Jewell Trial Institute

The Dan Jewell Trial Institute is offered annually to attorneys seeking to gain trial experience. The location of the day-and-a-half seminar alternates between the University of Nebraska College of Law and the Creighton University School of Law. A total of 12 participants are selected for this prestigious Institute. Attorney participants may earn CLE credit.

Lindsey Belmont of Koening Dunne in Omaha said the Institute gave her the opportunity to hone her trial advocacy skills. "I found it invaluable to have seasoned attorneys and judges provide practical advice on what worked, what didn't work, and where improvements could be made. This Institute made me a better trial lawyer, and I highly encourage all attorneys to take advantage of this opportunity." She was an attorney-participate in the 2018 Institute.

The Dan Jewell Trial Institute is funded through a generous gift from the late Dan Jewell, a respected attorney and trial lawyer from Norfolk. Dan joined the Navy in 1942 and took part in the Invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Upon returning from his Navy service, Dan graduated with his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1949. 

Dan was a member of the International Society of Barristers, and he was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Dan served on the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Board for over 20 years. 

The Dan and Lorene Jewell Trial Education Fund is a permanent endowment at the Bar Foundation. The Jewell Trial Institute was offered for the first time in 2016.

During the Institute, attorney participants are given the opportunity to

  • Examine and impanel a jury
  • Deliver opening statements
  • Examine and cross examine witnesses
  • Produce depositions
  • Offer exhibits
  • Review jury instructions and argue the case

 A Nebraska judge presides over each of the three trials conducted during the Institute. Each attorney participant is assigned a mentor whose job is to critique the participant’s performance and offer constructive feedback. Participants say they learn best from the experienced attorneys and seasoned judges who volunteer their time to support and sustain the Dan Jewell Trial Institute.

The Nebraska State Bar Foundation extends its gratitude to the volunteer mentors, judges and the faculties and staffs of the NU College of Law and the Creighton School of Law for making the Dan Jewell Trial Institute possible.