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Access to Justice Commission Appointed by Nebraska Supreme Court

Access to Justice Commission Appointed by Nebraska Supreme Court
Stock Photo (Vladek/iStock/Thinkstock)

Our judicial system is based upon the principle that all those coming before the courts are entitled to equal justice. The Nebraska Supreme Court’s Strategic Agenda identifies “providing access to swift, fair justice” as the first of six overarching goals of the Nebraska Judicial Branch. To further that goal, the Court has approved creation of the Nebraska Access to Justice Commission. The phrase “access to justice” describes the ability of any person, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or language, to access and efficiently navigate our court system.

The 24-member Nebraska Access to Justice Commission brings together representatives from all three branches of government, as well as community members, attorneys and legal organizations, educators, and representatives from organizations serving low-income Nebraskans and those with disabilities. The commissioners will work to:

Coordinate, leverage and expand access to justice initiatives and activities across Nebraska;
Identify obstacles to obtaining needed legal services, and develop/implement solutions for Nebraska’s underserved population;
Educate the legal community and the public about available resources;
Actively engage the judiciary, the bar, and the community in programs to close the justice gap;
Determine geographic areas and populations where access needs are most acute in order to better prioritize and target initiatives;
Identify and recommend changes to procedures, court rules, and legislation to reduce barriers and improve access;
Promote the efficient use of available resources and encourage the coordination or sharing of resources;
Monitor the effectiveness of the various access-focused programs and initiatives across the state.

​After soliciting nominations, the Supreme Court approved appointment of the following individuals to serve on the inaugural Nebraska Access to Justice Commission:

Hon. Stephanie F. Stacy, Nebraska Supreme Court
Liz Neeley, Executive Director, Nebraska State Bar Association
Hon. Frankie Moore, Nebraska Court of Appeals
Hon. Horacio Wheelock, District Court, 4th Judicial District
Hon. Derek Vaughn, County Court for Douglas County
Hon. Roger Heideman, Separate Juvenile Court for Lancaster County
Doug Peterson, Nebraska Attorney General
Senator Justin Wayne, Nebraska Legislative District # 13
Corey Steel, Nebraska State Court Administrator
Joshua McDougall, County Court Clerk for Saline County
Monica Rotherham, District Court Clerk, 7th Judicial District
Carole McMahon-Boies, Director of Nebraska MCLE Commission and Attorney Services
Amie Martinez, Anderson, Creager, and Wittstruck Law
Kenny Jacobs, Jacobs, Alexander Law
Kevin Ruser, University of Nebraska College of Law
Paul McGreal, Dean of Creighton Law School
Milo Mumgaard, Executive Director, Legal Aid of Nebraska
Joe Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender
Jane Martin Hoffman, Executive Director, Nebraska Mediation Center
Jose Soto, Vice President for Access/Equity/Diversity, Southeast Community College
Stephanie Pearlman, Professor of Law Library and Reference Librarian
Tania Diaz, Legal Services Director, Disability Rights Nebraska
Kelly Varguez, Certified Court Interpreter
Ellen Brokofsky, State Probation Administrator

The Co-chairs of the Commission will be Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Stephanie Stacy, and Nebraska State Bar Association Executive Director Liz Neeley. The Commission is in the process of scheduling its first meeting, and will report regularly to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

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