Elizabeth Borchers 10/17/17 10/16/17 11:26:13 PM
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Elizabeth Borchers relaxes with her stepson, Mike Beeson, in beautiful Hawaii.
Marks Clare & Richards
Elizabeth Borchers Follows in Footsteps
Of Forbearers in Service to Community
By Andy Roberts
The Daily Record
If it seems as though Elizabeth Borchers was born to be an attorney, it’s probably because she was.
Borchers is the great granddaughter of Arthur Smith Churchill, a veteran of the Civil War who was Nebraska Attorney General in the 1890s. Other family members have been noted community leaders, such as her great grandfather, Ernst Stuht, an Omaha pioneer and member of the Omaha City Council in the 1890s; her father, William C. Stuht and grandfather, Clinton Briggs Stuht, both of whom worked in Omaha real estate.
One of her two sons, Max Honaker, works in commercial real estate with the Lund Company.
So, after earning a bachelor’s degree from Midland Lutheran College and her law degree from the Creighton University School of Law, it was to be expected that her role in the community would not be a passive one.
Borchers agreed that a career in law is a good fit.
“I have always been interested in people and being a problem solver. My practice began as a general practice and evolved into primarily family law over many years,” she recalled. “After I joined Marks Clare & Richards, LLP in 1987, family law became my primary niche as the firm offered [their clients] attorneys who specialized in other areas.”
Since 2009, she has been a Certified Nebraska State Court Approved Parenting Act Mediator, which provides her another way of problem solving.
“I became interested in mediation and alternative dispute resolution when I realized how lengthy the litigation process can be in resolving family issues which are typically very time sensitive and overwhelmingly emotional and urgent,” Borchers stated. “I wanted to be part of the solution instead of adding to the problem.”
That has become the key part of her work at Marks Clare & Richards, LLP.
“I currently focus on mediation of family law issues, including dissolution, modifications, support and property issues,” she said. “I am now doing more estate planning for my clients and helping them with probate for family members.”
As a “people person,” Borchers said she enjoys mutual problem solving and the mediation process.
“Family law is not well suited to lengthy litigation. As a mediator for the past 20 years, I firmly believe that most people are capable of solving their own problems with help and a structured process.
“I taught a class at Creighton Law School last fall in Mediation Process that was very rewarding and I hope I get the opportunity to do it again. The students were amazing and enthusiastic,” she remembered. “They restored my faith in the future.”
Her work has not gone unnoticed and her involvement in the bar association has been significant. Borchers is a member of the Omaha Bar Association and Nebraska State Bar Association where she serves on the Family Law Section Executive Committee and Publications Committee.
In 2003 she was elected a Nebraska State Bar Foundation Fellow. Previously, in the Omaha Bar Association she served on the Executive Council as Secretary and Treasurer; and was a member of the Nebraska Chapter of Collaborative Professionals, Steering Committee, from 2005 to 2016.
In 1996 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers since 2010.
Which still leaves her time for “extracurricular activities” such as serving on the board of her homeowners association.
“I enjoy interacting with my neighbors and the shared responsibility of maintaining and preserving our beautiful neighborhood near Lake Zorinsky,” Borchers said.
“I enjoy reading and I’m a member of two book clubs that meet monthly,” she added. “I love to ride my bicycle here and on the trails from my lake home near Hackensack, Minn.”
That provides welcome relief from what she sees as the biggest challenges in the practice of law today – managing the business side of the practice and time management. “Timely responding to client communications is becoming more and more difficult. Ironically, this is due in large part to modern technology!” she said. “Clients expect constant and immediate feedback in light of all the different methods of communicating.”
That leads to telephone calls, conference calls, e-mails, texting, snail mail, and face-to-face client meetings.
“People expect their attorney to be available all day, every day,” Borchers acknowledged. “When I get home, I often just want to sit in the back yard and look at trees!”
Practicing law has left her with more than a few good stories to tell. One goes back to her law school days when faculty and students learned that Elizabeth also was known as “Buffie.”
“Professor Mike Fenner said to my entire section B class that he couldn’t imagine a lawyer named ‘Buffie’” she recalled. “Well, from that day on I decided to be ‘Elizabeth’ as far as work was concerned. It did not last very long.
“Very early in my career I walked into a courtroom with a client and Judge Robert Burkhard, a neighbor of my parents, yelled out, ‘Buffie, Lou, how ARE you?’ Any dignity was all over.”
There also was the jury trial that went to a mistrial because one of the jurors contacted her client and tried to extract a bribe for a favorable verdict.
“We contacted the police and set up a sting operation that resulted in an arrest and conviction of the juror,” Borchers stated. ”I had to put up the cash for the ‘bribe.’ Of course we then had to try the case all over again!”
If there is any regret attached to that, it is one of only a few she may carry. Borchers said she feels fortunate to have grown up in Omaha with the opportunity to practice law in this city.
“The Nebraska Bar and the greater community support a legal system with excellent judges and attorneys who are committed to making a difference for people,” she said. “What a great career!”
Especially, she feels fortunate to have been with Marks Clare & Richards, LLP for three decades.
“Marks Clare & Richards, LLC has always been quite unique in that we have a very diverse group of very talented lawyers with expertise in a broad range of practices,” Borchers stressed. “Our firm specializes not only in family law, but employment litigation, juvenile law, criminal defense, personal injury, immigration, appeals, probate and commercial litigation.”
In particular she feels lucky to come to work in a culture where there are attorneys and staff that get along well and support one another.
“It’s not all about business. We are committed to one another’s professional growth and we genuinely care about each other.”
Safe to say she loves her job. The biggest reward?
“The gratitude of the people I serve, and companionship and professionalism of the lawyers and judges I work with.”
As for the future, that part is simple: “Love what I do and I want to continue working as long as I am productive and happy.”