Access to Justice Commission Appointed by Nebraska Supreme Court

Access to Justice Commission Appointed by Nebraska Supreme Court

Monday, May 22, 2017

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
  • Stefanie 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.   

Contact Janet Bancroft at 402-471-3205 for more information.