Veskrna v. Steel

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Veskrna v. Steel

Case Number
Call Date
December 7, 2016
Court Number
Case Summary

S-16-0118 State of Nebraska ex rel. Les W. Veskrna, M.D. (Appellee/Cross-Appellant) v. Corey R. Steel (Appellant)

Lancaster County, Judge Susan I. Strong

Attorneys: L. Steven Grasz (Husch Blackwell LLP) for Appellee Veskrna --- Douglas J. Peterson, David A. Lopez, L. Jay Bartel, Leslie S. Donley (Attorney General's Office) for Appellant Steel --- Eugene Velokh (UCLA School of Law Amicus Brief Clinic) and Shawn D. Renner (Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather LLP) for Amicus Curiae Media of Nebraska, Inc.

Civil: Mandamus; Public Records Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-712 et seq.

Proceedings below: The district court issued its order on writ of mandamus and motion to seal which found that all but one of the records in question should be disclosed as public records. The district court granted Appellant's motion to place all of the implicated records under seal and to stay disclosure pending disposition of any appeal.

Issues: 1. The district court erred by denying Steel's motion for summary judgment and issuing the writ of mandamus requested by Veskrna's complaint. 2. The district court erred to the extent it concluded Steel bore the burden of demonstrating Veskrna's failure to make a prima facie showing of entitlement to the requested records under the NPRS. 3. The district court erred by concluding JBE records constitute public records, as defined by Neb. Rev. Stat. ' 84-712.01(1). 4. The district court erred by concluding the NPRS apply to JBE records. 5. The district court erred by concluding the JBE records requested by Veskrna are not facially protected from disclosure under the judicial deliberative process privilege. 6. As the district court erred in issuing the writ of mandamus, the award of attorney fees and costs was erroneous and must be reversed.

Cross-Appeal: The district court erred by failing to sustain the objection to paragraph 12 of the Affidavit of Carole McMahon-Boies based on absence of foundation to testify as to the deliberative process of judges or to make legal conclusions.