Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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Lincoln Southeast High School Takes We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Title

The 25-member We the People team from Lincoln’s Southeast High School defeated six other teams to be declared the winner in the State Hearings competition on January 5. The event, testing students’ knowledge over six units of study about the United States Constitution, took place at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The competition was judged by local attorneys, professors, secondary educators, journalists, and other professionals in the community.

More than 150 students from six Nebraska schools participated in the event. The Southeast team’s win makes it Nebraska’s official representative in the national finals April 22-25, 2016, at the University of Maryland.

Southeast High team members are Hannah Allgood, Jade Anderson, Kenna Bancroft, Foster Collins, Cooper Creal, Jackson Dettmer, Ella Flamig, Andrew Goldsmith, Thomas Graul, Brianna Griffin, Marco Gutierrez, Morgan Heil, Sean Hollibaugh, Emily Johnson, McKynna Kelly, Brianna Knudson, Tommy Le, Kelsey Linzell, Slate Mathis, Matt, McCoy, Chris Morton, Katie Nimic, Andy Rader, Greta Soloman, and Blake Spiers. Their teacher coach is Zach Wojtowicz .


Duchesne Academy is Runner-up at National Mock Trial

Defending its 2015 national title, the Mock Trial team from Omaha’s Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart met the Iowa team in the final round of 2016 competition in Boise, Idaho, on May 14. The Duchesne team representing Nebraska was named national runner-up as the Iowa team took the 2016 top prize.

All teams representing 43 states, some Pacific Islands, and South Korea presented an original civil case that included an allegation of Trespass of Livestock. The case was written to highlight some of Idaho’s Basque sheepherding culture and character.

Members of the Duchesne team are Claire Benedix, Ariana Haddad, Collette Hanusek, Molly Laughlin, Elena Maestas, Divya Nimmagadda, Olivia Stanek, and Brittany Wichman. Adam Klepper is their teacher coach, and Mark Laughlin, Patrick Cooper, and Gerald Laughlin are the attorney coach.

Nebraska’s Judge Lyle Strom High School Mock Trial Project is sponsored by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. The Foundation annually hosts a state championship, determining which team will go on to represent Nebraska at nationals. In 2015, the Duchesne team won at both the state and national levels. The team from Skutt Catholic participated in the national competition in 2007 and again from 2010-2014, taking third place in 2013.


Nebraska’s Duchesne Academy Takes National Title at High School Mock Trial Championship in North Carolina

Front row: Natalie Taylor, Ariana Haddad, Collette Hanusek, Divya Nimmagadda, and Elizabeth Matthews. Back row: Attorney Coach Mark Laughlin, Molly Laughlin, Taylor Anderson, Claire Benedix, and Attorney Coach Patrick Cooper.

The Mock Trial team from Omaha's Duchesne Academy won five rounds of competition at the National High School Mock Trial Championship last week in Raleigh, North Carolina, and took the national title. The final round on Saturday matched the Duchesne team, representing the defense side of the case, against the Northview High School plaintiff's team from the state of Georgia. The case, Andy Archer v. Detail Security, Inc., was a fictionalized account of an actual historical event surrounding the theft, and the return, of North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights.

Both the Nebraska and Georgia teams won four rounds of preliminary trials to advance to the finals where nine judges from North Carolina, Idaho, and Pennsylvania scored their performance before a presiding judge. In the preliminary rounds, the Nebraska team met other Mock Trial teams from the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Arkansas, and Virginia. Forty-six teams were entered in the National Championship, having come from as far away as Guam, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, and South Korea.

Members of Duchesne's National High School Mock Trial Championship team are Taylor Anderson, Claire Benedix, Ariana Haddad, Collette Hanusek, Molly Laughlin, Elizabeth Matthews, Divya Nimmagadda, and Natalie Taylor. The team's teacher coach is Adam Klepper. Attorney coaches for the team are Mark Laughlin and Patrick Cooper of the Fraser Stryker law firm and Gerald Laughlin, of counsel, with the Baird Holm firm. At a later date, Duchesne Academy will honor the national achievement of its Mock Trial team, three members of which will graduate this spring.


Updated Free Booklet on Teens’ Rights and Responsibilities Available to Order

The Nebraska State Bar Foundation proudly announces the revision and update of its popular Reaching the Age of Majority booklet.  It is available to educators, free of charge, as an iBook, PDF, or in printed format.

This booklet is designed to educate youth about the rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood and is the volunteer work of legal professionals.  Topics include Alcohol; Contracts, Crime Victims; Health and Human Services; Insurance; Internet Safety; Landlord Tenant Law; Parties; Sex Crime; Tax Responsibilities; and Weapons, Guns, and Fireworks, in addition to 25 other topics.

A generous gift from Virginia Schmid, widow of past Foundation President Marvin Schmid, has made the updating, printing, and distribution of this booklet possible.

To obtain this free resource for your classroom, go to  There, you may also request a classroom presentation by a lawyer or judge on selected topics contained in the booklet.


Lincoln East High School Takes Ninth Consecutive State Title at We The People: the Citizen and the Constitution Nebraska State Finals

On January 7, the 21-member team from Lincoln East High School won the 2014 We The People: the Citizen and the Constitution State Finals which was held at the University of Nebraska College of Law. More than 150 students from five Nebraska schools participated in the competition. The East team's win makes it Nebraska's official representative in the national competition in Washington, D.C., April 26-29.

The team is coached by teacher Kevin Rippe. Taking second place in the competition was the Lincoln Southeast High School team. Teacher Zach Wotowicz is the team's coach.

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