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A service for global professionals · Monday, May 29, 2023 · 636,516,884 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Court Session at Papillion High School

Papillion-La Vista Senior High School hosted oral arguments at the school on the afternoon of March 29, 2023. The event served as a homecoming of sorts for the Chief Justice, who taught at the school for three years beginning in 1969, and for Judge Robert O’Neal who attended the school and continued for many years to volunteer with the Monarchs Mock Trial Team.

The visit marks the first time that the Supreme Court has held arguments in Papillion, where Chief Justice Michael Heavican began his career as a grammar teacher after graduating college. Following his teaching career, Heavican attended law school and moved to the legal field.

Opening the session, Principal Jason Ryan reviewed rules and expectations with the students noting that at 1:45 p.m., the auditorium will transform into a Supreme Court Courtroom for the remainder of the day. Retired Sarpy County Trial Court Judge Robert O’Neal introduced honored guests and discussed the Chief Justice’s career beginning at Papillion High School. Teacher host, Joe Pilakowski, provided background on the court system and welcomed judges and lawyers to the school.

The case, argued by Jacinta Dai-Klabunde (Legal Aid of Nebraska for Appellant) and Maureen Lamski (Deputy Lancaster County Attorney for Appellee) centered on a ‘Motion to Intervene’ alleging that the children in the case, In re Interest of Manuel C. and Mateo S., S-22-653, were Indian children within the meaning of the Federal and State Indian Child Welfare Acts. It involved briefs from the mother’s attorney, the Tribe, and the State of Nebraska; with an amicus curiae brief from Nebraska Appleseed.

Wednesday’s argument at Papillion followed the Supreme Court’s oral argument session at the Creighton University School of Law earlier that morning. Between the two events, Judge Francie Riedmann hosted an appellate court-sponsored law clerk panel discussion at Creighton Law School designed to introduce first-year students to the idea of clerkships within the court system.

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