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.
“Wedged between parenting their children and taking care of their aging parents, the Sandwich Generation has a lot of concerns and needs when it comes to workplace benefits,” says Olson, CEBS, CMFC, founder and managing partner of The Olson Group, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for February.
An employee benefits company offering retirement and health-and-welfare plans for employers, The Olson Group currently works with more than 200 employers participating in 500 employee benefit plans. All told, those plans cover more than 20,000 employees throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
“Our focus has always been about our clients,” Olson said. “We offer the personal touch where our staff makes time for each client [or employee of our client] on any question they may have.”

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Baird Holm Names Four New Partners
Baird Holm LLP recently announced that Brent W. Beller, Michael W. Chase, Tyler J. Mullen and Nick K. Rudman have been named partners with the firm.
Beller’s practice encompasses all areas of real estate development and real estate finance law, with a focus on traditional real estate acquisition and disposition, leasing, structured finance and secured lending, tax credit loan financing and equity investments, general construction and planned development, environmental compliance, water rights, mineral acquisition and sales, land use development and zoning. He received his juris doctor from the Creighton University School of Law.
Chase assists clients with issues including compliance with Federal health care program fraud and abuse laws, reimbursement, clinical research and institutional review board compliance, and governance. His practice also focuses on electronic health records (EHR) technology and issues under HIPAA, HITECH, Meaningful Use and other Federal and State laws regarding privacy of data. He received his juris doctor from the Saint Louis University School of Law.
Mullen focuses exclusively on public finance transactions, working with issuers, underwriters and other transaction parties to structure and close a variety of tax-exempt and tax-advantaged bond issues. He received his juris doctor from the Creighton University School of Law.
Rudman represents busi-nesses of all sizes in catastrophic fire, explosion, carbon monoxide poisoning and other high stakes litigation across the country. Rudman has significant experience litigating commercial disputes, personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, trucking accidents and transportation claims, premises liability claims, toxic torts, large-scale agricultural losses, and insurance coverage disputes. He received his juris doctor from the Creighton University School of Law.
“These attorneys are great additions to our partnership,” said Baird Holm LLP Managing Partner Richard E. Putnam.  “They are providing great value to our clients today and will be key contributors to our growth and success in the future.”
For more information regarding Baird Holm LLP, please go to
Kutak Rock LLP Promotes Six Omaha Lawyers,
Continues Diverse Growth
Kutak Rock, a leading provider of legal services to Fortune 500, public and private companies, and governmental entities, recently announced that it has elected 14 lawyers to the firm’s partnership. The promotions became effective January 1, 2016.
Six of the new partners are from the Omaha office:
P. Brian Bartels works with public (governmental), tax-exempt and private-sector clients on employee benefit plan issues. He advises clients on health and welfare plans, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), HIPAA compliance, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), and employee benefits issues in the context of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. He regularly counsels on plan design and administration issues and prepares plan documents.
Garth Glissman practices in the areas of commercial litigation and corporate counsel. As a commercial litigator he focuses on complex business disputes, including cases involving piercing of the corporate veil, breach of fiduciary duties, and the sale of goods. His work as corporate counsel primarily involves advising small to mid-sized companies in the sports, consumer products and agribusiness sectors on a wide range of legal issues.
Winifred Hawkins has experience representing institutional lenders, banks, syndicators, investment funds and corporations in the acquisition, disposition and financing of affordable housing properties. She focuses her practice on equity investment in lower-tier transactions involving low-income housing tax credits, historic rehabilitation tax credits, renewable energy tax credits and other related state and federal financing products.
Michael Mollner concentrates his practice in the areas of public and structured finance. He represents governmental and financial institutions with regard to financial and derivative products, and has acted as issuer’s, bond, underwriter’s, disclosure and structuring counsel for a wide range of transactions including synthetic tax-exempt securities, derivative products, securitization transactions, and health care and energy bonds.
Lisa Peters represents creditors in connection with front-end structuring and documentation, insolvency, restructuring, workout and enforcement matters. She has represented asset-based commercial lending and landlord clients in bankruptcy, district and state courts and also has significant involvement in the structuring and documentation of commercial lending, leasing and purchase transactions, including transactions using bankruptcy-remote vehicles.
Dawn Roth concentrates her practice in the area of public finance. She represents governmental bond issuers and underwriters, as well as nonprofit and private borrowers in public finance offerings. She has acted as issuer’s, underwriter’s, bond, special, and disclosure counsel for a wide range of transactions including for student and multifamily housing, health care facilities, energy and utility transactions, and various governmental entities.
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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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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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Office for rent in West Omaha law office with parking for clients, attorneys and staff; includes copier, phones, conference room, library and other amenities. Please contact for additional information.
2-2 through 2-15-16

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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.

Ballot Measure to Let 18-year-olds
Serve in Of
fice Advances
By Grant Schulte
Lincoln (AP) –
A ballot measure that would let 18-year-olds take public office in Nebraska won first-round approval from lawmakers Monday, despite some misgivings about maturity levels.
makers voted 27-11 to advance the measure, which would apply to all offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, the Legislature and the Supreme Court. Two more legislative votes are required before the measure could appear on the November ballot.
Currently, residents must be at least 21 to be a state senator or 30 to serve as a governor, lieutenant governor or Supreme Court justice.

Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill said voters should be able to choose anyone who has reached the federal voting age and is otherwise qualified to serve. Larson, who sponsored the measure, said blocking young adults because of maturity concerns unfairly punishes those who have proven themselves responsible.
“If you’re old enough to choose your representative, you’re old enough to be the representative,” he said. “It’s as simple as that. Give the people a choice.”
Some senators opposed the measure, pointing to research that shows brains are still developing at that age, leaving 18-year-olds prone to lapses in judgment. When debate on the issue began last week, Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins joked that an 18-year-old might be able to win an election but couldn’t legally drink a beer to celebrate the victory.
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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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Obama Nominates North Dakota
Prosecutor for Appeals Court

Fargo, N.D. (AP) – President Barack Obama has nominated an assistant U.S. Attorney for North Dakota to serve as a federal appellate judge.
The president announced last Thursday that he has selected Jennifer Puhl to serve on the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was chosen to succeed Judge Kermit Bye, who announced in 2014 that he would retire to “senior status” on the court.
Puhl must still be confirmed by the full U.S. Senate.
A North Dakota native, Puhl has worked in the U.S.  Attorney’s office in Fargo since 2002. She currently serves as a criminal supervisor and is also a member of the appellate team.
The Eighth Circuit includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

NSBA Launches Nebraska Find-A-Lawyer
Website for the Public

The Nebraska State Bar Association recently announced its new online resource for the public, the Nebraska Find-A-Lawyer website.  The new website,, allows members of the public to search for a licensed attorney by area of practice and/or area of the state.  The search functions also allow clients to identify lawyers who suit other needs, such as attorneys who are bilingual or who are licensed in multiple states.  
Search results present a randomized list of licensed attorneys who fit the requested criteria. By clicking on the attorney’s name, the public can learn more about the attorney’s practice area, expertise, and experience. All attorneys listed in the Nebraska Find-A-Lawyer website have an active law license in good standing and are covered by professional liability insurance.

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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.
Commercial real estate broker by day, benefit auctioneer by night; S. Scott Moore is a man of many talents. How did he get to this point?

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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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This Day In History
February 6, 1961
"Jail, No Bail" Jail-in movement starts in Rock Hill SC

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