Annual Commercial Real Estate Event to
‘Break Down Barriers’ and ‘Adapt’ on Friday, April 8

Annual Commercial Real Estate Event to
‘Break Down Barriers’ and ‘Adapt’ on Friday, April 8

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

More than 35 commercial real estate industry leaders sit on the Planning Committee for the CRE Summit. “Their objective is to keep on making the annual commercial real estate event as dynamic, relevant and fresh as possible,” said Jerry Slusky, event founder and partner at Smith Slusky Law. “This year is no different.
“For 27 years now, the CRE Summit has provided CRE professionals with the information they need to maintain their success and progress,” he said. “At our first monthly Planning Committee meeting in September, the Committee Members identified several new areas of change going on in our industry that need to be explained.”
At that meeting, this year’s topic, Breaking Down Barriers: Adapting to a Changing World, was born, and as a result, every Summit session will deal with that subject in one way or another.
The opening panel, moderated by Randy Thelen, senior vice-president of economic development at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the challenges faced by those in the Omaha and Lincoln markets and how they can be confronted and dealt with.
 “Last year, the Chamber coordinated with us; this year, they are in full partnership,” Slusky said. “The business community has recognized how important it is for their members to understand the issues confronting our CRE members, and likewise, our members benefit from understanding the needs of the business community. It is a perfect fit for moving our community ahead.”
Thelen agreed: “Our economic development goals are tightly aligned with the commercial real estate sectors goals – we each want to see this region continue to prosper. We work very closely with the commercial brokers across the region, so it makes perfect sense for us to align with them for the CRE Summit. It brings a collection of business and real estate leaders together to learn and discuss the big trends and opportunities facing our region. With attendance approaching 1,000 leaders, it is one of our market’s top events.”

Next on the agenda, Todd Richardson, senior partner and manager of Husch Blackwell, will dive into the topic of sourcing capital and alternative real estate investments

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For more information, go to: For a preview of the entire program, go to:
Click here for the 2016 CRE Summit Program

Luis Olivas was one of several young people who told their stories of frustration at being denied a driver’s license to a legislative committee, spearheaded by then-Sen. Jeremy Nordquist in 2014.   

Apply by March 1
True Potential Scholarship Numbers
To Grow Dramatically in Third Year

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Consider Luis Olivas of Columbus. The 26-year-old Nebraskan got his first driver’s license nine months ago. Until then, he was unable to get one because he was an undocumented immigrant, having come here from Mexico when he was only six years old.
He had been fighting to stay in the United States since 2012, and then had to put his education on hold when he was jailed for nine months prior to getting his deportation orders.
He was packed and ready to go back to the country he only vaguely recalled. Then came the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – also known as the Dream Act – in 2014. He applied and was approved and was able to “come out of the shadows,” Olivas said.

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Past President Doug Law and OBA members Hannah Wooldridge, Josh Wolf and Katie French enjoy an evening with friends and colleagues at Brix at Village Pointe.
– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
Here’s to You, OBA!
The Omaha Bar Association’s annual wine tasting, which may be their most popular social event of the year, drew a record crowd of 300 this year. Attorneys and judges and their guests mingled throughout the large venue, filling just about every nook and cranny. An array of appetizers was provided by The Daily Record. President John Menicucci thanked the paper and its publisher, Lynda Henningsen, for their ongoing support of the OBA. In lieu of the traditional gift from Borsheims that the OBA has presented to Mrs. Henningsen, Menicucci announced that they had agreed to make a donation to The Josie Harper Residence Hospice House. He made a special acknowledgement of the retirement in January of Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Michael McCormack for his years of service to the legal community.
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Tim Olson says one of his company’s biggest challenges is health care reform. He tells his clients, “We’re here to help.”

Chamber Award Winner Eyes Growth
The Olson Group Serves Clients’ Healthcare
Needs, Especially ‘Sandwich Generation’

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

Tim Olson and his team at The Olson Group have a message for members of the so-called “Sandwich Generation” and their employers: We’re here to help.

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Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith
Moran Announced as Partner at Omaha Office
Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith, P.C. recently announced that Michael L. Moran has been named a partner with the firm. Moran is a graduate of Creighton University and the University of Nebraska College of Law. He has been an associate with the firm since 2008.
Moran will continue to practice insurance coverage and defense litigation across all lines, concentrating on transportation and employment matters, throughout the state and federal courts of Nebraska and Iowa. He is currently a member of the Transportation Lawyers Association’s motor carrier, freight claims and casualty litigation committees, as well as the fundraising committee of the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation.
For more information regarding the law firm of Engles, Ketcham, Olson & Keith, P.C., please go to:

Thanks to James Harris’ ancestor, we can hear a first-hand account of the Civil War as depicted in the attorney’s musical.

Lincoln Attorney’s Civil War Musical
Returns Tonight at Haymarket Theatre

By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record

You could describe Jim Harris as a Lincoln trial attorney who wrote a play. Or, you could call him a playwright with a thriving law practice. He received his law degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980 and handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases through his firm, Harris Law Offices.
But he’s been interested in musical theater since his high school days in McCook. He estimates he has appeared in “close to 40 musicals” as an actor and singer.
Now, he can add “playwright” to his list of accomplishments. He is the writer behind “Civil War Voices” – a musical he wrote based initially on a diary written by his great-great-uncle. Joseph Harris was a man from Alabama who had conflicted feelings about the war, and he watched and wrote down what he saw as well as his thoughts and feelings as it raged around him.
“It was a forgotten document,” in the Harris family history, but James Harris found the story still had the ability to move people.
“The Civil War still touches America. Robert Penn Warren calls it a ‘felt history,’” Harris said.

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More information is available on the city website at or by calling 402-441-7831. More information on the musical is available at:
Step Out in Style, Step Up in Service
OBA’s YLD Invites You

To Celebrate Those
Who Walk the Walk at
February 20 Awards Gala

By Noelle Thornburg Hoeft
The Daily Record

For over 125 years, the Omaha Bar Association has been a source of support and service for and among those in the Omaha legal community. It’s the OBA behind some of our city’s most popular and relevant programs and events that have become perennial mainstays on the calendars of so many. The Law
yer Referral Service, the annual Law Day awards luncheon, Lawyers in the Classroom – not to mention the various continuing legal education (CLE) programs and socials like the annual wine tasting held just last week – surely one could say this organization’s covered it all, right?
And now the budding minds of the Young Lawyers Division, an OBA subset comprised of about 400 of its 1,600 members, thought to do something no one else before them ever had.

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2016 Omaha Bar Association
Outstanding Volunteer Award Recipients

For Service
Dan Lennon, Fidelity National Title Group

Started and organized the Legal Aid Golf Scramble the last 3 years
(4th year, this year, with the OBA)

Jackson Lewis LLP (Omaha Office)
For their ongstanding commitment to
volunteer staffing of the Douglas County Self Help Desk

For Community Engagement
James Boesen, Engles Ketcham Olson & Keith
Organized the OBA Young Lawyers Division the first two years’ social events
(Hockey Game Watch, Baseball Game Watch, Pub Quizzes, etc.)

Tom Gaughen, First National Bank &
J. Terry Macnamara, McGrath North
For Tom’s longstanding organization and support of the OBA Fall Kickoff BBQ and for J. Terry’s work in organizing and starting the event 46 years ago.

For Education
Nickie Konen, Fraser Stryker
For organizing and executing the
OBA Young Lawyers Division CLE opportunities for 3 years

J. Scott Paul, McGrath North
For organizing and putting on the OBA/Creighton School of Law
Annual Seminar on Ethics and Professionalism for the past 10 years

For Vision
Ken Wentz III, Jackson Lewis
For starting/organizing the OBA Young Lawyers Division in 2012,
and serving as its president in the first year.

For Support
The Daily Record
For longstanding support of all OBA activities, including
Law Day, the annual wine tasting, and for promoting OBA events
to the entire legal community.

Omaha Legal Professionals Association
For longstanding support of all OBA activities, including Law Day,
and for the willingness to volunteer at check-in at all OBA events.

Diane Battiato and Larry Miller are united in their desire to make the office of Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds and its work as transparent as possible.

Two Offices, One Goal
Striving to Get Property Values Right

By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record

Larry Miller leads the way to Diane Battiato’s office as he explains, “Our philosophy is to make the organization more transparent.”
Miller, the chief office deputy for the Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds and Battiato, the County Assessor/Register of Deeds, are both united in this goal as Battiato begins her second year in her current office.

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What You Need to Know
About Homestead Exemptions
Battiato also wants to remind older homeowners that they may be eligible for Homestead property tax exemptions.
“It’s a free program. The Homestead Exemption Program gives eligible seniors a tax break ranging from 10 percent to 100 percent. It’s a statewide program and we get reimbursed by the state,” Battiato said.

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In the article “Striving to Get Property Values Right” published on January 29th (above) a statistic was incorrectly stated. It should have read: “The national recommendation suggests one appraiser per 7,000-8,000 parcels.” We regret the error.


HGM Associates Inc. President
Kim McKeown Retires After 42 Years
Kim I. McKeown, P.E., board chairman and longtime president of HGM Associates Inc., retired at the end of 2015 after 42 years with the professional design firm.  HGM was established in 1960 and provides engineering, architecture and land surveying services from offices in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.
A Council Bluffs native, McKeown joined HGM in 1973 after earning a B.S. in civil engineering from Iowa State University.  He has been in charge of HGM’s overall operations since 1985 when he took over leadership from his father, H. Gene McKeown, the firm’s founder.  Kim McKeown is a registered professional engineer in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas; an alumnus of Leadership Iowa and Leadership Council Bluffs; and a longtime volunteer with the Historic General Dodge House and other civic and professional organizations.
HGM’s current president Ron Tekippe, P.E., praised McKeown’s leadership.  “We are indebted to Kim’s vision and commitment that propelled us to our present position in the industry.  We watch him leave with mixed emotions and sincere gratitude.  Kim has been especially dedicated to Council Bluffs and has helped make our community better in so many ways.”  
McKeown will continue as a director on the HGM board. For more information regarding HGM Associates Inc., please visit the firm’s website at:

OPPD Board Elects New Officers for 2016
The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors has selected new officers to lead the board in 2016. Directors elected to serve in the upcoming year include Mick Mines as chair, Tim Gay as vicechair, John Green as treasurer and Rich Hurley as secretary. The elections were held during January’s regular monthly meeting earlier this month.
Chair Mines represents customers in Subdivision 7, which includes western Douglas County, Washington County, and parts of Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, Burt and Colfax counties. A resident of Blair, he was first elected to the OPPD Board of Directors in 2012. He served as vice-chair last year and board secretary in 2014. Mines is the principal at Mines Government Relations, a Nebraska lobbying and government relations firm. His previous public service includes: Nebraska state senator, 2003 to 2008; and mayor of the city of Blair, 1995 to 2002. He also served as president of the League of Nebraska Municipalities, as well as on the Blair Area Chamber of Commerce, Gateway Development Corporation and Nebraska Diplomats.
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Douglas County District Court Judge J Russell Derr congratulates MaKenna Dopheide and her parents Karla and John Butterbaugh at her swearing-in ceremony at her law firm.                 Photo by Lorraine Boyd

Law Firm Alum Swears in New Associate
Douglas County District Court Judge J Russell Derr returned to his old law firm of Erickson | Sederstrom Thursday evening to swear in MaKenna Dopheide. She has been clerking at the firm since 2013, during her studies at Creighton University School of Law. She is now an associate at the firm, where her practice areas include commercial and general litigation, and insurance defense.
While in law school, Dopheide represented Creighton through one of the school’s two competitive trial teams and served as lead articles editor for the Creighton Law Review. The journal published her article concerning Freedom of Information Act disclosures in June 2014. Dopheide is also a recipient of the Honorable Lyle E. Strom Trial Advocacy Award.

Ricketts Appoints Judge
Max J. Kelch to Supreme Court

Governor Pete Ricketts recently announced the appointment of Judge Max J. Kelch to the Nebraska Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District.  Currently, Judge Kelch serves as a District Court Judge for Cass, Sarpy, and Otoe Counties.
“Judge Kelch brings a blend of real world experience from years in private practice and working as a prosecutor as well as serving as a judge on the bench,” said Governor Ricketts.  “He has demonstrated he understands that the role of the court is to interpret the law, and this approach will continue to serve our state well as Nebraska’s next Supreme Court Judge.”  
Before his time on the District Court, Judge Kelch served as a County Judge for the Second Judicial District from 2005-2007.  Prior to his service on the bench, Kelch worked for two law firms, served as both a county attorney and deputy city attorney, and also functioned as a special prosecutor.
During his time on the District and County Courts, Judge Kelch heard cases covering criminal, civil, general equity, domestic relations, adoptions, small claims, and probate matters.
Judge Kelch holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law.
Over the past few years, Judge Kelch has served as a member of the Nebraska Judicial Ethics Committee as well as a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Committee.  In 2004, he was named Nebraska County Attorney of the Year.
The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge Michael McCormack.  This is Governor Ricketts’ second appointment to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The Fourth Judicial District of the Supreme Court consists of portions of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. A map of the district can be found at

Two Nominees Forwarded
For District Judge Vacancy, Ninth Judicial District

The Judicial Nominating Committee for the District Court – Ninth Judicial District provided the following two names for the Governor’s consideration: John H. Marsh and Thomas W. Tye II, both of Kearney.
The Ninth Judicial District consists of portions of Buffalo and Hall Counties.  The primary place of office for the judicial vacancy is Kearney in Buffalo County.  The judge who fills the declared vacancy will be required to sit in both Buffalo and Hall Counties.  The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge John P. Icenogle.
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The son of two attorneys, Matt Kivett is making a name for himself within the Omaha legal community as a promising young attorney at Walentine, O’Toole, McQuillan & Gordon.                            – Photo by Michael Tran        

Matt Kivett
Making His Mark in the Family Business

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

Sitting in his office at Walentine, O’Toole, McQuillan & Gordon, Matthew J. Kivett has to figure things are going pretty well in the early stage of his career.
The 30-year-old Gretna native has quickly established himself in the legal profession at the law firm where his father is managing partner. He is admitted to practice law in the state of Nebraska, including the District of Nebraska United States District and Bankruptcy Courts, while also stepping into leadership roles within the Omaha Bar and Nebraska State Bar Associations.

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S. Scott Moore participates annually in the Barristers’ Ball as their auctioneer. The live auction, along with a silent auction, raises funds for the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.

S. Scott Moore
When Is an Auctioneer Not an Auctioneer?
When He’s a Commercial Real Estate Broker

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

“Who’s going to open the bidding with $1,000 for this fabulous trip to Maui? $1,000, now who’ll give me $2,000?” S. Scott Moore was just warming up, conducting another auction for the Nebraska State Bar Association at their annual Barristers’ Ball. He got the crowd into it, enticing them with captivating descriptions of wonderful vacation destinations. Bidding was fast, a pace Moore encouraged. Tension mounted, culminating with Moore declaring, “Going once, going twice, sold to number 136!” Another successful auction concluded.

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Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community

Disaster Legal Services:
Responding at the Site of a Natural Disaster
Holiday Inn & Convention Center
110 S. Second Ave., Kearney
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
For More Information:
“Stepping Out in Style” Gala
Presented by the Omaha Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division
The Pella at Blackstone
303 S. 41 St., Omaha
5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
For More Information:


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