Latest News

30 Jun, 2014

Construction Litigation — Can you win and collect?

By |2018-04-23T23:55:13+00:00June 30th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Construction Litigation|

My friend and construction attorney, Chris Hill, raises a great point in his blog, Construction Law Musings, this week.  He addresses the two questions you should always ask when pursuing construction litigation.  The first, "Can you win the case and get a judgment?"  The second, and as important, "Can you collect on that judgment?" I invite you to check out Chris's post Think Twice About Heading to Court with a Construction [...]

28 Jun, 2014


By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 28th, 2014|Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

What Losses May be Covered When A Boy Goes To College? I am kicking out launching my last child into adulthood come this fall.  Nicholas Duffy O'Brien will be attending Montana State University in Bozeman as a freshman on scholarship. It is often called "Mantana State U."   The boy to girl ratio is about 6:4.  They compensate for the lack of women.  There is fly fishing, skiing, rappelling, ice climbing, snowboarding, kayaking, buffalo, elk, moose, grizzlies, [...]

27 Jun, 2014


By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 27th, 2014|Excess and umbrella policies, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

What triggers excess insurance coverage?  A recent 5th Circuit case provides a sharp lesson for underwriters.  Even one or two words can provide coverage - when it might not have been intended.  In a Texas case, Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America et al. v. W & T Offshore, Inc., No. 13-20512 5th Circuit (June 23, 2014), the 5th Circuit overturned a summary judgment for the insurers and granted summary judgment for the policyholder.  There, the policyholder, [...]

25 Jun, 2014

Mother May I? Always Get Permission When Deciding Whether or Not to Replant

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 25th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Crop Insurance, Farm Management, Midwest Agricultural Law|

Approaching Storm Every spring and early summer, heavy rains, hail, and tornadoes force Midwest farmers into a game of "Crop Insurance Mother May I" regarding whether they will replant damaged crops.  For crop insurance purposes, permission is almost always necessary when deciding whether to destroy and replant the damaged crop or destroy the damaged crop and plant a new crop. When facing a replant decision remember the following: "When a crop is damaged and it [...]

24 Jun, 2014

The DOL Proposes Regulations to Establish a Higher Minimum Wage

By |2018-04-23T23:55:14+00:00June 24th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Department of Labor|

On June 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its proposed rules to implement Executive Order 13658 which requires federal contractors to pay a higher minimum wage. The Executive Order requires the hourly minimum wage to be increased to $10.10 an hour. Here are a few highlights of the proposed regulations: Effective Date The proposed rule will apply to contracts that are entered into after January 1, 2015. Covered [...]

17 Jun, 2014


By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 17th, 2014|Additional insured coverage, Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

An Additional Insured May Not Be Covered for Employee Losses.    We are going to go deep today, my friends, into arcane insurance policy interpretation.  We will discuss how two insurance clauses can influence each other in order to to deny coverage. An additional insured by endorsement is an insured under the policy.  They are bound by all other policy terms and exclusions as is the named policyholder.  A standard exclusion in [...]

16 Jun, 2014

Playing Close to the Line Can Get You Burned

By |2018-04-23T23:55:14+00:00June 16th, 2014|Business Ethics, Construction Contractor Advisor|

Down in Florida, CH2M Hill and AECOM Technical Services were vying for the billion dollar project. CH2M Hill and AECOM submitted their proposal in the spring of 2013. CH2M Hill then submitted materials directly to county official prior to its August presentation. CH2M Hill was awarded the project. AECOM cried foul, claiming that CH2M Hill violated local rules when it submitted materials directly to county officials. The county’s ethics chief [...]

14 Jun, 2014

A Star is Born – Katie O’Brien

By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 14th, 2014|Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

A mother has to brag - even if it has nothing to do with insurance.   Check out my daughter, Katie O'Brien's, new comedy series for TV called Teachers.  It is expected to air on the  TV Land channel coming soon.  You can link here to the teaser web-isodes, featuring the Katydids.   Each of these talented women are stars, writers and producers of the upcoming show. More details later on when it [...]

13 Jun, 2014

Partner Brian Brislen Presents at Nebraska Defense Counsel Annual Meeting

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00June 13th, 2014|Latest News, News|

Partner Brian Brislen presented What I Learned About Litigation From Teaching Trial Advocacy at the Nebraska Defense Counsel Association's Annual Meeting on June 6, 2014, at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Mr. Brislen currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for Creighton School of Law and has taught trial practice classes and legal writing and lawyering skills.

13 Jun, 2014

Michael Storey Joins Firm

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00June 13th, 2014|Latest News, News|

Michael Storey has joined our Litigation Department as an associate attorney.  He received his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law and bachelor's degrees in Accounting and Finance from Creighton University.  Mr. Storey worked two years for the Nebraska Supreme Court as a clerk to the Honorable Michael McCormack prior to joining the Firm.

13 Jun, 2014


By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 13th, 2014|Midwest Insurance Law Guide, Subrogation|

The Anti-Subrogation Rule I know, my dear students, that you are clamoring for more obscure insurance coverage tidbits and I am here to deliver.  Our rule for today: anti-subrogation. The short form is this – an insurance company cannot subrogate against its own insured.   This means that an insurer cannot look to its own policyholder to satisfy or to repay the loss that the insurer has covered. The reasons behind this [...]

11 Jun, 2014

Contribution Among Insurers – Basic Principles

By |2018-04-23T20:59:43+00:00June 11th, 2014|Commercial General Liability (CGL), Midwest Insurance Law Guide|

Hot off the presses!  A recent Nebraska case, American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Regent Ins. Co., 288 Neb. 25 (May 2, 2014) provides us with many coverage nuggets to digest in the coming weeks!  We begin with a basic tenet that is rarely discussed: Contribution is allowed between two insurers who insure the same policyholder and the same risk. Contribution is an equitable remedy.  This means that a court will apply [...]

11 Jun, 2014

Partner Denise Destache Presents at NONL

By |2018-07-11T18:17:16+00:00June 11th, 2014|Latest News, News|

On May 14th, Denise Destache presented to the Nebraska Organization of Nurse Leaders (NONL).  The members of NONL are nursing leaders from Nebraska health care facilities, agencies, and colleges of nursing.  The topic of the presentation was "The Role of Nurse Leaders in Preventing and Responding to Malpractice Claims.

11 Jun, 2014

Improve Your Safety Program, Improve OSHA Compliance

By |2018-04-23T23:55:14+00:00June 11th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, OSHA|

I recently came across an article in Construction Executive, by Edwin Foulke, listing 13 ways to improve your OSHA compliance record. Mr. Foulke is a prolific writer and presenter on occupational safety and health issues, and author of the Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog  You can find a copy of his article here. Although Mr. Foulke’s article mentions 13 actions that can improve your OSHA compliance, a few of [...]

4 Jun, 2014

Nebraska Supreme Court finds Farmers Not Liable for Car Accident Caused by Tall Corn

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 4th, 2014|Construction Contractor Advisor, Farm Management, Government Regulations, Midwest Agricultural Law, Property Rights|

On October 6, 2007 Thomas Latzel and Daniel Vanekelenburg were involved in a car accident with Patrick Gaughen at the intersection of County Road T and Count Road 17.  Three years later, Thomas Latzel would die from the injuries he incurred in the accident.  Thomas' wife, Amanda Latzel, brought a lawsuit against Ronald and Doug Bartek alleging they negligently planted corn too close to the intersection causing the accident. It [...]

4 Jun, 2014

Follow-Up On Australian Genetically Modified Crop Contamination Lawsuit

By |2018-04-23T18:22:21+00:00June 4th, 2014|Biotechnology, Construction Contractor Advisor, Crop Damage Claims, Midwest Agricultural Law, Organic and All Natural|

The landmark case has been decided in favor of genetically modified ("GM")crop production.  As described in It Was Bound to Happen, Steve Marsh sued his neighbor, Michael Baxter, for alleging his organic fields were decertified because of contamination from Baxter's Roundup Ready canola. canola field Marsh never grew canola, and the scientific evidence presented at trial proved "none of the Marshes crops or sheep...could acquire any genetic traits of Roundup [...]

4 Jun, 2014

Tremendous Construction Growth in Omaha

By |2018-04-23T23:55:14+00:00June 4th, 2014|Construction Activity, Construction Contractor Advisor|

BuildZoom recently published an article on Rising Construction Activity. What I found interesting was that Omaha has had the most consistent growth since 2011. The article compared cities such as Atlanta, Durham, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle and Omaha. For the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, Omaha consistently outpaced the other cities listed in the survey. As set froth in the article, in 2011, Omaha issued nearly 35,000 building permits, nearly 40,000 in [...]