Wednesday, July 19, 2017
 
 

 

A back hallway in Judge Riley’s office is lined with certificates received when he became a circuit judge, then Chief Judge, then appointed to the Judicial Conference Executive Committee.

A Look Back at 45 Years
William J. Riley Hangs Up His Robes

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

He’s the living example of Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote: “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
William Jay Riley has been a very busy person since his graduation from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1972.
Following a stint as law clerk to 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Donald Lay, the Lincoln native joined the firm of Fitzgerald, Schorr, Barmettler & Brennan in 1973, making partner in 1979, and leaving only to don the robes of an 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge in 2001.
His workload was to get even heavier when he was chosen the 8th Circuit’s Chief Judge in 2010. The appointment came as no surprise to at least one person: Judge C. Arlen Beam predicted at Riley’s investiture in 2001 that he would serve as Chief Judge “no later than 2010.”
The year 2001 was momentous for Riley.  As president of the Oma-ha Bar Association that year, he coordinated, with The Daily Record, a dinner and tour of the new Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in April. In June, he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Then tragedy struck in the fall of 2001, as terrorists attacked on September 11. One week later, Riley was sworn in as an appeals judge.
Was the job what he had expected?

Click here for full story


– Photo by Zach Wagner
The Pesek Law team: back row, from left: Cesar Magana, legal assistant; John D. DeWald, attorney; and  Ross R. Pesek, attorney. Front row from left: Linda Velazquez, legal assistant; Ivonne Rivera, legal asistant; and Karen Pesek, director of finance.

Students’ Potential Unlimited
In 2014, Ross R. Pesek began to realize his dream of giving back by founding True Potential Scholarship for young immigrants who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) immigration status, commonly called the “Dream Act.” True Potential awarded the first scholarships in 2014 to five students. Because of the public funds restriction on DACA students, True Potential uses 100 percent private donations and private institutional funds and matching funds by the participating community colleges. Since 2014, 31 full one-year scholarships have been awarded; this year a record 21 students received scholarships, the numbers growing each year.
Pesek said recent actions in immigration are concerning, he is confident that Dreamers have little fear right now, especially in the Midwest (as opposed to the southern border states).
The scholarships were awarded at an annual banquet at Metro Community College in June, with about 250 in attendance.


    Judge William J. Riley             Judge Lyle E. Strom

OBA Will Honor Two Retiring Judges
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Later this year, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William J. Riley and U.S. District Court Judge Lyle E. Strom will be retiring from the federal bench, taking “inactive senior status.”
Noting that both have had remarkable legal careers, including serving as president of the Omaha Bar Association, the OBA is planning to honor them with a joint “retirement celebration fitting of the occasion” in October.
On Tuesday, October 3, the OBA will host a large reception and dinner in their honor. All members of the legal community are invited to attend (regardless of OBA membership). Because space is limited to 420 attendees, persons wishing to attend should make reservations early. At this time, attendance is limited to legal community members only.
More information and online registration is available at www.omahabarassociation.com/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=973958.


– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
OBA Leadership, Past and Present
At its annual reception for past presidents, the Omaha Bar Association recognized all of its leadership, especially those who served as president. Above, the presidents who attended posed for the traditional photograph. From left, back row: Craig Martin, 2017 Outgoing President Judge Doug Johnson, John Brownrigg, Gerald Friedrichsen, Hon. William Riley, Stuart Dornan and Stephen Bruckner. From left, front row: Denise Hill, Wayne Mark, Incoming President Anne Marie O’Brien, Hon. Lyle Strom, Amy Longo and J. Terry Macnamara.
Incoming OBA leaders were announced: Patrick Cooper, president-elect; Joe Naatz, treasurer-elect; Brandie Fowler, secretary; and executive council members Jon Natvig and Jason Grams. President Johnson thanked the outgoing leaders for their many contributions: John Menicucci Jr., past-president; Ken Wentz III, past-treasurer; Patrick Cooper, secretary; Dick Lydick and Monica Freeman, executive council.
President Johnson presented OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers and Lawyers Referral Service Executive Director Donna Birkby with “OBA Star” awards for service “above and beyond” in the past year. This year is designated as “A Year of Gratitude.”
Sommers announced a “save the date” event, a special October membership meeting on October 3, a dinner honoring retiring Chief Judge William J. Riley and Judge Lyle E. Strom, both OBA past presidents.

 

Mark Milone (left) and his son Michael give each other legal advice on their respective areas of expertise.

Father-Son Legal Team That Almost Wasn’t
By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record

There are those people who always knew they were born to be attorneys, those who were convinced, even as children, that they were destined to argue cases in front of juries and judges.
Mark Milone and his son Michael Milone are not in that group. They had other ideas, yet you’ll find them hard at work as practicing attorneys at Koukol & Johnson LLC.
Ask Mark Milone: Was he always interested in law? Well, no. After graduating from Burke High School in 1975, he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Between 1975 and 1981, “I tried journalism. I tried psychology. I tried business.” He took home his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1981.
But something clicked for him when he went for a law degree at Creighton University School of Law. He obtained his juris doctorate degree in 1984 “in a terrible recession. I started practicing law in 1985.”

Click here for full story

Nineteen Submit Their Names for Douglas County Separate Juvenile Court Judge
Jennifer D. Chrystal-Clark, Bennington; Martin R. Klein, Hickman; Amy N. Schuchman, Elkhorn; Mary “Peg” Stevens, Elkhorn; Susanne M. Dempsey Cook, Jessica P. Douglas, Jeri Lynne James, Matthew R. Kahler, Monica L. Kruger, Jeffrey M. Kurtz, Ann C. Mangiameli, Sarah M. Moore, Joseph P. Naatz, Candice J. Novak, Kate E. Placzek, Carla K. Heathershaw Risko, Kimberley R. Taylor-Riley, Anne E. Troia, and Zoë R. Wade, all of Omaha, have submitted applications for appointment as Separate Juvenile Court Judge in Douglas County. The primary place of office for the judicial vacancy is Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. The vacancy is due to the establishment of an additional Separate Juvenile Court Judge in Douglas County by the Nebraska Legislature.
The public hearing of the Judicial Nominating Commission will be held in Courtroom #412 at the Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska, beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The Commission will review all applicants for the office at that time.  The public is welcome to attend the hearing and present information concerning candidates for the judicial opening.


Longtime Legislative Staffer
To Run for Nebraska Seat

A longtime legislative staffer who has worked on prison and child welfare issues is running for a seat in the Nebraska Legislature.
Omaha attorney Josh F. Henningsen will formally launch his campaign this week. He’s looking to replace state Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha, who is ineligible to seek re-election in 2018 because of term limits.
Henningsen has worked as legal counsel for the Legislature’s Judiciary and Health and Human Services committees. He also helped on prison oversight committees and an intergenerational poverty task force. He currently works for the Nebraska inspector general for child welfare.
The 37-year-old Henningsen says he’s running to help create safe and inclusive communities, invest in education and give children and families the chance to succeed.
Henningsen is a registered Democrat. The seat is officially nonpartisan.




Jordan Concannon, owner and manager of Blue Oceans Float, documented the progress of construction on Facebook.                     
  
Can’t Go to the Ocean?
Blue Oceans Float Brings It to You

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Bringing a bit of Hawai’i to Omaha. That’s the idea behind Blue Oceans Float, Omaha’s newest float tank center that anticipated a May 29 opening, in Midtown Omaha.
Omaha-native and Papillion High School graduate Jordan Concannon, owner and manager, studied physics and astronomy at the University of Hawai’i of Hilo and while there her love of all things “nature” grew.
“I quite enjoyed being there,” she said. “People are more laid back and are conscious of the environment. I like the stars and wanted to work the land. I’m not an ‘indoorsy’ person. I didn’t want to be inside of a cubicle.”
When she moved back to Omaha in May 2015, her father, Shawn Concannon (formerly Shawn Schmidt), a chiropractor and owner of Natural Health Center PC, gave her a way to share her love of nature, the environment and Hawai’i with others. 

Click here for full story

– 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.
 


 
Husch Blackwell Introduces
Government Solutions Team

Husch Blackwell recently announced the creation of its Government Solutions team, a group of lawyers and professionals who have experience working inside federal, state and local government agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and statehouses.
The Government Solutions team is comprised of more than 50 attorneys and maintains a significant presence in Washington, D.C., 18 U.S. cities and eight U.S. states, including offices in six state capitals – Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Jefferson City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; and Phoenix, Arizona. This geographic footprint – unique among AmLaw 100 law firms – provides clients with a one-stop shop capable of addressing complex legal, regulatory, administrative, and legislative challenges in most major Midwestern markets.
The team brings together lawyers with decades of experience from the firm’s Public Policy, Regulatory & Government Affairs; Government Compliance, Investigations & Litigation; Government Contracts; Development Incentives & Tax Credits; Public-Private Partnerships; and International Trade & Supply Chain practice groups.
The Government Solutions team will be led by Catherine Hanaway of the firm’s St. Louis office. Hanaway is a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri and served as speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004. Prior to winning election to the Missouri House, Hanaway served on the staff of U.S. Senator Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond from 1993 to 1998.
“Each of our firm’s six industry units has amassed a great deal of government-facing skill and experience – some of it industry-specific and some of it not,” said Greg Smith, Husch Blackwell’s CEO and Managing Partner. “This effort seeks to leverage the entire breadth of our experience and the aggregate value of our relationships across the platform so every client has access to all of our resources. The Government Solutions group is a natural extension of the industry structure we have in place.”
“The regulatory and administrative law demands placed on businesses increasingly create interconnected legal, regulatory and legislative challenges that cross multiple jurisdictions and multiple areas of law or policy,” said Hanaway. “There is an express need to coordinate strategy across all of them – from developing public policy to handling investigations and enforcement actions  –  and we believe the continuum of services contained within our Government Solutions team provides excellent value, having the right people at the right place at the right time.”
For more information regarding Husch Blackwell, please go to the firm’s website at: www.huschblackwell.com.


Cline Williams Welcomes
Daniel W. Oldenburg to the Firm
Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P. recently announced that Daniel W. Oldenburg has joined the firm.
Oldenburg has practiced immigration law since 2002. He provides a multiplicity of immigration legal services to individuals and employers, and specializes in employment-based immigration for university and healthcare institutions. He assists with the non-immigrant and immigrant visa services for faculty, researchers, medical fellows and residents. He regularly represents both employers and individuals with Extraordinary Ability Petitions, Outstanding Researcher/Professor Petitions, National Interest Waivers, J-1 Waivers, PERM Labor Certification and H-1B sponsorship. He also represents religious institutions seeking to sponsor qualifying religious workers. He regularly assists clients with permanent residency and naturalization and handles all aspects of family-based immigration.
Oldenburg graduated from the University of Dallas in 1999 with degrees in political philosophy and Spanish. Prior to law school, he worked for the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service Dallas District Office. He graduated from Creighton University with his J.D. in 2002. He is a licensed member of the Colorado and Nebraska bars and the federal district courts in Nebraska, Texas and Colorado. He serves as outside counsel on immigration matters for major universities and academic medical centers. He has lectured extensively on employment based immigration and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He has also served as an expert witness on immigration related matters and has taught continuing legal education immigration seminars for various state bar associations.
For more information regarding Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, L.L.P., please visit the firm’s website at: www.clinewilliams.com.


Matthew A. Lathrop (left) and Matthew G. Miller have found their calling making the world safer for all of us.

The Attorneys of Miller Lathrop
Are On Mission to Protect the Public

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

Nestled into the tree-lined area just north of 92nd and West Dodge sits a law firm that is managed by two life-long Omaha residents – Matthew G. Miller and Matthew A. Lathrop.
And, while they are about as nice a duo as you will find, they are among the go-to firms for people involved in personal injury lawsuits.
The two both grew up in Omaha and both graduated from the Creighton University School of Law. They bring a combined half-century of experience in dealing with personal injury cases.
His first year following graduation from law school, Lathrop worked as a clerk for Judge John T. Grant of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
“Following that I worked for Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop in Omaha,” he said. “Practiced for 15 years doing almost exclusively plaintiff’s personal injury trial work.”
In 2007 he opened the Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, his own private practice, and continued to specialize in personal injury trial work.
“In November 2015, Matt Miller and I merged our practices to form Miller Lathrop,” he said, pointing out there is no “&.”

Click here for full story

 

The OBA Field Day welcomes veteran and beginner golfers. The day is a perfect time to mingle with old colleagues and new, while getting a big dose of Vitamin D.

July 24
Traditional OBA Field Day Is Back

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

After a one-year hiatus, the Omaha Bar Association’s Field Day will be returning on Monday, July 24, at Champions Run, according to OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers.
It is open to all OBA members (no guests).
Golfers should organize their foursome and email him at dave@omahabarassociation.com with the names in the team and which format the team wants to play. Golf groups of fewer than four people and single players are welcome, but may be matched with other players as needed.
Golf is $95 per player and includes lunch, greens fees, cart fees, pin prizes, tournament prizes and driving range access. Mulligans will be sold at the clubhouse.
For the first time, there will be a traveling championship belt (à la boxers and wrestlers) awarded.
Golf teams can choose between the 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. shotgun starts, and between playing in a scramble format or a play-your-own-ball format (pegged against each players’ handicap).
The tennis tournament will begin at 10 a.m. and will finish around lunchtime. Singles and doubles awards will be given out. To sign up, email Sommers.
Tennis is $10 and includes prizes and lunch. The reception/awards banquet is $25 per person.
The pool is open all day to Field Day participants.
The buffet dinner/awards ceremony following afternoon golf, emceed by Judge Michael Coffey, is an additional $25 per attendee. Reception starts at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6:30 p.m.
“If you can’t make one of the sports events, you can still attend the dinner,” Sommers said.
Reserve a spot for your team by emailing Dave Sommers at dave@omahabarassociation.com. Visit www.omahabarassociation.com for more information and online registration.



Judge Douglas F. Johnson enjoys a fun night at the Omaha Children’s Museum with Brittani, her daughter and her Nebraska Families Collaborative Training Specialist, Casey Ripperger.        

Proof: The Family That Stays Together …
Plays Together!

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

A success. That’s what Judge Douglas F. Johnson called this year’s Douglas County Juvenile Court’s “Summer Family Picnic,” which saw about 100 families in attendance. Now in its eighth year, the event began at Elmwood Park, moved to Boys Town, and this year was held at the Omaha Children’s Museum in downtown Omaha.
“It’s our way to congratulate them for keeping their families together,” Johnson said.


Make-up and face-painting are huge lures for little girls.

Fun and games predominated during the jam-packed event.
Click here for full story


 

Fraser Stryker Partner Kathryn A. Dittrick Heebner congratulates the 2017 Fraser Stryker Diversity Scholarship winners Aya Yousuf and Francisco Lopez. They were honored at a luncheon at the law firm last week.

Two Earn Diversity Scholarships
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
Two newly-graduated high school students have joined a decade’s worth of past recipients of the Fraser
Stryker law firm’s Diversity Scholarship awards.
Francisco Lopez, accompanied by his mother, sister and high school principal, graduated from Omaha Northwest Magnet High School in May. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to major in business administration with minors in pre-law and Spanish. He has earned a number of accolades, including National Honor Society. He has served as a translator at school and served on the student council.
Aya Yousuf, who brought her mother and vice principal, graduated from Burke High School. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska Omaha to major in political science and law. She too served on the student council and is a member of the National Honor Society. The native of Iraq was a volunteer coordinator for World Refugee Day.
The two students also share some very similar interests: Future Business Leaders of America, cross country running, and volunteering at the Open Door Mission.
Unique to Fraser Stryker’s scholarship (renewable through senior year) is the student’s opportunity to intern at the law firm after their freshman year. Program coordinator Stephen M. Bruckner said past program participants have excelled. Case in point, Symone Sanders was national press secretary for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (no relation!) and is a frequent CNN contributor.





Play It Again Sports has both new and used equipment for almost any sport.

Focus on Customer and Community
Earn Play It Again Sports the Win

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

A top-notch set of golf clubs banished to a dark, dusty corner in the garage. A baseball glove – too small for one aspiring star, just right for another – that still has plenty of game left in it. They have a place at a win-win retail concept revived in Omaha in 2014 and rewarded in 2017.
Play It Again Sports is the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for May.
Focused on making Play It Again Sports the neighborhood sporting goods store in Omaha, “Team PIAS (Play It Again Sports),” which includes owner Rick Messina and his wife Cyndi, rallies around three key operating goals:
• Provide new and gently-used sporting goods at a reasonable price so athletes of all ages and means can participate in sports and fitness activities
• Conduct all business in a fair and ethical manner and treat all customers with dignity and respect
• Give back to the community by supporting local youth sports programs
          
            Rick Messina                   Cyndi Messina

Located at 8453 West Center Road, Play It Again Sports pays cash for gently-used gear or offers a store credit worth 20 percent more. Complementing the selection of quality used gear, customers can browse new sporting goods and fitness equipment from over 100 brand name vendors. Messina wants everyone who walks through the door (or visits www.playitagainsportsomaha.com) to have a stand-out experience.
Click here for full story

 

 

 
Nebraska Native Hired to Lead County Health Center
Retirement Community Director Jean Hartnett has been hired to lead Douglas County Health Center.  With more than 15 years of health care administration experience, Hartnett, 47, will become the administrator of the Douglas County Health Center on June 19. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved her hiring earlier this month. Hartnett will replace James Tourville, who is retiring after 24 years.  “She has the ability to come in and provide a fresh set of eyes and evaluate where improvements can be made,” said Douglas County Administrator Patrick Bloomingdale. “In addition to her extensive experience, her strong reputation in the healthcare industry and her connections within the Omaha community will be invaluable for Douglas County.”  
Hartnett most recently worked as the executive director of Esprit Whispering Ridge in Omaha. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s gerontology department and has taught long-term care administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Hartnett said she understands public policy and knows how to operationalize legislation affecting seniors.  "I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead a prestigious organization in collaboration with the Board of Commissioners," Hartnett said. "I look forward to honoring the legacy of the Douglas County Health Center while building a bright future for our employees and the residents we serve."  
Hartnett grew up on a farm in northeast Nebraska. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and received a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University.  She’s the youngest of nine children and enjoys spending time with her family, including her daughter, Sara, and 35 nieces and nephews.

 


______________________
 
LITIGATION ASSOCIATE
______________________
  
    Fraser Stryker is seeking an experienced attorney to join its litigation practice.  The associate will have an opportunity to independently manage a litigation caseload and work on a wide variety of commercial and insurance defense litigation matters. 
Qualified candidates have a minimum 3 - 6 years of litigation experience, excellent written and oral communication skills, strong analytical and research skills, admitted to practice in the state of Nebraska, excellent academic credentials, and a J.D. from accredited law school. 
We offer a competitive salary and benefit package.  Send resume and salary expectations to Fraser Stryker PC LLO, Executive Director, 409 South 17th St, Suite 500, Omaha, NE 68102 or mkrapfl@fraserstryker.com.
7-19 through 7-25-17
______________________________
 
 
 
 
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Karine Sokpoh has come a long way in the 16 years since she fled Togo to further her education in the United States.
– Photo courtesy of Karine Sokpoh
Karine Sokpoh, Esq.
The Girl Next Door, If Next Door is Togo

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

This is not just another success story about the girl who lived down the block.
Unless the block you grew up on was in Togo, West Africa.
And, while she now has her own law firm – Sokpoh Law Group at 108th and Pacific Streets – things weren’t always this good.
Karine Sokpoh grew up in Lomé, Togo, where she was “blessed” to have two parents who expected academic excellence and pushed her to better herself. That doesn’t mean life in West Africa was easy by any means.
 “When my parents divorced I was 11. My mother, siblings and I moved to a house on the outskirts of town with no electricity,” she recalled. “There was one TV station in the country back then and children’s programming was once a week on Saturdays.
“We had a black and white TV that we powered with a battery. Sometimes the battery died in the middle of our show,” Sokpoh remembered. “I did not mind because I could still read my books with the oil lanterns.”

Click here for full story
 
– Photos by Lorraine Boyd
Steak Fry Tradition Thrills Heat Seekers
Despite sizzling temperatures and humidity, the annual Barristers Steak Fry, hosted by The Daily Record at Elmwood Park, came off without a hitch, to the delight of dozens of members of the local legal community. The casual event gives young lawyers an opportunity to get to know others in the field, including judges from Nebraska courts. It is also the occasion for the takeover of the presidency of the Omaha Barristers Club. This year Marcus Sladek (center), a Douglas County assistant public defender, is assuming the role. As is traditional, he stated the Barristers’ theme for the coming year: “We’re going to make the Barristers great again!” They’ll try to prove it at the annual Christmas Show.


Click here for lage photos
 

Founder Jason DeWater is leading his five-year-old firm into the limelight once again.

iFixOmaha: A Growing Company
With an Expanding List of Accolades

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

2017 has been a banner year for iFixOmaha – and there are still six months to go.
The company, which specializes in the repair of mobile electronics, earned first place honors in the Best of Omaha competition for smartphone repair. Google singled it out as Nebraska’s representative in the tech titan’s 2017 Economic Impact Report, citing the firm’s rapid growth, increasing sales volume and the new tech jobs generated.   Most   recently,    iFixOmaha picked up another accolade, earning recognition as the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Small Business of the Month for June.

Click here for full story



Tom Connolly’s lecture found him roaming around the stage area, everywhere but behind the podium. While his style was casual, his words carried weight as he discussed some of his most high-profile cases. His father,  recently retired Nebraska Supreme Court Justice William M. Connolly, watches from his seat front row right.

D.C. Lawyer With Local Ties Presents
The Legal Case of the Anthrax Murders

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
Each year, the Creighton University School of Law hosts a Koley Lecture, named for a titan of the legal community in Omaha. The 2017 speaker was Tom Connolly, a Washington, D.C. trial lawyer who has been described as “pound for pound the best trial lawyer of his generation.”
He’s also been described as a “large, scary leprechaun,” which should keep his ego in check.
His topic of choice for the lecture, held in March at the law school, was the Anthrax Murders.
Creighton Law Professor G. Michael Fenner told the crowd that Connelly is a “great storyteller, and the story he’s going to tell you today is what happened after he went to the partners in his law firm [of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis] and said, “There’s a man who I think is getting screwed and I want to represent … and it’s going to take a lot of time and we won’t make any money.” And they said, ‘Go do it.’”
After announcing, “I’m going to spend the next five minutes correcting Prof. Fenner; it’s my rebuttal,” he launched his presentation.
Connolly opened by declaring, “I think I was born to be a trial lawyer.”
He told how his father, the Adams, Neb., County Attorney, would take him to cases that he was trying. He would give him his notes on important cross-examinations or closing arguments and his son would follow along. “And he was brilliant. I wanted to be that good. I don’t think I have accomplished that.”



From John Ashcroft’s ouster to dogs Tinkerbell and Knight, Connolly touched on a range of topics.  

 “Most of the science and math put forth in a courtroom is complete
  and utter bunk,” Connolly said.
 

His father is William M. Connolly, recently retired Nebraska Supreme Court Justice and currently a mediation lawyer at Erickson & Sederstrom PC, LLO in Omaha. He, along with former Justice D. Nick Caporale and current Justice John F. Wright, as well as U.S. District Court Judge Lyle E. Strom, sat in the front row.
Connolly began. “I tried my first lawsuit when I was 12 years old.”
He was a paperboy for the Omaha World-Herald. His distributor claimed he hadn’t paid his fees and sued him and his father in small claims court. When his father got the summons he said, “You’re on your own, pal.” 
He represented himself. He realized mid-trial that checks leave a trail and he could present evidence that he had paid the fees. He did, and won a dismissal.
“That was my last civil case for the next 30 years.

Click here for full story
 
 


Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community
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JULY 19, 2017
Omaha Bar Association
Just the Basics CLE Series – Divorce Law
Corkscrew Wine & Cheese at Blackstone District
3908 Farnam St., Omaha
4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
For More Information: www.omahabarassocation.com
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AUGUST 3, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Skills Institute (Formerly GAP Program)
UNL College of Law
1875 N. 42nd St., Lincoln
For More Information: www.nebar.com
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AUGUST 4, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Solo & Small Firm Conference
UNL College of Law
1875 N. 42nd St., Lincoln
For More Information: www.nebar.com
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SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
2017 Legal Diversity Summit
Creighton Harper Center Ballroom
602 N. 20th St., Omaha
For More Information: www.nebar.com
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SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
Business Ethics Alliance
Fall Executive Breakfast
Holland Performing Arts Center
13th and Douglas St., Omaha
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
For More Information: www.businessethicsalliance.org
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SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Business Law Section Seminar
Embassy Suites - Lincoln
1040 P St., Lincoln
For More Information: www.nebar.com
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SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Real Estate Section Seminar
Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center
12520 Westport Pkwy., La Vista
For More Information: www.nebar.com
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SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
Business Ethics Alliance
Fall Luncheon
Omaha
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
For More Information: www.businessethicsalliance.org
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SEPTEMBER 14 through 15, 2017
Nebraska Paralegal Association
2017 Fall Seminar and Mid-Year Membership Meeting
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Thompson Center
6705 Dodge St., Omaha
For More Information: http://nebraskaparalegal.org
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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
NATA Board Meeting
Embassy Suites Omaha/La Vista Hotel &
Conference Center
12520 Westport Pkwy., La Vista
For More Information: www.nebraskatrial.com
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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
NATA Annual Dinner
Happy Hollow Country Club
1701 S. 105th St., Omaha
For More Information: www.nebraskatrial.com
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
NATA Annual Meeting & Fall Seminar
Embassy Suites Omaha/La Vista Hotel &
Conference Center
12520 Westport Pkwy., La Vista
For More Information: www.nebraskatrial.com
______
OCTOBER 11 through OCTOBER 13, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
2017 Annual Meeting
For More Information: www.nebar.com
______
NOVEMBER 3, 2017
Nebraska State Bar Association
Annual Workers’ Compensation Section Seminar
Embassy Suites
1040 P St., Lincoln
For More Information: www.nebar.com
______
NOVEMBER 8, 2017
Business Ethics Alliance
Fall Dialogue
Temple Israel
13111 Sterling Ridge Dr., Omaha
7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
For More Information: www.businessethicsalliance.org
 


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