Six Finalists Selected For Douglas County Juvenile Court Bench

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Six candidates were advanced to Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts to fill two spots on the bench of the Douglas County Juvenile Court.

Ricketts is expected to select two of the candidates within 60 days from last Wednesday, when he received the list of names.

Selected as finalists were:

• Jessica P. Douglas, a partner at Schaefer Shapiro LLP and a 2003 Creighton Law graduate.

Douglas previously worked as a prosecutor in Washington County, federal public defender for the District of Nebraska, assistant public defender in Douglas County and a solo practitioner.

• Candice J. Novak, a juvenile county attorney for the Sarpy County Juvenile Court and a 2004 Creighton Law graduate.

Novak previously worked as a solo practitioner, an associate attorney and guardian ad litem at Incontro Law Office and an associate at Fournier Law Office.

• Kathleen S. Pallesen, an attorney at Berry Law Firm and a 1991 Nebraska Law graduate.

Pallesen previously worked as owner of Spethman Pallesen Law Offices LLC, a freelance attorney, a staff attorney at Johnson & Associates and a deputy county attorney in Douglas County.

• Amy N. Schuchman, a deputy attorney in the Douglas County Attorney’s Office and a 2002 graduate of Whitter Law School.

Schuchman previously worked as an associate at the Law Firm of Roberts, Adams & Jewell and as a clerk in the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney’s Office.

• Mary “Peg” Stevens, a partner at Carlson & Burnett LLP and a 1988 Creighton Law graduate.

Stevens previously worked as a deputy county attorney in Sarpy County and as a special prosecutor in Douglas County.

• Joy M. Suder, a solo practitioner at Suder Law PC LLO and a 2008 Creighton Law graduate.

Suder previously worked at the University of Nebraska Center on Children, Family and the Law as a staff attorney and consultant, the University of Nebraska at Omaha as an adjunct professor and the Douglas County Office of the Public Defender as an assistant public defender and law clerk.

Interviews were held Nov. 4 by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County.

Ten additional candidates submitted applications for the vacancies: Jennifer D. Chrystal-Clark, Jonathon D. Crosby, Susanne M. Dempsey-Cook, Britt H. Dudzinski, Jane M. McNeil, Sarah M. Moore, Dami J. Oluyole, Patrick R. Runge, Karine E. Sokpoh and Christina L. Thornton.

The vacancies were created by the Aug. 31 retirement of Judge Douglas F. Johnson and the Sept. 11 resignation of Judge Elizabeth G. Crnkovich. The process extended the original deadline to accommodate both vacancies.

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