The Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor provides commentary on legal issues important to Midwest businesses and their owners.

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10 Apr, 2012

Economic Damages and Joint and Several Liability, Part III

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00April 10th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

As alluded to in Part I and Part II of this series, the Nebraska Supreme Court addressed the effect of Nebraska's Comparative Fault Act on joint and several liability when a settlement occurs with one liable party in Tadros v. City of Omaha, 273 Neb. 935, 735 N.W.2d 377 (2007).  Tadros arose when Georgette Tadros was seriously injured when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street.  Tadros had begun [...]

5 Apr, 2012

Public Relations in Litigation

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00April 5th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

By now nearly everyone has heard about the “Pink Slime” debate involving Beef Products, Inc.  A recent article in the Omaha World Herald discussed BPI’s admitted miscalculation about the publicity its product was receiving.  The article suggests that BPI did little to get out in front of the issue by actively combating the misnomer “pink slime” and the information that was being reported about it. Reading about that reminded me of an [...]

3 Apr, 2012

Economic Damages and Joint and Several Liability, Part II

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00April 3rd, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

In Part I of this series, we addressed the general rule for joint and several liability.  This week we will take our first step in addressing joint and several liability when a claimant settles with a person liable or a co-defendant before the matter is submitted to a jury. Before Tadros v. City of Omaha, 273 Neb. 935, 735 N.W.2d 377 (2007), practitioners generally believed Neb.Rev.Stat. § 25-21,18.10 continued to control the situation and a jury would apportion [...]

24 Mar, 2012

Tim Miles Takes On Nebraska Basketball

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00March 24th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

Nebraska basketball has hired Tim Miles as its next Men's Basketball Coach.  Miles comes to NU after five years at Colorado State.  His tenure at CSU culminated with the Rams' appearance as an 11 seed in this year's NCAA tournament.  They lost to Murray State after having a 24-23 lead at half time.  After watching the press conference I am excited about this hire. This is not the splash some might [...]

22 Mar, 2012

Another Angle to the Law Student “Lack of Employment” Lawsuits

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00March 22nd, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

A couple of weeks ago Kyle posted an article about lawsuits by law students against law schools.  The suits had to do with allegations of the dim employment prospects and the schools’ alleged attempt to artificially brighten the look of those prospects by manipulating job placement data.  Law schools have also received some negative commentary about the cost of attendance and the utilization of funds generated by law students.  That presents an [...]

20 Mar, 2012

Economic Damages and Joint and Several Liability – Part I

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00March 20th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

Over the next few Tuesday posts, we will be addressing the interplay between economic damages and joint and several liability.  It is often complicated, and can lead to some potentially inequitable results in large economic damage cases.  In handling cases with mutiple defendants and substantial economic damages, joint and several liability is a primary consideration in determining exposure.  As with some states, joint and several liability in Nebraska is covered by the Nebraska Comparative Fault Act, [...]

13 Mar, 2012

The Expanding Reach—and Allure—of the False Claims Act: Part IV

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00March 13th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

The next series of posts are authored by Stacy Morris, a partner in LDM’s litigation department.  Mr. Morris has agreed to draw upon his experiences with the False Claims Act to provide information about the growing issues for businesses and individuals.  By Stacy Morris Under the FCA, a lawsuit can be brought directly by the Department of Justice (DOJ), or on the government’s behalf in what is referred to as [...]

8 Mar, 2012

The Expanding Reach—and Allure—of the False Claims Act: Part III

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00March 8th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

This is part III in a series of posts authored by Stacy Morris, a partner in LDM’s litigation department.  Mr. Morris has agreed to draw upon his experiences with the False Claims Act to provide information about the growing issues for businesses and individuals. By Stacy Morris The allure of a claim under the FCA is due in large part to the built-in damages provisions.  There is a two-step process [...]

6 Mar, 2012

The Expanding Reach—and Allure—of the False Claims Act: Part II

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00March 6th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

The next series of posts are authored by Stacy Morris, a partner in LDM’s litigation department.  Mr. Morris has agreed to draw upon his experiences with the False Claims Act to provide information about the growing issues for businesses and individuals. By Stacy Morris Last week, we provided a brief introduction to the origins of the FCA, and pointed out three of the provisions that are often alleged in FCA [...]

1 Mar, 2012

The Expanding Reach—and Allure—of the False Claims Act: Part I

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00March 1st, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

The next series of posts are authored by Stacy Morris, a partner in LDM’s litigation department.  Mr. Morris has agreed to draw upon his experiences with the False Claims Act to provide information about the growing issues for businesses and individuals. By Stacy Morris: A recent opinion from the D.C. Circuit illustrates not only the reach of the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729-3733 “FCA”), but a reason why [...]

28 Feb, 2012

Law Students Sue Law Schools Over Lack of Employment

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00February 28th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

As a person who financed his law school education and recognizes such a debt is generally not dischargeable, the news reports, blogs and other coverage of law student class action lawsuits filed against various law schools over employment and salary statistics have caught my interest.   The complaints are well written and quite lengthy, but generally raise claims of deceptive trade practices, fraud and negligent misrepresentation on the part of various law schools based upon the reporting of post-graduate employment [...]

23 Feb, 2012

Trial Lawyers (and Football Coaches) Need to Listen

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00February 23rd, 2012|Cross Examination, Depositions, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire, Witness Preparation|

In a post following my most recent jury trial I noted the importance of listening.  As I stated, this may seem elementary but it is not.  On Tuesday, Kyle recounted his recent experience serving as a guest judge at a client counseling competition.  As his first point he also noted the importance of listening.  Now, there is another endorsement for the importance of listening.  Nebraska's very own Bo Pelini has engaged an outside consulting [...]

21 Feb, 2012

Nine Thoughts Following ABA Client Counseling Competition

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00February 21st, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

On Friday February 17, 2012, I spent the afternoon at Creighton University's School of Law judging the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition.  In sum, teams of two law students from Midwestern law schools were provided with a "client" to interview and counsel over forty-five minute period.  Each team interviewed three clients with different legal issues.  After completing the interview, the teams were evaluated based on a number of factors.  The competition was a incredible [...]

16 Feb, 2012

A Lesson For Lawyers From the Ohio State Tattoo Scandal

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00February 16th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

Whether you are a fan of college sports, or sports in general, you have probably heard  about the downfall of Jim Tressel following the scandal involving some of his players allegedly trading memorabilia for free tattoos--an NCAA violation.  One of the individuals involved with the story was a lawyer by the name of Christopher Cicero.  As reported by the Associated Press, Mr. Cicero sent Coach Tressel an email warning him of the [...]

9 Feb, 2012

Four Reminders From Trial

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00February 9th, 2012|Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire, Witness Preparation|

If you have followed this blog over the last week you know that I was in a week long jury trial a couple of weeks ago.  Here are four of the things I was reminded of during that trial: 1.  Jurors take it seriously. Whether during voir dire or after being selected, almost all jurors, even those who would rather be elsewhere, seem to treat the process with the seriousness [...]

7 Feb, 2012

Notes From Nebraska Unicameral’s 102nd Legislature, 2nd Session

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00February 7th, 2012|Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

Senator Colby Coash of District 27 introduced two bills which may affect the Nebraska Judiciary, LB 790 and LB 862.  LB 790 would amend Neb.Rev.Stat. § 24-503 by transferring the vacant County Court Judge position from District 5 (Merrick, Platte, Colfax, Boone, Nance, Hamilton, Polk, York, Butler, Seward and Saunders Counties) to District 3 (Lancaster County).  As Neb.Rev.Stat. § 24-503 currently exists, both Districts have six County Court Judges.  The basis for the proposed amendment [...]

2 Feb, 2012

The Parol Evidence Rule: Don’t Forget the Exceptions! Part 2

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00February 2nd, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

My trial from last week is concluded but today's post is part 2 of Kara Jermain's article discussing the parol evidence rule.  My thanks to Kara for her work on this project while I was busy with trial. Last week’s article discussed the parol evidence rule.  The parol evidence rule excludes outside evidence of a prior or simultaneous agreement if it is not contained in contracting parties’ final written agreement.  The rule can [...]

31 Jan, 2012

Jurors, Smart-phones and Jury Trial Mayhem

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00January 31st, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

On January 30, 2012, Todd Cooper authored an article for the Omaha World Herald about Douglas County Nebraska Juror No. 22, who was found to be in contempt of court for consulting his smart-phone during the course of first-degree sexual assault trial.  Juror No. 22 was discharged from the jury and subsequently sentenced to 40 hours of community service.  Mr. Cooper's article discussed Juror No. 22's work emergency wherein if he did not stop a train with an [...]

26 Jan, 2012

The Parol Evidence Rule: Completeness When Contracting is Key – Part 1

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00January 26th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Brian Brislen is in trial this week, and Kara Jermain of the Lamson, Dugan and Murray Litigation Department authored this week's Thursday blog.  While the “parol evidence rule” may sound like legal mumbo jumbo that could not possibly affect you or your business in any way, the rule has serious consequences for anyone entering into a contract.  The rule typically deals with a situation where parties begin negotiating verbally or even informally [...]

24 Jan, 2012

Litigation, Damages and Jurors’ Beliefs

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00January 24th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire|

On January 11, 2012 the United States Supreme Court determined the "ministerial exception" provided by the First Amendment precluded an employment discrimination suit by a "called" teacher, Cheryl Perich, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC.  As part of her job duties with Hosanna-Tabor, Perich taught a religion class four days a week and led students in prayer and devotional exercises each day.  After Perich was diagnosed with narcolepsy and had [...]

19 Jan, 2012

Objections To Closing Arguments

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00January 19th, 2012|Closing Argument, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

My post for last week discussed opening statements and the propriety of arguing rather than simply stating facts.  No such problem exists during closing arguments.  But what is the rule about lodging objections during closing?  To me, the first rule is to make sure that objecting during a closing is really warranted.  Much of the time it is not.  Beyond that, if you have a circumstance which requires an objection [...]

17 Jan, 2012

As A Trial Lawyer, Form Can Trump Substance

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00January 17th, 2012|Cross Examination, Depositions, Direct/Redirect Examination, Discovery, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

 As trial lawyers, events often move quickly and we make sure the substance of a particular position is made in order to protect the interests of our clients.  Unfortunately, substance doesn't always win the day and there are times when form is extremely important.  An example of this is the Nebraska Supreme Court's opinion in State v. Ford, 279 Neb. 453, 778 N.W.2d 473 (2010).  During the course of this criminal trial, the [...]

14 Jan, 2012

Opening Statements

2018-04-24T00:08:57-05:00January 14th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Opening Statement|

Every jury trial begins with voir dire and selection of the jurors who will decide the disputed issues of fact.  It is during this time that the jurors begin to learn what the case is about; what facts may be presented.  The first opportunity a lawyer has to fully present the facts to those jurors, however, is opening statement.  Though it may seem like it should go without saying, the opening statement should [...]

11 Jan, 2012

Employer is not a “Released Person” for Purposes of Apportionment Under Nebraska’s Comparative Fault Act

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00January 11th, 2012|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

On January 6, 2012, the Nebraska Supreme Court decided the hotly contested issue of whether a court may apportion liability to an employer in a third-party action for peronsal injuries when the employer is immune from suit in tort under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act in Downey v. Western Community College Area, 282 Neb. 97o, ___ N.W.2d ___ (2012).  Generally speaking, an apportionment of fault instruction and concomitant jury verdict form is provided by Nebraska's courts when a potential [...]

5 Jan, 2012

Five Elements to Rule of Evidence 1006 Summaries

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00January 5th, 2012|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

When dealing with a large amount of documents during litigation parties often will want to summarize the contents.  This could happen in the context of bank statements, payroll information, invoices or just about anything else you might think of.  The rules of evidence allow for an alternative to dumping a pile of paper on the Court or a Jury during trial.  Specifically, under Rule 1006 (27-1006 in Nebraska) lawyers can, [...]

3 Jan, 2012

Amendments to Nebraska’s Probate Code Add Protection To Personal Injury Settlements

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00January 3rd, 2012|Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

An article by Todd Cooper in the Omaha World Herald on December 20, 2011 highlights the need for the amendments to Nebraksa's Probate Code provisions governing the appointment of conservators and guardians which took effect on January 1, 2012.  Although monetary assets of a ward are often protected by being deposited in an account which allows for withdrawal only upon court order, Mr. Cooper's article notes the arrest of a son acting as a guardian for his mother when [...]

22 Dec, 2011

Omaha Trial Emphasizes Importance of Voir Dire

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00December 22nd, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire|

I have written a couple of recent posts related to juror conduct as it pertains to use of electronic devices or social media.  A recent criminal jury trial in Omaha provides another look at juror conduct and how to deal with potential issues.  The case involved an attorney moving to have a sitting juror dismissed from service. In a first-degree felony murder trial a juror who later said he disagreed with the felony murder [...]

20 Dec, 2011

Three Thoughts on Answering Over (and Potentially Waiving) Objections to Interrogatories in Nebraska

2018-04-24T00:12:18-05:00December 20th, 2011|Discovery, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

A pitfall in handling interrogatories in Nebraska's state courts is waiving an objection by answering over it.  While Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 33 specifically addresses the issue by providing "[e]ach interrogatory must, to the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and fully in writing under oath" in FRCP 33(b)(3) and "[t]he grounds for objecting to an interrogatory must be stated with specificity. Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless [...]

15 Dec, 2011

More Commentary on Juror’s Use of Electronic Devices and Social Media

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00December 15th, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Two weeks ago I posted about what can be done to mitigate juror’s use of electronic devices to obtain information about a case for which they serve as finders of fact.  In it, I mentioned that jurors can be instructed to refrain from using such devices but also noted that it may be difficult to prevent all such occurrences.  Attorney Kimberly D. Young of Little Rock, Arkansas, wrote an article published yesterday [...]

13 Dec, 2011

Tymar v. Two Men and A Truck – Three Keys To Dealing with Requests for Admission

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00December 13th, 2011|Discovery, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

One of the most dangerous discovery vehicles is requests for admission, or § 6-336 of the Nebraska Rules of Discovery.  In Tymar v. Two Men and A Truck, 282 Neb. 692, __ N.W.2d __ (2011), the Nebraska Supreme Court provided a reminder of the dangers of failing to properly address requests for admission.   As a quick refresher, a party must timely respond to requests for admission as provided in the pertinent portion of § 6-336(a) to avoid having the requests be [...]

8 Dec, 2011

Learning Trial Skills By Helping Students Learn

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00December 8th, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

This last Tuesday I volunteered to serve as a performance evaluator for the Nebraska Bar Foundation’s State High School Mock Trial Championship. The competition featured twelve state qualifying teams from high schools across Nebraska each seeking to be named the state champion thereby entitling it to represent Nebraska at the National competition to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in May. The round to which I was assigned feature two [...]

6 Dec, 2011

Paid vs. Billed – What is the Correct Measure of Medical Bill Damage?

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00December 6th, 2011|In-House Counsel, Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

The world of health insurance and medical billing write-offs has created a hot topic in the world of personal injury trial practice, whether the measure of medical bill damages a personal injury plaintiff may recover is the amount billed by the provider or the amount paid and accepted as full and final payment by the provider.  The issue has been addressed by legislation in many states.  Some attorneys believe Nebraska's Unicameral Legislature addressed the issue [...]

1 Dec, 2011

Mitigating Jurors’ Potential Use of Electronic Information

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00December 1st, 2011|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire|

Nearly everyone, it seems, has a smart phone. Access to information no longer comes from the morning or evening newspaper. Information is refreshed by the minute through numerous on-line news sources. What impact does that have on a jury trial? The December, 2011, ABA newsletter, First Focus, has published an interesting article highlighting the ABA Judicial Division’s National Conference of State Trial Judges work to issue guidance to Judges and [...]

29 Nov, 2011

Is Consolidation of Nebraska’s Two Level Trial Court System on the Horizon?

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00November 29th, 2011|Legislation, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

On May 26, 2011, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signed LB 669, which contained a substantial number of amendments to Nebraska statutes relating to provision of courts services by the District Courts and County Courts.  The amendments reveal budgetary woes that have plagued other state court systems, such as Iowa and California, may have finally landed in Nebraska. Buried within a bill that amends no less than 25 statutes in the state of [...]

17 Nov, 2011

Depositions: Avoid Being a Defensive or Combative Witness

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00November 17th, 2011|Deposition Preparation, Depositions, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Witness Preparation|

If you have followed this blog since it started earlier this fall you read our Friday Nebraska sports related posts. Yesterday, the ABA Journal posted its own sports related story. Author Debra Cassens Weiss reported on a deposition of former NBA superstar Allen Iverson. Apparently, AI was not very thrilled about the deposition or the lawyer taking it. The lawyer has apparently represented clients against Iverson in two prior cases. [...]

15 Nov, 2011

Per Diem Arguments in Nebraska post Richardson v. Children’s Hospital – Part IV Potential Solutions and Arguments

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00November 15th, 2011|Closing Argument, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

This is Part IV in a four part series.  Part I, Part II and Part III. Another flaw in per diem arguments is that they suggest pain can be equated to dollars and that a formula will justly compensate a plaintiff.  Note to the jury that unless plaintiff has established with credible evidence why a certain dollar amount should be applied to a particular time segment, perhaps the jury should [...]

11 Nov, 2011

Nebraska vs. Penn State – Perspective or Perseverance and Preservation?

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00November 11th, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

After Huskers disheartening loss to a Northwestern team just about everyone believed the Huskers would beat, I immediately turned my thoughts to the angle for this blog and how the Huskers could still win the Legends Division and Big Ten Championship with it a bit perseverance and preservation.  As my first major college football experience and memories emanate from walking into a jam packed Beaver Stadium with my father, I was [...]

10 Nov, 2011

Jury Questions Answered Without Counsel

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00November 10th, 2011|Appellate Work, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Last week I posted about the process for handling questions from jurors while they are in deliberations. I noted that Neb.Rev.Stat. § 25-1116 requires that the Judge contact the parties or their counsel about the question. The Nebraska Supreme Court has clearly stated that this is the process to be followed (See Nebraska Depository Inst. Guar. Corp. v. Stastny, 243 Neb. 36, 497 N.W.2d 657 (1993); In re Estate of [...]

8 Nov, 2011

Per Diem Arguments in Nebraska post Richardson v. Children’s Hospital – Part III Potential Solutions and Arguments

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00November 8th, 2011|Closing Argument, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

This is Part III of a four part series.  Part I, Part II and Part IV. The jurisdictions that approved per diem arguments generally fall into two categories, the first declare per diem arguments proper; the second declare them proper only if accompanied by a cautionary instruction.  Courts holding per diem arguments proper, or proper with caution, do so for the following reasons: Per diem arguments do not constitute the introduction [...]

3 Nov, 2011

Jury Questions During Deliberations

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00November 3rd, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

After the heavy lifting of a jury trial is over the real work begins. Waiting for the verdict. If you are like me, any time the phone rings your stomach turns with anticipation that the Court may be calling to say the jury has reached its verdict. When you look at caller ID to see the Court’s number displayed the anticipation builds even more. But sometimes, the relief you get [...]

1 Nov, 2011

Per Diem Arguments in Nebraska post Richardson v. Children’s Hospital – Part II The Richardson Decision and Its Potential Effect

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00November 1st, 2011|Closing Argument, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

This is Part II of four part series.  Part I, Part III, and Part IV. The Baylor and Dowd decisions set the stage for the Nebraska Supreme Court’s opinion in Richardson v. Children’s Hospital, 280 Neb. 396, 787 N.W.2d 235 (2010) and Nebraska joining the majority of Courts which approve per diem arguments in one form or another.  In Richarson, Plaintiff made a blatant per diem argument.  During Plaintiff’s closing, counsel [...]

27 Oct, 2011

Pennant Races and Trial Prep: Timely Preparation Helps You Present the Case You Want to Present.

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00October 27th, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Like many, I have been a baseball fan since I was a kid. Thanks to a couple of random Dodger fans’ comments about renowned baseball good guy and two time MVP Dale Murphy and what was then the “Superstation WTBS,” this Nebraska kid became a big fan of the Atlanta Braves. The Capitol Avenue Club is a great blog about the Atlanta Braves. So, as the rest of the baseball [...]

25 Oct, 2011

Per Diem Arguments in Nebraska post Richardson v. Children’s Hospital – Part I The History

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00October 25th, 2011|Closing Argument, In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

This is a four part series discussing the history and use of per diem arguments in the state of Nebraska. Part II, Part III and Part IV. Before the Nebraska Supreme Court’s outright approval of per diem arguments in Richardson v. Children’s Hospital, 208 Neb. 396, 787 N.W.2d 235 (2010), I often found myself channeling Oliver Stone’s chain smoking conspiratorial reincarnation of David Ferrie in the movie JFK during my attempts [...]

20 Oct, 2011

Witness Preparation: Make Sure Your Documents Tell the Same Story as the Witnesses

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00October 20th, 2011|Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Witness Preparation|

I recently blogged about the need to show the jury the documents you choose to put into evidence when those documents match the testimony. Today’s blog addresses a couple of points that go along with that concept. The first pertains to witness preparation and the second is a reminder to general counsel and H.R. professionals about memorializing business transactions and events. Point One: How many emails do professionals send and [...]

18 Oct, 2011

Honesty and Integrity – Two Keys to Working with In-House Counsel

2018-04-24T00:12:19-05:00October 18th, 2011|In-House Counsel, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

The subject of securing work from corporate clients is the subject of numerous blogs and plenty of discussion.    However, what seems to get lost in the never ending desire to grow your practice and your business is maintaining and developing the relationships you have with existing clients.  This especially true when you add up the pressures of securing good results, establishing healthy relationships with the people who are responsible [...]

13 Oct, 2011

Using Documentary Evidence In Closing Argument

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00October 13th, 2011|Closing Argument, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

As I have posted earlier, I have taught trial practice to a team of four third year Creighton University law students which culminates in a trial competition. This year we went to The National Trial Advocacy Competition hosted by the Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing Michigan. Veronica Valentine McNally and the NTAC staff at MSU do a great job and it is always fun to visit [...]

6 Oct, 2011

Foundation is the Foundation; Part 2

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00October 6th, 2011|Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Witness Preparation|

I posted about the importance of laying proper foundation last week. As I noted, this topic is the starting point for the trial practice class that I teach at Creighton University’s School of Law. By the way, the team this year did a wonderful job at the competition. The team of Nick Depetro, Angela Franz, Abbie Schurmann and Erica Carr advanced to the Quarterfinals. There are 25 teams invited to [...]

29 Sep, 2011

Teaching Trial Practice—Foundation is the Foundation; Part 1.

2018-04-24T00:08:58-05:00September 29th, 2011|Closing Argument, Cross Examination, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Opening Statement, Trial, Witness Preparation|

This week I am in Lansing Michigan for a trial competition hosted by the Michigan State University College of Law in Lansing Michigan. As is the case every year, the team I have taught for Creighton University School of Law is comprised of four third year law students. The team has spent five nights per week for over a month preparing this year’s case problem. My “co-coach,” Amy Zacharias, a [...]

12 Aug, 2011

Worker’s Comp and Nebraska’s Producers: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You — PART II

2018-04-23T20:50:33-05:00August 12th, 2011|Farm Management, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

Failing to meet the Worker's Compensation Act requirement as outlined in Part I can result in some serious repercussions.  A Nebraska producer who fails to comply with even one of the Worker's Compensation Act's requirements can lose his/her exempt status and become liable under the Act. If you do become liable under the Act, and have a worker’s compensation policy in place, the Act provides the employee’s exclusive remedy. This means, among other things, that the employee cannot [...]

11 Aug, 2011

Worker’s Comp and Nebraska Producers: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You — PART I

2018-04-23T20:50:33-05:00August 11th, 2011|Farm Management, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor|

If you operate a small farm or livestock operation in Nebraska, you are probably used tobeing exempt from providing worker’s compensation coverage to your employees. But in 2003, the Nebraska legislature changed the law. Although most small producers continue to be exempt under the 2003 amendments, the law imposes certain requirements that must be followed in order to keep exempt status. In particular, producers who only employ relatives, or employ less than ten full-time, non-related employees, can typically [...]