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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court imposing an aggregate sentence of forty-two to fifty-five years in prison in connection with Defendant's no contest pleas to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, attempted first degree assault, and use of a firearm to commit a felony, holding that Defendant's sentences were not excessive, and Defendant's trial counsel was not ineffective. Specifically, the Court held (1) Defendant's claims that his counsel was ineffective for failing to utilize an interpreter when meeting with Defendant and failing to investigate, collect evidence, and interview witnesses were without merit; (2) the record was insufficient to address whether Defendant's counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress regarding Defendant's statements to law enforcement officers; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Defendant. View "State v. Chairez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court granting Father's motion seeking to establish parenting time and telephone communication with one of the parties' children, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction during the appeal of the dissolution decree. Father and Mother were divorced by decree, and the parenting plan established a parenting time schedule for only one of the parties' three children. While an appeal from the dissolution decree was pending, Father filed his motion to establish parenting time and telephone communication with one of the other children. The district court granted the motion. The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court and dismissed the appeal, holding (1) Mother's challenges to the award regarding a specific summer parenting time between Father and the child at issue were moot; and (2) as to Mother's challenge to the order awarding Father unrestrained cell phone communication with the child, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction during the pendency of the initial appeal. View "Becher v. Becher" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of the crime of assisting suicide, holding that there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction and that the district court did not err in its evidentiary rulings. Defendant was convicted of assisting the suicide of his girlfriend. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in admitting the testimony of a forensic pathologist who performed the decedent's autopsy and in admitting text messages between Defendant and his romantic acquaintance and that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in permitting the forensic pathologist's testimony regarding the findings of the post mortem examination of the decedent; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the text messages; and (3) the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to sustain a conviction for assisting suicide. View "State v. Stubbendieck" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence imposed as a result of his revocation from post-release supervision, holding that the term of imprisonment imposed by the court was within the statutory range and was not an abuse of discretion. Defendant absconded from post-release supervision and failed to appear at the hearing on the State's motion for revocation. Defendant was arrested and spent ninety-eight days in jail prior to revocation. The lower court found Defendant guilty of the allegations set forth within the motion to revoke post-release supervision and ordered Defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of 365 days in the county jail with zero days' credit for time served. Defendant appealed, arguing that the district court erred in extending his remaining term of post-release supervision upon revocation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not extend Defendant's term of post-release supervision, and therefore, Defendant's term of imprisonment was valid; (2) the term of imprisonment was within the statutory range; and (3) the court did not err in denying Defendant's request for jail time credit. View "State v. Phillips" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of enticement by electronic communication, in violation of Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-833, and allowed the parties' stipulation to remand because the district court failed to instruct the jury in a manner that required it to consider whether Defendant knew that the recipient was under sixteen years of age. Although the parties stipulated to remand in this case, the Supreme Court addressed the stipulation in an opinion because it had not previously considered the precise issue. The Supreme Court allowed the stipulation, reversed the district court's judgment, and remanded the cause for a new trial, holding (1) where the prosecution under section 28-833 involves a minor child rather than a decoy, a defendant's knowledge that the recipient is under age sixteen is a material element of the crime of enticement by electronic communication device; and (2) the court erred in instructing the jury on the material elements of enticement by electronic communication device, and the error was prejudicial. View "State v. Paez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In these appeals arising from juvenile proceedings involving Michael N. and his parents (Parents), the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider the issues raised by the County Attorney's Office and that the issues raised by Parents in their appeals had either been waived or had no merit. After an appeal to the court of appeals and the State's dismissals and refilings of petitions, Parents separately moved to dismiss based on lack of service. Parents also moved, unsuccessfully, for recusal of the trial judge. The juvenile court ordered that the County Attorney's office be removed as counsel for the State and ordered the appointment of a special commissioner. Thereafter, the juvenile court denied the motions to dismiss and entered a detention order requiring that Michael remain in the temporary custody of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Multiple appeals were then filed. The Supreme Court held (1) this Court lacked jurisdiction over the County Attorney's Office's appeal from the order removing it from the case and appointing a special prosecutor; (2) Parents' appeals of the order denying their motions to dismiss and the detention order had been waived; and (3) there was no merit to Parents' arguments challenging the order overruling their motions to recuse. View "In re Interest of Michael N." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court in favor of Terrance Poppe in this legal malpractice action, holding that there was no merit to this appeal. Poppe represented Brenda Rice from Dale Rice. Thereafter, Rice filed this malpractice action against Poppe, alleging that Poppe did not advise her that a property settlement agreement waived her interest in Dale’s life insurance policies. The district court granted summary judgment for Poppe. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded. After a bench trial, the district court found in favor of Poppe. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that Poppe did not breach any duty owed to Rice and, even assuming a breach of duty, that Rice could not show that Poppe’s actions were the proximate cause of her injury. View "Rice v. Poppe" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the rulings of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court determining what constitutes the term “employer” under Neb. Rev. Stat. 48-116 of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, in imposing liability on CMR Construction & Roofing of Texas, LLC (CMR), and in finding that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual Insurance Co., holding that the court did not err. The compensation court concluded that CMR was a statutory employer under section 48-116, thus requiring CMR to compensate Juan Martinez for injuries he sustained while acting as an employee of a CMR subcontractor. The court further found that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual, a workers’ compensation insurance company domiciled and having its principal place of business in Texas. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the compensation court did not err in finding that CMR was the statutory employer of Martinez and in imposing liability; (2) the compensation court lacked personal jurisdiction over Texas Mutual; and (3) the court did not err in awarding Martinez attorney fees and future medical care and in determining that Martinez had sustained an eighty-percent loss of earning capacity. View "Martinez v. CMR Construction & Roofing of Texas, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part the district court's denial of Defendants’ request for attorney fees and dismissed in part Defendants’ appeal from orders vacating summary judgment in favor of Defendants and overruling Defendants’ subsequent motion for summary judgment, holding that Defendants did not qualify as prevailing parties and that this Court lacked jurisdiction to review the summary judgment orders. The State brought claims against Defendants under Nebraska’s Consumer Protection Act, Neb. Rev. Sat. 59-1601 et seq., and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. 87-301 et seq. The district court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants and then later vacated its order of summary judgment. Defendants moved again for summary judgment, which the district court denied. After years of litigation, the State voluntarily dismissed the claims. The district court denied Defendants’ request for attorney fees, finding that the State’s voluntary dismissal did not make Defendants prevailing parties or purposes of section 59-1608(1). The Supreme Court affirmed in part and dismissed in part, holding that this Court lacked jurisdiction to review Defendants’ claim that the district court’s summary judgment orders were erroneous and that the district court did not err in denying Defendants’ motion for attorney fees. View "State ex rel. Peterson v. Creative Community Promotions, LLC" on Justia Law

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In these post-divorce proceedings, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order as modified and vacated the awards of $2,500 in expert witness fees and $117 in overnight camp expenses and modified the order awarding $1,276 in childcare expenses and $3,500 in attorney fees, holding that the court erred in awarding expert witness fees and in concluding that overnight camps constituted daycare expenses. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the district court (1) did not err in ruling that extracurricular activity costs constituted daycare expenses that Father was required to reimburse Mother for, with the exception of the court’s apportionment of the costs of overnight camps, which must be vacated as an abuse of discretion; (2) did not abuse its discretion in awarding Mother attorney fees; and (3) erred in awarding expert witness fees without finding exceptional circumstances warranting the stipulation entered into between the parties that they would each pay the fees of their respective experts. View "Moore v. Moore" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law