Lawyers Give High Marks to State’s Judges - 2016 Judicial Performance Evaluation
The Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) today released results of its 2016 Judicial performance Evaluation. Lawyers responding to the poll recommend that 99% (135) of the 136 judges evaluated be retained on the bench. Tom Maul, president of the NSBA, states that he concurs with his predecessors, “While not an absolute measure, the poll gives practicing attorneys the opportunity to evaluate judges on a variety of important criteria.” Fifty-five percent of the judges evaluated (76) were given a 90% or higher retention approval. Forty-four judges received an 80-89% retention approval, and ten judges were approved 70-79%. “These numbers are remarkable,” said Maul. “In these times of deep political division, they confirm that our courts in Nebraska do not operate as a political branch of government, but just do what courts are supposed to do: follow the law.” View Survey Results
Nebraska/Iowa Solo Small Firm Conference, August 11 - 13, 2016
Sponsored by the Nebraska State Bar Association and The Iowa State Bar Association’s General Practice Section
Taking place at the alluring Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa, this event offers solo and small firm practitioners the opportunity to attend a CLE geared directly to their type of practice. That's right. A whole conference dedicated to you and your practice! Complete Conference Information
- Dustin Cole, Master Practice Advisor and President of Attorneys Master Class, is one of the nation’s leading advisors to law firms and lawyers. He has educated over 15,000 attorneys in CLE programs nationally and has worked with over 200 firms and more than 1000 individual attorneys in 30 states to help them increase revenues and deal successfully with change.
- Robert Clements is Co-Founder, Strategic Marketing Director, and General Counsel for Benchmark Business Group, LLC. In a more holistic approach to the practice of law, Bob has guided many business owners through difficult organizational, planning and financial issues, and has served as a facilitator and mediator in numerous business cases.
- Mary E. Vandenack is founding and managing partner of Vandenack Williams LLC in Omaha. Mary is a frequent writer and speaker on tax, benefits, asset protection planning, and estate planning topics as well as on improving the delivery of legal services, law firm marketing, and increased access to the under-served.
Updated Adoption Manual Available
Attorney Susan K. Sapp, who is a Fellow in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, has updated her practice manual to reflect the significant changes to Nebraska adoption law in the last year. Susan, a Senior Partner with Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP, outlines with precision and detail the various laws associated with all types of adoptions and offers extensive checklists and forms. Topics covered range from the basics of adoption practice to the complexities of assisted reproduction, how to address the differing rights and interests of biological mothers and biological fathers, the role of guardian ad litem and how to obtain substitute consent, 20 critical errors to avoid, and more. This newly updated manual is available in the NSBA Online Store for $95.
Lawyers in the City – Volunteers Needed
Following the success of the first Lawyers in the City event in April the Nebraska State Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Omaha Bar Association, Midlands Bar Association, and Legal Aid of Nebraska are teaming up to host a second event. The event will be August 26th, 2016 from 9:00am to 12:00 pm at the Metropolitan Community College South Campus Library and from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the North Omaha Metropolitan Community College.
This event will be a great opportunity for attorneys to get out and get engaged in the community by helping low income Nebraska residents with their civil legal problems. Attorneys of any background or practice are welcome to volunteer and a Volunteer Lawyers Project attorney will be on site to assist with any questions or issues that arise. Please email Josh Woolf at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up for a time slot.
New Online Pro Bono Opportunity – 28 Days To Go and 50 Volunteers Needed
Just 28 more days until the launch of nefreelegalanswer.org!! An ABA national initiative Nebraska Free Legal Answers is a completely online pro bono opportunity for attorneys that allows you to:
- Choose your own legal question by practice area or party
- Take time to research answers to questions
- Fulfill and track your pro bono obligation
- Help low income/elderly Nebraskans with their civil legal questions
- Log on and access the system anytime, anywhere you have an internet connection
In order for a successful launch we will need at least 75 attorneys to sign up and be willing to answer civil legal questions for low income Nebraska residents. More information about NEFreeLegalAnswers is available in a short PDF or YouTube video. Please email Josh Woolf at email@example.com for more information or to schedule a live demonstration and training (demonstration will take no more than 30 minutes). Thank you for volunteering!
Opportunities for Dues-Paying Members to Use Their 2 Free Hours of Ethics CLE
The NSBA Library: NSBA Publications and Videos at Your Fingertips
You remember a great article in The Nebraska Lawyer that’s on point for a case you have now. And there was a form in that seminar last fall, but where are your materials? You need to quickly get an overview of an area of law you’re not familiar with—but how? The online NSBA Library has what you need. The NSBA Library has thousands of pages of written materials and hundreds of hours of seminar videos organized by topic or practice area. Materials include articles, seminar materials, some practice manuals and forms. The information is also searchable using the search function on the NSBA website. Check out of the NSBA Library under Practice Tools on the NSBA home page, and let us know if there’s material to be added, deleted or cross-listed.
Recent Supreme Court Opinions
Week of July 22, 2016
Week of July 15, 2016
For a complete listing of recent opinions, visit the Nebraska Judicial Branch Website.
Legal Challenges Over Online Reviews Seek to Separate Fact from Fiction
By Julianne Hill, Originally Published in ABA Journal Magazine
Robert Allen Lee desperately needed a dentist.
Dr. Stacy Makhnevich at Aster Dental in New York City was able to squeeze Lee in to treat his toothache. When Lee arrived, the dentist required he sign a "mutual agreement to maintain privacy"—a confidentiality agreement with a nondisparagement clause that waives patients' rights to publicly comment on services and assigns copyright to the provider. Anxious for treatment, Lee signed and slid into the dentist's chair.
Though Lee found relief from his toothache, dealing with his dentist over the bill—which totaled $4,766 for the filling—became a pain. He complained about Makhnevich on Yelp and DoctorBase, another online site, claiming the dentist overcharged him and did not furnish the treatment records that would allow him to make an insurance claim and be reimbursed. Full Article
'The Gen Why Lawyer' Podcast Explores Unconventional Career Paths for Young Attorneys
By Lorelei Laird, Originally Published in ABA Journal Magazine
The law is a culturally conservative profession. But in a changing job market, Nicole Abboud doesn't believe young lawyers can afford to stay conventional.
“A lot of us young lawyers are … realizing we really have to take our own careers into our own hands,” says the Los Angeles lawyer-turned-speaker and business consultant, who is a member of the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division. “We need to kind of build our own brand and prove that we are indispensable.” Full Article
Implementing Diversity in State Bar Associations
By Nichole Ducheneaux, Originally Published in ABA Law Practice Today
The legal profession has a diversity problem. A review of government studies, news stories, and scholarly articles on the subject tell a single story: the law is the least diverse profession in our country. According to the most recent studies, 88% of lawyers in the United States are white. And although women currently make up a little more than a third of all American lawyers, women comprise only about 20% of all partners nationally and less than 20% of either equity partners or managing attorneys. LGBT lawyers are even more poorly represented in the profession. Full Article
Five Ways to Improve Your Clients’ Experience Today
By Dan Lear, Originally Published in Attorney at Work
Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference in life — and in business. From a customer service perspective, the little things can build loyalty more effectively than any advertising or marketing campaign. You may think the kind of customer service touch points common in retail or other service businesses don’t apply to the legal industry, but think again. Nobody who needs a lawyer’s services is probably very excited about it. You can score big points by making your clients’ experience with you and your firm simple, easy and even pleasant. Full Article
Greater Nebraska Golf Scramble - Thank You
NSBA would like to thank all the sponsors and the 89 golfers who attended the Greater Nebraska Golf Scramble at The Prairie Club in Valentine, NE on June 3. 2016. Nearly $16,000 was raised for the Volunteer Lawyers Project!
Member Benefit Spotlights
Credit Card Processing
IOLTA guidelines and the ABA Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to accept credit cards correctly. LawPay guarantees complete separation of earned and unearned fees, giving you the confidence and peace of mind that your transactions are always handled the right way. For more information visit www.LawPay.com/nebar.
A number of premiere hotels are pleased to offer NSBA member special rates.
- For reservations at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel call 1.866.706.7706 and ask for the NSBA rate or the Corporate Code ABA.
- For reservations at the Lincoln Embassy Suites visit http://www.embassysuites.com and ask for the Corporate Code 0560039593.
- For reservations at the Omaha Hilton please call 800-HILTONS or 402-998-3400 and ask for the NSBA Corporate Number 2624356
- For reservations at the Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown-Haymarket call 1-800-993-4751; please mention your company name OR visit – www.hyatt.com - Use corporate code TBD under special rate section.
Paychex provides a 15% NSBA member discount, one month free service and no set up fees! Take advantage by calling Paychex at 402.331.6600 or visit www.paychecx.com