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United States District Court Update

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1.   General Order 2012-06: Docket Equalization

To better equalize the dockets between Omaha and Lincoln, the court has taken the following actions:

  1. Judge Gerrard and Senior Judges Urbom and Kopf are now being randomly assigned cases on the Omaha civil docket. Magistrate Judge Zwart is directly assigned to these civil cases.
  2. Judge Gerrard and Senior Judge Kopf are now being randomly assigned cases on the Omaha criminal docket. Magistrate Judges Thalken and Gossett are randomly assigned to these cases.
  3. Chief Judge Smith Camp, Judge Bataillon, and Senior Judge Strom are now being randomly assigned cases on the Lincoln criminal docket. Magistrate Judge Zwart is directly assigned to these cases.

The Article III judges have agreed to travel between cities to accommodate lawyers and parties for sentencings and trials. See General Order 2012-06 at http://www.ned.circ8.dcn/user/internetDocs/pom/orders/GO_2012-06.pdf.

2.   2014 Eighth Circuit Conference

Plans are underway for the 2014 Eighth Circuit Conference, to be held in Omaha. The conference will feature a CLE program sponsored by the Eighth Circuit, the Nebraska State Bar Association, and the Nebraska Supreme Court. Additional details will be released as they become available.

3.   New Web Page

The court recently revamped its Internet Web page at The court welcomes suggestions for improving the website. Use the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the page.

4.   CM/ECF Version 6 and Next Gen

CM/ECF Version 6 is scheduled to be released to the courts this fall. Version 6.1 will be released in early December. These are the last two releases before the Administrative Office for the United States Courts delivers CM/ECF Next Gen to the courts in March 2014.

5.   Expedited Plea and Sentencing in Certain Cases

At the July 2012 Nebraska Judicial Council meeting, the judges agreed to expedite pleas and sentencings in cases arising under 8 U.S.C. secs. 1325 and 1326 and 18 U.S.C. sec. 1546 in which the defendant is deportable, and the pretrial services report reflects that the defendant’s criminal history category is I.  No presentence report will be required in such cases, and the judge generally will not impose a term of supervised release.

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