Foundation Facts
October 2014
What an exciting fall this is!  The Roman L. Hruska Institute for the Administration of Justice on September 19, was a once-in-a-lifetime event for many of us.  It was a rare opportunity to welcome the Chief Justice of the United States to Nebraska.  The Foundation is most grateful to Chief Judge William Jay Riley, United States Court of Appeals for the 8th District, for all of his outstanding efforts to make this visit possible.

Following closely after the Hruska Institute was the Foundation's 12th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast.  It was held on October 9, at the Embassy Suites - La Vista. where a new class of Fellows was announced, some of our amazing volunteers were recognized, and one student from each law school in Nebraska received the Silver Quill Award. 

This edition of Foundation Facts provides you with photos and stories from our September and October events.  I hope you enjoy this newsletter

And I hope you are able to spend some time outside and take in the amazingly beautiful colors of autumn!






Executive Director  


High School Students Participate in Hruska Institute via Distance Learning Technology
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, Responds to Students' Questions

The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, is interviewed by Chief Judge William Jay Riley, United States Court of Appeals for the 8th District.
On September 19, the ultimate distance learning opportunity offered by the Bar Foundation was its Hruska Institute with The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States. The Chief Justice participated in a discussion with questions asked by Chief Judge William Jay Riley, United States Court of Appeals for the 8th District. Some of the 597 Nebraska students taking part in the Institute through live video streaming also submitted questions. A total of 42 schools and over 1,400 students watched either the live streaming or the recorded video. Additionally, 115 attorneys watched the live streaming.
Technical assistance for distance delivery of the Hruska Institute was provided by John Stritt of Educational Service Unit 10 and Gordon Roethemeyer, Nebraska Distance Learning Coordinating Council.
Bar Foundation Announces its 2014 Class of Fellows
30 New Fellows Announced at Legacy of Liberty Breakfast

On Thursday morning, October 9, Bar Foundation Assistant Treasurer Bob Mullin, Jr. presented the names of the newest Class of Fellows.  Mullin told the more than 100 gathered for the breakfast that these new Fellows 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 2014 Class of Fellows:

Hon. W. Mark Ashford, Omaha - District Judge, 4th Judicial District 

Adam E. Astley, Omaha - Principal, Slowiaczek Albers Astley 

Larry W. Beucke, Kearney - Partner, Parker, Grossart, Bahensky, Beucke & Bowman 

John J. Borghoff, Omaha - Vice President and Senior Trust Officer, Union Bank & Trust

Anne M. Breitkreutz, Omaha - Partner, Dornan Lustgarten

Sean M. Conway, Omaha - Member, Dornan Lustgarten

Hon. Vernon C.R. Daniels, Omaha - Judge, Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court

W. Scott Davis, Lincoln - Partner, Baylor Evnen

Hon. Jan E. Dutton, Omaha - Federal Administrative Law Judge - Social Security Administration

Jill V. Gettman, Omaha - Managing Partner, Gettman Mills

Patrick R. Guinan, Omaha - Partner, Erickson Sederstrom

Hon. Thomas K. Harmon, Omaha - County Judge, 4th Judicial District

Thomas P. Herzog, O'Neill - Holt County Attorney/Sole Practitioner

Heidi Hornung-Scherr, Lincoln - Partner and Chief Administrative Officer, Scudder Law Firm

Robert S. Keith II, Omaha - Member, Engles Ketcham

Philip M. Kelly, Scottsbluff - Partner/Shareholder, Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek & Ossian

Julie A. Knutson, Omaha - Partner, Baird Holm

Brian S. Kruse, Lincoln - Managing Partner, Rembolt Ludtke

Mark L. Laughlin, Omaha - Member, Laughlin, Peterson & Lang

Hon. Sheryl L. Lohaus, Omaha - County Judge, 4th Judicial District

Kristina B. Murphree, Omaha - Member, Marks Clare

Timothy J. O'Brien, Omaha - Partner, Hauptman O'Brien

Amy L. Patras, Chadron - Partner, Crites Shaffer Connealy

Amy L. Peck, Omaha - Shareholder, Jackson Lewis

Sally A. Rasmussen, Lincoln - Partner, Mattson Ricketts

Michael F. Scahill, Omaha - Partner, Cassem Tierney

Glenn A. Shapiro, Omaha - Partner, Schafer Shapiro

John S. Slowiaczek, Omaha - Managing Principal, Slowiaczek Albers Astley

Susan L. Stryker, Omaha - Partner, Nolan Olson Stryker

James D. Wegner, Omaha - Shareholder, McGrath North

Mock Trial Program Named in Honor of
Judge Lyle E. Strom 

At the 12th annual Legacy Liberty Breakfast on October 9, Foundation President Gary Radil made the following announcement, "It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to announce that the Bar Foundation's Mock Trial Program has recently been named in honor of Judge Strom. It is now known as the Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial Program."

Judge Strom has been involved with the Mock Trial Project for many years, having judged both the state championship round and numerous rounds at nationals.  This year, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National High School Mock Trial Championship. He was also honored by that group with the prestigious Justice Gene Franchini Golden Gavel Award, recognizing an adult who has demonstrated exemplary dedication and commitment to the goals and ideals of the National High School Mock Trial Program.  Judge Strom currently serves as Chair of the Foundation's PEOPLE Committee.  


In a lighthearted celebration of the announcement, Doris presented Judge Strom with his favorite dessert, a sour cream raisin pie. 

High School Mock Trial Coaches Recognized at Breakfast
State Championship and Long-Term Regional Coaches Honored

Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom, United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, presented gifts from the Foundation to teacher and attorney coaches for the 2013 State Mock Trial Championship team, Skutt Catholic High School of Omaha.  Judge Strom cited the team's six trips to the National High School Mock Trial Championship, the most recent of which was in May 2014, in Madison, Wisconsin.  Speaking on behalf of the team and its coaches, attorney coach Patrick Borchers thanked the Foundation and lauded other Mock Trial competitors in Nebraska, saying that they are among the finest in the nation.  Judy Borchers is an attorney coach for the team, and Mary Meyer is its teacher coach.

Foundation President Gary Radil recognized Mock Trial teacher coaches who have volunteered in that role for 15 years or longer.  Present and receiving Stars and Stripes Freedom Throws as tokens of appreciation were Carl Linnerson, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer High School; Ken Meyers, Wilcox-Hildreth High School; and Mary Rau, Ainsworth High School.  Unable to be present but also receiving the recognition were Howells-Dodge Consolidated High School attorney coach Larry Karel; Weeping Water teacher coach Mike Barrett; and Fillmore Central High School teacher coach Denice Kovanda.

Teachers Carl Linnerson, Ken Meyers, and Mary Rau are recognized for their long-term service to
Mock Trial.

Foundation's Silver Quill Award Recipients Announced
Awards Presented by Law School Deans

Dean Marianne Culhane and Erik Walser, Creighton School of Law; Christopher Schmidt and Dean Susan Poser, UNL College of Law 
Dean Susan Poser, University of Nebraska College of Law, cited the many accomplishments of Silver Quill Award recipient Christopher Schmidt, when presenting him with the Foundation's stipend gift of $500 at the annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast. 

Dean Marianne Culhane, Creighton School of Law, recognized that school's Silver Quill Award recipient Erik Walser, noting has outstanding achievement and presenting him with a check from the Foundation.

Annually, the Foundation honors one student from each of the Nebraska law schools with the Silver Quill Award. 
Foundation's LRE Promoters Extended
Special Thanks
President Radil Acknowledges Individuals and Groups at Breakfast

As a part of the Legacy of Liberty program, Radil said he was pleased to "recognize Bar Foundation partnerships that advance the cause of LRE,"  then named the following:
  • The University of Nebraska College of Law and Dean Susan Poser
  • Secretary of State John Gale
  • Lincoln County Bar Association
  • North Platte Attorney, Steve Kay
  • Lincoln County Historical Museum and its Director Jim Griffin
  • The Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation
  • Nebraska Council of School Attorneys
  • Homestead National Monument and Superintendent Staff Mark Engler and Sue Bruns; Ranger Susan Cook
  • John Stritt, Educational Service Unit 10
  • Gordon Roethemeyer, Nebraska Distance Learning Coordinating Council

These groups and individuals were also recognized by signage placed at the Legacy of Liberty Breakfast tables. 

Nebraska Teacher Attends We the People Summer Institute
Thanks Foundation and Shares Experience at Breakfast

Cory Vasek, teacher at Mary Our Queen School in Omaha, attended the We the People:  The Citizen and the Constitution summer institute in Indianapolis, Indiana.  At the Legacy of Liberty Breakfast, he told those gathered that he plans to integrate the We the People program into his American history class.  Vaske said, "It will help me teach about the Constitution and its background more effectively."  He continued, "The We the People curriculum is highly effective at helping students understand our system of government.  By participating in this program, students are also more likely to become more involved in their communities and stay informed of current events."  


Vasek concluded by thanking the Foundation for giving him the opportunity to participate in the summer institute.  He is a teacher of  7th grade world history and 8th grade American history.  He was named the Nebraska James Madison Scholar in 2008. 

Johnson Brock LRE Teacher and Student Celebrate Constitution Day in Washington, DC
Attended Program to Promote Civic Engagement

Johnson Brock High School teacher Lori Broady and student Angela Wenzl traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in a Constitution Day program sponsored by the Civics Renewal Network (CRN).  One student/teacher team from each state was invited to participate in this activity, and they were nominated for this honor by the Bar Foundation.

Students accepted into the program were expected to have led civic engagement efforts in their local communities.  Broady says that Wenzl has coordinated a 5K fundraiser to create awareness concerning the abortion debate, with both sides of the issues being presented.  In Washington, DC, they talked with congressional representatives and will shared Wenzl's research.

Broady is a Mock Trial teacher coach, and her teams have won their regional competitions each of the past two years.  She has also been involved with the We the People program for over 15 years, having taken teams to the state hearings several of those years.  She has served as a mentor for summer We the People teacher institutes and has been active in the Center for Civic Education's Project Citizen program.

CRN is a new collaboration directed by the Annenberg Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.  The Network includes the American Bar Association, Constitutional Rights Foundation (Los Angeles), Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Street Law, and many other national leaders in civic education.
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