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July 29, 2003

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

To; Registered CM/ECF Attorneys

On July 28, 2003, our court held its annual strategic planning meeting. I want to advise you of two things that came out of the meeting.

Re: Gary McFarland, Clerk of Court

Gary McFarland came to our court on July 31, 1972. He has thus served the Nebraska federal court for nearly 31 years. At the court's strategic planning meeting, our dear friend announced that he will retire as our Clerk on August 2, 2004.

Prior to his announcement, the court presented Gary with a framed general order ("In the Matter of Gary McFarland") recognizing and forever remembering his magnificent service. The court also presented Gary with a crystal gavel and granite display stand as small tokens of our affection and esteem.

So, remembering his 31 years of service and his impending retirement, when you see Gary next please join us in congratulating and thanking him. We look forward to working with him during the coming year, all the while knowing full well that Gary's contributions to the ideals of justice have been and will continue to be unmatched.

Re: Combining the Omaha and Lincoln Civil Dockets

During the strategic planning meeting, we had a spirited and lively debate among our judges. Ultimately, this is what we decided:

1. On or about August 1, 2003, we will add to the Nebraska docket: (a) cases in which the United States is the plaintiff; (b) social security appeals; (c) pro se cases including habeas corpus cases (but excluding death penalty habeas corpus and 2225 motions); and (d) bankruptcy appeals.

2. At the court's July, 2004, strategic planning meeting, we will reconsider whether to combine the Omaha and Lincoln civil dockets more broadly.

Thank you for your support.

Richard Kopf
Chief Judge