007 presentation recognizing Davies, Heavican said, "Tom's reputation for common sense, patience, tact, and understanding throughout his professional career speaks for itself.  His dedication and professionalism...serve as a model for future generations of lawyers."

Davies will be sadly missed by his many friends and colleagues.

The Foundation respectfully recalls the memory of Past Presidents Bob Berkshire and George Svoboda who passed away in 2011.  They were truly of the Greatest Generation.  

In This Issue
*Foundation Mourns Loss of Past President
*Skutt Catholic Claims Third State Mock Trial Title
*Thanks to Mock Trial Benefactors
*WTP State Competition Jan. 9
Donate to the Foundation!
Contribute quickly and easily through the Bar Foundation's Website.  Give a general gift, a Legacy of Liberty gift, or leave a bequest.  The Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions may be deductible as allowed by law.

Skutt Catholic Claims Third State Mock Trial Title
Ogallala High School Team Named Runner-up 


The "Green" team from V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha, has been awarded the Nebraska High School State Mock Trial title for 2011. This Skutt team defeated the Ogallala High School team in final round competition on Wednesday, December 7, in Papillion. Judge Lyle Strom, Federal District Court for the District of Nebraska, presided over the competition at the Sarpy County Courthouse.


The Skutt team, which presented the plaintiff's side of a civil libel lawsuit, has won the privilege to represent Nebraska at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 3-6, 2012. A team from Skutt High School also won the state competition and competed at the national level in 2008 and 2011.  


The Skutt team's attorney coaches are Patrick Borchers and Judy Borchers.  Mary Meyer is the teacher coach. Chrissa Schlake is the Ogallala team's teacher coach, and Michael Samuelson is the team's attorney coach.


Taking third place in the championship was Chadron High School. Ainsworth High School was the fourth place winner. Other schools winning their regional Mock Trial competition and competing in the State Championship received honorable mention. They are Dundy County Stratton, Northwest of Grand Island, Battle Creek, Scotus Central Catholic, Platteview, Fillmore Central, York, and the Skutt Catholic "White" team.   


View State Mock Trial photos online.        

An Ogallala attorney questions a witness 
Skutt MT Closing
A Skutt attorney gives closing argument 

Mock Trial Project Appreciates Its Benefactors  

Charitable Foundation, Attorneys, and Educational Institutions Contribute to Program 


Sarah Richardson, Creighton University, introduces a video at Mock Trial Banquet
Dean Daryl Hansen, Metro Community College, announces scholarships
The Nebraska High School Mock Trial Project is fortunate to have four major financial supporters of the program.

Annually, the Winthrop and France Lane Foundation contributes $3,000 to defray the cost of travel for Greater Nebraska teams to participate in the state competition.  The Nebraska Council of School Attorneys gives $1,000 each year toward travel to the National High School Mock Trial Championship by the team representing Nebraska.

This year, and in two previous years, Creighton University has sponsored the annual Mock Trial Banquet by contributing $3,500 toward the event.  In 2009, Metropolitan Community College awarded scholarships to each student member of the Mock Trial state championship team.  This year, the College awarded scholarships for 12 credit hours to the winning team and scholarships for 6 credit hours to the runner-up team.

The Bar Foundation, and certainly the Mock Trial students, greatly appreciate these most generous gifts.  Thank you!
State We the People Hearings Set for January 9
Seven Teams Set to Compete on Wesleyan Campus

State We the People Coordinator Pam Hastings Carrier is busy preparing for the annual competition, which will showcase students' knowledge of six units of study of the United States Constitution.

Lincoln's Southeast High School will enter two teams in the competition, and the following schools will each enter one team each:  Lincoln Southwest, Lincoln East, Holdrege, Skutt Catholic, and Wilcox-Hildreth.  The winner of the state competition will represent Nebraska at the national competition in Washington, DC, in the spring.  Lincoln's East High School is the defending state champion.

Justice John Gerrard, Nebraska Supreme Court, will address the students at the awards luncheon, after which the new state champions will be named.

A Special Thank You for Enhanced Dues
Record Number of Contributions at This Level in 2011

The Bar Foundation most sincerely appreciates the generosity of all Fellows, and is especially grateful to all of you who contributed in the "Enhanced Dues" category.  Each dollar you contribute helps the Foundation helps educate more young Nebraskans about the law and promote programs that encourage civic learning and participation.  On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you so very much!  
About the Foundation's Programs
If you have questions about the Foundation's programs of Law-Related Education, please contact me at

1-800-773-5396 or 402-475-1042. 

Nebraska State Bar Foundation
635 S. 14th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Nebraska State Bar Foundation