The First Day of Spring



Members of the award-winning Miracle Hills Clinic: Back row, from left: Ashley Smith, Dr. Maman Lawan Ali, MD, Mary Ali and Heidi Kang. Front row: Cayla Johnson, Ashley Wallen, PA-C and Susan Browning. (Courtesy photo)

Miracle Hills Clinic
Focusing on Quality Patient Care, Not Quantity
By Emily Kerr
The Daily Record

Offering primary care featuring a holistic approach, bioidentical hormone replacement, a Ketamine clinic, laser treatments
and much more, Miracle Hills Clinic is an ideal place to solve many wellness woes.
The Omaha Chamber of Commerce has named Miracle Hills Clinic its winner of the March Small Business of the Month Award. Open for only three years, this intimate practice has already made a significant mark in the Omaha community.
Each staff member has a medical
background, and is trained to serve patients on an individual basis.
Having worked in several clinics large and small, Dr. Maman Lawan Ali developed his own philosophy as his experience grew.
“I don’t necessarily see things the same way (as other doctors),” he said. “I decided that I could come up with something that treats people better, spend more time with patients, and treat them with meaningful medications and better care.”
Susan Browning, director of operations at Miracle Hills Clinic, served as a medical specialist during her time in the military. She then went on to get her master’s in business administration and sought a smaller clinic because of the atmosphere.

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Burwell Fifth-Grader Wins
State Missing Children Poster Contest

Lincoln – Each year, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office invites fifth graders from across the state to participate in the Nebraska Missing Children’s Day poster contest.
The posters are intended to raise awareness of missing children and remind parents, guardians and caregivers to make the safety of their children a priority.
Ericka Larsen from Burwell is the 2019 first-place contest winner. The winning poster portrays a pair of hands holding binoculars. These binoculars are looking at a map of the world with children on it.
Larsen wrote, “If I was missing I would want my family to look not just in the state but all around the world.” In her essay, she said, “I made this poster to show children who are missing. We are looking for them and to show parents that we are looking for their missing children.”
As the winner of the statewide contest, Larsen’s poster will be submitted to a national competition with the U.S. Department of Justice. The national winner will be awarded at the annual ceremony in May recognizing National Missing Children’s Day.
To learn more about this year’s poster contest winner, visit


The abandoned Yale Park Apartments sit vacant in North Omaha after a raid last September left hundreds of people homeless. The living conditions at Yale Park set off a debate over rental housing inspections at both the state legislature and city council. (Photo by Scott Stewart)

Landlord Registry: Harmful or Helpful?
By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

A raid of the Yale Park Apartments in North Omaha last fall has sparked a statewide discussion about the appropriate role of government in rental housing.
Hundreds of Myanmar refugees were placed into emergency shelters after the apartment complex was deemed uninhabitable in September. Nearly a hundred complaints were filed by residents, who had been living alongside bedbugs, rodents and mold. A majority of units were found to have gas leaks.
Restoring Dignity, a refugee advocacy group involved with the inspections and subsequent evacuation of residents, describes Yale Park as the “tipping point” of a housing rights movement in Omaha. Several legislative proposals, both at the municipal and state levels, have sought to improve housing conditions by instituting inspections or otherwise strengthening tenant rights.
“Unsafe housing is pervasive in our low-income housing market, leaving countless members of our community with no option but to endure squalid conditions just to keep a roof over their families’ heads,” Hannah Wyble, founder and executive director of Restoring Dignity, said in a news release.
Opponents of those proposals have argued there aren’t many bad actors in the community and that an inspection requirement would be ineffective, costly and ultimately result in higher rent for those most in need of affordable housing, which could increase homelessness or the need for government subsidies.

The Metropolitan Omaha Property Owners Association, which represents about 500 independent rental property owners, instead encourages using existing remedies, such as code enforcement complaints and notification of needed repairs under the Nebraska Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
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Wendy Monbouquette (left) accepts the Judge Colleen R. Buckley Service Award from Hon. Marcela Keim at the Omaha Law League’s annual Casino Night. (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Casino Night a Big Winner For Omaha Law League
An enthusiastic crowd braved the blizzard and turned out for the 4th Annual Omaha Law League (OLL) Casino Night February 22 at the Livestock Exchange Building.
They networked, gambled away play money and bid real money on a wide array of tempting options including a Coach leather messenger bag, a curated wine tasting for 20 courtesy of Wine Styles, tickets to local college and pro sporting events and much more.
All of the proceeds go to the OLL’s signature project – the annual Court House Tours for more than 2,500 Metro-area 4th graders. The organization has served more than 50,000 students in the 43 years since the project began.
The OLL provides not only the tour guides of the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center and the Douglas County Courthouse, but also bus transportation for all the students. Judges provide one-on-one time in their courtrooms for the students as well. OLL also provides scholarships for Creighton law students.
– Lorraine Boyd

Hand-Eye Coordination is Vital to Success
Form is everything in the grueling sport of Cornholing. If you aren’t familiar with the sport, just walk through a parking lot full of tailgaters and you’ll quickly see the allure. The Omaha Bar’s young lawyers decided to chase away the frigid winter blues by throwing their own “tailgate” event. Eight teams of two to four players squared off at Thunderhead Brewing Taproom on February 5 to sample their craft brews and fling beanbags across the room. OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers said a rematch is in the works.
The first ever OBA Cornhole Champions are (from left) Zach Winter and John Wood. Winter is the lawyer and Wood the “ringer.” They bested seven other teams at the Young Lawyers Division event for the coveted trophy.
(Photos by Lorraine Boyd)


Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts moves around the room as he answers law students’ wide-ranging questions. (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Ricketts Helps Celebrate Phi Delta Phi Centennial
The Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Inn at Creighton School of Law kicked off a year-long celebration of their centennial on campus by sponsoring a visit from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.
Feb. 6, law students, professors and others heard the governor give an informal presentation on the current
state of the three branches of government in Nebraska.
He then opened the session up for questions and there was no shortage of them. Topics ranged from his stands on immigration, minimum wage, medical marijuana and consolidation of small Nebraska counties. The governor said local involvement is a must in those cases.
Inn President Christopher McMahon got the answers he was seeking on a bill which cleans up a typo in a very old bill that has had an adverse impact on recent judicial decisions.
One student wrapped up the Q&A with a question on future plans for the Chicago Cubs, the baseball team that the governor’s family owns.
“We won the World Series in 2016 and last year we won 95 games, which would have put us in the championship were it not for a couple of unlucky playoffs, so we’re doing it right,” he said.
Phi Delta Phi will welcome Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson to campus on March 19 at noon in the second of their series of talks.
– By Lorraine Boyd
Anne C. (Howell) Boyle
December 22, 1942 – Feb. 2, 2019
‘An Extraordinary Woman and a Patriot’
One of the giants of the Democratic Party in Omaha, Anne C. (Howell) Boyle passed away at home last Saturday at age 76, after suffering a stroke earlier in the week.
During her decades in politics and in the public eye, she held her family’s banner high, contributing greatly to their legacy.
In a profile story published 20 years ago when Anne ran for the Public Service Commission, she was quoted as saying that although she had been happy playing a supporting role in campaigns, “The incumbent chose not to run, so I did.”
She was no stranger to politics though. Her great-grandfather, Edward E. Howell, served on the Omaha City Council, and was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 1896 and her grandfather, Sam J. Howell, served in the legislature in the 1930s. Her aunt, Marge Higgins, was a state legislator. Her father, Sam J. Howell Jr., was Douglas County Treasurer for 38 years – “the dean of the courthouse.” And her husband Mike, now a Douglas County Commissioner, was mayor of Omaha.
– By Lorraine Boyd

CU Phi Delta Phi Inn Celebrates Centennial
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

The Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society chapter of Creighton School of Law is celebrating its centennial this year with a series of guest speakers and an alumni reunion and banquet later this year. It is the oldest student organization at the law school and one of the oldest on campus.
The 100th anniversary coincides with the 115th anniversary of Creighton School of Law, which will also have its own events scheduled.

At 150 years old, the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society (PDP) is the oldest legal organization
in continuous existence in the United States, pre-dating even the American Bar Association.
Founded in 1869 at the University of Michigan School of Law by four law students at the urging of their faculty, they endeavored to create an association that would foster “scholarship, civility, and ethical conduct” in the legal profession.
Christopher McMahon, a part-time law student at Creighton, is the school chapter’s president.

Assistant Professor Carol Knoepfler, is the chapter’s faculty advisor.
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Lamson Dugan & Murray Announces French, Lighthall and Feeney as Partners
Lamson Dugan & Murray is pleased to announce that attorneys Catherine E. (Katie) French, Maria T. Lighthall and Adam R. Feeney have become partners of the firm as of January 1, 2019.
French’s practice focuses in the areas of estate planning and administration, real estate, guardianships/
conservatorships, business succession planning and corporate governance. She prides herself on helping clients navigate complex issues that can arise during often stressful legal proceedings, and seeks to help them achieve peace of mind by knowing their family and business is prepared for whatever the future may bring. French graduated from Creighton University School of Law and also received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Creighton University.
Lighthall is a member of the firm’s insurance defense, railroad law, torts and product liability, toxic tort, worker’s compensation and litigation practices. She represents and advises clients on a broad range of matters, with expertise defending clients in personal injury, insurance and worker’s compensation matters. Lighthall graduated from Drake University, cum laude, with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. After undergraduate school she attended Creighton University School of Law, where she participated in the Civil Law Clinic and interned for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nebraska.
Feeney is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. He has represented clients in a wide range of disputes in areas including corporate, partnership, breach of contract, creditors’ rights, product liability, RICO, securities fraud, employment and trust and estate. Feeney has tried cases in state and federal court and before arbitral tribunals from a variety of arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce, American Arbitration Association/International Center for Dispute Resolution and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Prior to joining Lamson Dugan & Murray, he practiced in the litigation, arbitration and employment department of the New York City office of Hogan Lovells. Feeney received a double major in political science and communications from the University of Iowa. He receicved his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction.
For more information about Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP please visist their website at

Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP Names Deaver to Partner;
Hires O’Keefe, Estwick, Langdon
and Johnson
Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP is proud to announce it has promoted Andrew P. Deaver to partner of the Firm and has added Kevin J. O’Keefe, Christopher O. Estwick, Peter M. Langdon and M. Tyler Johnson as associates.
Deaver focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships and business organizational and contractual matters. He is an active volunteer in the U.S. Small Business Association’s SCORE, assisting future business owners with startup considerations. Deaver received his B.A. in Chemistry from Dordt College in 2005 and his J.D., cum laude, from Creighton University School of Law in 2010. Deaver joined the Firm as an associate in 2013. He is admitted to practice in Nebraska and Iowa.
O’Keefe brings over 10 years of experience to the Firm’s litigation team. O’Keefe will focus his practice on insurance defense, insurance coverage opinions, commercial litigation, estate litigation and criminal defense. Prior to joining the Firm, O’Keefe worked in private practice as a civil litigator and also spent two years as an Assistant Ford County Attorney in Dodge City, Kansas, where he gained significant trial experience. O’Keefe obtained his B.A. from Rutgers University in 2005 and his J.D. from Washburn University with Deans Honors in 2008. He is admitted to practice in Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio and New Jersey.
Estwick has joined the Firm’s business department. Estwick focuses his practice on business and corporate law with an emphasis in intellectual property and technology law, corporate structuring, commercial lending, franchising and real estate matters. He received his B.A. from Creighton University in 2010 and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2014, where he served as a note and comment editor for the Journal of Corporation Law and received the Willard L. Boyd Public Service Award. Estwick currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Urban League of Nebraska.
Langdon focuses his practice on corporate matters, commercial transactions and employment law. Langdon received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014 and his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 2017. During law school, he served as the Executive Editor of the Creighton Law Review. Langdon is currently pursuing his LL.M. in taxation from Villanova University and will graduate in the fall of 2019.
Johnson assists clients in a wide variety of matters, including entity formation, corporate governance, intellectual property, real estate, general business law matters and estate planning. Johnson graduated, cum laude, from Wayne State College in 2014 and earned his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law in 2018, where he was a member of the National Moot Court Team.
“We are pleased to have Andy join the partnership and we look forward to his continued service to our clients and contributions to the Firm,” said Tom Malicki, a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. “We also welcome Kevin, Chris, Peter and Tyler to the Firm, who will provide us with the knowledge, skill, and capacity to meet the ever-changing legal needs of our clients. As the Firm celebrates its 75th year, the addition of this group of talented attorneys will allow the firm to provide quality legal services to our clients for years to come.”
For more information about Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP please visist their website at

Learning More About the Military
Col. Eric Paulson engages the audience with some humor at the annual joint Omaha Bar Association (OBA)/Metro Omaha Medical Society (MOMS) meeting on March 12 at the Marriott Regency, although he admitted he was an Oklahoma Sooners fan. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. (More photos below)    (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Doctors, Lawyers Get to Know ‘Neighbor’
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Air Force Col. Eric C. Paulson, Commander of the 55th Operations Group, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, emphasized the close relationship that the people of Offutt AFB have with the people of Omaha as he spoke at the joint meeting of the Omaha Bar Association and Metro Omaha Medical Society meeting March 12 at the Marriott Regency.
“I am here to help you get better acquainted with your neighbor,” he said.
He noted that just as “The Sun Never Sets on the Fightin’ 55th,” it also never sets on those connections.
Over the years, 44,000 former Offutt personnel have settled in Omaha.
He himself settled here, sending his two daughters to Westside Schools for nearly their entire schooling. That’s unusual, he noted, for military personnel. He also noticed that the organizations represented at the event all shared a stated mission that incorporates honor and integrity.
He brought the crowd up to date on happenings at the base, including the closure of the runway as a new one is built. That will result in pilots being bussed daily to Lincoln for training and other duties.
Since 2020’s Open House and Air Show will not take place, he promised that they plan to pull out all the stops this year.
He also stressed that the 55th Wing has clocked 10,000 days (and nights) – 29 years of continuous presence in the Middle East.

Above: A full house of doctors and lawyers greeted Col. Eric Paulson, who spoke at the annual joint Omaha Bar Association/Metro Omaha Medical Society meeting on March 12 at the Marriott Regency.

The presidents of the Metro Omaha Medical Society, Lindsay Northam, MD, (left) and the Omaha Bar Association, Pat Cooper, JD, (right)welcome Col.Eric Paulson.
(Photos by Lorraine Boyd)

Daniel E. Dawes, JD, presents this year’s TePoel Lecture at Creighton University. Dawes is the author of 150 Years of ObamaCare, a book looking at the surprisingly long history of the nation’s efforts to create a sustainable, affordable health care system. (Photo by Creighton University)

Dawes Leads Off Day-Long
Look at Health Care at Symposium

The TePoel Lecture at Creighton University was held on a very snowy March 7, in conjunction with the Annual Creighton Law Review Symposium.
This year’s TePoel lecturer was Daniel E. Dawes, JD, senior advisor and general counsel at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine and professor at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University.
He is the author of 150 Years of ObamaCare, a book looking at the surprisingly long history of the nation’s efforts to create a sustainable, affordable health care system.

Metropolitan Community College students work on a capstone project house at the Construction Education Center at Metro’s Fort Omaha campus. The house was later moved to 5603 N. 30th St., a lot donated by the Omaha Municipal Land Bank, where it was finished by Bridge Network before being listed for sale to the public.  (Photo courtesy Metropolitan Community College)

MCC Teams Up With Land Bank to Build Homes
By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

A partnership among industry, education, government and nonprofit entities hopes to transform the North 30th Street corridor by fostering development one new home at a time.
Metropolitan Community College construction students, along with faculty and professional mentors, built a house as part of their capstone project last year. That house is now for sale as the next cohort of students work on a second house destined for the community near Metro’s Fort Omaha campus.
Marty Barnhart, executive director of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank, said they donated a lot right across North 30th Street from the Fort Omaha campus for the first capstone house. He said the nonprofit Bridge Network assisted the college in transporting and situating the residence on the lot, finishing the project and preparing it for sale to the public.

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Twelve-year-old Jeremy Hayes (right) enjoys a game of Monopoly and cup of hot chocolate with staff members James Jones (left) and Patrick Taylor at MAYS February 26. Hayes was one of five boys at the house after school that day. (Photo by Antone Oseka)

Metro Area Youth Services
MAYS Sees the Potential, Not the Problems in Youth Offenders
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

It may look like an old house and it’s easy to wonder why you have to cross a church parking lot just east of 52nd and Ames Avenue to get to the back door. Then you ask yourself: “Is this the right place?”
Step inside – you’re immediately in the kitchen – and it suddenly unfolds.
You have come to the right place and so have these young men and women.
Five years into its existence, Metro Area Youth Services (MAYS) has grown into an integral part of the juvenile justice system.
“Our clients are kids that are on probation or kids who are in the foster system,” said Patrick Taylor, one of the owners of MAYS and Director of Youth Development.
As a for-profit business, MAYS contracts with the state probation office and is an out-of-network provider for PromiseShip, while also providing services for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Grant funding is accessed through partnerships with nonprofits and the City of Omaha in its crime prevention efforts.
For young people in the day and evening reporting program, MAYS offers transportation. Those involved with MAYS range from status offenders to criminal offenders. They are as young as 12 and may be as old as 19.

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Mallory Hughes from Dornan, Troia, Howard, Breitkreutz & Conway PC LLO has quickly become one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Omaha. (Photo by Scott Stewart)

Dornan Law Team
Hughes Racks Up Acquittals,
Dismissals for Her Clients

By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Mallory Hughes has had four jury acquittals in the past 14 months.
It’s pretty common for the 34-year-old attorney with Dornan, Troia, Howard, Breitkreutz & Conway PC LLO. She has maintained an impressive success rate with cases she’s brought to trial in Nebraska courtrooms over the past several years.
She’s had nearly a dozen acquittals and dismissals in significant cases since 2013, along with a murder case where her client was convicted for a lesser
count of manslaughter.
Her most recent case ended in an acquittal for a count of a first degree sexual assault after a four-day jury trial. The case involved DNA testing, which Hughes said excluded her client. The jury deliberated for about three and a half hours.
Stu Dornan, a former Douglas County Attorney, said Hughes has surpassed many criminal defense attorneys already in her career in terms of receiving acquittals and dismissals in cases where prosecutors
generally prevail when they file charges.
“Getting an acquittal in a criminal case – that’s few and far between,” Dornan said. “In my experience, there are a number of veteran criminal defense attorneys who, in their career, have not been able to achieve a not guilty verdict. Mallory stands at the other end of the spectrum.”
Thomas Monaghan, a former U.S. Attorney for Nebraska who works for Dornan Law Team, said it’s unusual to have the sort of success Hughes has had in criminal defense.
“It’s very rare to lose cases as a prosecutor,” Monaghan said.

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After nearly 25 years on the Douglas County Court bench, the Hon. Larry Barrett retired at the end of January. (Photo by Jaimey Barrett)

Riding Off into the Sunset
Barrett Steps Down From Bench, Plans to Visit
Every Nebraska County on a Motorcycle

By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

As the Douglas County Courthouse wraps up renovations that have left court workers displaced, and often in cramped temporary quarters, Judge Lawrence E. Barrett decided it was time for a change.
After nearly a quarter century on the bench, Barrett retired effective Jan. 31. The Nebraska Judicial Resources Commission has yet to meet to determine whether to fill his vacancy.
“I really didn’t want to get to that position where you start to get jaded because of seeing so many things over and over,” Barrett said. “After 40 years as a lawyer, it was time.”
Barrett said he became eligible to retire last spring, and he wanted to travel more. He said his discussion was also influenced by the unexpected death of Judge Mark Ashford, who died at age 66 in his chambers after a stroke in August.

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The leadership of CleanWash Laundry Systems includes (from left): Vice President Mike Lyman, Kevin Carlson and President Todd Santoro. (Photo by Emily Kerr)

CleanWash Laundry
Taking the Competition to the Cleaners
By Emily Kerr
The Daily Record

From its vintage showroom built in 1890, CleanWash Laundry Systems has been a staple in the Omaha community since their opening in 2011.
This month, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce honored them with their Small Business of the Month Award because of their steadfast commitment to quality and service.
Boasting a family history of owning small businesses and the discipline of 16 years in the National Guard Reserve, Todd Santoro realized his potential success as a business owner. In fact, Santoro’s in-laws had an extensive history in the laundry business, owning and managing their own laundromats for more than 50 years.
After buying their first location in 2008, Santoro decided to make the switch from laundromats to distribution; selling and servicing new equipment to local hotels, laundromats, apartment complexes and even prisons.
While most laundromats are owned by families, the average distributor works from a mobile office (aka their vehicle), whereas CleanWash utilizes a more internet-based approach.

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Catherine “Katie” French loves her work at Lamson Dugan & Murray. (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Catherine French
Young Lawyer Welcomes Challenges
By Elizabeth A. Elliott
The Daily Record

Catherine “Katie” French, a young attorney at Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP, wanted a career that would challenge her.
“I knew a law degree would give me many options to develop my career over a lifetime,” she said.
She has found several mentors at her law firm, where she has worked for eight years – two years as a clerk and six as a practicing attorney – who encourage her to grow as an attorney.
“I can bounce ideas off the more experienced attorneys at the firm, and I have gotten to work hand-in-hand with attorneys that practice in other areas of law when a case brings together my practice and some other area of litigation,” French said. “Having colleagues who are supportive of the evolution from a new attorney to a more experienced attorney make it enjoyable to come to work every day.”
French advises other young lawyers to learn as much as they can in the area in which they want to practice.
“Go to seminars, read articles, talk to other attorneys with more experience in that area of law,” she said. “You are doing your clients a disservice if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you are comfortable in your knowledge of the law, you can confidently give advice to clients.”

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(Photos by Lorraine Boyd)
Omaha Bar Association Wine Tasting
Historic Setting, Extraordinary Wine
The venue for the 19th Annual Omaha Bar Association Wine Tasting took place at The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm, owned by attorney Jill Podraza with her husband Troy. The beautiful, Dutch gambrel-style barn was built in 1935 and designated a landmark by the City of Omaha’s Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission in 2002. That same month, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The ambiance delivered by The Barn elevated the annual event, which featured fine wines from wineries on the West Coast for tasting, poured into souvenir OBA glasses.
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Gary Gotsdiner of Omaha, right, receives the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award from John Kotouc of Omaha. (Photo courtesy of Nebraska State Bar Foundation)

Gotsdiner Honored by State Bar Foundation
Omaha attorney Gary Gotsdiner was among three long-time members of the legal profession
honored Saturday night in Omaha at the 31st annual Fellows Dinner of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation.
Gotsdiner is chairman,
and director of McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp of Omaha. He received the Bar Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his impressive background in law and his community support. He is a 1978 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law.
“I am excited, honored and grateful to receive this award,” Gotsdiner said. “The Nebraska State Bar Foundation does extraordinary work promoting law-related education in the State of Nebraska.”
Others honored were retired District Court Judge Mary Gilbride, who received the Bar Foundation’s Legal Pioneer Award, and retired Administrative Judge and former Lancaster County Attorney Ron Lahners, who received the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award.
In addition, 30 Nebraska lawyers and judges were inducted as Bar Foundation Fellows, joining 761 colleagues who have been chosen for the honor over the past five decades. Lawyers are invited to become Fellows based on their integrity and character, their distinction in the profession or in the community, their contributions to the profession or the community, and their contributions to the Bar Foundation.

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Above: Retired District Court Judge Mary Gilbride, left, receives the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Legal Pioneer Award from Retired United States Attorney Deborah Gilg.

Below: Retired Administrative Judge Ron Lahners, left, receives the Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award from Retired Administrative Judge Rod Anderson.
(Photos courtesy of Nebraska State Bar Foundation)


Mike Fenner’s delivery shows why he’s been a popular law professor for 47 years at Creighton School of Law.    (Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Fenner Exposes the Wizard, Poses Constitution Questions
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

The Omaha Bar Association’s 29th annual Lunch with Fenner event gave participants a “Peek Behind the Green Curtain.”
Held at Creighton University February 27 after being postponed a week because of a snowstorm, law professor Mike Fenner gave a scholarly and often personal look at today’s legal issues, especially those pertaining to the Constitution.
Fenner, whose left-leaning political views are well-known, first offered his take on the latest Trump news before moving on to the Constitution.
“I knew the talk had to be about President (Donald) Trump and the law. I think this was the most difficult talk I’ve given,” he said, “because the topic is such a moving target. It would have been a lot easier to give it a week ago. It’s like playing dodgeball in hell – the balls just keep coming, they just keep coming.”
Creighton News
As is traditional, he first offered some Creighton School of Law news. Justice Clarence Thomas recently spent a week at the law school, as he has been doing every other year for many years.
“He spends loads of time with students,” Fenner said. “We team teach a seminar. For him, it’s all about students, students, students. ‘All I want to do is be with the students,’ he told me.”

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Pictured in Chicago at the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition are, from left, coach Steve Hogan, Lidia Osorio, Taylor Wemhoff and Jon-Thomas Roemmick. (Courtesy photo)

Black Law Student Association
Growing Organization Offers Students Opportunities
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Law students don’t have a lot of spare time, so when they add an organization to the mix, it must be something special.
Nearly 25 Creighton law students added the graduate/professional Black Law Student Association (BLSA) to their to-do list this year.
Could it have been because the small-but-mighty organization took home Creighton University’s “Most Outstanding Graduate/Professional School Student Organization” last year?
Among BLSA’s many activities last year were organizing and fielding a new team for the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition; attending and competing at the Midwest Regional BLSA Conference in St. Louis; moderating
and assisting with the Creighton University Lane Lecture on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, featuring the renowned Rev. Fred Gray and Greg Rhodes, JD ’81; assisting with the alumni merit award recognition last fall of Donald Montgomery, JD ’89; and coordinating and assisting with the Judge Elizabeth D. Pittman Award ceremony honoring the Hon. Wadie Thomas, JD ’80.

From left are members of the 2017-18 award-winning BLSA: Michael Jack, Jamel Walker, Candace Roach, Kai Wahrmann-Harry, Taylor Renfro, Dominique O’Connor, Professor Raneta Mack, Lidia Osorio and Oluseyi Olowolafe. (Creighton photo)

BLSA’s nominators stated: “Perhaps most importantly of all, (they remained) a positive and influential presence at the law school throughout the year. … The chapter strives to fulfill the University’s mission and goals by continuously working to promote positivity and inclusivity among not only the whole law school, but the entire community.”
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Ben Watson leads the Housing Unit at the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, looking to eliminate housing discrimination all across the state. (Courtesy photo)

Fighting Discrimination in Many Forms
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

Ben Watson of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) is used to facing challenges.
The agency’s stated vision is: “Eliminating discrimination in the State of Nebraska.”
Despite this being “The Good Life” and the home of “Nebraska Nice,” it doesn’t always seem that way to everyone. Discrimination takes place across the state daily. The task to eliminate it provides some job security, with Watson and his section focusing on housing issues, public accommodations and employment cases.
“During presentations, I like to joke that we’ve basically set ourselves up to fail at an impossible task,” Watson said. “But really, like most mission statements, it’s just a matter of doing what we can to aid people in the here and now as we move toward and strive for that sort-of out-of-reach goal.”

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Creighton Reschedules
MLK Panel Discussion On Service

By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

A panel discussion at Creighton originally planned as part of a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy has been rescheduled after being cancelled due to inclement weather.
Douglas County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chris Rodgers, Omaha City Council President Ben Gray and State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha will discuss “Advancing Community Issues Through Government Service” and answer questions from the audience on March 22.
Jamel Walker, a second-year law student and president of the Black Law Students Association, will moderate the event. Walker said previously that panelists will discuss how to make progress on public policy issues.
“They will be able to talk about the challenges and the opportunities that they see moving forward on issues that are important to all of us but to the African-American community in particular,” Walker said.
Rodgers said he plans to discuss issues in the context of Martin Luther King Jr. and his policy agenda.
“We still have a long way to go to get where Dr. King wanted to get to,” he said.
Gray said he plans to bring up the importance of voting as much as possible in his remarks.
“I would hope that people would come for the discussion,” Gray said. “I would also hope that they would come with their minds open.”
The panel discussion will be held at Creighton University’s Ahmanson Law Center, 2133 Cass St., in Room 124 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. A reception will follow in the commons area. Information on how to RSVP will be available online at


Judge James Coe has presided over Workers’ Compensation cases for more than 30 years now and is still going strong.
(Photo by Lorraine Boyd)

Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court
Move to Bench Was ‘Good for the Soul’ for Coe
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

In the lower level of the Hall of Justice, behind an unassuming door leading to a short hallway, lies the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Not many people are aware it’s there, much less who the judges are that preside
Meet James Coe. The Omaha native graduated from Westside High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in business administration. He continued his education at Nebraska College of Law, where he attained his law degree in 1974.

Click here for full story
Safe Harbour Helps Real Estate Investors
With 1031 Exchanges

By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The earning power behind a 401(k) comes from compounding the value of returns while deferring taxes as the account grows its balance.
A 1031 exchange, referring to a different section of the Internal Revenue Code, offers
similar tax-deferring advantages
for real estate investors looking to dispose of a property while reinvesting those gains into a new piece of real estate.
Click here for full story


Sam DelSenno, managing director of D4 Omaha, poses for a photo at their office near 15th and Farnam Streets. The Omaha location handles all types of paper legal work for briefs, exhibits and evidence in house.    (Photo by Scott Stewart)

D4 Omaha
Keeping Paper, Digital Records Flowing
To Area Law Firms, Legal Departments

By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Binders of paper fill a courtroom as a trial gets underway, representing a multitude of billable hours and painstaking research upon which the outcome of litigation hangs in the balance.
Someone has to run copies of all those exhibits. Someone has to be certain a page isn’t missing from a brief and that all those carefully collated copies are accessible at a moment’s notice.

Click here for full story


Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community

MARCH 15 – MAY 3, 2019
Nebraska State Bar Association
Stress Management Boot Camp for Lawyers
Fridays, 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM
The Coeur Group Offices, Omaha
For More Information:


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