FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014
 

 

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the CRE Summit, William Kristol is the event’s first nationally known keynote speaker.
Political Commentator Kristol Tells
Workers to Pay Attention to Politics

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

William Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and political commentator at ABC News, delivered the keynote address at the Commercial Real Estate Summit last week in Omaha, beginning his hour-long speech talking about his days (1983-85) at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he said he was the “token conservative.”
1984 was an election year, and Republican president Ronald Reagan had won his re-election by a landslide – he even won by a narrow margin in the predominantly Democrat-voting state of Massachusetts.
Paul Tsongas, U.S. Senator from the state, had stepped down, opening the seat for someone else. That person was John Kerry. Kristol, of course, voted for the other candidate, and years later, when he met Kerry, he was proud to tell the now Secretary of State that he had voted against him in his “first Senate race.” The comment didn’t go over well with the “humorless” Kerry, Kristol recalled.
When “Tip” O’Neill, a liberal Democrat, who was House speaker from 1977 to 1987, was up for re-election, Kristol said that he also voted against the incumbent, but later discovered that the person for whom he had voted was a member of the Communist Party.
“Those were the politics in Cambridge,” he said. This caused him some woe in 1985, when Kristol moved to Washington D.C.
While interviewing for a position at the White House – he would serve as the chief of staff to Secretary of Education William Bennett under President Reagan, and later to Vice President Dan Quayle during the Bush administration – he admitted that he had accidentally voted for a Communist.
“The lady was totally stone-faced, and she told me that ‘it wasn’t a laughing matter,’” he said. “That held up my appointment for two months. That’s why Reagan was such a great president.”
But that was then, a time when politics were more predictable, he said. “We are in a new era that’s very volatile and fluid. The degree of back and forth in politics is really unusual, and the same is true of policy. Voters aren’t happy with either party, and since no one’s happy, voters move back and forth. That’s not bad, but when you are in the middle of being shaken up, it isn’t fun. It’s a new world; it’s not bad, just unnerving. If I were a businessman, my advice would be to pay more attention to politics. And don’t take things for granted.”

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The cherry wood bench from the 1885 Douglas County Courthouse now graces the Ahmanson Law Center’s Doyle Appellate Courtroom of the Creighton University School of Law. For many, it represents the administration of justice and the memory of Omaha’s legal culture.
Metro Bench and Bar to Come Together
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
For the first time in nearly a decade, metro area judges and attorneys will hold a joint “bench bar” conference on Friday, May 9, at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Omaha.
“A true bench bar conference provides an unique opportunity for members of the bar and the judiciary to interact and receive valuable feedback from one another,” said Judge Francie Riedmann of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, 3rd Judicial District. She is one of the three co-chairs of the 2014 Metro Omaha Bench Bar Conference. The other chairs are Nebraska Court of Appeals Judges John Irwin and Michael Pirtle.
“The Metro Omaha Bench Bar Conference takes this opportunity one step further because it is a collaborative effort between the Omaha Bar and the Sarpy County Bar. Most of the proposed sessions include presenters from both Douglas and Sarpy counties, so participants will get useful information regardless of which court they appear in,” Riedmann said.
“We have received tremendous support from judges and attorneys in both counties while putting the agenda together and I think we have some really dynamic presenters.
“The task force did a great job coming up with an all-inclusive agenda, so there’s something for everyone, regardless of their area of practice.”
The annual Omaha Bar Association’s Law Day luncheon, traditionally held on May 1, will be held in conjunction with the conference this year. Those attending the conference will automatically have a reservation for the Law Day luncheon, which will feature speaker Hal Daub, former United States Congressman and former Mayor of Omaha.
For information on conference registration or luncheon registration, contact OBA Executive Director Dave Sommers at omahabarassociation@creighton.edu or 402-280-3607.


Jake Hillwick has built his business on exceeding expectations and solving problems for his customers.
– Photo by JordanGreen.com

Owner Says HotShot Deliveries Is
Actually Customer Service, Not Deliveries

By Dan McCann
The Daily Record

Jake Hillwick, owner and chief operations officer of Omaha-based HotShot Deliveries Inc., knows the pressure is on – every day, every delivery.
“It’s always the delivery company’s fault,” he laughed. “They’re judged by their last failure, not their last success.”
His company’s solution? Exceed expectations, solve problems – and avoid failure all-together.
“Our culture stands for delivering excellence through trust and collaboration. Our team is passionate about being heroes to our customers or clients and showing them what service is about,” Hillwick said. “As long as we can keep our customers thriving and growing, there will be more for us to deliver, so we’ll thrive and grow. It all comes down to service for the end user.”

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For more information regarding HotShot Deliveries, please visit their website at www.hotshotdeliveries.com.
Paypal sponsors the Chamber’s Small Business of the Month award. To nominate a small business online, visit www.omahachamber.org. Nominees must be current Chamber members with 50 employees or less.

Governor Heineman Appoints Daugherty
To District Court, 5th Judicial District

Governor Dave Heineman recently announced his appointment of Rachel Daugherty of Grand Island to the District Court, 5th Judicial District.
Daugherty, 43, has been an attorney and shareholder in the Law Office of Myers & Daugherty in Grand Island since 2009. From 2000-2008, she was an attorney and shareholder in the Law Office of Lauritsen, Brownell, Brostrom, Stehlik, Myers & Daugherty, also in Grand Island. Prior to her private practice, she was the Deputy County Attorney in the Hall County Attorney’s Office.
Daugherty served as the chairman for the Mental Health Hearings in Hall and Merrick Counties since 2004 and 2012, respectively.  She was an Adjunct Instructor at the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center from 2002 to 2010 and for business and paralegal courses at Central Community College from 1998 to 2005.
She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln. Daugherty has been a member of the Nebraska Bar Association since 1995.
The vacancy is due to the retirement of Judge Michael J. Owens. The 5th Judicial District consists of Boone, Butler, Colfax, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, Saunders, Seward and York counties.

Fiala Returns to Kutak Rock
Debra Fiala, M.D., J.D. has returned to Kutak Rock’s Omaha office, where she will be a member of the firm’s national health care practice group.   Fiala returns after serving as associate general counsel for regulatory affairs and compliance director at Creighton University.  She previously worked at Kutak Rock from October 1998 to October 2006. Prior to practicing law, Dr. Fiala practiced pediatric medicine in Chicago, where she focused on emergency medicine, child abuse and neglect and childhood disability.
Fiala has served as counsel on compliance, regulatory and operational matters for hospitals, health systems, physician practices, pharmacies, laboratories and ancillary health care providers.  In addition to health care-related matters, Dr. Fiala has significant experience in federal and industry sponsored research and programs including contract matters, material transfer, grant administration, research regulatory compliance, accreditations, research misconduct and federal agency relations.
 “We are thrilled to have Debra back at Kutak Rock,” said Mike Curry, the Omaha office’s managing partner. “As a lawyer and former practicing physician, she will again bring considerable insight that will greatly benefit our health care clients across the nation,” he said.
“I’m glad to be back at Kutak Rock,” Fiala said. “I am pleased to be working with experienced colleagues and long-time friends again in the dynamic field of health care law, and to be working with clients across the nation.”
Bob Cohen, a senior partner and leader in Kutak Rock’s national health care practice group, noted that “Debra’s return to Kutak Rock enhances the depth of our health care regulatory compliance team, both locally and for our clients across the country.”  Kutak Rock’s health care attorneys provide regulatory and transactional representation to multiple types of health care providers, including physician practices, community hospitals, regional and national health care systems,  pharmacies, long term care providers and surgery centers, coast to coast.
Dr. Fiala earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1998, her M.D., with distinction, from Northwestern University in 1991, and her B.S., with highest distinction, from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1987.
For more information regarding Kutak Rock, please visit www.KutakRock.com.

$25K IOLTA Grant Awarded
To Legal Aid of Nebraska

The Nebraska Lawyers Trust Account Foundation (NLTAF) awarded a grant of $25,000 to Legal Aid of Nebraska. The Foundation administers the Interest On Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Program for Nebraska and it is through participation in this program that legal representation is made available to low-income citizens of Nebraska.
NLTAF has provided a total of $5,671,000 to date in funds. This year’s 56th grant presented to Legal Aid of Nebraska, which is a statewide organization, will help numerous indigent individuals. In 2010, there were 283,027 or 16.2% of Nebraska’s population living at or below the poverty level.


 
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Firm partner Thomas Zuk, AIA, LEED AP and Curt Witzenburg, AIA, the newest senior partner in the firm of Holland Basham, acknowledge that technology has revolutionized architecture.
Holland Basham Architects Marks 25th Year
With Steady Growth and Newest Technolog

By Jack Martin
The Daily Record

In the usual groundbreaking, a company executive will wield a ceremonial shovel and talk about the building “that will rise on this site.”
Now, the executive can also grab an iPad and actually see that building on the site – an image of it, anyway – thanks to 21st century technology being used by Holland Basham Architects of Omaha. Clients can also pick up and examine a model of their planned building, a model produced by a 3D printer, another modern marvel.
 “We’ve come a long way from the old drafting table,” said Curtis Witzenburg, AIA, who recently was named a senior partner in the firm, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary on May 10.
The company was started in 1989 by Timothy F. Holland, AIA, who earned his Master of Architecture degree at Harvard, and Keith Basham, an architectural graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They launched the venture in the basement of Holland’s home, with a fax machine their only “high-tech” equipment. Today, HBA occupies a spacious office housed in the former Beth El Synagogue at 119 S. 49th Ave., and has a staff of 34.
So how did they produce the on-site imaging cited above?
“We tied the 3D model to GPS coordinates of the client’s building site, then superimposed the model onto the site,” Witzenburg said. “This was transmitted to an iPad screen so the client could take the iPad, tap a button, and ‘boom,’ there was the building.
“We started using 3D a year ago. We can create a design in the computer and then make a model on the 3D printer. We also can create a ‘virtual’ model that allows us and the client to ‘walk’ through the proposed building.”
The technological advances don’t replace the customary architectural renderings of a planned project, but do augment them, said Witzenburg, who joined HBA in 1998, after graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In announcing Witzenburg’s promotion, the company said “he has been instrumental in securing many projects on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, including the Mammel Hall College of Business, a 120,000 square foot facility; Roskens Hall College of Education and several residence halls.”
The promotion is part of the firm’s strategy to assure a “second generation of leadership,” Holland said, in anticipation of further growth. Such an outlook is well-founded – the firm has grown 20 percent over the past year and designed more than $200 million worth of buildings during 2013, Holland said. HBA has won repeat business “from 93 percent of our clients,” he added, attributable to the firm’s goal of “exceeding client expectations.”
To reach that goal, HBA architects strive to know a client thoroughly even before starting work.
“We don’t dictate the project,” Witzenburg said. “We take the time to study and understand the client’s corporate culture, such as how employees will use the facility. For instance, a call center will have more employee density than, say, an advertising agency and the design should reflect that fact.”
The close client/HBA relationship is maintained, he added: “When an architect is assigned to a project, he or she stays with it, working closely with the client from the initial idea for a building until the client moves in.”
 “The culture we have developed since our inception is that of problem solving to assist our clients in any way we can,” Basham said. “Our services are not just limited to the design of the physical facilities. Many times we are involved in assisting owners with operational transitions to accommodate staff recruitment, innovation, flexibility and efficiency of operations.”
“They put in the time and effort to optimize a project and that’s one of the reasons we continue to work with them,” said Dominic Vaccaro, vice president of America First Real Estate Group of  Omaha, which has employed HBA on projects ranging from student housing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, to apartment developments such as Jones13 and Capitol Rows in Omaha. “We have found them to be very practical in their approach, seeking not only to design an attractive project, but also being mindful of the budget involved.”

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Joint Ethics & Professionalism Seminar Draws Hundreds
         Greg O’Meara, S.J.                                    Dennis Carlson                                  J. Scott Paul
    Creighton School of Law               Nebraska Counsel for Discipline           McGrath North Mullin & Kratz

The 8th annual Creighton School of Law and Omaha Bar Association seminar was held April 11 at Creighton’s Harper Center. Participants earned two Professional Responsibility CLEs. One participant tweeted during the seminar: “Lawyers shouldn’t lie cheat or steal. Seems about right.”


NEI’s CFO Michelle Moore (left) and the company’s founders, President Kate Dodge and CEO Randy Wilson, have worked to make sure their company presents oppportunities for women.
– Photo courtesy of NEI Global Relocation

No Glass Ceiling at NEI Global Relocation
Firm to Be Honored by Baird Holm
For Efforts in Advancement of Women

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

In the last four decades, women have made significant strides in the workplace. More of them are entering it with university degrees, making them more likely to move into managerial positions and earn better wages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “In 2011, women accounted for 51 percent of all persons employed in management, professional, and related occupations, somewhat more than their share of total employment [47 percent].”
In Omaha, companies that are working to advance women in the workplace are being recognized. Today NEI Global Relocation, an Omaha-based company that offers domestic and international relocation management and consulting services, will be presented with the Best Place to Work for the Advancement for Women award at the 2014 ICAN (Institute for Career Advancement Needs) Women’s Leadership Conference at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Why was NEI Global Relocation a likely recipient?
Women represent more than 70 percent of the company’s top-level management team, and 80 percent of its mid-level management team.

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– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
Nebraska Supreme Court Justices, from left, are: Lindsey Miller-Lerman, Kenneth Stephan, John Wright, Chief Justice Michael Heavican, William Connolly, Michael McCormack, and William Cassel.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, All Rise
The Nebraska Supreme Court heard oral arguments on several cases Thursday, April 3, at their annual visit to Creighton University’s School of Law. The venue affords students (and local attorneys) the opportunity to see attorneys argue before the high court. Several dozen people attended the morning event in the Gross Appellate Courtroom of the law school.

Justin Wayne is not only a solo practitioner of law, he’s also in charge of the Omaha Public Schools Board of Directors, the Midwest Trailblazers, and participates in a number of charities.
Wayne Is Working for Change in Omaha
On Several Fronts: Law, Education, Sports

By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record

It’s a Saturday afternoon, and this one finds Justin Wayne in a meeting with the Omaha Public Schools Steering Committee, planning potential new directions for the district’s children. He is currently serving as the OPS Board of Education president.
Later that evening, he’s in the bleachers, watching some of the area’s upcoming basketball talent develop.
Or, depending on the season, football talent, working toward their dreams in the Midwest Trailblazers, the youth organization where he serves as president.
This wasn’t always the plan.
“Growing up I thought I wanted to be a trauma surgeon,” Wayne said. “After graduating from Northwest High School, I attended the University of Kansas and tried to walk on and play basketball.”

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Wayne's law firm website is justinwaynelaw.com.
 

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The Domestic Violence Council team has settled in to their new location at the Center Mall. From left, top: Michelle Patterson and Maureen Grace; seated: Tara Muir and Kim Carpenter.
While the Location Has Changed,
DVC’s Mission to Help Women Has Not

By Elizabeth Elliott
The Daily Record

If you, or someone you know, have become a human punching bag, there are places you can turn to get help and escape an abusive relationship. One such place is the Domestic Violence Council with its new office in the Center Mall.
While it does not provide direct services to victims, the DVC assists intervention agency partners to help victims stay safe. They have been helping the abused since 1996.
The Domestic Violence Council was previously the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. It was rebranded in 2012 by the DVC governing board.  
Tara Muir, JD, the executive director of the DVC, said that the DVC works to be “a small and effective organization that helps bigger institutions improve what they are doing and collectively impact the world.”

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Law Students Win 41st ABA National Competition
Rick Tast and Katie Joseph of Lincoln, both second year law students at the University of Nebraska College of Law, recently won the 41st American Bar Association's National Client Counseling Competition at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Their victory is the NU College of Law's third national championship in the last six years and the college's fourth national championship since it began competing in the competition in 1974. Tast and Joseph were coached by professors Alan Frank and Craig Lawson.
"We are so proud of Rick and Katie," said Susan Poser, dean of the College of Law. "They dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy in preparing for the competition. I am thrilled that all of their work was rewarded with a victory. It is a testament to their tenacity and to the dedication that Professor Frank and Professor Lawson have to the students and to the incredible learning opportunity that this competition provides."
Tast and Joseph competed against 11 other teams that were selected from a pool of 118 teams representing 76 law schools that took part in 12 regional competitions. The duo will represent the United States on April 9-12 in the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in Puerto Rico.


From left to right: Professor Alan Frank, Rick Tast, Katie Joseph, and Professor Craig Lawson.


Sabrina (Shaoqing Guo) gives a Chinese tea ceremony demonstration on campus on Jan. 31, 2014, as part of the “Master of Arts in East-West Studies program info session” and “Lunar New Year Celebration.”
Chinese Law Student’s Cultural Exchange
Is Win-Win for Creighton, China and Guo

By Julien R. Fielding
The Daily Record

Shaoqing Guo – who goes by Sabrina – will return to China at the beginning of April, after having spent a year as a visiting scholar at Creighton’s School of Law.

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To learn more about Creighton University’s Asian World Center, go to www.creighton.edu/ccas/asianworldcenter.


Olson Joins HGM as Shareholder
HGM Associates Inc. recently announced
Jared L. Olson, P.E., LEED AP as a new shareholder at the firm. Olson graduated from South Dakota University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He has nine years of experience in water main improvement design, water distribution system modeling, channel restoration, grade control structures, storm sewer system planning and design, levee assessment and design, roadway design and general site development.
Olson joins the following shareholders at HGM: Kim McKeown, Ronald Tekippe, Melvin Samples, Terry Smith, Steve Moffitt, Dean Fajen, John Jorgensen, Scott Reelfs and Brian Higginbotham.
For more information regarding HGM Associates, please visit www.hgmonline.com.

Vic Gutman & Associates and E Creative
Announce Partnership

Vic Gutman & Associates (VGA), a local event management, fundraising, marketing and planning service company, recently partnered with marketing communication and design firm, E Creative. The two companies will retain their separate identities, but each will gain increased capability for collaboration on future projects. E Creative’s offices are now located in VGA’s business suite.
VGA’s projects have included the Omaha Farmers Market, Omaha Summer Arts Festival, ARTsarben, Holiday Lights Festival, Omaha 15O! and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild About Omaha Weekend.
E Creative specializes in brand identity, corporate communications, advertising, marketing, website design and other visual communications media. E Creative’s clients include Girls Incorporated of Omaha, Union Pacific, Varsity Sports Café & Roman Coin Pizza, The Scoular Company, Midwest Maintenance, Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs and the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Trainers (CAATE).
For more information regarding Vic Gutman & Associates, please visit www.vgagroup.com. E Creative’s website is www.ecreativeinc.com.

Law Students Win 41st ABA National Competition
Rick Tast and Katie Joseph of Lincoln, both second year law students at the University of Nebraska College of Law, recently won the 41st American Bar Association's National Client Counseling Competition at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Their victory is the NU College of Law's third national championship in the last six years and the college's fourth national championship since it began competing in the competition in 1974. Tast and Joseph were coached by professors Alan Frank and Craig Lawson.
"We are so proud of Rick and Katie," said Susan Poser, dean of the College of Law. "They dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy in preparing for the competition. I am thrilled that all of their work was rewarded with a victory. It is a testament to their tenacity and to the dedication that Professor Frank and Professor Lawson have to the students and to the incredible learning opportunity that this competition provides."
Tast and Joseph competed against 11 other teams that were selected from a pool of 118 teams representing 76 law schools that took part in 12 regional competitions. The duo will represent the United States on April 9-12 in the Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in Puerto Rico.


From left to right: Professor Alan Frank, Rick Tast, Katie Joseph, and Professor Craig Lawson.
Catching David Bracht in the office isn’t as easy as it sounds. He travels extensively to serve his clients’ needs.                                                      
– Photo by Michael Tran


David Bracht:
One Good Reason for Stinson Leonard Street’s
Success in Agriculture, Renewable Energy Fields

By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record

Is bigger better?
The law firm of Stinson Morrison Hecker recently merged with Leonard, Street and Deinard to become Stinson Leonard Street LLP. That merger created a firm of more than 525 attorneys with offices in 14 cities, and they became the 75th largest law firm in the United States.
If being bigger means meeting client needs better, then yes, bigger is indeed better.

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For more information on the firm, visit www.stinsonleonard.com

 
 

 
 



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