Foundation Facts
November 2015

I was thinking that maybe we could call this time between Halloween and Thanksgiving the Season of Pumpkin Spice.  The flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are cropping up in all sorts of consumables...lattes, candy, bagels... The other day, I even saw a sign advertising a "new pumpkin spice oil change." As you might imagine, that one was getting lots of attention from passers-by!

Whatever we call this season, it is a busy one at the Bar Foundation.  On September 17, we celebrated Constitution Day at Homestead National Monument.  On October 1, the Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial regional competitions began across the state.  And on October 8, the Foundation hosted its 13th annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast.

Now, we are preparing for the annual High School Mock Trial Championship to be held in Omaha on December 8-9.  Please check the short stories below to learn more about the latest happenings with the Bar Foundation's Law-Related Education programs.






Executive Director  


Constitution Day at Homestead National Monument
Naturalization Process and Interpretation in the Courts Are Featured Lessons

On Constitution Day, September 17, the Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court cooperated with Homestead National Monument to offer a law-related education session led by Judge Paul Korslund of Beatrice.  

Judge Korslund welcomes students on Constitution Day

More than 200 students from Beatrice, Meridian, and the Iowa School for the Deaf participated in the lesson, which included questions that appear on the Naturalization Test.  Nebraska Court Interpreter Victoria Welles and Russian native and Foundation staff member Ruzanna Gansvind participated in a brief mock trial with witness testimony being interpreted from Russian to English.

Ms. Gansvind shared her own story of naturalization as a Russian refugee in 1992.  Students then observed the Naturalization Ceremony presided over by Judge Richard Kopf in which 50 people became new United States citizens.
13th Annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast
Introduces New Fellows, Recognizes National Mock Trial Championship Team, Mock Trial Volunteers. and Partnerships

Judge Laurie Smith Camp congratulates the National High School Mock Trial Championship team from Duchesne Academy

At the Foundation's annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast on October 8, President Stan Goodwin announced the LRE theme for 2016.  It is "The Rule of Law as Portrayed in Art - from Comedy to Tragedy."  The theme will be woven into educational activities and opportunities to be offered in the coming year.

Judge Laurie Smith Camp introduced members of the 2015  National High School Mock Trial Championship team from Duchesne Academy.  Team member Ariana Haddad shared the story of the victory won last may in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Mark Laughlin recalled the experience from the perspective of one of the team's attorney coaches and as a parent of one of the team members.

Judge Smith Camp then presented all of the team's coaches with a gift from the Bar Foundation.  She also recognized the long-term service of Mock Trial attorney coaches with 15 or more years of service. This year's recipients were Bell Island, Gering High School, and Gene Schumacher, Columbus Scotus High School.  

The Mock Trial Case Committee received recognition for its long-term service of annually writing an original mock trial problem.  This committee's cases have been requested for use by several other states' mock trial teams.. 

Mock Trial Case Committee Members Mike Gooch, Joel Nelson, Kristi Egger-Brown, Stephanie Hupp, and John Jelkin with President Stan Goodwin.  Other Committee members are Tom Keefe, Lory Pasold, and Patrick Calkins.

Foundation Secretary Steve Guenzel introduced the 2015 Class of Bar Foundation Fellows.  See a complete listing of the new class of Fellows below. 

University of Nebraska College of Law Dean Susan Poser presented the Silver Quill Award to Gregory Vinton. New Creighton Law Dean Paul McGreal was given a warm Nebraska welcome in advance of presenting the Silver Quill Award to Justina Piatek.

Dean Poser and 
Gregory Vinton
Dean McGreal and
Justina Piatek

Goodwin concluded the program by recognizing organizations that have partnered with the Foundation to help advance the cause of LRE over the past year:

Creighton University
University of Nebraska College of Law
First National Bank of Omaha
Metropolitan Community College
Sarpy County Bar Association
Hall and Howard County Bar Associations
Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation
Nebraska Council of School Attorneys
Homestead National Monument
2015 Class of Foundation Fellows Announced class
30 Notable Nebraska Lawyers Selected

Foundation Secretary Steve Guenzel announced the names of the 2015 class of Fellows as their images were projected at the recent Legacy of Liberty Breakfast.  Following are the names of those joining the fellowship this year:

Stephen L. Ahl, Lincoln - Partner, Wolfe Snowden
David J. A. Bargen, Lincoln - Partner, Rembolt Ludtke
Andre R. Barry, Lincoln - Partner, Cline Williams
Patrick E. Brookhouser, Jr., Omaha - Shareholder, McGrath North
Hon. Michael P. Burns, Hastings - County Judge, 10th Judicial District
Brandon S. Connick, Grand Island - Partner, Leininger Smith
Hon. Rachel A. Daugherty, Aurora - District Judge, 5th Judicial District
Cynthia E. Epstein, Omaha - Partner, Epstein & Epstein
Kristin A. Fearnow, Omaha - Senior Associate, Dornan Lustgarten
Dennis J. Fogland, Omaha - Partner, Baird Holm
Daniel R. Gilg, Omaha - Solo Practitioner
Joseph W. Grant, Omaha - Partner, Prentiss Grant
Stephanie R. Hupp, Lincoln - Shareholder, McHenry Haszard
Dan H. Ketcham, Omaha - Partner, Engles Ketcham
Robert S. Lannin, Lincoln - Shareholder, Shively & Lannin
Mark C. Laughlin, Omaha - Partner, Fraser Stryker
Marietta E. Luellen, Omaha - Senior Managing Director Trust Services, First National Bank
Hon. Stefanie A. Martinez, Papillion - County Court Judge, 2nd Judicial District
Michael D. Matejka, Omaha - Partner, Woods & Aitken
Aimee S. Melton, La Vista - Partner, Reagan Melton & Delaney
John A. Menicucci, Omaha - Corporate Counsel, Union Pacific
Michael C. Moyer, Madison - Managing Partner, Moyer & Moyer
Patrick J. O'Donnell, Lincoln - Clerk of Nebraska Legislature
Hon. Kimberly M. Pankonin, Omaha - District Judge, 4th Judicial District
Jon S. Schroeder, Curtis - Sole Practitioner
Hon. Emily Cameron Shattil, Omaha - Administrative Law Judge, Social Security Administration
H. Daniel Smith, Omaha - Partner, Smith Gardner Slusky
Amy L. Van Horne, Omaha - Partner, Kutak Rock
Mark A. Weber, Lincoln - Nebraska Counsel for Discipline
Shirley K. Williams, Lincoln - Partner, Knudsen

This class will be formally inducted into fellowship at the annual Fellows Dinner on March 12, 2016, at the Holland Center in Omaha.
 Mock Trial Case Involves a Drone Run Amock
Civil Problem Seeks Damage for Destroying "Priceless" Collection of Gnomes

In 12 regions around the state, 112 teams from 52 schools are competing to be one of the teams that goes to the State Championship.  Team members will be prepared to present both sides of the case in which an out-of-control drone crashes into a collection of garden gnomes and destroys them.  The suite seeks damages from the estate of the drone operator.

Those 12 teams that win their regional competitions will advance to the Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial Project Championship in Omaha on December 8 and 9.  Trials will take place at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse, and the Mock Trial Banquet will be held at Omaha Embassy Suites - Downtown/Old Market on 
December 8.

The Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation has contributed $3,000 to help defray the cost for teams from Great Nebraska to to travel to and participate in the state competition.  The Bar Foundation thanks the Lane Foundation for its most generous contribution to Mock Trial.

Judges for the state competition are still needed.  If you would like to serve as a judge, please contact me,

Click here to read the full text of this year's mock trial case
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