Justice John Gerrard has resigned his office as a judge of the Nebraska Supreme Court effective February 5, 2012, to accept his appointment as a federal judge for the United States District Court, District of Nebraska.
In his letter of resignation to Governor Dave Heineman, Justice Gerrard noted, “It has been my honor, and a privilege, to serve the citizens of Nebraska as a Supreme Court Judge these past 16 ½ years.”
Gerrard was appointed to the Nebraska Supreme Court in 1995. He was nominated to the U. S. District Court in May 2011 to fill the position vacated by Judge Richard G. Kopf.
Originally from Schuyler, Gerrard graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1975, earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona in 1977 and a law degree from Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1981.
He was senior partner in the Norfolk law firm of Gerrard, Stratton and Ptak when he was named to the Nebraska Supreme Court. He also served the Norfolk area as a Nebraska Probation Officer prior to attending law school.
Since Gerrard’s appointment in 1995, he has been devoted to improving the law and the judicial system for all Nebraskans.
In 2006, he received the Chief Justice’s Distinguished Judge Award. Nominated by members of the legal community, he was honored for his unfaltering commitment to court reforms designed to better serve Nebraska’s minority and immigrant communities. In both his role as chair of the Minority Justice Implementation Committee and chair of the Interpreter Advisory Committee, he led numerous initiatives promoting racial and ethnic fairness in the courts and diversity in the legal profession.
An avid supporter of adult education, Gerrard received the Nebraska Judicial Branch Education Committee’s Award of Appreciation in October 2011. Consistent with Gerrard’s original educational vision, the Judicial Branch now delivers education to the entire judicial system. According to committee members, Judicial Branch Education has thrived and accomplished many of its goals over the last decade due, in large part, to the boundless energy and intellect of Justice Gerrard.
“Justice Gerrard will be greatly missed by our Court, said Chief Justice Mike Heavican, he is an outstanding judge and colleague. Under his direction, many of our committees and projects have taken root and will continue to grow.”