August 25, 2016, Application Deadline Set for District Court Judge Vacancy, Second Judicial District
According to Supreme Court Justice Stephanie F. Stacy, the Judicial Nominating Commission for District Judge in the 2nd Judicial District (consisting of Cass, Otoe, and Sarpy Counties) will hold a public hearing at the Cass County Courthouse, 346 Main Street, District Courtroom, Plattsmouth, Nebraska, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016. The primary place of office for the judicial vacancy is Plattsmouth, Cass County, Nebraska. At the hearing, the Commission will receive information on the qualifications of candidates to fill the vacancy in the office of District Judge due to the appointment of Judge Jeffrey J. Funke to the Supreme Court bench. Full Press Release
Leadership Academy Nominations Now Being Accepted - Deadline August 15, 2016
The Nebraska State Bar Association is pleased to announce the tenth annual Leadership Academy designed to develop and nurture future leaders of the association and profession. Class size is limited to 25 participants in order to ensure a high quality of participation and instruction. The members of the class will participate in a mandatory day and a half retreat on September 22-23, 2016 at the Carol Joy Hollings Camp in Ashland as well as a wide range of seminars during the five month academy starting in November. Schedule and Brochure
The academy is open to active, NSBA dues-paying members that will be in their third to fifteenth year of practice. Tuition of $500 covers the cost of all programs, meals, receptions, graduation dinner and printed materials. Programs offered by the Leadership Academy can fulfill your mandatory continuing legal education credits for the year. Individual participants are responsible for their own travel and personal expenses. Mileage and hotel reimbursement will be provided if you are required to travel more than 150 miles to attend a program session. Limited scholarships are also available and may be requested on the application form.
Complete and return the application form if you wish to apply to become a member of the Leadership Academy. Please return your completed application form by August 15, 2016 to Sam Clinch, Nebraska State Bar Association, 635 S 14th St. #200, Lincoln, NE 68508.
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.
Opportunities for Dues-Paying Members to Use Their 2 Free Hours of Ethics CLE
Legal Diversity Summit September 2nd (3.5 Hours of CLE, including 2.0 hours of Ethics, Lunch and a Networking Event for only $75).
The 2016 Annual Legal Diversity Summit scheduled for Friday September 2nd, 2016 at the Creighton Harper Center from 12:00 to 5:00. This year, the Summit will be include the following topis:
- The Changing Landscape: Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions and their Impact on Education’s and the Legal Profession’s Ability to Diversify (Luncheon Presentation)
- Accidental Racists and Other Elephants in the Room: The Impact of Subtle Forms of Bias on Access to Justice
- The Minority Law Student and Attorney Experience: Lessons for Law Schools, Employers, and Bars (and Humans, In General)
The event includes lunch, qualifies for 3.5 Hours of CLE, including 2.0 hours of Ethics and will be followed by a free networking event-- All made possible by the contributions of our generous event sponsors including: the University of Nebraska College of Law; Kutak Rock; Creighton University School of Law; Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP; Stinson Leonard Street, LLP; Baird Holm, LLP; Fraser Stryker and Legal Aid of Nebraska! Register Today!
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.
Volunteers Needed Friday, August 26th - Lawyers in the City, Omaha
The Volunteer Lawyers Project, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Midlands Bar Association and Omaha Bar Association are partnering to host Omaha’s second “Lawyers in the City” event at Metropolitan Community College campuses in South and North Omaha. Volunteers are needed to meet with low-income residents to answer questions about the court and court process and to provide basic information on divorce, custody, child support, guardianship, name change, powers of attorney, small claims, and other civil law matters. Attorneys are needed at:
Metropolitan Community College, South Omaha Campus
28th & Q Street, Conference Room A, South Omaha Library
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (sign up for 1, 2, or 3 hours)
Metropolitan Community College, Fort Omaha Campus
30th & Fort Street, Building 10, Room 136 C-D
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (sign up for 1, 2, or 3 hours)
This is a pro bono opportunity for attorneys of all practice types and with little or no family law or litigation experience. Experienced attorneys are onsite to answer volunteer questions. Contact Carol Cleaver at (402) 742-8127 or VLP@nebar.com to sign up, or for more information.
Pro Bono Online Starts August 22 - Nebraska Free Legal Answers Online
VLP is facilitating a new, online pro bono opportunity for Nebraska lawyers, including transactional, in house, corporate and government lawyers. Nebraska Free Legal Answers is part of an American Bar Association National Website that allows lawyers to provide limited scope civil legal advice to low-income Nebraskans who post questions on the Website.
No more set schedules, long training, or travel to do pro bono work. You can log in anytime from home or the office—anywhere you have Internet access. This is an exciting, convenient, and rewarding pro bono opportunity where you:
- decide the days and times you want to do pro bono work
- select the questions you want to answer
- give limited scope advice only
- earn pro bono credit for researching/answering questions
- track your pro bono hours
- have NLADA malpractice insurance coverage
VLP needs volunteers from all Nebraska counties to be ready when the Website launches Monday, August 22. Contact Carol Cleaver at (402) 742-8127 or VLP@nebar.com to register or obtain more information or to schedule a presentation at your firm or office. Watch an 8-minute YouTube video overview of the Website to see how easy it is to do pro bono online.
The NSBA Library: NSBA Publications and Videos at Your Fingertips
Administrative Practice Seminar on August 16
Register now for the NSBA’s all-day Administrative Law Seminar on Tuesday, August 16 in Lincoln. The seminar will include information on how rules and regulations are promulgated; how and why the administrative system differs from the regular legal system; contested cases from the perspectives of an agency, a private practitioner and a hearing officer; and administrative appeals. Both those new to administrative law and the more experienced will find value in the presentations.
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 August 5, 2016
Week of July 29, 2016
For a complete listing of recent opinions, visit the Nebraska Judicial Branch Website.
Bank Account Disclosure Rule Now Incorporates ABA Proposals to Protect Client Confidentiality
By Rhonda McMillion, Originally Published in ABA Journal Magazine
Managing partners at law firms around the country no doubt breathed a collective sigh of relief recently when the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury modified its bank account disclosure rule to include language that protects the confidentiality of clients when a firm opens new accounts on their behalf.
The rule—designed to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other illicit financial activity by clarifying and strengthening customer due diligence requirements for banks and other financial institutions—generally requires covered institutions to disclose the beneficial owners of entities opening new accounts. The term beneficial owner is defined in the rule as (1) any individual who directly or indirectly owns 25 percent or more of the equity interests of a legal entity or (2) an individual with significant responsibility to control, manage or direct the entity. Full Article
Three Ways to Attract New Clients by Demonstrating Expertise
By Lee Frederiksen, Originally Published in Attorney at Work
Few attorneys are eager to step away from client work to find new business, yet it’s an essential part of your practice. Since you must invest the time, what’s the best way to get the most from your effort?
A new research study identifies three business development methods that are the most successful for law firms. What do they have in common? All three are ways to demonstrate expertise and educate clients on matters they find compelling. Full Article
Be the Change: How Mentoring Can Improve Diversity in the Legal Profession
By Sonia R. Russo, Originally Published in ABA Law Practice Today
The state of diversity in the legal profession is grim. According to the report from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the American Bar Foundation entitled “First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table,” only 17% of equity partners in big firms and 22% of general counsel in the Fortune 500 are women. The picture is even bleaker when looking at attorneys of color in top leadership positions at firms. According to the National Association for Law Placement, as cited in the August 2015 New York Times article “Many Black Lawyers Navigate a Rocky, Lonely Road to Partner,” fewer than 2% of law firm partners are black, which is based on data collected by the NALP in 2014. According to the ABA Journal article published in March 2016, “Invisible…then Gone,” 85% “of minority female attorneys in the U.S. will quit large firms within seven years of starting their practice.” The same article quotes Danielle Holley-Walker, the dean of the Howard University School of Law, who said, “We’re still a profession less diverse than doctors or engineers and that is 88% white.” Full Article
The Six Types of Lawyer Films
By Thane Rosenbaum, Originally Published in ABA Journal Magazine
When it comes to films about the legal system, spoiler alerts aren’t necessary. For the most part, there’s little ambiguity about where a law film is going—no real surprises, few cliffhangers and not much in the way of romance. Movie lawyers are not unlike their real-life counterparts: Long days of reviewing documents and writing briefs are not conducive to getting the girl, or guy.
In many ways, however, law films mirror other cinematic genres. For instance, American movies are all but required by law—if not through Hollywood custom—to have happy endings. Movies about the legal system are no different. Legal relief, in movies, actually means what it says: A satisfying resolution accompanies the film’s end; a fictional client is likely to feel better after his brush with the law. Audiences, meanwhile, are sent home satisfied that the truth was discovered, justice was done, or just deserts received. Full Article
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