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United States District Court Update

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1. Judge John Gerrard

Judge John Gerrard was sworn in as the district's newest Article III judge on February 6. An investiture ceremony will be held at the Hruska courthouse in Omaha on March 30 at 3:00 p.m. Judge Gerrard will sit in Lincoln.

2. Scheduling Criminal Pretrial Hearings

The Judicial Council at its January 20, 2012, meeting adopted a new scheduling plan for sentencings, initial appearances, arraignments, and detentions. The plan is designed to accommodate staffing and courtroom needs. Please contact a judge's courtroom deputy to learn more about the plan.

3. Summoning North Platte Jurors Only for Specially Set Trials

At the January Judicial Council meeting, the judges decided that given the small number of trials held in North Platte and the mailing and personnel costs associated with summoning North Platte jurors, those jurors will be summoned only for specially set trials. The court will set all North Platte civil trials for firm trial dates at least six weeks before the trial so that a jury may be summoned on a per-case basis.

4. Registry Funds

Pursuant to General Order 2011-15,, the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska transferred all registry funds from the Court On-Line Banking system to the Court Registry Investment System (CRIS) on February 6, 2012. Registry funds are disbursed only once a week and only upon order of the court.

5. Destruction of Old Exhibits

Pursuant to General Order 2012-05,, the court will destroy on April 10 several old exhibits from cases heard in 1967-1992. The list of cases and the defendants' attorneys (where known) are attached to the general order. Anyone objecting to the destruction of these exhibits must show cause why they should not be destroyed before March 27, 2012, by e-mailing the court at

6. Camera Pilot

The court video recorded its first hearing on December 28. The uploaded video is available on the U.S. Courts Web site, More information about the camera pilot is available on the district's Web site,

7. Opinions Pilot

The district court is participating in the next phase of an opinions pilot being conducted in partnership with the Government Printing Office (GPO). The court nightly sends opinions from CM/ECF to the GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys). The GPO authenticates and posts each opinion on the FDsys Web site, FDsys is designed to provide free online access to official publications from all three branches of the federal government.

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If you have any questions about these matters, please contact the clerk's office, 402-661-7350 (Omaha) or 402-437-1900 (Lincoln).

Thank you,
United States District Court Clerk's Office