Click on the image below to open Friday’s edition of the Boys’ State Bulletin!
Lawyer Andrew Loudon of Lincoln spoke earlier today to Boys’ State delegates interested in positions as judges, city attorneys, and attorney general. Below is an article that Kyle Cerny of Belleau Wood wrote after attending the event.
“State Court System and Civil vs. Criminal”
Kyle Cerny, Belleau Wood
COUNTY COURT SYSTEMS
The county court systems in Nebraska handle misdemeanors, traffic violations, civil cases involving $51,000 or less, small claim cases, and juvenile matters. Nebraska has juvenile matters handled in county courts, with the exception of Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy counties. The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Courts consist of 7 judges with power over all suits on workers’ compensation benefits from being hurt on the job.
CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL
All legal matters in Nebraska courts are filed as being civil or criminal in nature. Civil cases are battles between private citizens, corporations, government groups, or other organazations. Civil cases may involve property or personal rights. Here are some examples: landlord/tenant disputes, auto accidents, warranty breach, adoption cases, divorce, liability suits, etc. In a civil suit, the plaintiff (group bringing action) must prove his or her case by producing evidence to convince the judge or jury against the defendant (opposing party). In criminal cases the state brings the case against individuals or groups accused of committing a crime. The state then initiates charges. The prosecuting attorney files charges against the defendant on behalf of the state. The prosecution must prove to the judge that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because it is better to let a guilty person go free than to let an innocent man go to jail.
By: Chevas Shaw, Yorktown (June 2009)
Upon arriving at Smith Hall, I realized that this was not going to be anything at all like I had ever done before. Not only were the “Boys’ Staters” a perfect blend of all the different types of Nebraskans, but the atmosphere was one that I had never before experienced. Never before had I seen so many young minds focused on learning and bettering themselves and their fellow citizens, and scarcely can I believe that I will see it again.
The kids here are nothing but the Michael Jordans, Muhammad Alis, and Wayne Gretzkys of politics. While most of the young, half-sculpted minds here will probably choose to pursue a career, life, and expertise in something other than politics, this experience will stay with them the rest of their lives. That is what I immediately noticed. It was like a bucket of water to the face on a blistering hot day; once I stepped off that bus and onto the hard pavement of the campus I felt it. I felt the impressions that were going to be made within the next few hours; I felt the guiding hand of all the administrators, counselors, and junior counselors.
The fact that this program was designed to bring people totally out of their element and see how they handle it is both thought-provoking and creatively stimulating. The idea that people for over half of a century have been coming to Lincoln and learning and enjoying themselves is amazing. Judging by what I have seen so far, I think this program will be around for many more full centuries to come.
The people here are awe-inspiring. This program, these people, send people to shake the hand of the President of the United States. That must be an unforgettable rush of both nerves and thoughts. The amount of doors this week that will open for me and for everyone else here can make an unforgettable, potentially life changing, experience. I look forward to being surprised and altered by this “jewel” of a program in a “treasure chest” of leadership paths open to youths today.