Judges Retelsdorf and Funke Receive Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Public Service Award for Unified Rules Regarding Cameras in Trial Courts

Judges Retelsdorf and Funke Receive Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Public Service Award for Unified Rules Regarding Cameras in Trial Courts

Friday, March 30, 2018

During the 30th annual Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Fellows Dinner, March 16, 2018, Chief Justice Heavican presented awards to Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Funke and District Court Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf for their dedicated efforts to increase awareness of Nebraska’s Judicial Branch through the news media.

The two judges received the Foundation’s Public Service Award for their efforts in bringing about uniform rules permitting cameras and other recording devices into district and county courtrooms statewide.

Heavican stated, “Both Justice Funke and Judge Retelsdorf brought immediate credibility and insight to the committee’s project.” He noted that Funke had extensive experience working with news media outlets wanting to use cameras in the courtroom during his service on the trial court bench, and Retelsdorf has had many years of experience with high profile cases as both a prosecutor and presiding judge Omaha. 

March 1 marked the one year implementation anniversary of the Expanded Media Rule for Nebraska’s trial courts.

“We are now seeing expanded news media coverage throughout the state, and the news media and courts have professional and positive working relationships,” according to Heavican. He continued, “This endeavor is building mutual support for the important role that Nebraska’s courts play in the lives of our citizens, and recognizes the necessity to maintain professional and timely reporting of newsworthy cases.”