In today's world, all judges were once lawyers. Whether in private practice, government practice, or in some other legal position, they all took an oath to uphold justice, dealt with clients, and submitted matters to courts for decisions. No one comes out of law school and begins her career as a judge. Judges come up through the ranks of lawyers or law professors. It has always been a mystery to the practicing bar as to how quickly some judges forget their roots after they ascend to the bench. Frequently, those judges seem to feel they have been anointed rather than appointed, with a lawyer's concerns now blissfully behind them. But it is a legal truism that there must be a partnership between lawyers and judges to administer justice successfully. Without the honest and intellectual assistance of the bar, judges could not function on their own. Over the past 105 years, the relationship between the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska State Bar Association has been generally cordial. But in the years between Robert Simmons' election to be chief justice in 1938, and the retirement of William Hastings as chief justice in 1995, many lawyers and bar leaders felt that the court deliberately distanced itself from involvement with the bar. This article attempts to explore why some of that distancing may have occurred.
James W. Hewitt,
Crossing the Bar: The Relationship of Nebraska's Supreme Court with the Bar,
84 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol84/iss2/7