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Advocacy. Regardless of the client’s industry, whether financial, healthcare, or some other, clients have disputes that need resolved.  And, to reach resolution of what are often very complicated and difficult to address disputes clients need advocates to help them reach their goals.  That is what Ken has spent nearly twenty years practicing law doing — effectively advocating on behalf of clients, whether in Omaha or around the country, to help each client to meet its goals through each stage of litigation, whether before suit is brought, during litigation, at trial, arbitration hearing, or mediation, or on appeal.  Thorny disputes can arise in all industries, whether you are in the healthcare industry facing allegations of having submitted false claims to the government, a financial institution or financial service provider who is alleged to have misrepresented products or services, or a business which is suddenly thrown into chaos because a critical partner has just breached its contract.  Ken listens to his client’s goals and brings his experience as an advocate to bear in helping clients resolve their disputes.

Recently, Ken was elected by his peers on the Nebraska State Bar Association’s House of Delegates to serve as its Chair.  The gavel will pass to him in October of 2022.  He is also a current member of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Executive Council, Practice and Procedure Committee, Legislation Committee, and Education Committee.  He was previously elected to serve as the Second District’s representative on the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Executive Council and served in that position from 2015 to 2019.  Ken was a member of the 2007/2008 Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy. 

Prior to joining the firm, Ken was Judicial Law Clerk to Honorable Kenneth C. Stephan, Nebraska Supreme Court from 2000-2001. From 2001-2003, he was Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Lyle E. Strom, United States District Court Judge for the District of Nebraska. In 2000, Ken graduated, magna cum laude, from Creighton University School of Law. 

In 2009 and subsequent years, Ken has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “Future Star” of the Nebraska Bar.

Areas of Practice

Education

  • Creighton University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2000
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney, B.S., Business Administration, 1995

Professional & Civic Affiliations

  • Sustaining Member, Nebraska State Bar Association
  • Chair Elect, Nebraska State Bar Association House of Delegates
  • Second District Representative, Executive Council, Nebraska State Bar Association 2015-2019
  • Member, House of Delegates, Nebraska State Bar Association
  • Member, Practice and Procedure Committee, Legislation Committee, and Education Committee, Nebraska State Bar Association
  • 2007-2008 Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy
  • Commissioner, Nebraska Judicial Resources Commission 2021-2026
  • Member, Omaha Bar Association
  • Omaha Bar Association, 2013 member of Executive Council
  • Robert M. Spire Inn of Court
  • Prior American Lung Association Omaha Leadership Council
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Nebraska State Bar Foundation

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Iowa, 2010
  • Nebraska, 2000
  • United States Supreme Court, 2008
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2007
  • United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, 2000
  • United States District Court for the District for Colorado, 2013
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 2015
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2015
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2017
  • United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, 2019

Selected Practice Highlights

  • Successfully advocating to uphold the constitutionality of a common property tax levy that provides approximately $450 million annually for the funding of schools in the Omaha metropolitan area, Sarpy County Farm Bureau v. Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, 283 Neb. 212, ___ N.W.2d ____ (2012).
  • Securing the dismissal, on jurisdictional grounds that was later affirmed by the Nebraska Supreme Court, of an action seeking the refund of an allegedly illegal tax, Trumble v. Douglas County School District 0001, 283 Neb. 486, ___ N.W.2d ___ (2012).
  • Successfully compelling recalcitrant parties, through suits filed in federal court pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, to arbitrate disputes pursuant to their contractual agreements.
  • Litigating state and federal constitutional claims, including securing summary judgment for public employer in case alleging First Amendment retaliation claims and securing dismissal of claim challenging the constitutionality of state statutes.
  • Securing a judgment in excess of $150,000 on behalf of a local client against former independent contractors for breach of contract, tortious interference with business relationships, and theft of trade secrets.
  • Submitting an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the National School Boards Association urging the Court to affirm the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that a public employee could not maintain a “class of one” equal protection action against the employer.

Selected Recent Publications

  • “Counselor’s Corner: Let the Coming Changing of the Seasons Trigger a Fall Retrospective.” Hartman, K. Nebraska Banker Magazine (2021)
  • “Appellate Advocacy: A Short Follow-Up Discussion.” Hartman, Blecha. The Nebraska Lawyer (2010)
  • “Appellate Advocacy: Spanning the Generations in Search of an Answer to the Question all Appellate Lawyers Strive to Resolve: How Can We Maximize our Chances to Win on Appeal?” Hartman, Blecha. The Nebraska Lawyer (2008)
  • “Lochner’s Cousin: Demonstrating Originalism’s Failure and Its Disingenuous Nature,” 34 Creighton L. Rev. 517 (2001)
  • “Must Agency Shop Fee Challengers Exhaust Union Provided Arbitration Procedures Before Bringing a Claim in Federal Court? The United States Supreme Court Clarifies Hudson in Air Line Pilots Association v. Miller,” 32 Creighton L. Rev. 1845 (1999)


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