Foundation Facts
September 2013

Well, school has begun again, and the Foundation is ready to help students and teachers celebrate Constitution Day on September 17.  By showcasing a naturalization ceremony,  we hope offer a different perspective on what it means to be a United States citizen.  We sincerely thank Judge John Gerrard for his willingness to work with the Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court to present this program.

The beginning of a new school year also signals the start of a new Mock Trial season.  The new case has been posted, and we believe it will be a big hit with the teams.  The Foundation is grateful to the dedicated Case Committee for the writing of this year's Mock Trial problem.

On October 3, we will host the 11th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast, and on November 15, we will celebrate the Foundation's 50th Anniversary Founders Dinner.  Please see the details below and reserve these dates on your calendar.

I look forward to seeing you at the dinner as well as the annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast!  




Executive Director  


Gift to Fund Update and Reprint of Reaching the Age of Majority Booklet
Contribution Given by Virginia C. Schmid

A recent contribution to the Marvin G. and Virginia C. Schmid Law-Related Education Endowment will fund a review and redesign of the popular Reaching the Age of Majority booklet.  A committee led by Lincoln attorney Kara Ronnau will examine the booklet's contents, taking into consideration changes in the law made by the 2013 Unicameral.  The volunteers may recommend the addition of new chapters and will consider design changes. 

It is expected that the updated booklet will be ready for distribution during the spring 2014 semester.

2013 Mock Trial Case Now Available Online   

Comfort Dog "Duke" Plays Starring Role

Mock Trial Case Committee Chair Tom Keefe comments that the writing of this year's Mock Trial problem has been a lot of fun for the committee members.  It involves a housing discrimination complaint filed by a resident who has been evicted for having the dog in the apartment.  I hope you will take the opportunity to view the case on the Foundation's website.

The 12 regional competitions will begin October 1 and will culminate by November 26.  On December 10 and 11, the winners from each region will compete in the State Championship in Lincoln.  The winner of this competition will represent Nebraska at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, May 8-10, 2014.

The Bar Foundation thanks all of the members of the committee for their hard work:
  • Tom Keefe - Lincoln, Chair
  • John Jelkin - Lincoln, Co-Chair
  • Mike Gooch - Omaha 
  • Kristi Egger-Brown - Lincoln 
  • Lory Pasold - Lincoln 
  • Stephanie Hupp - Lincoln 
  • Joel Nelson - Lincoln  
  • Tim Butz - Omaha, Special Consultant 
Naturalization Ceremony to Be Focus of Constitution Day Program
Hon. John Gerrard to Preside at Nebraska Wesleyan University 

The Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court are planning a Constitution Day program that will allow students to observe our country's newest citizens taking their oath of allegiance at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln on September 17.

It is expected that three classes from Lincoln Public Schools Focus program will be on hand to first experience a lesson on immigration and citizenship. The students will take a tour of campus and enjoy a brown bag luncheon presentation by Lincoln attorney Larry Ruth and Nebraska Supreme Court interpreter Raul Escobar.  In the afternoon, they will observe the naturalization ceremony.  Judge Gerrard has graciously agreed to host a brief Q & A session for students following the ceremony and presentation of certificates.   

The Foundation annually prepares a list of Constitution Day resources for teachers.  This year's list will include information about the naturalization test that immigrants must pass before being admitted to citizenship.  Access the Naturalization Self Test if you would like to check your own recollection of American history and civics.  

11th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast is October 3
Embassy Suites - La Vista, 7:45 a.m.

You are cordially invited to attend the Legacy of Liberty Breakfast, which focuses on the Foundation's Law-Related Education (LRE) programs.  At the breakfast, we will:

  • Announce the 2013 Class of Fellows
  • Recognize long-term Mock Trial Regional Coordinators and other volunteers
  • Present Silver Quill awards
  • Announce the 2014 LRE theme
  • Hear from Skutt Catholic's Mock Trial team captains - 3rd place team at the National Championship

You may register for this complimentary breakfast via the Bar Association's Annual Meeting registration form or by emailing Maggie at the Foundation office. 

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. 

50th Anniversary Founders Dinner to Feature Great Plains Author Dan O'Brien
November 15, 2013 - Embassy Suites - La Vista

Dan O'Brien 
Author, wildlife biologist, and falconer Dan O'Brien will inspire us with his award-winning stories at the anniversary dinner.  Having been admitted to Law School at the University of South Dakota in the early 1970s, O'Brien chose instead to start writing books.  Asked if he regrets his decision, he comments, "depends on what day you ask..."

O'Brien, one of the most powerful literary voices on the Great Plains, is described by the New York Times as "a writer with a keen and poetic eye."  His non-fiction book. Buffalo for the Broken Heart, explores the history of his ranch (the Broken Heart) and the conversion from beef to buffalo.  This book was chosen as One Book South Dakota in 2009. 

O'Brien is a two-time winner of the National Endowment for the Arts individual artist's grant, a two time winner of the Western Heritage Award, and a 2001 recipient of the Bush Creative Arts Fellowship.
  His novels include The Spirit of the Hills, In the Center of the Nation, Brendan Prairie, The Contract Surgeon, The Indian Agent, and Stolen Horses.  You may sample O'Brien's writing by reading his blog posted on the Wild Idea Buffalo website.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner.  Prior to O'Brien's presentation, the Foundation will honor its founders and recognize contributors of $1,000 or more to its Infinity Fund. 

A block of rooms has been reserved at Embassy Suites - La Vista for the evening of November 15 at the rate of $109, plus tax, for single or double occupancy.  A cooked-to-order breakfast is included in the room rate.  Click here to access online registration.  Reservations may also be made by phoning 1-800-EMBASSY, and requesting the group name "Nebraska State Bar Foundation."  Deadline for reserving at this rate is October 31.

Watch for your invitation to arrive in the mail this fall.  For groups of 10 people, tables may be reserved in advance.  Please contact me no later than October 17 to reserve a table. 

I hope you will plan to join us for this evening of celebration and entertainment.
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