Matt Brown’s efforts to sell the house he was renting out were sometimes frustrating, but he ended up finding a buyer and a satisfied customer.

Buyers, Renters Devour
Omaha Housing in ‘Feeding Frenzy’

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Omaha frequently makes national “Best” lists: Best Place to Raise a Family, Best Place for Entrepreneurs, and even Top Military-Friendly Cities. Just last year, Time magazine included it on its Best Places to Live list, citing its economy, affordable homes, relatively short commute time, and “burgeoning food scene” as a few of its perks. The word seems to be out, because housing isn’t always easy to come by in this former “cow town.”
As Sean Petersen of NP Dodge explained: “Almost all homes [if priced right] in this market are flying off the shelves, no matter where they are located. With no question, the hottest area in town is midtown [Dundee, Aksarben, Benson, Blackstone, Midtown Crossing, UNO and UNMC areas]. It seems that many tend to gravitate toward these areas, considering this is where all the money is being put in for redevelopment and new communities.”

From left, Sean Petersen, Dawn Vrtiska, and Justin Pogge are agents on the Pogge Real Estate Team at NP Dodge.

Everyone is different when it comes to what they want in a purchase though. While some may need to be in a specific school district, others may be looking for a home that is close to work for an easy commute.

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NWCC Judge Van Norman to Retire
After More Than 23 Years of Service

Judge Laureen K. Van Norman will be retiring on January 5, 2017 after serving more than 23 years on the bench of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. The court extends its appreciation and thanks to Judge Van Norman for her many years of service.
Governor Ben Nelson appointed Judge Van Norman to the bench of the court on July 6, 1993. The court is composed of seven judges who are initially appointed by the governor and who then remain on the bench for successive six-year terms upon approval of the electorate.
Judge Van Norman last stood for retention in 2014. Judge Van Norman served as the court’s presiding judge for just over 11 years. Her first term ran from December 13, 1995 through June 30, 1997. She then served as acting presiding judge from March 5, 2007 through June 30, 2007. On July 1, 2007, she was once again elected presiding judge and has served in that capacity for continuous terms since then. The presiding judge is selected from among the court’s seven judges for a two-year term.
Following are some of the highlights of Judge Van Norman’s career with the court:

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– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
From left, Retired Judge Bob Burkhard, J. Terry Macnamara, three members of First National’s team and Fall Kickoff chair Tom Gaughen, hosting for his 35th year, shared in the evening’s fun.

The Omaha Bar Association, through the generous sponsorship of First National Bank, greets the new year of OBA activities each year with a kickoff party for members and law students. This year, a crowd of more than 300 gathered outside for a pre-dinner hour at the bank’s beautiful West Dodge business campus, then went inside to feast on beef, pork and chicken from Hap Abraham Catering. Mostly, they feasted on camaraderie, greeting old friends and making many new ones. Judges from the Nebraska Supreme Court on down, teachers from Nebraska’s law schools and officials of both the state and local bars were all given the opportunity to listen to the trio led by local musical legend Joey Gulizia, while mingling and trading war stories. It was the 46th annual kickoff event.

Legal Aid of Nebraska Launches Online Self-Help
For Nebraskans Facing Debt and Housing Legal Problems

Legal Aid of Nebraska has officially launched Law Help Nebraska, an online platform that helps make equal justice happen for low-income Nebraskans by effectively addressing questions about collections problems faced by debtors, and housing issues faced by tenants. The program, available in all 93 counties, provides a user friendly virtual self-help system for those needing quick assistance. Law Help Nebraska addresses a major gap in rural areas lacking physical lawyer presence.  It also helps to unclog court systems and simplifies the process of answering questions and generating legal forms for low-income Nebraskans.
Research suggests that as many as 90 percent of people with collections problems show up to court without adequate representation or knowledge of how to represent themselves. These self-help litigants often find that their rights are not being protected.

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Likes Meyerson Hatch attorney Robert Likes, standing, talks with Brandon Dickerson.  Both lawyers are partners at the firm. Dickerson recently was named 2016 Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section.

Dickerson Honored as Outstanding
Young Lawyer By American Bar
Association for Nonprofit Work

By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record

Brandon Dickerson knows a lot about the world of nonprofit organizations. He’s a partner at Likes Meyerson Hatch LLC, an Omaha law firm, and works with local and national nonprofit organizations, including community hospitals, on such matters as corporate governance, regulatory compliance, executive compensation and business transactions.
Dickerson is married to Erika Overturff Dickerson, who founded and runs her own non-profit organization, Ballet Nebraska. Asked whether she leans on his nonprofit advice, Dickerson replied, “I learn a lot more from my wife than she does from me. Erika is a very capable person.”
Dickerson, if he were ever inclined to boast, can point out a new national honor: He has been named the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for nonprofit law.
The Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section grants the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award to a young attorney deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the nonprofit sector and/or the development of nonprofit law. It is one of five national awards the committee grants lawyers in the nonprofit sector each year.
Dickerson’s early years were spent in Texas and Utah. His family “moved around a lot. My dad was an oil worker.”

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Warren Whitted and Alex Boyd were two of the first Omaha-area NetWORKS! members to meet for professional networking over lunch.                

NetWORKS! Helps Lawyers
Build Their Professional Networks

NetWORKS! is the Nebraska State Bar Association’s new professional networking group.  The main purpose of the group is helping NSBA voluntary dues-paying lawyers and judges build their professional networks.
Each NetWORKS! member is matched with a different lawyer for coffee or lunch every two months.  The lawyers are responsible for contacting each other to set a date and place for coffee or lunch.
“Building a professional network is so important, both for the lawyers themselves and their clients,” notes NSBA President Tom Maul.  “NetWORKS! is an easy way to build your legal network in an interesting, fun way.”
NetWORKS! offers three groups – Omaha, Lincoln and Greater Nebraska.  Lawyers and judges may sign up for any group they choose.  Some lawyers are choosing to sign up for more than one group.  NetWORKS! started as a pilot in Omaha in August, and is now expanding to Lincoln and Greater Nebraska.  The Lincoln group will operate the same as the Omaha group.
“The Greater Nebraska group will evolve based on the number of members and their locations,” according to Maul.  “Those of us in Greater Nebraska will have to put a bit more effort into making the new connections, but a good professional network is so valuable that it will be worth it.  I was the first person to sign up for the Greater Nebraska group, and I encourage my colleagues in Greater Nebraska to join me.”  
For more information see the NetWORKS! page on the NSBA website ( and contact Lorrie Benson at NSBA at or 402-475-7091.


Shonna Dorsey, co-founder and managing director of Interface Web School, has racked up nearly a dozen honors since the school launched in 2014. She says she is “working to improve the lives of others through technology.”

Interface Web School Cultivating Tech Talent,
Collecting Small Business Honors      

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

Greater Omaha needs tech workers. The Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for September cultivates tech workers. That goes together like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
“Tech is fascinating to me, and it empowers people,” said Shonna Dorsey, co-founder and managing director of Interface Web School.
Launched in 2014, Interface offers everything from 1-to-2 day workshops to more immersive 7-to-11-week web development courses that meet three nights a week. Students range in age from six to 60-plus. Many of the instructors are full-time web developers.

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Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court Chief Judge Douglas F. Johnson (left) visits in his courtroom with participants at Judges and Kids Day, held every summer at the Douglas County Courthouse. His dog, Finnegan, is there to make everyone feel comfortable.

Judge Doug Johnson
New OBA President Promises to
‘Stir the Pot’ to Maintain a ‘Good Soup’

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
The Omaha Bar Association is lucky to have snagged Doug Johnson to be their president. He has so many irons in the fire, it’s hard to keep count. But one thing you can be sure of: he gives each and every obligation his full attention and energy.
The Chief Judge of the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County has served on that bench for 23 years. He also presides over Nebraska’s first Zero-to-Three Family Drug Treatment Court, which was established in 2005. He is co-chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Commission on Children in the Courts and a member of the Governor’s Commission on Protection of Children. He’s past president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and is a longtime member of its teaching faculty. He is the founding Lead Judge of the Omaha Model Court. He is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Creighton University School of Law. And he enthusiastically participates in the annual Adoption Day festivities and the annual Family Reunification Picnic for families that have reunited after “successfully completing their juvenile court journey.”
He is the recipient of a multitude of awards, including the OBA’s Robert M. Spire Public Service Award in 2010 and the 2010 Creighton University School of Law Alumni Merit Award, as well as the Nebraska Supreme Court Award of Distinguished Judge for Service to the Community in 2001.

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The Prentiss Grant team (from left): Lisa Daughtrey and Cynthia Ristau, paralegals; Joseph Grant, Paul Prentiss, Christopher Sievers, Jill Hamer Conway and Kelsey Kallhoff, attorneys.    
Prentiss Grant Law
Focus of 2-Year-Old Firm Is Mediation

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

For Paul Prentiss, the thought of being a partner in a law firm was nowhere on his mind during most of his college years.
For Joe Grant, well, he was born into the profession.
Prentiss Grant LLC was formed on Jan. 1, 2015. The two principals had been friends since 1981 when they were members of the same investment club. Both left established firms that were “winding down.”

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Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community

Why You Should Never Emulate TV Lawyers
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information:
Nonprofit Legal Compliance: Practical Governance
Nonprofit Association of the Midlands
11205 Wright Circle  Ste. 210, Omaha
11:30 – 1:00 p.m.
For more information:
Cybersleuth Investigative Series:Using Free Public Records
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information:
UNL: Guardianship in Nebraska
UNL College of Law
1875 N. 42nd St., Lincoln
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information:
YLD Public Service Event – Stop Hunger Now
Ramada Plaza Convention Center
3321 S. 72nd St., Omaha
3:00 p.m.
For More Information:
2016 Annual Real Estate Institute
Cornhusker Hotel
333 S. 13th St., Lincoln
9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
For More Information:
UNL: Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in American Universities
UNL College of Law
1875 N. 42nd St., Lincoln
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information:
Red Mass
 St. John’s Church at Creighton University
2500 California Plaza, Omaha
5:00 p.m. Mass
Reception Immediately Following at
Creighton University School of Law Commons
For More Information:
Email Andrea Bashara at:
NSBA Indian Law Section Book Series
Law at Little Big Horn: Due Process Denied
 Indigo Bridge Books
701 P St., #102, Lincoln
7:00 p.m.
For More Information:
enVISION 2016: Food Truck World Tour
A Benefit for Justice For Our Neighbors – Nebraska
729 N. 14th St., Omaha
5:30 p.m.
For More Information:
OBA Member Luncheon
With Creighton University Basketball Coach Greg McDermott
DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown
1616 Dodge St., Omaha
11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
 For More Information: Contact Dave Sommers at: or 402-280-3607
NSBA Indian Law Section Book Series
Tribal Justice: 25 Years as a Tribal Appellate Justice
The Bookworm
2501 S. 90th St., #111, Omaha
6:00 p.m.
 For More Information:
Complex Issues in Juvenile Court Practice IX
Creighton University School of Law
2500 California Plaza, Omaha
8:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


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September 26, 1977
Cleveland Browns play their 1st overtime game, beat Patriots 30-27

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