“I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2020.” That was the final sentence of my initial President’s Message, written in December, 2019. When I read that sentence now, I can’t help but shake my head thinking about the context in which it was written (i.e. Happy New Year!) and compare it with the context in which I currently write (i.e. in the midst of a global pandemic). Given the current state of affairs, I am admittedly struggling with appropriate content for this second Message. That said, I’ll do my best to keep this Message relevant while remaining cognizant of the larger issues affecting us all in this uncertain time.
Please allow me to take a moment to acknowledge the difficulties we are all undoubtedly facing as we navigate our practices through these unchartered waters. As the coronavirus continues to progress, we must continue making difficult decisions which attempt to balance potentially competing interests, such as the health and safety of our clients, staff, court reporters, courthouse personnel, opposing counsel, their staff, society at large, etc., with the rights and desires of our clients to have their day in court, and even the financial viability of our businesses. While we all continue searching for the best answers for our respective practices, I would encourage us to communicate with each other, share information, updates, anything that might be helpful to members of NATA. As we continue working through these issues, let’s also take a moment to reflect and pray for those directly affected by coronavirus and COVID-19, their caregivers, and all of those on the front lines working to contain the spread.
As we continue to monitor the ever-changing circumstances surrounding coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, a reminder of the Orders currently in place affecting Nebraska lawyers and litigants:
1. Administrative Order of the Chief Justice of The Nebraska Supreme Court, executed on March 12, 2020. This Order can be found at https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov;
2. General Order No. 2020-03, executed by Judge John M. Gerrard of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, on March 11, 2020. This Order can be found at https://www.ned.uscourts.gov/internetDocs/pom/orders/GO_2020-03.pdf; and
3. General Order No. 2020-04, executed by Judge John M. Gerrard of the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, on March 13, 2020. This Order can be found at https://www.ned.uscourts.gov/internetDocs/pom/orders/GO_2020-04.pdf.
As circumstances change, further Orders and/or vacations, extensions or amendments of current Orders are likely. Please continue to monitor any updates.
Let me take a brief moment to apprise you of some of NATA's recent, current, and future business:
1. Amy Patras chaired the seminar "Damages: Evaluating, Proving and Presenting," on February 28, 2020. Thank you to all who contributed to and/or participated in this seminar. Should anyone desire the seminar materials, please contact our executive director, Stella Huggins, for details;
2. The NATA Legislative Committee continues to support legislation designed specifically to improve trial practice by creating additional opportunities for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. A big thank you to those contributing their time to the Legislative Committee and/or monies to the NATA PAC!:
3. The 2020 Summer Meeting is scheduled to take place from June 25, 2020 - June 27, 2020 at the Bridges Bay Resort in Okoboji, Iowa. All are encouraged to attend! For more information download a summer meeting packet or contact our executive director, Stella Huggins. Please note: In the event any changes become necessary, NATA will provide you with updates as soon as practical.
Thank you, all, for your contributions to NATA. I hope to see you soon.