Foundation Facts
September 2016
    Students are back in school, and the Huskers have won their season opener.  Now, we're putting away the white clothing and accessories that old school fashionistas have declared inappropriate to be worn after Labor Day, right?  (Personally, I think it's fine to wear white any time of the year!)

    All that being said, the Bar Foundation is kicking off fall with the introduction of a new Mock Trial case.  In  State of Nebraska vs. Blake M. Brando, Brando is charged with first degree murder in the on-stage shooting of a co-author and actor in the play, Burr (in the tradition of the Hamilton-Burr duel).  Registrations for the regional competitions are arriving daily and we look forward to another strong Mock Trial season.  The State Championship will take place this year in Lincoln on Dec. 6 and 7.

    On Oct. 27, the Foundation will host its 14th annual Legacy of Liberty Breakfast at Embassy Suites - La Vista.  You are cordially invited to attend this event that gets under way at 7:45 a.m. and is to conclude by 8:45 a.m.   Online registration is now open.

    Come to the Breakfast and help us recognize the Duchesne Academy Mock Trial team as the runner up in the 2016 National High School Mock Trial Championship!  

Duchesne Academy 2016 Mock Trial Team


Executive Director  

James Madison Legacy Project Grant Funds Teacher Professional Development Workshop in Lincoln
Nebraska and Iowa High School Teachers Receive Instruction in We the People Curriculum

    From June 24-27, 10 high school teachers from Nebraska and 9 from Iowa convened for a four-day teacher professional development workshop on the campus of Union College in Lincoln.  The workshop was funded by a federal grant to the Bar Foundation's and the Iowa State Bar's We the People:  The Citizen and the Constitution (WTP) programs.  The grant is to be used over a three-year period for the purpose of instructing both Nebraska and Iowa teachers in the WTP curriculum.  

    Scholars with extraordinary knowledge about the Constitution were featured as faculty for the training sessions.   Dr. Kevin.Bower, Nebraska Wesleyan University, discussed "What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?"   Dr. Michael Anderson , Bemidji State University, presented "How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?"

    Lindsey Draper, Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, addressed the question, "How Did the Framers Create the Constitution?"  On Day 4,  Dr. John Gruhl , University of Nebraska - Lincoln, concluded the workshop with an in-depth look at "How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practies?"

    Some members of the Lincoln Southeast High School WTP team , 2016 state champions, demonstrated a mock congressional hearing for the teachers.  On the final day, the teachers themselves gained personal experience in participating in a mock congressional hearing.

Teachers take questions from judges at WTP mock hearing
Judges Roger Lempke and John Jelkin ask original follow-up questions at mock hearing

Pam Hastings Carrier
coordinated the summer workshop and will host a follow-up workshop for Nebraska teachers in November at which time they will delve into the remaining two units of the WTP curriculum not covered this summer.

Lori Broady, WTP teacher from Johnson-Brock, and Kevin Rippe, Lincoln East High WTP teacher, served as mentors to the group.

Teachers completing the training are furnished with a classroom set of WTP books as well as access to numerous online resources.  In turn, they are expected to implement the program in their own classrooms toward the purpose of helping high-needs students better achieve in the areas of civics and government.
Inaugural Dan Jewell Trial Institute Offers In-depth Skills Training for Attorneys Newer to the Practice
Legal Experts Serve as Trial and Performance Judges; Members of the Public Among Those Playing Roles of Jurors and Witnesses

    On Aug. 12 and 13, at the Skutt Center on the Creighton University campus, six trial lawyers with less courtroom experience than seasoned Nebraska attorneys, were immersed in hands-on trial institute.
      They were welcomed to the campus by Creighton Law Associate Dean David Weber.  Thereafter, the six divided into three groups and headed to their respective courtrooms for the two days of trial practice.  Trying a contested will case, each pair of attorneys were instructed by a presiding judge and two performance judges (one per individual).  

     On the first morning, the student attorneys practiced voir dire with 10 volunteers per courtroom, the group of which included some sitting judges and practicing attorneys but also numerous members of the public who volunteered to play the juror roles.  The first witness was also questioned during the first morning.   In the afternoon, additional witnesses were questioned.  The teams also practiced entering portions of depositions into the record.

Ten prospective jurors wait to hear if they are selected among the six who will serve
    On the second day, additional witnesses were heard, and the attorneys prepared for closing arguments.  Following the trial, the student attorneys spent one-on-one time with their performance judge who also served as a mentor.

    Serving as presiding judges were Judge John Gerrard, Judge James Gleason, and Ronald Reagan, Retired Judge. Performance judges were Steve Gealy, Joe Meusey, Tom Locher, Jim Bruckner, Bill Lamson, and Bob Mullin, Jr.

    On the final day, the group enjoyed a luncheon together and were then presented by Judge Gerrard with plaques signifying their accomplishment as scholars in the Institute.  Scholars were Julie Tabor, Omaha; Ryan Dorcey, Falls City; Danielle Larson, Gering; Cameron Guenzel, Lincoln; Scott Pauley, Hastings; and Karen Hicks, Omaha.
Judge Gerrard presents plaque to Karen Hicks

    Charlie Gotch, Chair of the Dan Jewell Institute Committee, comments, "The NSBF is very grateful  to Dan Jewell and his family for funding this Institute, and to all of the volunteers who made it possible."
Save the Date for the 2017 Fellows Dinner - March 3
Entertainment Will be Mamma Mia at the Lied Center in Lincoln

Mark your calendar now and plan to attend the 2017 Foundation Fellows Dinner!

The dinner will be at Embassy Suites - Lincoln, and we will recognize the 2016 Class of Fellows and honor Foundation Awards recipients.

Following the program, we will move a short distance to the Lied Center for Performing Arts for the farewell tour of the Broadway show, Mamma Mia!  the show is based on the songs of the musical group Abba.
If you have questions about the Foundation's programs of Law-Related Education, please contact me at

1-800-773-5396 or 402-475-1042. 

Nebraska State Bar Foundation
635 S. 14th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Nebraska State Bar Foundation