Two still in running for judgeship
By Jan Rahn
Two candidates out of five vying for the 11th Circuit Judgeship remain and their names have been forwarded to Gov. Dave Heineman to consider for filling the vacancy created when Judge John P. Murphy retired in August.
The nominees include Richard Birch, North Platte attorney, and Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling.
Gov. Heineman will be scheduling interviews with the nominees in upcoming weeks according to a press release from his office.
Last week, four of the five candidates who submitted their names for the judgeship spoke to the Judiciary Nomination Committee in the district courtroom of the Lincoln County Courthouse.
About the Candidates
• Omaha native Richard Birch graduated from law school at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1978.
He and his wife moved to North Platte where he has been in private practice with Jess Nielsen at the Nielsen & Birch Law Firm for nearly 33 years.
Birch has experience in criminal and civil cases as well as general law.
In addition to criminal law, he has worked on cases involving divorce, custody and juveniles.
He has worked as a hearing officer for 29 years with various governmental agencies.
• Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling has experience in Lincoln and Dawson counties as a prosecutor.
She is a law school graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has experience in prosecuting felony, civil and misdemeanor cases.
She was appointed county attorney in 2008 after working in the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney’s office since 2000 and was then elected in 2010.
Harling helped establish the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Group.
Other candidates included Brian Lockwood, a public defender from Scottsbluff, Michael Nozicka, an attorney from North Platte, and Meredith Peterson, an attorney from Pinedale, Wyo.