- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A southeastern Nebraska district court judge has been appointed to replace a retiring justice on the state Supreme Court, Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Wednesday.

Ricketts said he has appointed Judge Jeffrey Funke of the second judicial district, consisting of Cass, Sarpy, and Otoe Counties.

Funke has been a judge since 2007, when he was named to the bench in Sarpy County. He was appointed district judge in 2013 by former Gov. Dave Heineman.

“From working over a decade in private practice and hearing 10,000 cases, Judge Funke brings a diverse legal background to the Supreme Court,” Ricketts said. “As Nebraska’s new Supreme Court Judge, his temperament and demeanor will be an asset to the court, the legal community, and the people of Nebraska.”

Before serving on the bench, Funke worked in private practice, served as a county attorney and as a deputy public defender. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his law degree from the university’s law college.

Funke was one of seven applicants who sought the position. He will replace Justice William M. Connolly, who retires effective Aug. 1. Funke is Ricketts’ third appointment to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

As a judge, Funke handled civil, criminal, domestic relations and probate cases. He serves as a judicial education member of the District Judges Association and represented county courts on the Case Management Committee for Nebraska Trial Courts from 2010-2013.

Funk will represent the Supreme Court’s fifth judicial district, consisting of portions of 23 southeastern Nebraska counties.

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