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Defendant, who was charged with strangulation of his girlfriend, posted a $5,000 appearance bond. Thereafter, defendant assigned the bond funds to his attorney. The State subsequently filed an affidavit of lien for overdue child support. After Defendant was convicted of the crime for which he was charged he filed a motion to release the funds to his attorney. The district court overruled the motion. Defendant appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as premature, holding that because the district court’s order did not affect a substantial right, it was not a final, appealable order. View "State v. McColery" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A passenger who threw beer out of the window of a vehicle fleeing from law enforcement was not an innocent third party. Dillon Fales and Bryant Irish - both minors - had consumed beer at a party and then left in a pickup truck, which Irish drove. When a law enforcement officer activated his emergency lights in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop, Irish accelerated the pickup. Fales then threw an unopened thirty-pack box of beer out of the window. The pickup eventually left the roadway and crashed, leaving Fales paralyzed from the chest down. False sued the County of Staton, alleging that he was an innocent third party and that the County was strictly liable to him by operation of Neb. Rev. Stat. 13-911. The district court entered judgment in favor of the County, concluding that False failed to sustain his burden to prove that he qualified as an innocent third party. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in concluding that when Fales threw the box of beer out of the window of Irish’s fleeing pickup, False became a subject of the pursuit, thereby disqualifying him as an innocent third party. View "Fales v. County of Stanton" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s resentencing for his first degree murder conviction. Defendant was found guilty in 2000 and was seventeen years old at the time of the crime. Resentencing was required under Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) and subsequent case law. Defendant was resentenced in accordance with Nebraska statutes to sixty to eighty years’ imprisonment with credit for the days that he had served. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court imposed an excessive sentence because it failed properly to consider the applicable legal principles. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant’s sentence was in accordance with both Miller and Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-105.02. Accordingly, Defendant’s additional arguments were without merit. View "State v. Jackson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Appellants, the parents and special administrators of the estate of Melissa Rodriguez, who was killed by Michael Loyd, brought this negligence and wrongful death action against numerous defendants. The defendants were treated as three groups - the Lasting Hope defendants, the UNMC defendants, and the City defendants. Appellants claimed that the defendants were negligent in failing to protect Melissa from Loyd. The district court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss the second amended complaint. On appeal, Appellants challenged the dismissal of the Lasting Hope and the UNMC defendants. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court (1) erred when it dismissed Appellants’ second amended complaint for failure to state a claim with respect to the Lasting Hope defendants; and (2) erred when it denied Appellants’ motion to amend the second amended complaint to add allegations relative to the UNMC defendants and dismissed the UNMC defendants. View "Rodriguez v. Catholic Health Initiatives" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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