8:30 am Federal Tax Code: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
Jason W. Bombeck, CPA, Partner; Adam M. Fritz, CPA, Manager BKD National Manufacturing & Distribution Group
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 represents the largest change to the federal tax code in more than 30 years. This session will provide attorneys with an overview on certain provisions included in the tax legislation and how they will affect estate and business planning, entity creation, and other business decisions to discuss with your clients.
9:45 am Crossing the “Ethical Line” in Criminal Closing Arguments: Things Better Left Unsaid
Steve Schmidt, Associate Professor, Courtesy Associate Professor of Forensic Science, University of Nebraska College of Law
This session will discuss what a lawyer can and cannot say during closing arguments, including when a lawyer crosses the “ethical line” by using recent Nebraska cases and Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct (e.g., Neb. Ct. R. of Prof. Cond. §§3-503.5, 3-503.8).
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Employee Benefits: Tips and Traps for the Unwary
Katie A. Joseph, Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP
This session will provide an overview of the various federal and state laws affecting employee benefits, with a view to helping clients (whether employers or current or former employees) spot issues before problems occur.
11:45 am Lunch (included with your registration)
12:00 pm University of Nebraska College of Law Lane Lecture (optional)
1:15 pm The Duties of a Fiduciary
Susan J. Spahn, Baylor Evnen, LLP
This presentation will set forth the duties of various fiduciaries, including trustees, personal representatives and conservators. It will also include the review of cases where the Court determined whether a fiduciary breached his or her duty.
2:15 pm Break
2:30 pm Engagement Agreements: An Attorney’s Ethical Responsibility
Jeffery Peetz, Endacott Peetz & Timmer, PC LLO
This presentation will establish the scope and objectives of engagement letters in trust and estate representation. Engagement letters set forth the basis upon which fees will be determined and explain how conflicts of interest and confidentiality will be handled. Engagement letters are encouraged in order to avoid a misunderstanding as to the scope or duration of representation, a dispute as to the fees to be charged, or problems when a conflict of interest arises. Properly drafted engagement letters will minimize problems under the Nebraska Rules of Professional Conduct when representing spouses; multiple generations of the same family; multiple parties in a business context; estate planning lawyers serving as a fiduciary; representation of executors and trustees; fiduciary litigation; dealing with the potential for diminished capacity; and withdrawing or termination of representation. The presentation will also discuss the “reasonableness standard” by which attorney fees are reviewed by the Courts in contested estate and trust administrations, conservatorships, guardianships and the review of services as an attorney-in-fact.
3:30 pm Eighth Amendment Norms and the Lethal Injection Stalemate
Eric Berger, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law
Following the U.S. Supreme Court, judges have usually been very deferential towards states, rejecting challenges to even manifestly problematic lethal injection protocols. Nevertheless, states have had increasing difficulties carrying out executions. This session will discuss how Eighth Amendment norms may be losing in courts, but related values are still helping obstruct states’ efforts to carry out executions. The result is an uneasy stalemate that satisfies neither defenders nor opponents of the death penalty. As the debate about capital punishment rages, popular, rather than judicial, conceptions of the Eighth Amendment will likely shape the future of lethal injection.
4:30 pm Adjourn