Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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News
News

We the People Welcomes New Coordinator, Sends East High Team to Nationals

Hastings_Carrier_PamPam Hastings Carrier has been named the State Coordinator for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. An attorney who retired from active practice in 2000 to raise her family, Ms. Hastings says she is happy to become re-involved in the legal profession through her position as State Coordinator for the We the People program and that she looks forward to extending the program in Nebraska.

Ms. Carrier has already overseen the 2011 State Competition, and her next activity will be to accompany the 20-member team from Lincoln East High School, the 2011 We The People: the Citizen and the Constitution State champions, who will represent Nebraska in the national competition in Washington, D.C., April 30th-May 2nd. This year's win marks the 6th consecutive state championship win for East High School.

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Skutt Catholic a Three-Time Representative of Nebraska at Mock Trial Nationals

state_mock_trial_2010_201The Mock Trial team from V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha will represent Nebraska at the National High School Mock Trial Championship (NHSMTC) in Phoenix, May 5-7. This marks the third time that a team from Skutt Catholic has competed at the NHSMTC.

This trip, however, will be the first time attorney coaches Patrick Borchers and Judy Borchers do not have one of their own children as a member of the team. Teacher coach Mary Meyer's son, a former team member who traveled to Nationals, has also graduated from Skutt Catholic and Mock Trial. All three coaches of the 2011 team are extremely proud of their student attorneys and witnesses and are hoping that "third time is charm" for Skutt Catholic at the national tournament in Phoenix.

 

Charlie and Suzy Wright Recognized with Pillars of Justice Plaque

Legacy_of_Liberty_Dedication_006_smOn November 5, 2011, Charlie and Suzy Wright of Lincoln were recognized by the hanging of a bronze Pillars of Justice plaque in the Legacy of Liberty Gallery at the Roman L. Hruska Law Center. Chief Justice Michael G. Heavican, Nebraska Supreme Court, presided at the ceremony attended by members of the Foundation's Board of Directors and guests.

Heavican cited the Wrights' generosity in establishing the Standing Bear Scholarship Fund to assist Nebraska Native students in achieving a law degree at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The scholarship provides $15,000 per year per student. If sufficient funds are available, two students per year may be awarded a Standing Bear Scholarship.

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Fifth Graders Learn About Careers through Law Day Job Shadowing

The ninth annual Law Day Job Shadowing for fifth graders activity has been kicked off! Judges, court administrators, clerks, and magistrates are coordinating the activity in 11 communities across the state. These court personnel, serving as local coordinators, invite one or more classrooms of fifth graders to "shadow" lawyers, judges, court clerks, law enforcement officers, court reporters, interpreters...and even drug dogs...to learn more about careers in the legal field.

Participating communities include Chappell, Kearney, Kimball, Neligh, O'Neill, Oshkosh, Pawnee City, Stanton, Wayne, Wilber, and Winnebago.

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Law Day Essay Contest Asks About Problem of Cyber-Bullying

Following this year's LRE theme, "Democracy and the Digital Age of Media," leaders of LRE and Media Subcommittees of the Foundation's PEOPLE Committee, created a Law Day Essay Contest question that addresses the problem of cyber-bullying. The question follows.

A bill introduced in the Nebraska Unicameral this year defines cyber-bullying as: "Any ongoing use of electronic mail, text messaging, social networking websites, or any other form of electronic communication on or off school grounds, with the intention of causing harm or serious emotional distress to students or school personnel."

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, in part: Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...
And Article I, Section 5 of the Nebraska Constitution reads:
Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth when published with good motives, and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.

QUESTION: Keeping in mind our Constitutional protections against government restricting our free speech, what should the Nebraska legislature do about cyber-bullying?

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