Foundation Facts
May 2016
The Bar Foundation hosted the Mock Trial team from Maui, Hawaii, between March 17 and March 23.  Please see the Nebraska-Hawaii Mock Trial Invitational story below for details about this exciting event.

Law Day 2016 has been celebrated well in Nebraska.   This year, the Bar Foundation and Supreme Court observed Law Day with the Platte County Bar Association in Columbus on May 2. Chief Justice Mike Heavican honored a group of local students with Certificates of Civic Engagement.  The Scotus Catholic High Mock Trial team as well as a Platte County Bar Association scholarship recipient were recognized.  

The Law Day Job Shadowing for fifth graders program added another 400 students to the alumni total of more than 3,500.  Law Day resources for the Foundation's annual theme, "The Rule of Law as Portrayed in Art--from Comedy to Tragedy" may be found online.  Elementary Level and Secondary Level Resources

This weekend marks the 2016 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Boise, Idaho.  Judge John Colborn will serve as a judge for the competition and I will assist the competition hosts with meeting the needs of the judges.  Let us wish the Duchesne Academy Mock Trial team all the best as they represent Nebraska in Boise.

Now, please enjoy brief stories about the latest Foundation happenings. 


Executive Director  

28th Annual Fellows Dinner Presents New Fellows, Honors Award Recipients
March 12 at Holland Performing Arts Center, Omaha

At its annual Fellows Dinner, the Bar Foundation celebrated a new class of Fellows, announced Lifetime and Distinguished Fellows, and presented others with awards for their exemplary service.  Award recipients were Judge Susan Bazis, Douglas County Court, Marianne Culhane, former Creighton Law School Dean, and Dennis Carlson, retired Counsel for Discipline.
Judge Susan Bazis accepts the Public Service Award from Judge Todd Hutton
Bazis received the Public Service Award and was cited by presenter Judge Todd Hutton for her work on the Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships and for her role in the development and implementation of Nebraska's Office of Public Guardian.  

Culhane was presented with the Outstanding Legal Educator Award by Patrick Borchers.  He highlighted her service as Dean at Creighton University School of Law and recalled her many accomplishments as an administrator and praised her abilities as an outstanding researcher, author, and teacher.

Pat Borchers presents the Outstanding Legal Educator Award to Marianne Culhane

was lauded by Charlie Gotch who presented him with the Distinguished Service Award.  He served as Counsel for Discipline from 1981 through 2014, offering advice on ethical issues to individual attorneys and publishing numerous articles. He was credited with contributing to one of the finest systems of discipline in the US.
Charlie Gotch applauds Dennis Carlson as recipient of the Distinguished Service Award

Bar Foundation Secretary Steve Guenzel introduced the 2015 Class of Fellows as they were inducted into fellowship.  He also recognized Lifetime Fellows.  Deborah Gilg announced Tom Fischer of Omaha as having achieved the Silver level of Distinguished Fellow giving.  Kile Johnson of Lincoln was announced as a Platinum Distinguished Fellow.

Following the program, guests were entertained by Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
Nebraska-Hawaii High School Mock Trial Invitational Pairs Team from Maui with Two Omaha Teams
Hawaii Team Scrimmages Duchesne Academy and Skutt Catholic Teams

An opportunity to hone their Mock Trial skills against two of Nebraska's top teams brought six students and two sponsors all the way from Hawaii to Nebraska in March. Trading tropical climes for a few blustery days on the Plains didn't seem to faze the guests.

Perhaps the group was simply too busy to notice the weather.  In Omaha, they toured Creighton University and enjoyed a luau on campus.  They scrimmaged the Skutt team and later enjoyed a pizza party.  A visit to Henry Doorly Zoo was on the itinerary as well as time for some local shopping.  But not every moment was scheduled, as free time was also built into the schedule.

Judge Tom Harmon presided over the Duchesne-Hawaii scrimmage, and the teams enjoyed dinner together that evening.

Judge Harmon MT Inv.
Judge Harmon administers the Mock Trial oath at the Nebraska-Hawaii Invitational

Judge Bazis.Hawaii
Justice Stephanie Stacy shows the Hawaii team the Nebraska Supreme Court

Before their return trip home, the group came to Lincoln for a tour of the UNL campus and lunch at the Foundation office.  In the afternoon, they toured the Capitol then met with Justice Stephanie Stacy to learn more about the Nebraska Supreme Court and to gain some mock trial pointers.

Perhaps the team had more opportunity than expected to become acquainted with the Denver airport, as a snow storm grounded them for several hours.  But they did make it home safely and wrote back to tell us what a great time they had in Nebraska and that they look forward to a return trip.  They expressed their gratitude through gifts of delicious Hawaiian macadamia nuts!
Law Day Job Shadowing
Staff Visit Pawnee County Event on Arbor Day

Each year, Judge Curtis Maschman and Clerk Magistrate LaRita Weber, contribute the morning of their Arbor Day holiday to host three groups of fifth grade students from area schools.  Foundation staff were privileged to be able to attend these activities on April 29.

This year, the Pawnee County host team wrote a scenario that led to the fifth graders becoming witnesses to a crime in progress.  The crime was staged by HTRS High School students and involved the passing of prescription drugs from one student to another.  The supplier of the pills was overheard saying, "Go ahead and take them...they won't hurt you.  I got them out of my mother's cabinet this morning."  Subsequently, the one who ingested the pills became ill.  Shortly afterward, Maschman informed the fifth graders that what they had just seen had been staged in preparation for them to participate in a mock trial.

Judge Maschman prepares HTRS students for a mock trial
Judge Maschman prepares HTRS students for a mock trial
Sheriff Jayme Reed and County Prosecutor Jennifer Stehlik Ladman discussed with the job shadowers evidence that might be presented in the case.  They also discussed some possible defense strategies.

At the conclusion of the trial, Maschman and Weber demonstrated some of the newer courthouse technologies and contrasted them with the historic record books that have been in existence since the 1800s.  The event was culminated by everyone enjoying Weber's famous "star" cookies that she has baked and decorated for each of the nine years she has served as a Law Day Job Shadowing coordinator.  

The Bar Foundation thanks all of those who serve as Law Day Job Shadowing coordinators and hosts.  Watch for more stories from additional sites in the next issue of Foundation Facts.
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