In a twelve (12) month span that has included a global pandemic, record number of wildfires and hurricanes, historic winter storms and a once in a lifetime election, we are all ready to turn the page and return to some semblance of normalcy. And while the future looks promising, we must continue to be grateful and appreciative of all the frontline workers, nurses, doctors, rescue personnel, teachers and so many others for all they have done and continue to do.
During this time, we have all had to adjust our schedules and routines and continue to search for what is best for our clients and practices. While doing so, it is important to remember, and be grateful for, all those that have helped us and our clients.
As mentioned in my December President’s Message, thanks to the professionalism, cooperation and dedication of our members, NATA continues to be here for our clients and for all of us. I would like to take a moment to recognize and thank those that have done some much appreciated heavy lifting under difficult circumstances:
- On February 26, 2021, NATA hosted its second zoom webinar, “Be A Better Work Lawyer”. Many thanks to Aaron Brown for chairing and putting together a fantastic lineup of presenters and topics ranging from the constitutionality and early beginnings of workers compensation to what is necessary to maximize and resolve your work comp case. I would also like to thank Cameron Guenzel and Stella Huggins for all their efforts coordinating with Aaron and the presenters to make this webinar possible. If you were not able to attend and would like to obtain a copy of the seminar materials, please contact Stela Huggins at email@example.com.
On April 23, 2021 NATA will host a hybrid seminar, “Representing the TBI Client: Identifying Mild TBI Injuries; Neuropsych Testing Concerns; and Rehabilitation for the TBI Patient” Thanks to Terry Salerno and Danny Leavitt for agreeing to co-chair this seminar and putting together a great line up of presenters, including Dorothy Clay Sims, a nationally renowned lawyer from Florida. If you have not seen the program schedule or would like to register, details of the seminar are included in this issue.
- The 2021 legislative session began on January 6, 2021. Since that time NATA has held weekly Legislative Committee meetings and with the help of our lobbyists, Randi Scott, Don Wesely, John Lindsay and our Legislative Chair, Brock Wurl, we have discussed and reviewed dozens of legislative bills that impact our clients. Many thanks to all those on the Legislative Committee who have taken time out of their schedules to help NATA continue to improve the trial practice and preserve the jury system. Many thanks also to NATA Members, Mark Richardson, Shayla Reed, John Urbom, Jon Rehm, Jason Ausman and Vince Powers, all of whom have testified in front of various committees this legislative session.
- A big thank you to NATA PAC Chair, Matt Lathrop, for all his efforts chairing NATA PAC and keeping us abreast of the impact NATA had on 2020 legislative races. Thanks to our members, and the contributions of all, even as a non-partisan political action committee, NATA PAC was one of the top in-state political action committees in this past year’s legislative races. If you haven’t read Matt’s NATA PAC update that was published in the last issue of the Prairie Barrister, I encourage you do so. Further, please be sure to read Matt’s NATA PAC update in this issue of the Prairie Barrister. I encourage all members to continue to contribute to NATA PAC, and for those that are not to begin giving so that we can ensure that we continue to have strong community leaders in the Legislature that understand and support our mission to protect the rights of all Nebraskans.
- Lastly, and certainly not least, I would like to thank our sponsors, Summit Structured Settlements, Global Litigation Consultants and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual. In a time when we have all had to balance the health and safety of clients, staff, families and the viability of our practices, the ongoing support NATA has received from Chris and Stan Harlan, Todd Belisle and Clayton Jones has allowed NATA to continue to provide the support and services our members so greatly appreciate.
As you look back on the past year, please take a moment and ask yourself if you, or any of your clients, have benefited from something you have learned at a NATA seminar, the efforts of NATA Legislative Committee in identifying and either opposing or supporting a bill and/or the efforts of NATA PAC in identifying legislative candidates that care about your clients’ interests. If so, I ask you to reach out and thank one of our many members who volunteer countless hours to support NATA’s mission. I also challenge you to do more and get more involved. NATA is only as strong as our members and with each passing year we are always looking to make ourselves better.
Before I close, please remember to mark your calendars for the 2021 Summer Meeting June 24-26, 2021 at Bridges Bay in Lake Okoboji, IA. My hope is by June we will all be safe, well and in a position to gather, converse, share, learn and enjoy each other’s company. Your clients and your families will thank you!