Foundation Facts
December 2013

Here we are near the close of another year.  And this has truly been a landmark year for the Bar Foundation as it celebrated its 50th anniversary.  In this issue we highlight the 50th Anniversary Founders Dinner.

Also in this issue are the results of the annual State High School Mock Trial Championship and a recap of the 11th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast.

I hope 2013 has treated you well, and I wish you all the best the New Year has to offer!




Executive Director  


Founders and Donors Honored at
50th Anniversary Dinner

November 15, 2013

Following a cocktail reception, President Gary Radil presided over the program at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in La Vista.  At the dinner, the Bar Foundation honored its founders and recognized donors to the 50th Anniversary Infinity Fund. 
Past President and Chair of the Hruska Center Building Committee Deryl Hamann and Ramona Hamann enjoy the music of Escape from AlcaJazz with  
Trudy Bredthauer.
Those recently contributing more than $1,000 to the Fund and presented with a gift from the Foundation were

Stan and Carmen Goodwin
Kile and Virginia Johnson
Ted and Laurie Kessner 
Bob and Sue Mullin
Gary and Sara Radil
Chuck and Karen Sederstrom
An anonymous donor was also recognized.

Past President Kile Johnson presents
America's Lingering Wild Great Plains,
 coauthored by Dan O'Brien, to Sara Radil and President Gary Radil
Award winning
Great Plains author Dan O'Brien shared a reading from his most recently released publication, Stolen HorsesThe book began with a characterization of the life of an aging prosecuting attorney in a fictitious northwestern Nebraska town.  His story of both good times and hard times was one with which the attorneys present could easily empathize.

Following the program, guests enjoyed a dessert buffet.  A book signing session by O'Brien and additional musical offerings from Escape from AlacaJazz concluded the evening.

Dan O'Brien signs a book for Judge Rod Anderson and his wife
Marlee Anderson 

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. 

2013 Class of Foundation Fellows Announced 
Class of 30 Named at Legacy of Liberty Breakfast

On October 3, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in La Vista, Foundation Assistant Treasurer Bob Mullin, Jr. announced the names of the 2013 class of Fellows.  Photos and firm or business names of the new Fellows were projected as their names were called.  They have been selected for 1) their 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 2013 Class of Fellows: 

Debora D. Brownyard, Lincoln - Director, Office of Dispute Resolution  

Joan M. Cannon, Omaha - Shareholder, Koley Jessen  

Ronald S. DePue, Grand Island - Partner, Shamberg Wolf McDermott & DePue  

Kelli Anne Francis, Omaha- Partner, Walentine O'Toole  

Ronald E. Frank, Omaha - Affiliate, Sodoro Law  

Hon. Jeffrey J. Funke, Papillion - District Judge, 2nd Judicial District  

Hon. James T. Gleason, Omaha - District Judge, 4th Judicial District  

Thomas A. Grennan, Omaha - Shareholder, Gross Welch  

Richard H. Hoch, Nebraska City - Partner, Hoch Partsch & Noerrlinger  

John P. Inserra, Omaha - Managing Partner, Inserra & Kelley  

Ronald C. Jensen, Omaha - Partner, Baird Holm  

Robert D. Kinsey Jr., Lincoln - Founding Partner, Kinsey Rowe  

Donald W. Kleine, Omaha - Douglas County Attorney  

Hon. James G. Kube, Norfolk - District Judge, 7th Judicial District  

John M. Lingelbach, Omaha - Partner, Koley Jessen

 Anita L. Mayo, Omaha - Owner/President, Family & Juvenile Law  

Mark E. Novotny, Omaha - Partner, Lamson Dugan & Murray  

James E. O'Connor, Omaha - Partner, Baird Holm  

Jerald L. Ostdiek, Scottsbluff - Partner/Shareholder, Douglas Kelly Ostediek  

Donald J. Pavelka Jr., Omaha - Member, Locher Pavelka  

James G. Powers, Omaha - Shareholder, McGrath North  

Jan E. Rempe, Lincoln - Career Law Clerk  

Richard L. Rice, Lincoln - Crosby Guenzel  

James E. Riha, Omaha - Partner, Schaefer Shapiro  

Jeffrey D. Sharp, Omaha - Shareholder/Principal, SilverStone Group  

R.J. Shortridge, Lincoln - Shareholder, Perry Guthery  

Hon. Susan I. Strong, Lincoln - County Judge, Lancaster County  

Karen K. Weinhold, Omaha - Shareholder, Engles Ketcham Olson  

Abbie J. Widger, Lincoln - Partner, Johnson Flodman  

Matthew H. Williams, Gothenburg - Chairman & President, Gothenburg State Bank


Mock Trial Regional Coordinators And Team Coaches Recognized at Breakfast; Skutt MT Students Speak
Three Coordinators Serve Combined 45 Years

Judge Teresa Luther, Grand Island; Judge Robert O'Neal, Papiillion; and Judge Michael Owens. Aurora,  have each served as Mock Trial Regional Coordinators for a period of 15 years.  At the annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast on October 3, Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom recognized the service of these three dedicated volunteers.  The Bar Foundation presented them with a gifts of appreciation for their recruiting volunteer judges, reserving courtrooms, and scheduling hearings among the teams in their respective regions since 1998.

Skutt Catholic attorney coaches Patrick Borchers and Judy Borchers and teacher coach Mary Meyer were honored as coaches for a team that has won four consecutive state Mock Trial titles.  Judge Strom thanked them for their service, and the Foundation presented each with a gift of appreciation.

Brianna Desa and Nate Jensen, members of the Skutt Mock Trial team that took third place in the National High School Mock Trial Championship (NHSMTC) in May 2013, shared their story about experiences at the competition in Indianapolis.  In addition to placing third overall, Desa was selected as one of the top ten attorneys at NHSMTC.  The Foundation presented a trophy to the Skutt team, all of whom were present at the breakfast. 

Omaha's Skutt Catholic Takes 2013 State  

Mock Trial Championship   

Title is Fifth Consecutive for the Skutt

Representing the defense side of the case, students from V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School of Omaha defeated the team from Omaha's Duchesne Academy to claim the 2013 Nebraska High School Mock Trial state title.  Judge Cheryl Zwart, Federal Magistrate for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, presided over the trial in Lincoln.

The Skutt team with Judge Zwart 
The two-day event on December 10 and 11 involved 12 teams from Mock Trial regions around the state.  Each team participated in three trials after which the top two teams were determined.  Teams who won their regional competitions and the right to compete on the state level were from Gering, Ogallala, Dundy County-Stratton, Ainsworth, Wilcox-Hildreth, Norfolk, Scotus Catholic of Columbus, Platteview, Johnson-Brock, Lincoln Southeast, Omaha Skutt, and Omaha Duchesne. 

The Duchesne Academy team
All teams presented a case involving a landlord-tenant matter in which the owning of a therapy dog in a "no pets allowed" apartment complex was in question.  More than 60 local attorneys volunteered their time to serve as judges for the state championship.

On the first evening of the event, students enjoyed the annual Mock Trial Banquet, sponsored by the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and its College of Law.  Susan Poser, Dean of the College of Law, shared a video presentation about the school. 

The Winthrop and Frances Lance Foundation provided a grant to help defray the travel expense of Mock Trial teams from Greater Nebraska to travel to the state competition.  The Nebraska Council of School Attorneys and the Bar Foundation are providing financial support to cover partial travel costs for the Skutt team to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Madison, Wisconsin, in May 2014. 

Attorney coaches for the Skutt team are Pat Borchers and Judy Borchers.  Mary Meyer is their teacher coach.  The Duchesne attorney coaches are Mark Laughlin,  William Dittrick, and Gerald Laughlin.  Donna Harrison is the teacher coach.

We the People State Competition - January 7, 2014 
Location is University of Nebraska - Lincoln College of Law

The Lincoln East team celebrates after taking the 2013 state title
We the People (WTP) State Coordinator Pam Carrier has announced that six teams will be participating in the 2014 WTP state competition in Lincoln on January 7.  Those teams are Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln East, Lincoln Southwest, Holdrege, Omaha Skutt - Green, and Omaha Skutt - Black.

Students will present mock congressional hearings on six units of study about the Constitution.
A total of 18 community members will serve as judges for the hearings, with a team of three judges for each unit of study.

Secretary of State John Gale will address the students prior to the presentation of awards.  Bar Foundation President Gary Radil will join Carrier in the awards presentation.

The team winning the state competition will have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC in late April to represent Nebraska in the national competition.  The team from Lincoln East represented Nebraska in the 2013 national competition.

LRE Theme for 2014 Is Announced
"American Veterans - Everyday Heroes"

In 2014, the observance of the centennial of World War I begins. For those of you who may have forgotten your history lesson, World War I, or the Great War, began 100 years ago in 1914 and continued until 1918.  Then, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the fighting ceased.  The following year, November 11 was commemorated as the first Armistice Day, and it became a national holiday in 1938.  We now call it Veterans Day.

It is with abundant gratitude for the service of our nation's veterans that we have selected the Foundation's 2014 Law-Related Education theme:  "American Veterans - Everyday Heroes."  This theme will be woven through the Law Day Essay Contest, Law Day Job Shadowing, and High School Mock Trial. All of these programs are made possible by your generous support.
2014 Fellows Dinner is March 1
Save the Date!

On Saturday, March 1, the Bar Foundation will be hosting its annual Fellows Dinner at the Holland Center in Omaha.  At the dinner the new class of Fellows will be formally inducted into the organization, and the 2013 award recipients will be honored. 

Following the dinner, we will attend The Cocktail Hour Music of the MadMen Era.  Plan now to join us for this fun-filled evening as we begin the 51st year of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation's service to the public and the profession.

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