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Volume 23, Number 4

WINTER 2017

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

 

Britany Shotkoski

As Husker-Nation heralded the return of Nebraska’s native son, I was sitting down to write this President’s message.  The ever present Frost warning leading up to the announcement served as a reminder that sports play a major, if sometimes unappreciated, role in the lives of average Nebraskans.  Against this background, I am impressed by the similarities between sports and the practice of law.  After all, the adversarial nature of the Court system mirrors the very nature of competitive sports.  It is no surprise then that sports metaphors abound in our legal vernacular.

Lawyers and the courts frequently use sports analogies to explain difficult legal concepts and positions.  From personal jurisdiction which must comport with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice, to a home run jury verdict or a full court press, sports metaphors abound in the practice of law.  Often a decision about whether to present certain evidence or call a certain witness to testify is a game time decision.  Lawyers express frustration when a Court punts on an issue.  One party may seek to level the playing field in a discovery dispute, or another litigant might complain that the other party’s changing position forces the litigant to shoot at a moving target.  The practice of law is full of the ever present Monday morning quarterback and occasionally requires a Hail Mary when it seems as if all else is failing.

As a team, NATA is strong.  Its strength starts with its members.  I am continually impressed by the number of individuals who freely give of their time and talent to this great organization.  During the last year, NATA underwent strategic planning sessions to plan for the future of our organization.  The results of the planning sessions were encouraging and assured us that NATA is pointed in the right direction.  We are in the process of implementing the recommendations from the strategic planning sessions and look forward to the future of our organization.  NATA is strong, and with the changes we have implemented, we will be strong well into the future.

As an organization, NATA is dedicated to the improvement of trial practice and preservation of the jury system.  We have a concise mission that guides our decisions, our core values, and our goals.  As a collective group, our members have a great impact on changing the lives of our fellow citizens across our great state.  Our respective role as attorneys and trial lawyers has never been more important.  World events and the nightly news remind us each and every day how important our role is in preserving our system of justice and fairness for all Nebraskans.  I think we lawyers sometimes forget how much good our profession does for society.

As trial lawyers we come from different walks of life, bringing with us a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, traditions, hobbies and even political affiliations.  The journeys we have followed to get here are many, but regardless of our differences, we are at the core all lawyers.  We differ in countless ways, but have all chosen the field of law as our career, and that itself is a tie that uniquely binds us to one another.  With that comes great responsibility.  We must continue to utilize and develop our skills to serve our clients and our profession so that when we walk out of the courtroom, away from the negotiation table, or hang up the telephone, we maintain respect for one another and the profession.

It is an honor and privilege to serve as your President.  As we move into the new year, my commitment to you, the members of the NATA, is to remain focused throughout 2018 on the issues important to our organization and our clients, and to continue to build upon the solid foundation of NATA.

Together we can grow and strengthen our association to achieve our goals and carry out our mission.  So I ask you to join me by adding three promises to your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2018: 1) Take care of our profession; 2) Take care of our Association; and 3) Take care of yourselves and each other.  If we do these basic things, the future of our Association and the practice of law will be even better for all lawyers now and for those who follow us.

What can we do to take care of our profession?  We must practice law with integrity, professionalism and a bit of humility. Do what is best for your clients, but do it with integrity and professionalism.  We are part of a long and hallowed calling that leads us to the privilege of serving others as lawyers and counselors.  Take good care of this profession, and the profession will take good care of you.

How can we take care of our association?  Get involved. Volunteer to serve on one of NATA’s many committees, teach at an upcoming CLE, become involved with the Legislative Committee, increase your contribution to the PAC, take a young lawyer under your wing, and plan now to attend our summer meeting in Kansas City July 19-22, 2018.

As we kick off the New Year, tee it up, take a swing and avoid the hazards.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

2018

FEBRUARY


NATA BOARD, NATA PAC TRUSTEE,
AND NATA LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Quarry Oaks Clubhouse, Ashland


NATA SEMINAR "MEDICINE FOR LAWYERS & TOOLS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR CASE"
Friday, February 23, 2018
Hotel RL, Omaha


APRIL

NATA SEMINAR
Damages
Friday, April 27, 2018
Cornhusker Marriott, Lincoln


JULY

NATA SUMMER MEETING
Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, July 22, 2018
The Hotel Fontaine, Kansas City, MO


SEPTEMBER

NATA BOARD & NATA PAC TRUSTEE MEETING
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Beacon Hills Restaurant, Aksarben Village, Omaha


NATA MEMBERSHIP CELEBRATION
(Black Tie Optional Dinner)
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Happy Hollow Country Club, Omaha

NATA ANNUAL MEETING & FALL SEMINAR
Friday, September 14, 2018
Scott Conference Center, Omaha