Nebraska State Bar Foundation

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size


The Board of Directors believes it is important to recognize publicly lawyers who make extraordinary contributions to the Foundation and to those that enhance the legal profession as a whole. Foundation Fellows have the honor of nominating all award recipients except the Silver Quill Award Recipients, who are selected annually by the faculty of Creighton University Law School and the University of Nebraska College of Law. The Foundation developed eight (8) awards to formally acknowledge the professional contributions of lawyers and the important roles Nebraska lawyers perform in :

  • Interpreting the law,
  • Educating citizens regarding important aspects of the law,
  • Contributing to the creation of new laws, and
  • Supporting the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and thereby enabling it to better serve Nebraska citizens.

The Awards Committee makes recommendations of award recipients that are presented to the Board of Directors for final approval. The Foundation only bestows awards as the occasion arises.

 Legal Pioneer Award
The Foundation's Legal Pioneer Award honors the lifetime achievements of a lawyer who makes innovative contributions to the improvement of justice.

1992 Chief Justice William C. Hastings, Lincoln
1994 Leo Eisenstatt, Omaha
1995 Hon. Leslie Boslaugh, Lincoln
1996 Hon. Hale McCown, Lincoln
1998 Bert L. Overcash, Lincoln
1999 Hon. Patricia Lamberty, Omaha
2000 Hon. Lindsey Miller-Lerman, Lincoln
2004 Hon. Donald P. Lay, St. Paul MN
John P. Miller, Blair
2005 Hon. W.W. Nuernberger, Lincoln
2006 Hon. Karen B. Flowers, Lincoln
2007 Hon. Richard C. Kopf, Lincoln
2009 Hon. John M. Gerrard, Lincoln
2011 Linda R. Crump, Lincoln
2013 Hon. Warren K. Urbom, Lincoln

Shining Light Award
The Foundation's Shining Light Award recognizes the outstanding legal research conducted by a lawyer in Nebraska, whether a practitioner, academician, or a non-practicing lawyer.

1989 Michael L. Johnson, Grand Island
1992 Professor G. Michael Fenner, Omaha
  Professor Roger W. Krist, Lincoln
  Professor Josephine R. Potuto, Lincoln
1993 John M. Gradwohl, Lincoln
  Donald H. Kelley, North Platte
  James E. Rembolt, Lincoln
1997 Hon. John T. Grant, Omaha
  Robert M. Slovek, Omaha
1998 Daniel A. Morris, Omaha
1999 Richard C. Mangrum, Omaha
2005 James W. Hewitt, Lincoln
2006 Professor Susan Poser, Lincoln
2013 Christine Costantakos, Omaha

Foundation Award
The most prestigious award given by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation is the Foundation Award. This award honors exemplary service to the Foundation and is presented to lawyers who have made and who continue to make a strong commitment to the goals of the Foundation.

1989 Deryl F. Harmann, Omaha
1990 Robert G. Scoville, posthumously
1992 Hans J. Holtorf, Jr., posthumously
  Howard H. Moldenhuer, posthumously
1993 Milton R. Abrahams, Omaha
1994 Flavel A. Wright, Lincoln
1995 Senator Roman L. Hruska, Omaha
1996 Keith I. Frederick, Omaha
  Richard A. Knudsen, Lincoln
1999 Harvey S. Perlman, Lincoln
2001 Hon. Lyle E. Strom, Omaha
2002 Charles Thone, Lincoln
2007 Thomas M. Davies, Lincoln
2008 George E. Svoboda, Fremont
2010 Robert H. Berkshire, Omaha
2012 Charles E. Wright, Lincoln
2014 Dean G. Kratz, Omaha
2015 Hon. William Jay Riley, Omaha
2018 Kile W. Johnson

Outstanding Legal Educator Award
This award acknowledges momentous contributions to the field of legal education by a legal educator, a lawyer who volunteers his or her time to instruct, or a lawyer who serves in continuing legal education capacities.

1990 Hon. Warren K. Urbom, Lincoln
1994 William A. Day Jr., Omaha
1995 Barbara J. Gaskins, Omaha
  John M. Gradwohl, Lincoln
  Albert T. Reddish, Alliance
1996 Gregory B. Minter, Omaha
1997 Dr. Richard E. Shugrue, Omaha
1998 Ronald R. Volkmer, Omaha
1999 Rodney Shkolnick, Omaha
2000 Hon. Robert O. Hippe, Gering
2004 William H. Lyons, Lincoln
2010 Patrick J. Borchers, Omaha
2011 John P. Lenich, Lincoln
2016 Marianne B. Culhane, Omaha
2017 Roger W. Kirst

Public Service Award
The Foundation bestows its Public Service Award to a lawyer who has been, or is, in the employ of local, state or federal government in Nebraska or a Nebraska lawyer in government employment outside the state for outstanding service in the performance of duty.

1990 Robert M. Spire, Lincoln
1994 Hon. W.W. Nuernberger, Lincoln
1995 Dennis R. Keefe, Lincoln
1997 Hon. William H. Norton, Osceola
1998 Brenda J. Council, Omaha
1999 Kathleen M. Severens, Washington, D.C
2002 Deborah K. R. Gilg, Omaha
2004 Karen L. Shepard, Omaha
2006 Hon. John V. Hendry, Lincoln
2009 Charles Thone, Lincoln
2012 Hon. Todd J. Hutton, Papillion
2014 Hon. Ben Novicoff, Lincoln
2016 Hon. Susan M. Bazis, Omaha
2017 Laura Garcia-Hein
2018 Justice Jeffrey J. Funke
Hon. Leigh Ann Retelsdorf
Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is a special award to recognize a lawyer's service to the legal profession.

1991 Governor Robert B. Crosby, Lincoln
  Jack W. Marer, Omaha
1993 Otto Kotouc jr., Humboldt
1994 Edward Shafton, Omaha
  Robert M. Spire, posthumously
1995 Hon. Lyle E. Strom, Omaha
1996 Hon. Harry A. Spencer, Lincoln
1997 Hon. F.A. Gossett III, Blair
1998 John C. Brownrigg, Omaha
2000 Steven R. Voigt, Kearney
2001 Lynn D. Hutton Jr., Norfolk
2002 Harold L. Rock, Omaha
2011 Hon. D. Nick Caporale, Omaha
2013 Gerald E. Matzke, Sidney
2015 Todd V. Elsbernd, Grand Island (Posthumously)
2016 Dennis G. Carlson, Lincoln
2018 M. Douglas Deitchler

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Foundation recognizes a lawyer who has made significant contributions to the legal profession, to the Bar Foundation, and to his or her community.

1997 Governor Frank B. Morrison, Lincoln
1999 James I. Shamberg, Grand Island
2000 James A. Lane, Ogallala
2001 Prof. Richard S. Harnsberger, Lincoln
2002 Thomas M. Davies, Lincoln
2005 Thomas E. Brogan, Norfolk
Daniel D. Jewell, Norfolk
2010 Hon. C. Arlen Beam, Lincoln
2012 Theodore L. Kessner, Lincoln
2014 Charles V. Sederstrom, Jr., Omaha
2015 Howard J. Kaslow, Omaha
2017 J. Terry Macnamara

Silver Quill Award
The Silver Quill Award was established to recognize a law student's legal writing ability as displayed in the classroom and other writing situations. The faculty at Creighton Law School and the University of Nebraska College of Law select the award recipients. At the Foundation's Annual Fellows Dinner, a $500 cash award is presented to each student. Additionally, the students' names are permanently inscribed on a plaque displayed at each respective law school.

Michell Wernimont (C)
Chad M. VonKampen (N)
Greg O-Kief (C)
Patrick Straka (N)
Sharon Rosse (C)
Timothy Moll (N)
Amy Erlbacher-Anderson (C)
Jennifer Gilg (N)
Lisa Cottula (C)
Christian Stewart (N)
Bruce Gragert (C)
Nilesh Patel (N)
Steven C. Likes (C)
Brian Keller (N)
Kristine Becker (C)
Heidi Lysne (N)
Edward D. Williamson (C)
Kevin O'Neil (N)
Cassandra Volanges (C)
David R. Mayer (N)
John A. Sharp (C)
Brian Sobczyk (N)
Richard Winders (C)
Karen Iossi (N)
Nicole Engelhardt (C)
Amanda Karr (N)
Tom Worthington (C)
Tara Scholz (N)
Kourtney Greenfield (C)
Samuel R. Randall (N)
Aimee Lowe (C)
Mark Buckwalter (N)
Anna Yost (C)
Kelli Church (N)
P. Brian Bartels (C)
Valerie McGill (N)
Robert Stark (C)
Adam Barney (N)
April N. Erke (C)
Andrew Conroy (N)
Julie Roberts (C)
Lyudmila Kishchum (N)
Alexander Boyd (C)
Shannon Kelly (N)
Kara Stockdale (C)
Martin Demoret (N)
Dewey Kennison (C)
Jessop Adams (N)
Eric Walser (C)
Christopher Schmidt (N)
Justina A. Piatek (C)
  Gregory Vinton (N)
Rachel M. Lee (C)
  Jared Koch (N)
Janessa Cruz-Alfaro (C)
  Troy Anderson (N)
(C) = Creighton University Law School
(N) = University of Nebraska College of Law

Law-Related Education