Governor quickly fills one vacancy on Nebraska Supreme Court with appointment of Omaha attorney

Governor quickly fills one vacancy on Nebraska Supreme Court with appointment of Omaha attorney
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced his appointment of Jonathan J. Papik to the Supreme Court. Currently, Papik is a partner at Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather

LINCOLN — Omaha attorney Jonathan Papik has been named to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the appointment Wednesday, a little over a week after a judicial nominating committee selected Papik as one of four finalists for the governor’s consideration. Papik will replace former Judge Max Kelch, who resigned in January to avoid an ethics investigation that an official told The World-Herald was related to allegations of sexual harassment.

The governor made his pick over three other candidates — including two women — with considerably more experience practicing law. But Papik, who is in his mid-30s, came with an impressive résumé, including graduation from Harvard Law School and a year spent clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch when Gorsuch was on the federal court bench.

Papik is a partner in Cline Williams Wright Johnson and Oldfather, one of Nebraska’s largest law firms. He grew up in Stromsburg and is the son of James Papik, an attorney, and Marta Papik, a school teacher.

One grandfather, Al Papik, is considered a legendary former Doane University coach and University of Nebraska athletic administrator. Papik’s other grandfather, the late Bob Erickson, coached basketball at Doane from 1962 to 1998.

Papik and his wife, Rachel, have three children.

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