FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016
 

 

Joy Suder hands over the presidential tongs to Patrick McNamara, the new leader of the Barristers Club, at the annual Daily Record/Barristers Steak Fry on July 7th.                  – Photos by Lorraine Boyd




When asked for a comment on his plans for the Barristers this coming year, President Patrick McNamara said, “What did Joy say? Can you use that? Let me think about it. Oh, can you say, ‘Let me think about it?’ I’ll get back to you on that.” Sounds like a fun and  exciting year ahead, especially for the club’s annual Christmas Show.
The changing of the guard takes place annually at the Steak Fry, hosted by The Daily Record, at Elmwood Park. There, dozens of attorneys and judges gather to swap stories, scarf steaks and sip spirits and sodas, rain or shine. This year, it was rain and shine, but the cloudburst merely drove the crowd inside the pavilion for a short time.
      


U.S. District Court Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp swears in Bob Rossiter as a federal judge as a couple dozen colleagues from Fraser Stryker and a handful of federal judges, along with Rossiter’s wife MaryBeth, witness the event at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse.                                   – Photo by Lorraine Boyd


Rossiter Assumes Duties as Federal Judge
After several false starts along the way to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Robert F. Rossiter Jr.
was sworn in as the newest member of the federal bench in the District of Nebraska on Friday, July 1 2016, 23 months after Sen. Deb Fischer and then-Senator Mike Johanns first recommended Rossiter. President Barack Obama nominated him in June 2015. Rossiter’s confirmation hearing was Sept. 30, and the Judiciary Committee forwarded his nomination to the full Senate on Oct. 29, 2015. Before the Senate unanimously confirmed Rossiter (90-0) on June 27, 2016, his situation was getting precarious; If he had not been confirmed before the Senate’s recess, it is likely that the entire nominating process would have had to begin anew in January 2017. The clock was ticking for his predecessor, the Hon. Joseph F. Bataillon too. He has been working full-time on senior status since his retirement in October 2014, and must cut down his work load by this October when he takes office as president of the Nebraska State Bar Association. Ironically, Rossiter was to have been State Bar president this year, but stepped down because of his nomination to the bench. He began his service on the bench July 5. One of his friends quipped, “Leave it to Bob to start his job with a holiday!” He will have a formal swearing-in ceremony in a few weeks.


Hall Leaves Douglas County Clerk’s Office
Amid Thanks for 28 Years of Service

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Veteran member of the Douglas County Clerk/Comptroller’s office Kathleen Hall will retire tomorrow, June 28. First hired on June 20, 1988, Hall assumed the role of chief deputy on July 19, 1988.
The chief deputy clerk has been the go-to person in the office for many years, serving as longtime Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh’s right hand right up to his death in October 2015.
Current County Clerk Dan Esch, who has worked with Hall for 10 years, said, “It will be sad to see her go. She has knowledge of everything here. My day-to-day interaction with her has shown me she is not only interested in her job but in the people she works with. She’s a very caring person.
“Kathleen has made my transition [into the role of Douglas County Clerk] very easy. She said I can call her anytime for help,” he said. “She might regret that offer,” he laughed.
While Esch said he’s confident in her successor, Shari Larsen, no one can replace Kathleen “who’s been like a second mom to me. In fact, she is my mom here.
“Right now it’s a little surreal that it’s really going to happen. We wish her the best as she pursues her writing and travels,” Esch said.
Hall said she is looking forward to taking her nine-year-old grandson to Washington, D.C., later this week. “The first two things on the agenda are the White House and the Air and Space Museum.”
She’ll have to finish up her packing before then. “I’m all about books and artwork, so I have a lot to do still.”
As for future plans, she will pursue her writing. “I’d like to take about six months to think about what I want to write next. And my sister and I have talked about writing a children’s book series. She’s already started some artwork.”
But that’s not all. Hall plans to take an extended trip to Oregon this fall to see her two daughters. Then she said, “I may get certified to teach English as a second language, or to teach reading. I think it is such a disadvantage to not be able to read.”
As for her 28 years in the Clerk’s office, she says, “I’ve had a lot of blessings. I’ve enjoyed it here. Learned something new every day. And hopefully helped at least one person every day. I’ll miss that.”
She said it was quite a gift to work with Tom Cavanaugh. “But I won’t miss those [Douglas County] board meetings! Tom used to ask us after every meeting, ‘What was your favorite quote today?’ There were so many funny ones,” she laughed.
On a more serious note, Esch emphasized that, “along with our former leader Tom Cavanaugh, Kathleen Hall helped establish a culture of public service and open government in the County Clerk’s office. We are here to serve the public, and to provide them the records that belong to them. That wasn’t just lip service from Kathleen, she always ‘walked the talk.’”



Kathleen Hall with longtime boss and friend, the late Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh.



The Honorable George A. Thompson, Sr. (Ret.) gives his son, George A. Thompson, Jr. the gavel and plaque he received when he became a judge in August 1983.
– Photos courtesy of the Thompson Family
 
Like Father, Like Son
George A. Thompson, Jr. Follows in Father’s Footsteps
… All the Way To the Sarpy County District Court Bench

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Sons often follow their fathers into the “family business.” Sometimes though, they have to seek the approval of the courts to do so.
When George Anthony Thompson ascended to the Sarpy County District Court bench last week, he became the second George Thompson to sit there.
His father, Hon. George Alfred Thompson, retired from that same bench in 2006. Max Kelch was appointed to succeed him. When Kelch was selected for the Nebraska Supreme Court, his judgeship once again came open. For the younger Thompson, this was his third try for a judgeship. The delicious irony of replacing his father’s replacement could not have been lost on this son.

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Douglas County District Court Judge Shelly R. Stratman swears in Matt Kuhse as Omaha’s newest city prosecutor. Kuhse asssumed his role June 6.
Kuhse is Cool in New Role as City Prosecutor
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

The move may have been a short one, but you have to figure it is a big step. Matt Kuhse moved up a flight of stairs from his role as a deputy Douglas County attorney into his new role as Omaha’s city prosecutor. He replaces David Smalheiser.
Kuhse is an Omaha native, born and raised in the city. His parents are Mike and Mary. His father and one brother are engineers, while his mother has a degree in zoology. “So, being a lawyer makes me kind of a black sheep,” Kuhse said.
Kuhse graduated from Marquette University in 1997 and followed up his undergraduate degree by attending the Creighton University School of Law. He earned his juris doctor in 2001.
“While in law school, I was on the Moot Court Board and was selected to be on the advanced trial practice team,” he recalled. “I passed the bar in September 2001 and began working in the Douglas County Attorney’s office that same month.”
It was in May 1999, when Kuhse was finishing his first year of law school, that current Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, then-chief deputy in the county attorney’s office, offered him a job as a law clerk. It wasn’t exactly something that was topping the future prosecutor’s wish list.
“At the time, I actually did not want to be assigned to the criminal division,” Kuhse recalled. “I was more interested in civil practice.”
But Kleine asked Kuhse to give the criminal side a chance, with the caveat that if he didn’t really like it, he would be moved back to the civil division.
“Well, I ended up loving it because I stayed in the criminal division until June 2016,” Kuhse said.
Those days as a law clerk in the county attorney’s office, bring back some great memories as Kuhse recalls the many amazing opportunities he was provided.
“I was allowed to sit in and assist some great prosecutors during trials, including Leigh Ann Retelsdorf and Shelly Stratman (both now Douglas County District Court Judges) and Don Kleine,” Kuhse said. “Watching prosecutors such as those three was a great influence on me and helped me become the lawyer I am today.”
Kuhse fondly remembers the time when Kleine allowed him to argue on behalf of the State of Nebraska before the Nebraska Supreme Court. He was still a law clerk.
After he passed the bar exam in September 2001, then-Douglas County Attorney Jim Jansen offered Kuhse a job in the domestic violence prosecution unit. The job involved prosecuting misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence in the Douglas County Court.

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Thor Schrock, seen here after winning the top Small Business of the Year award in the 2nd Congressional District for 2012, says “Awards are great indicators of previous work that was done well. If you want to keep winning awards, you have to keep doing your work well.”



Constant Innovation Is Why Schrock Innovations
Was Honored as July’s Small Business of the Month

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

Thor Schrock takes Fridays off – a chance to spend time with his wife and make sure their marriage is staying strong. The rest of the week, the self-described “workaholic” is on.
“I’m doing the ‘Schrock thing’ and sometimes that’s into the night. I do two radio shows on Saturday. I do a show on Sunday,” he explained. “I am literally a ‘workaholic.’ Most small business owners do tend to have to be that way.”

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– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
From left, David Koukol of Koukol & Johnson, LLC; Judge Thomas Saladino, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Nebraska; Judge Charles Nail Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of South Dakota; and Judge Anita Shodeen, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Iowa, were featured presenters at the NSBA Bankruptcy Section two-day workshop in Omaha. Jerry Jensen of the United States Trustee’s Office, also served on the panel dedicated to “Adversary Proceedings,” which focused on objections to discharge due to fraud, deceit and misrepresentation presented from the viewpoints of an individual creditor’s attorney and a U.S. trustee, with insights from the bench.

Advanced Bankruptcy Law Practice:
Points of Interest and A View from Above
The Nebraska State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section offered a two-day workshop on June 22 and 23 at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha, offering 6.75 CLEs, including 1 hour of ethics, for both Nebraska and Iowa participants. The event featured representatives of private law offices, government offices, Legal Aid of Nebraska, and the courts. As one session description noted, “If you are new to bankruptcy practice, the discussion will include common mistakes to avoid; and if  you are a seasoned practitioner, techniques from veterans will also be covered. The workshop drew a large crowd of lawyers involved in all things bankruptcy, including tax and accounting issues, liens, setoffs, cancellation of debt income and tip for trustees, to name a few.
 

Mammel Hall, on the university’s south campus, is home to UNO’s groundbreaking real estate degree program.

UNO’s Real Estate Bachelor’s Program Makes
Changes for Even More ‘Real World Application’

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

The University of Nebraska at Omaha has a unique program, and David Beberwyk, director of outreach and education for the Center for Real Estate & Asset Management, wants everyone to know about it.
UNO’s real estate program dates back to the 1950s, he said, and is the only program in Nebraska to offer a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in real estate. To meet increasing and changing demand, the program is undergoing a series of changes in the next year or so. For instance, the catalog is being revamped so as to provide students with more options based on their individual interests.
“Our goal is to reach more students – to attract them from other disciplines, such as finance, law, economics, urban planning, and marketing,” he said. “By fall 2017, we hope to provide students the option to obtain a real estate concentration online.” Beberwyk said that online classes would better meet the needs of non-traditional students, students in rural areas, the military, or anywhere else in the world.

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Randall E. Adkins, Ph.D, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, enjoys making himself “available to provide an analytical, non-partisan perspective to area journalists and civic groups.”

UNO’s Dr. Randall Adkins  
Nebraska’s Go-to Source for Political Commentary

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

It’s the name most local political reporters have on speed-dial.
In a relatively short period of time, the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Dr. Randall Adkins has become a top source for commentary and perspective on the Nebraska political scene.   
The West Virginia native has settled into his role on the prairie with ease, arriving at UNO in 2000.  On a booming campus in a dynamic city, home to a state with a rich and varied political history, Adkins is the right man in the right spot.
He was a first-generation college student, who grew up in Huntington, W.V., and later graduated with his bachelor’s degree in political science from Marshall University 25 years ago. Four years later he earned his doctorate, also in political science, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. 

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Smith Slusky Law Adds Dring to the Firm
Smith Slusky Law recently announced that Danielle Dring has joined the firm as an associate.
Dring’s focus is in corporate, real estate, and construction law. Dring is also a certified mediator from the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution in Alternative Dispute Resolution.  She received her juris doctor from Creighton University in 2014. While in law school, she served as secretary of the International Law Society and studied international comparative corporate law in Paris, France at the Cornell University School of Law in 2012. From the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Dring earned her master of arts in language pedagogy in 2009, and her bachelor of arts in French in 2007. Since 2014, she has been an economic development volunteer, working with local business professionals to coordinate fundraisers for breast and ovarian cancer and CANDLE Syndrome.
Smith Slusky Law, while emphasizing commercial real estate and business law, represents businesses and individuals in a wide range of legal services. The firm’s website is www.smithsluskylaw.com.


 

Superheroes are a family affair – with appropriate attitude – at the 6th Annual Superhero 5K Run for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) in Nebraska.            Photos by Lorraine Boyd

Costumes, both handmade and customized store models, gave kids of all ages the ability to soar at CASA’s annual fundraiser and fun-raiser event in Turner Park at Midtown Crossing. There was a 5K run/walk for adults and a 1K run for kids, followed by announcement of the race winners and a costume contest. An after party ensued at Cantina Laredo. A Cyborg, a Spiderman and a Supergirl took home first-place blue capes. Runners took home gold “adult” capes. All participants took home memories of a fun time and a job well done. More than 260 participated in the races, but Executive Director Kim Thomas said, “We’d like to get a few more runners next year. But, the day was beautiful and we couldn’t ask for more!” The event raised a total of $10,320.19.     
          


 

                  Dan McMahon                                 Jeff Slobotski

‘A Pro-business, Pro-growth Regulation’
Regulations and Red Tape Eased
For Nebraska’s Private Fund Advisers

By Dennis Friend
The Daily Record

Dan McMahon and Jeff Slobotski are pleased with a recent change in state regulations regarding investment advisers involved with private funds. They should be. They were instrumental in getting Nebraska to adopt the change.
“Most people don’t know much about the private fund exemption,” McMahon said.
But McMahon did. He’s an attorney and corporate shareholder at Omaha’s Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O., with a practice focused on start-up companies, venture capital financings, private equity transactions, formation and operation of private investment funds, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents entrepreneurs and growth companies from formation and initial funding, as well as investors in venture capital financings and other private company investments.

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Arctic Cat holds patents for its off-throttle steering technology. The court found that BRP committed substantial acts of infringement with its Sea-Doo personal watercraft, shown here, on the intellectual property of Arctic Cat. 
– Photo courtesy of BRP
Kutak Rock Wins $46.7 Million Award
For Client in Patent Infringement Suit

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

You could say this verdict made a splash.
On June 1, a federal court jury in Florida found in favor of Arctic Cat Inc., a Kutak Rock client, on Arctic Cat’s complaint for patent infringement against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. and BRP U.S. Inc. (BRP).
United States District Court Judge Beth Bloom awarded Arctic Cat a final judgment of almost $46.7 million.

The verdict ended a case that began in October of 2014, according to Aaron Myers, a partner at Kutak Rocks Minneapolis office and member of the team that represented Arctic Cat in court.
“There were multiple patent cases pending between these companies,” Myers said.
Mediation efforts that were aimed at resolving the cases went unresolved, he said. “We went to trial.”
Other cases, involving different patents, are pending. A couple of those cases are in federal court in Minnesota, where Arctic Cat is based, with more in Canada, home to BRP.

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The 2016 True Potential Scholarship winners gather before the annual dinner at Metro Community College’s Culinary Institute. They are, from front row, left to right: Ross Pesek (True Potential’s founder); Francelli Beltran (CCC); Alfredo Cano (MCC); Jackie Lopez (CCC); Maria Ortiz (MCC); Karina Martinez (MCC) and Karen Pesek (True Potential’s student liaison). Back row, left to right: Erick Ozuna (MCC), Jose Gonzalez (SCC); Juan Rodriguez (MCC); Adolfo Diaz (CCC), Liliana Martinez (SCC); Mayra Hernandez (ICC);  Margaret Mazariego (MCC); and Marbella Avalos (IWCC).
Not pictured are Jose Lopez (CCC); Salvador Morales (IWCC); Diana Hernandez (WNCC); Lorena Salas (NWICC) and Jesus Rosas (MCC).

Finding Their True Potential
Inching Closer to the Fruits of Their Labors

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
“We are working with the following community colleges: Central Community College (CCC), Columbus and Grand Island campuses; Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Omaha, Neb.; Southeast CC in Lincoln, Neb.; Western Nebraska CC (WNCC) in Scottsbluff, NE; Central CC in Fort Dodge, Iowa; Iowa Western CC (IWCC) in Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Northwest Iowa CC (NWICC) in Sheldon, Iowa,” True Potential Student Liaison Karen Pesek said. In the program’s third year, the number of scholarships more than doubled last year’s total, topping out at 18 scholarships for young immigrants who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) immigration status. The students plan to study everything from engineering and criminal justice to medical interpretation, education and the law. Some have chosen paths to accounting, nursing and construction, Omaha attorney Ross Pesek said. The scholarships are funded by donations and are matched by the participating community colleges. Nebraska State Senator Heath Mello was the evening’s speaker.

 

 
Meetings & Seminars
For the Legal Community

_____
JULY 21
The Ethics of Closing Arguments
Creighton University School of Law Professor Richard Collin Mangrum
Scott Conference Center
6450 Pine St., Omaha
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
For More Information: www.nebar.com
_____
JULY 27
Health Law Section Seminar
Kutak Rock LLP
1650 Farnam St., Omaha
Time: TBD
For More Information: www.nebar.com
______
JULY 29
Environmental Issues in Commercial Property Transactions
UNL College of Law
1875 N. 42nd St., Lincoln
8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
For More Information: www.nebar.com
______
 



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