Friday, May 26, 2017

– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
Thomas Grennan of Gross & Welch addresses the packed Legislative Chambers at the annual Memorial Day ceremony which celebrates those local members of the Omaha Bar who have died in the past year.   

A Tribute to Those Who Sought Justice 
On Friday, May 19, the Omaha Bar Association, assisted by the Barristers Club of Omaha, honored 22 lawyers who died from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. The ceremony, chaired by attorney Michael F. Scahill, featured a vocal selection by attorney Thomas Shomaker and accompanist Peg Lacy and an address by attorney Thomas Grennan, who counted two of the honored lawyers as his classmates. Rev. J. D. Georlett, Dundee Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation and benediction. Benson VFW Post 2503 Honor Guard, including attorney Tom Penke, advanced the colors. Creighton Prep students played taps. Mention was also made of two lawyers – Hon. James Murphy and Walentine O’Toole law firm co-founder Richard Walentine – who died days after the cutoff date; they will be honored at next year’s ceremony. As many as 40 friends and relatives attended to honor the recently deceased Bonnie Durham Dawson, who was the first woman prosecutor in the state of Nebraska. She will be remembered in an upcoming issue of The Daily Record.  Asked what the ceremony meant to her, Jack Higgins’ wife Norma said it showed the great camaraderie and respect that Omaha lawyers have shared over the years, something that is not always as evident in other locations. Higgins’ daughter echoed that sentiment. Each family receives a personalized card and long-stemmed rose after the program.

The text of Grennan's talk and more photos can be found by
clicking here.


Donna Cody has been with ACI Worldwide from the beginning and was showered with praise at a celebration of her 40 years with the company.

ACI Worldwide Has Track Record Hiring Women,
Starting With the First, Donna Cody

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Traditionally, technology has been a man’s field, but that’s changing, thanks to companies like ACI Worldwide.  From its beginning, it has hired women like Donna Cody, who joined ACI (Applied Communications Inc.) in 1977. She was the company’s first female hire and is the longest tenured person at ACI.
At a recent celebration of her 40 years with the company, Cody explained that over the years, she and one of the company’s founders, Jim Cody – he would later become her husband – had kept in touch. During one conversation, he told her about a company he was developing, and, for many reasons, the opportunity sounded too good to pass up.
“In 1977, the corporate world was more structured,” she said. “A lot of the things we have today – casual dress – were unheard of.”

Click here for full story

Sampy Gajre




Leigh Ann Retelsdorf (left) and her mom Judy share a love of the law and much more.

Topsy-Turvy: Like Daughter, Like Mother
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Ambitious, feisty, driven, tough, likeable, fierce, strong: All adjectives used by family members to describe the women of the Retelsdorf family.
Mother’s Day is Sunday and this clan will celebrate their strong mothers, and daughters and sisters and nieces.
The matriarch of the family is Judith (Judy) Retelsdorf Shepherd.
Usually we tell a story about how the children followed in their parents’ footsteps, creating a two- or three-generation dynasty. Lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers top the list of inspiring family leaders.
But this Mother’s Day tale is different; we’re going to turn it on its head.
Judy’s daughter, Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, a Douglas County District Court judge since 2009, was the inspiration for her mother to go to law school.

               Caitie Ellis                                Leigh Ellis

Click here for full story

Smith Slusky Law Adds Wayne S. Rasmussen
Smith Slusky Law recently announced that Wayne S. Rasmussen has joined the firm, building an even stronger presence in the real estate law arena. Rasmussen brings more than 35 years experience to the firm, with real estate and business law as two of his main areas of practice.
“While Smith Slusky Law has expertise in a wide variety of practice areas, we’re really seeing growth in our business and real estate practices,” said Senior Partner H. Daniel Smith, “so Wayne will make a great addition to the team.”
Rasmussen also brings in-depth knowledge and legal experience in estate planning and probate, which are areas Smith Slusky Law can utilize in the general practice side of the firm.
Senior Partner Jerry Slusky said, “Wayne Rasmussen – along with the recent addition of real estate attorney Tom McLeay – is making Smith Slusky Law stronger than ever and will no doubt provide an even better future for the firm.”
For more information regarding the law firm of Smith Gardner Slusky Lazer Pohren & Rogers, LLP, please go to the firm’s website at:

Sodoro Daly Welcomes Thomas J. Gross
Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde, PC LLO recently announced the addition of Thomas J. Gross as a member of the firm. Gross has been an attorney for four years, and after a law school education at Creighton University School of Law with numerous honors, traveled to Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska, to begin his career as a trial lawyer.  
As a deputy county attorney there, he tried 20 felony jury trials to completion in the first chair, managed a caseload of over 300 files in Juvenile, County, and District Court, and gained extensive experience in pretrial preparation and depositions of lay witnesses and medical experts.  
Before that time, he worked at an Omaha law office in research and client management capacities, and had additional experience in Omaha with the office of the Federal Public Defender.  
Gross will continue his trial practice career and will be assisting in medical malpractice cases and other areas of firm involvement.  
For more information regarding the law firm of Sodoro, Daly, Shomaker & Selde, PC LLO, please go to the firm’s website at:

Baird Holm LLP Welcomes New Attorney
Baird Holm LLP recently announced the addition of Michael D. Sands as an attorney to the firm. His practice is primarily focused on real estate transactions, including purchases, sales, leasing, zoning, land use and renewable energy.
He received his Juris Doctor, with high distinction, from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2015, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif. While in law school, Sands served as executive editor of the Nebraska Law Review. He received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Contracts, Pre-trial Litigation and Federal Income Tax. Sands also received his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.
“We are pleased to have Michael join our robust real estate practice group. Our client’s needs in this area continue to grow, and we are proud to have the largest group of attorneys dedicated to real estate matters in Nebraska,” said Baird Holm Managing Partner Richard E. Putnam. “Michael promises to be an important part of our ongoing growth.”
For more information regarding Baird Holm LLP, please go to the firm’s website at:


– Photos by Lorraine Boyd

Ken Wentz III of Jackson Lewis PC headlined the fourth in the OBA Young Lawyers Division CLE series.

Employment Law and a Breath of Fresh Air
Finally, the Corkscrew Wine and Cheese in Blackstone was able to throw open its garage doors and let in warm air and light for the almost-monthly “Just the Basics” hour-long CLE! It was a welcome addition to the popular new series of training on the basics. This one, held on May 17, featured Ken Wentz talking about Employment Law. He covered the “rules of the road,” the top five things to do when evaluating a case from a) the plaintiff’s perspective and b) the defense perspective, and a look at the importance of unemployment (insurance). He also counted the three mistakes new lawyers make in employment cases. Very popular was the discussion on changes in the law, either by lawmakers or by the courts.
Between a dozen and two dozen practitioners have attended each topic, and they are not just limited to young attorneys. Veteran attorneys attend to sharpen their skills in an area in which they may not have had much work or to share some of their hard-won knowledge with the novices.
A fine glass of wine, a succinct presentation of basic information, a sharing of questions and answers … it all adds up to a satisfying hour of painless education. The Omaha Bar Association invites all attorneys to consider attending. The next one – on divorce law – is on July 19.
All “Just the Basics” CLEs will be held from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays, and the cost to OBA members is just $10 per hour.


Christine M. Henningsen (left) assigns participants to small groups after presenter Joy M. Suder announces the second phase of the three-hour juvenile defender training.

In Re Gault Case Marks 50th Anniversary
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
Fifty years ago this year, the United States Supreme Court handed down their landmark decision, In re Gault. Justice Abe Fortas wrote, “The condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court.” Thus began the granting of legal rights to children facing prosecution in criminal court, including the right to an attorney, to remain silent, to notice of the charges made by the state, and to a full hearing on the merits of the case. The catalyst for this decision was the case of 15-year-old Gerald “Jerry” Gault, who without the benefit of any of those rights and more, was sentenced to six years incarceration for a prank phone call. The Supreme Court agreed to determine whether Arizona’s Juvenile Code violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th  Amendment. The 2017 Law Day activities were centered around the 14th Amendment, which was ratified 150 years ago.
Click here for full story

Access to Justice Commission Appointed by
Nebraska Supreme Court

Our judicial system is based upon the principle that all those coming before the courts are entitled to equal justice. The Nebraska Supreme Court’s Strategic Agenda identifies “providing access to swift, fair justice” as the first of six overarching goals of the Nebraska Judicial Branch. To further that goal, the Court has approved creation of the Nebraska Access to Justice Commission. The phrase “access to justice” describes the ability of any person, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or language, to access and efficiently navigate our court system.

Click here for full story


Federal Funding Critical
To Equal Justice for All

By Milo Mumgaard
Amazingly, in 2016 Legal Aid provided free civil legal services to over 23,000 low-income Nebraskans through over 10,000 opened cases, one legal case at a time.  That’s a huge amount of legal work from our 40-plus attorneys.
It’s particularly remarkable knowing it involves representing low-income clients with some of life’s toughest legal challenges.  In the lives of struggling working people, inevitably crises and complications arise – no money to pay the rent, a family breakdown, a loss of a job, lack of health care, too many debts, a new disability.  Low-income, working Nebraskans need civil legal aid to help solve these problems.  And Legal Aid is there.  We have a big job, and we are happy to do it.
Legal Aid is simply delivering on a shared promise:  if low-income Nebraskans have access to a lawyer to protect their rights or to enforce helpful laws, “equal justice” is more than just words; it is reality.  Without legal assistance, there are real world consequences.  Legal help is often the only thing standing between a low-income person’s ability to help themselves see better days, or suffer a fall into deeper poverty, cynicism and disrespect for the law.  In contrast, every day across Nebraska, our staff, pro bono and reduced fee lawyers, and volunteers give our low-income clients the hope, fairness and opportunity they otherwise would go without. 

Click here for full story

Banking Head Continues Family Legacy
By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) held its annual convention May 3-5 at the Embassy Suites La Vista, and during that event elected Kris Holoch, CEO of Cornerstone Bank in York, as its chairman; and Dave Dannehl, First Bank of Loomis, as its chairman-elect.
Before assuming her position, Holoch spent the last year as chairman-elect, accompanying Jerry Catlett, president and CEO of Bruning State Bank in Bruning, across the state to learn “the ropes.”
This year, Dannehl will do the same.
“This is a two-year deal,” he said. “I will go everywhere the chairman will go. The chairman speaks; the chairman-elect observes. We attend various functions, and deal with a wide variety of topics that impact Nebraska and the nation.

Click here for full story

From left, Scott Meyers, Rick Turner and Gary Bren enjoy a laugh during their open house last fall.

Values, People Drive Chamber Small
Business of the Month, Turner Technology

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

As with all businesses, the “what” is important to the team at Turner Technology. It specializes in providing a full range of IT services – from consulting and software development to networking and managed services. But in this case, it is the “how” that really stands out.
“We’ve made a lot of business decisions that have nothing to do with pure business but reflect what we believe,” said managing partner Gary Bren who co-founded the company with Rick Turner just over 25 years ago.
Turner Technology, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for April, is an outfit guided by four key values, something it calls “The Turner Way:”
• We treat our clients and team like family.
• We elevate others’ success.
• Our actions transcend titles.
• We lead by example.

Click here for full story


The U.S. District Court of Nebraska is accepting applications for the following position:  
Law Clerk 
For more information go to The Court is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to achieving diversity among staff. Under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


Now you can access the entire issue online!
Just look for the COMPLETE ISSUES link in our menu.  
Issues will be available online for five weeks following publication.


The Daily Record
Click above to go to our facebook



Edward G. Warin
Feb 16, 1947 - May 20, 2017
A Captivating Man
The man who “captivated a room” is no doubt captivating the angels now.
The well-known Omaha attorney Edward G. “Ed” Warin died Saturday after putting in a full day of work Friday, despite the fact that he had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) two years ago. Nevertheless, his death was unexpected.
He participated in a litigation group meeting Friday, then spent the evening with his wife, Colleen Walsh Warin, and daughter Mary Colleen, who said he just stopped breathing early Saturday morning. Colleen said he died with his boots on, as he would have wished.
Ed took an unlikely path to success.
After a five-year stint on the felony trial staff of the Douglas County Attorney’s Office under Pinky Knowles, at age 29 Ed was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska, nominated by the late Sen. Ed Zorinsky.
He served from 1997 to 1981, then returned to his original plan to pursue a career at a law firm. Most lawyers build their resume´ first, then ascend to appointed positions.

Click here for full story


Preparing for the National Mock Trial Championship are, from left, Gerald P. Laughlin, Patrick S. Cooper, senior Will Novacek, sophomore Jaliya Nagahawatte, junior Tyler Varney, senior Jacob Thull, junior Graham Laughlin, seniors Max Strehle and Will Lighthart, and Mark Laughlin. Prep junior Nolan Drain and Mike Shreves are not pictured.

Creighton Prep v. 45 Other Mock Trial Teams
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

You know how Branch Rickey said baseball is a game of inches? It seems that the high school mock trial competition is too.
The state champions of Creighton Prep arrived in Hartford, Conn., on May 9, eager to claim the national title. They were the first Prep team to win the state title back in December. Their lawyer coaches for the national competition were Fraser Stryker PC LLO attorneys Patrick S. Cooper and Mark C. Laughlin, who had (with a lot of soul searching) moved over to Prep after leading Duchesne Academy to a national title in 2015 and second place in 2016.
Mark Laughlin explained that he had coached his daughter at Duchesne and when she graduated last year decided to coach his son, Graham, at Prep. Cooper came with him. Two other local lawyers coached Prep in the state competition as well. For the nationals, Laughlin’s father, Gerald P. Laughlin, joined the prep squad. He had previously coached at Duchesne as well.

Click her for full story

Attorney General Announces New Solicitor General,
Bureau Chiefs

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office recently announced that James “Jim” D. Smith has been named full-time Solicitor General for the State of Nebraska. The Solicitor General has the responsibility to oversee and direct civil appeals in the Attorney General’s Office. The Solicitor General handles all appellate matters involving the death penalty, as well as federal habeas corpus claims.
“Smith has extensive experience trying cases both at the trial level and appeals in state and federal court. I look forward to Smith bringing his vast years of experience to the position of Solicitor General,” said Attorney General Douglas J. Peterson.
Additionally, bureau chiefs have been named for the Criminal Bureau, Civil Litigation Bureau and the Consumer Protection Bureau.  
Corey M. O’Brien has been selected as the new Criminal Bureau Chief. A graduate of Creighton University School of Law, O’Brien has been with the Attorney General’s Office

Click here for full story


Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community
MAY 31, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
The Importance of Stress Management and Sleep for Lawyers
Scott Conference Center
6450 Pine St., Omaha
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 2, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
14th Annual Greater Nebraska Golf Scramble
The Dismal River Golf Club
83040 Dismal River Trail, Mullen
12:00 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 7, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Better Lawyering Through Better Listening
Hilton Omaha
1001 Cass St., Omaha
12:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 7, 2017
Business Ethics Alliance
Summer Luncheon
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 12, 2017
National Seminars Training
HR Law 2017
Comfort Inn & Suites
7007 Grover Street, Omaha
8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 12, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Lobbying Rules for Nonprofit Lawyers
Nebraska Innovation Campus
2021 Transformation Dr., Lincoln
8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 13, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Lobbying Rules for Nonprofit Lawyers
Thompson Alumni Center
6705 Dodge St., Omaha
8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 15, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
The GAL’s Guide to Immigration Law and GAL Practice Standards
Doane University
Perry Campus Center Boardroom
1014 Boswell Ave., Crete
1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 15, 2017
Barristers’ Steak Fry
Elmwood Park Pavillion
Elmwood Park, Omaha
4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
JUNE 16, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Labor & Employment Law Section Seminar
Kutak Rock LLP
1650 Farnam St., Omaha
For More Information:
JUNE 19, 2017
National Business Institute
Estate Administration Procedures
Courtyard Omaha Aksarben Village
1625 S 67th Street
8:30 a.m. – 4:40 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 20, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
2017 Nebraska Elder Justice Training
NET Studio
1800 N. 33rd St., Lincoln
8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 20, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Legal Tech Forum
Roman Hruska Law Center
635 S. 14th St., Lincoln
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
For More Information:
JUNE 22 through JUNE 25, 2017
Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
NATA Summer Meeting
Hilton Sante Fe Historic Plaza
Sante Fe, NM
For More Information:

Subscribe to The Daily Record for total access to website information. Click here.

Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN