Foundation Facts
January 2016
Smile Frown
"Smile & Frown," created by photographer Steve Snodgrass.  Permission given via Creative Commons License.

The Bar Foundation is kicking off the year with a new Law-Related Education theme, "The Rule of Law as Portrayed in Art--from Comedy to Tragedy."
References to the rule of law in the arts are extensive, and we will be able to only scratch the surface in the upcoming year.  But, I think it will be a most enjoyable time, and the Foundation's LRE Committee looks forward to creating educational activities and opportunities based on this year's theme.  

We will also be connecting with the arts when we host the annual Fellows Dinner at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha on March 12.  See details about this gala event below.

This issue of Foundation Facts also proudly announces the outcomes of the Judge Lyle E. Strom High School Mock Trial Championship and the We the People:  The Citizen and the Constitution State Hearings. With the Duchesne Academy team winning the National High School Mock Trial Championship, 2015 was a banner year for the Foundation's LRE programs.  We look forward to an equally exciting year in 2016!  
Thank you so very much for your support of the Bar Foundation and its programs.

Executive Director  

Omaha's Duchesne Academy Wins Second Consecutive State Mock Trial Title
At Judge Lyle E. Strom High School Mock Trial Championship, Dec. 9, 2015

Representing the prosecution side of the case, Taylor Tomte vs. Estate of Orville Earhart, the Duchesne Academy Mock Trial team prevailed over the team from Omaha's V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School to claim the 2015 state championship. The two-day event involving 12 teams from mock trial regions around the state, took place at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse in Omaha.

The Duchesne team, along with its coaches, teacher Adam Klepper and attorneys Mark Laughlin, Gerald Laughlin, and Patrick Cooper, will travel to Boise, Idaho, in May to represent Nebraska in the National High School Mock Trial Championship.  The trip is partially underwritten by the Nebraska Council of School Attorneys and the Bar Foundation.

On the first evening of the state championship, students enjoyed the annual Mock Trial Banquet, sponsored by Creighton University.  The Winthrop and Frances Lane Foundation provided a grant to help defray the travel expenses of Mock Trial teams from Greater Nebraska to travel to the state competition.

Metropolitan Community College (MCC) provided gifts of learning to the Duchesne and Skutt team members.  MCC has been involved in supporting the Mock Trial program since 2006.
Lincoln Southeast High School Is 2016 We the People State Championship Team
To Represent Nebraska at National Competition in Late April

Lincoln Southeast High School We the People Team

The 25-member We the People team from Lincoln's Southeast High School defeated six other teams to be declared the winner in the State Hearings competition on January 5.  The event, testing students' knowledge over six units of study about the United States Constitution, took place at the University of Nebraska College of Law.  The competition as judged by local attorneys, professors, secondary educators, journalists, and other professionals in the community.

More than 150 students from six Nebraska schools participated in the event.  The Southeast team's win makes it Nebraska's official representative in the national finals, April 22-25, at the University of Maryland.

Taking second place in the competition was Lincoln East High School, the defending state We the People champions.  Other teams receiving honorable mention in the finals were Lincoln Southwest High, Holdrege High, V.J. and Angela Skutt High, and two Lincoln North Star High teams.

Susan Poser, Dean of the College of Law, welcomed students at the awards ceremony following the competition.  Keynote speaker for the ceremony was Judge Laurie Smith Camp, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.  Judge Smith Camp commended the students on their knowledge of the Constitution and encouraged them to use that knowledge to make changes in the United States and the world.  She reminded them that significant changes in the world are made by regular, not necessarily gifted, people who are able to use the knowledge and tools they receive from education to address the issues of the day.
New Fellows to Be Inducted and Awards Recipients Recognized at Fellows Dinner on March 12
Concert with New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Soloists to Follow
Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and Grammy Award winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield

A cocktail reception sponsored by First National Bank of Omaha will kick off this evening of celebration, beginning at 4:30 p.m.  Following the reception, guests will move to the dining area for a sumptuous meal after which the program will recognize the 2015 class of Fellows and honor the three recipients of Foundation awards.

At 8:00 p.m., legendary singer Dee Dee Bridgewater returns to Omaha with Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Orchestra (NOJO) for a 10th Anniversary tour paying tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. NOJO made history in 2005 when it symbolically "reopened " New Orleans at the first major event following the hurricane.

Watch for your invitation arriving soon in your email inbox.  I hope you will make plans now to attend the annual Fellows Dinner.
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