Foundation Facts
November 2012


This Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for many things.  Among those at the top of the list is the freedom we enjoy in this great country!  Having promoted the law-related education theme of "Democracy and the Duty to Vote" throughout much of this year, I am especially grateful that we are able to select national, state, and local leaders in relative peace and harmony, while being able to express our own opinions without fear.


The Foundation staff is busy preparing for State Mock Trial.  The 2012 Mock Trial championship team will be announced after the final round of competition in Omaha on December 5.  The winning team will represent Nebraska at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis in May 2013.  Stay tuned to find out which of the 12 regional winners will win the title!  


Well, it's almost time to thaw that turkey and bake the pumpkin pies.  I hope you have a bountiful feast and a meaningful celebration with friends and family at this time of thanks giving!  




Executive Director  


New Foundation Officers Elected
Gary Radil Is New President

At the annual board meeting of the Bar Foundation on November 7, Omaha attorney Gary W. Radil was elected to a two-year term as President of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation.  He succeeds Kile W. Johnson of Lincoln.  Radil thanked Johnson for his devotion of time and energy to the office, and presented him with a gift.

Other officers elected at the meeting:
  • Stanley C. Goodwin, McCook - Vice President
  • Charles F. Gotch, Omaha - Secretary
  • Steven E. Guenzel, Lincoln - Treasurer
  • Robert D. Mullin, Jr., Omaha - Asst. Treasurer 

2012 Class of Foundation Fellows Announced
Class of 30 Named at Legacy of Liberty Breakfast

On October 25, Foundation Fellow Bob Mullin, Jr., of Omaha announced the names of the 2012 class of Fellows as their photos and firm or business affiliations were projected on the screen.  Mullin outlined the criteria for Fellows selection as being 1) integrity and character, 2) distinction in the profession or community, 3) contributions to the profession or community, and 4) contribution to the Foundation.

The following are members of the 2012 Class of Fellows:   


Virginia A. Albers, Omaha - Partner, Lieben Whitted  

Christina L. Ball, Lincoln - Partner, Baylor Evnen  

Trenten P. Bausch, Omaha - Partner, Cline Williams  

John H. Bergmeyer, Lincoln - Shareholder, Harding & Shultz  

Jefferson Downing, Lincoln - Shareholder, Keating O'Gara  

David M. Dvorak, Omaha - Shareholder, Koley Jessen  

Shurie R. Graeve, Blair - Washington County Attorney  

William F. Hargens, Omaha - Shareholder, McGrath North  

James S. Jansen, Omaha - General Counsel, Creighton University  

Thomas E. Johnson, Omaha - Partner, Baird Holm  

Senator Steven M. Lathrop, Omaha - Shareholder, Hauptman O'Brien  

Thomas J. Malicki, Omaha - Partner, Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman  

Mary Donovan Martello, Omaha - Shareholder, Koley Jessen  

Michael J. McQuillan, Ogallala - Shareholder, McQuillan Law Office  

Michelle B. Miller-McCoy, Omaha - Partner, Carlson and Burnett  

Pamela Epp Olsen, Scottsbluff - Partner, Cline Williams  

Stephen G. Olson ll, Omaha - Partner, Engles Ketcham  

James A. Overcash, Lincoln - Partner, Woods & Aitken  

Douglas G. Pauley, Hastings - Shareholder, Conway Pauley & Johnson  

Trev E. Peterson, Lincoln -  Partner, Knudsen Law Firm  

Chad P. Richter, Omaha - Partner, Jackson Lewis  

James E. Schaefer, Omaha - Partner, Schaefer Shapiro  

Hon. Tami K. Schendt, Broken Bow - County Judge, 8th Judicial District  

Richard T. Seckman, Schuyler - Partner, Karel and Seckman  

Robert R. Siffring, Omaha - Vice President and General Counsel, Oriental Trading Company  

Hon. Ross A. Stoffer, Madison - County Judge, 7th Judicial District  

Boyd W. Strope, O'Neill - Partner, Strope & Gotschall  

Nicole B. Theophilus, Omaha - Senior Vice President, Human Resources, ConAgra Foods  

Christopher J. Tjaden, Omaha - Shareholder, Gross & Welch  

Nancy R. Wynner, Lincoln - Partner, DeMars Gordon  


Congratulations to these new Fellows!  

Veteran Mock Trial Attorney Coaches Recognized at Breakfast
165 Years of Combined Service as MT Volunteers
L to R:  Gordon Fillman for Jane Brogan, Mike Smith, Judge Bob O'Neal, George Zeilinger, Lori Zeilinger, and Mike Dunn 

On October 25, at the 10th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast in La Vista, eight Mock Trial attorney coaches were recognized for individual service in excess of 15 years.  Judge Lyle E. Strom thanked the attorneys on behalf of the Bar Foundation and read their names and years of service as they came forward to receive a gift of appreciation.

Present at the breakfast were Lori Zeilinger, 15 years; George Zeilinger, 15 years; Mike Dunn, 21 years; Judge Bob O'Neal, 25 years; Michael Smith, 26 years.  Foundation Fellow Gordon Fillman accepted the recognition on behalf of Jane Brogan with 18 years of service.

Unable to be present were David Streich, 22 years and Jan Krotter Chvala, 23 years.  The combined total years of service of this group of eight attorneys is 165 years!

Nancy Diekmann, teacher coach with Mike Smith for his 26 years of service, was also recognized at the breakfast.  Thanks once again to all of you for your exceptional contributions to Nebraska high school students who pursue excellence through Mock Trial!

Donate to the Foundation's Infinity Fund!
Contribute quickly and easily through the Bar Foundation's Website.  Give to the Infinity Fund in recognition of the Foundation's 50th anniversary.  Or 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 Mock Trial Coaches Honored  
Four-time State Championship Team Leaders 


L to R:  Mary Meyers, Judy Borchers, Patrick Borchers

Teacher coach Mary Meyers and attorney coaches Judy Borchers and Patrick Borchers were recently recognized as the leadership team that has taken the V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School Mock Trial team to the national competition on four occasions.  Judge Lyle E. Strom lauded the trio at the Foundation's Legacy of Liberty Breakfast on October 25.  Skutt Catholic won state competitions in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Patrick Borchers took the opportunity to compliment the Mock Trial program and the worthy opponents the Skutt team has met at the Nebraska state competition.

Deputy Commissioner, Dept. of Education, Addresses Legacy of Liberty Breakfast
Comments on Importance of Civic Education

Dr. Scott Swisher

Dr. Scott Swisher, Deputy Commissioner, Nebraska Department of Education, extolled the importance of Civics in the curriculum of Nebraska school students.  He quoted Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, saying that knowledge of our system of government is not "handed down through the gene must be learned."

Swisher's comments followed the announcement of the Bar Foundation's 2013 LRE theme, "Civic Education:  Keeping Our Democracy Alive."  The Foundation will work with the Department of Education whenever possible and will keep observe the new Social Studies and Civics Standards that are soon to emerge.  Alignment with the Standards will be sought for the Foundation's LRE programs, once the such standards are approved.

The Foundation's major LRE programs such as the Law-Day Essay Contest, Constitution Day, and Mock Trial will dovetail with the new LRE theme in the coming year.

State Mock Trial Championship - Dec. 4 & 5
Trials at Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse, Omaha

The first two rounds of the state competition will be held on December 4 at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse in Omaha.  Participating in the competition will be the 12 teams that won their respective regional competitions that took place in October and November.

That evening, all of the teams and their volunteer leaders will be recognized at the annual Mock Trial Banquet at Embassy Suites - Downtown/Old Market.  The banquet is sponsored by Creighton University.

On December 5, all teams will compete in the third round of competition, and following that round, the top two teams will be announced.  They will meet in the final round of Mock Trial at 1:30 p.m.  At the conclusion of the trial, the new state champion team will named.  This team will represent Nebraska at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Indianapolis in May.
Fellows Dinner - April 12, 2013
Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Holland Center

I hope you are making plans to attend the 2013 Annual Fellows Dinner at which the 2012 class of Fellows will be formally inducted into the organization.   We are pleased to announce that the event will be on Friday, April 12, at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha.  At the dinner, we will recognize Foundation award winners and afterward, enjoy the New Orleans beat of the famous Preservation Jazz Band.  This will be a "swinging" way to begin a year of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Bar Foundation.
50th Anniversary Founders Dinner - Nov. 15, 2013
Embassy Suites - La Vista

It's not too early to make start making plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation at it Founders Dinner next November 15.  We will honor those visionaries who established the organization in 1963, enjoy entertainment, and renew old acquaintances.  Please plan to join us in celebrating 50 year of service to the public and profession by the Bar Foundation.
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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