NSBA Welcomes New Leadership at Meeting

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

La Vista – The Nebraska State Bar Association welcomed new 2019-20 leaders at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting last Friday at the La Vista Embassy Suites.

• Steve Mattoon of Sidney accepted the gavel from outgoing NSBA President J. Scott Paul of Omaha and will serve as NSBA president until October 2020.

Mattoon is a partner at Matzke, Mattoon, Martens & Strommen, LLC. His representation in the oil and gas industry includes Title Opinion examinations for drilling and division orders in more than 20 counties in western and southwestern Nebraska. He practices extensively before the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, including applications for pooling, unitization and secondary recovery operations.

Mattoon frequently speaks on oil and gas law, and he has also practiced in real estate, estate planning, probate, corporate and commercial development law.

He served as chairman of the NSBA House of Delegates in 2013 and has served two terms on the Executive Council, from 2002 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2015. He was a member of the House of Delegates for over two decades.

Mattoon has served as a trustee to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation and as secretary of the NSBA Natural Resources Secretary. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska College of Law. In law school, he was a member of the Order of the Barristers and was supervisor of the Junior Round Moot Court.

Mattoon and his wife Cathy have two daughters who also practice law: Kendra Rignenberg, a partner at Dvorak Law Group LLC, and Stephanie Mattoon, a partner at Baird Holm LLP.

• Jill Robb Ackerman of Omaha became president-elect and will succeed Mattoon as NSBA president in October 2020.

Ackerman is a partner with Baird Holm. She represents individuals and businesses in complex business litigation in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings, corporate disputes, negligence actions, copyright, trademark, unfair competition and computers and technology.

She is a frequent speaker on the protection of the attorney-client privilege, cybersecurity, electronic discovery and the protection of trademarks and trade secrets.

In 2012, she was appointed by Gov. Dave Heineman as a Commissioner for the Commission on Uniform State Laws and served for two years. In addition, she is a member of the NSBA House of Delegates and is a former member of the NSBA Executive Council. She also chaired its Judiciary Committee for two years. 

Ackerman is listed in Great Plains Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation and in Chambers USA for her work in intellectual property litigation and business litigation. She has been recognized on the Top 10 Super Lawyers List in 2013, 2016 and 2017. She has been recognized in the Top 250 Women in Litigation. Since 2003, Ackerman has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. She was selected as Best Lawyers’ Omaha Copyright Law Lawyer of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. She is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.

Ackerman is a member of the American Bar Association, its Litigation Section, Committee on Intellectual Property Litigation, and Business Law Section. She is a member of the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, the former chairperson of the Federal Practice Committee and has served on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Eighth Circuit. 

Additionally, she is a fellow of the Nebraska Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. She is a charter member of the Robert Spire Inn of Court and taught trial advocacy at Creighton University School of Law.

Ackerman clerked for Judge C. Arlen Beam of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska from 1984 through 1986.  She and her husband Barry have two children, Mark and Paige.

• William J. Mueller of Lincoln is the new president-elect designate and will follow Ackerman as NSBA president in October 2021.

Mueller is senior partner and co-founder of lobbying and government relations firm Mueller Robak LLC, where he is among the state’s leading lobbyists.

Mueller is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska College of Law. Mueller was elected to membership in the National Order of Barristers and was a member of the National Moot Court Team while in law school.

Mueller was elected chair of the NSBA Young Lawyers Section and has served as Legislative Counsel to the NSBA since 1984.

He was named a fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and a patron fellow of the American Bar Foundation. 

Mueller has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America and as a Great Plains Super Lawyer in Government Relations Law since 2009. In 2013, 2016 and 2019, he was selected as the Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year in Government Relations in Nebraska.

Mueller is also a past president of the University of Nebraska Alumni Association. Mueller and his spouse, Kim M. Robak, who is also a Mueller Robak partner, chaired the Barristers’ Ball and the campaign of the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County, where Mueller is president-elect for the Board of Directors.

Mueller and Robak have two daughters, Katherine and Claire. Katherine T. Mueller resides in New York City where she works for a financial services company in their global payments area.  Dr. Claire M. Mueller resides in Atlanta where she is in the first year of her ophthalmology residency.  

Mueller’s late father, William P. “Rocky” Mueller of Ogallala, was NSBA president in 1983-84.

• Hon. PaTricia A. Freeman is the chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association House of Delegates.

Freeman was appointed to serve as County Court Judge in the 2nd Judicial District in 2017. Prior to that, she served as chief deputy county Attorney in the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office.

Freeman graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1992 and received her J.D. cum laude from Creighton University School of Law in 1996. From 2003 to 2011, she was an adjunct law professor at Creighton University.

She has served on the NSBA House of Delegates since 2013. She is also active in the Nebraska County Attorneys Association, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the Sarpy County Bar Association.

On a local level, she is involved with the Papillion La Vista Community Schools, Titan Defenders Booster Club Board and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

• Mark Novotny started a term on the Executive Council representing the 2nd Judicial District.

Novotny is a founding partner of Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP and a member of the firm’s litigation department. For almost 30 years, his practice has included handling all areas of civil litigation representing clients in all courts, tribunals, alternative dispute resolution forums, arbitrations and with governmental regulatory bodies and agencies.

Novotny graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1981 and received his J.D. cum laude, from the Creighton University School of Law in 1989.

Novotny is a member of the ABOTA, the Nebraska Bar Foundation, the Defense Research Institute and the Defense Counsel Association of Nebraska. 

• Tracey Buettner started a term on the Executive Council representing the 3rd Judicial District.

Buettner has practiced law in Nebraska for 15 years. She is a shareholder of Stratton, DeLay, Doele, Carlson, Buettner & Stover PC LLO in Norfolk. Her practice centers on estate planning and administration, business planning and real estate transactions.

Buettner graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in business management and human resource management from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 1999. She received her Juris Doctorate with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2004.

She has served several offices of the Madison County/7th Judicial District Bar Association, including president. She has been a member of the NSBA House of Delegates since 2015 and previously served as chair of the Real Estate, Probate & Trust Section.

Locally, Buettner serves on the board of directors for the Norfolk Area United Way and the Norfolk Community Theatre. She serves as a member of the professional adviser’s group for Northeast Community College and as chair of the Norfolk Area Community Foundation Fund Committee.

• Christin Lovegrove started a term on the Executive Council representing the Young Lawyers Section.

Lovegrove is a native of rural Fairmont and a graduate of Fillmore Central High School. She received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law. She specializes in estate planning, family business entities, real estate, probate, trust administration and agricultural issues.

In addition to serving as chair of the Young Lawyers Section, Lovegrove serves on the NSBA Executive Committees for the Real Estate, Probate and Trust and the Agricultural Law sections. She was recently elected to serve on the NSBA House of Delegates and is a 2013 graduate of the NSBA Leadership Academy. 

Locally, she is a member of the Fillmore Central Board of Education, Fillmore County Hospital Foundation, Geneva Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, United Methodist Church and Sowing Seeds Academy Advisory Board.

She is also a member of Class XIII of Leadership Nebraska through the Nebraska State Chamber as well as the 2017-2018 Now Leadership Cohort through Nebraska Law.

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