by
Norman Kroemer, an employee of Ribbon Weld, LLC sustained an eye injury in connection with the use of Omaha Track Equipment, LLC’s (OTE) tools. Kroemer and Ribbon Weld entered into a compromise lump-sum settlement for $80,000. After payment of the lump sum, Ribbon Weld’s subrogation interest totaled just over $200,000. Kroemer then sued OTE and Ribbon Weld. Kroemer and OTE engaged in mediation to settle the third-party claim and ultimately negotiated a compromise settlement of claims in the amount of $150,000. The district court determined that the settlement was reasonable and allocated $0 to Ribbon Weld. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and in part reversed and remanded, holding (1) the district court’s approval of the settlement was not an abuse of discretion under the circumstances; but (2) the district court did abuse its discretion in not allocating any of the settlement proceeds to Ribbon Weld. View "Kroemer v. Omaha Track Equipment, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Defendant appealed his conviction, rendered after a jury trial, for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. Defendant argued, among other things, that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence found during a search with a warrant that was obtained as a result of observing defaced firearms during a prior warrantless search for a possible intruder at the request of a houseguest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the facts reasonably warranted an immediate intrusion of a residence into areas where a burglar might be hiding, and therefore, the trial court did not err in overruling Defendant’s motion to suppress; (2) Defendant was not prejudiced by the admission, without a limiting instruction, of evidence of his drug use around the time specified in the information; and (3) the prosecutor did not commit misconduct during closing arguments. View "State v. Rodriguez" on Justia Law

by
Defendant appealed his drug-related convictions and sentences, raising several issues. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in admitting testimony regarding drug weights; (2) the district court did not err in admitting into evidence notebooks and notepads - known as “owe notes” - seized from Defendant’s vehicle; (3) there was not anything clearly erroneous or unduly prejudicial in the instructions and admonitions given to the jury; and (4) Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel did not warrant relief; and (5) Defendant’s remaining assignments of error were without merit. View "State v. Schwaderer" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Defendant, who was convicted of violating Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-1212.04 and other offenses, appealed the district court’s denial of his motion for postconviction relief, arguing that he should have received an evidentiary hearing on his allegations. Defendant’s arguments were premised on the constitutionality of section 28-1212.04. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of postconviction relief, holding (1) the district court properly found that Defendant’s allegations raising direct constitutional challenges to section 28-1212.04 were procedurally barred; and (2) Defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim did not entitle him to an evidentiary hearing because the allegations could not support a finding of deficient performance. View "State v. Ross" on Justia Law

by
After a stipulated bench trial, Defendant was convicted of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Defendant was sentenced to three to five years’ imprisonment. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence against him should be suppressed because there was no probable cause to support the issuance of a search warrant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when his house and vehicle were searched because the application and warrant established probable cause; and (2) officers did not exceed the scope of the search warrant when they searched a vehicle parked outside the house described in the search warrant. View "State v. Hidalgo" on Justia Law

by
In 2000, doctors Strohmyer, Naegele, and Mantler formed Papillion Family Medicine, P.C. (PFM). In 2013, Strohmyer provided notice that he was leaving PFM to start his own medical practice. Strohmyer then sued PFM, Naegele, and Mantler (collectively, Defendants), alleging that Defendants failed to “buy out” Strohmyer and pay associated director fees following his departure and improperly calculated the value of PFM’s stock, assets, and goodwill. Defendants counterclaimed. The district court found (1) PFM was not a corporation under the laws of Nebraska; (2) the buyout clause was so ambiguous as to be unenforceable; (3) the value of Strohmyer’s stock was $104,200; (4) Strohmyer was due $9,389 in unpaid compensation; and (5) Strohmyer damaged PFM in the amount of $30,673. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding that the district court (1) did not err in its valuation of Strohmyer’s shares, finding that PFM had no goodwill for which Strohmyer was entitled to compensation, and failing to award compensation for director fees and salary; but (2) erred in finding that Strohmyer breached a fiduciary duty by continuing to accept Medicaid patients, in holding Strohmyer liable for a physical assistant’s continuing treatment of Medicaid patients, and in its calculation of damages based on those claims. View "Strohmyer v. Papillion Family Medicine" on Justia Law

Posted in: Business Law, Contracts

by
ACI Worldwide Corp. sued Baldwin Hackett & Meeks, Inc., its cofounders, and other company principals (collectively, BHMI), alleging that BHMI misappropriated its trade secrets. BHMI counterclaimed, alleging that ACI tortiously interfered with a business relationship and violated provisions of Nbraska’s unlawful restraint of trade statutes. In 2014, a jury found against ACI on its misappropriation claim. In 2015, a jury found in favor of BHMI on all of its counterclaims. ACI then filed posttrial motions to vacate the jury’s judgments, reopen the evidence, and grant a new trial on the basis that ACI had discovered new evidence. The district court overruled ACI’s posttrial motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in overruling ACI’s motion to vacate the 2014 and 2015 judgments; and (2) did not abuse its discretion in awarding BHMI $2,732,962.50 in attorney fees. View "ACI Worldwide Corp. v. Baldwin Hackett & Meeks, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The State filed a petition against Mother and Father alleging that Child lacked prenatal care due to the fault or habits of Mother and Father. The juvenile court filed an ex parte order granting the State’s motion for temporary custody of Child with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). More than eight months later, the juvenile court entered an order ordering that Child remain in the temporary custody of DHHS until further order of the court. The Supreme Court vacated the juvenile court’s order, holding that Mother’s procedural due process were violated by the unreasonable delay of more than eight months between the filing of the ex parte order for immediate temporary custody and the filing of the protective custody order. View "In re Interest of Carmelo G." on Justia Law

by
In this dispute arising from a party’s failure to perform on a promissory note Steven Anderson filed a complaint against Steve Finkle alleging breach of contract and quantum meruit or unjust enrichment. After trial but before the trial court issued its order, Anderson died. Thereafter, the district court issued an order awarding Anderson the amount of the promissory note plus interest. Finkle filed a motion for new trial and then the estate filed a motion for revivor. The district court overruled Finkle’s motion and granted the estate’s motion reviving the matter in the name of the personal representative of the estate. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals in both cases, holding (1) because of Anderson’s death, the district court lacked jurisdiction to enter judgment and deny Finkle’s motion for new trial, and therefore these orders were void, and Finkle’s first appeal did not divest the district court of its jurisdiction; and (2) this court was without jurisdiction to entertain Finkle’s appeal of the order of revivor because it was not a final order. View "Anderson v. Finkle" on Justia Law

by
Defendant and his father were both charged with criminal conspiracy to commit felony theft. The district court joined the two cases for trial. Before trial, Defendant filed a motion for absolute discharge alleging that his speedy trial time had run. The district court overruled Defendant’s motion, concluding that the codefendant exclusion of Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-1207(4)(e) applied to exclude additional time. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court correctly interpreted and applied the codefendant exclusion under section 29-1207(4)(e); and (2) the trial court did not clearly err in finding that all three factors under the statute were proved by a preponderance of the evidence or in computing Defendant’s speedy trial time. View "State v. Beitel" on Justia Law