LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts appointed Thomas Klein of Wahoo to the County Court, Sixth Judicial District (consisting of Burt, Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Thurston, and Washington counties).
Klein, 55, has served as the Saunders County Public Defender since January 1999. Additionally, he has served as Village Attorney for the Village of Morse Bluff since 1993. Klein has also worked as Managing Partner at Haessler, Sullivan, Klein, LTD. since 1999 after having worked his way up from Associate Attorney in 1993.
As Managing Partner, Klein has practiced law in numerous counties in East Central Nebraska, both in County Court and in District Court. Klein has practiced in a broad range of areas in criminal law, including felonies, misdemeanors, and appeals. He has experience in juvenile matters, representing juveniles as a Guardian Ad Litem. Klein also represented individuals in a broad civil practice, including matters in family law, real estate matters, adoptions, guardianships, conservatorships, contract disputes, probate matters, and general civil litigation.
He has broad experience in all types of criminal cases and has tried numerous bench and jury trials during his career. Several times, Klein’s cases have gone before the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Nebraska Court of Appeals.
Klein holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a Juris Doctor from Creighton University Law School. He is a member of the Saunders County Bar Association, the Nebraska State Bar Association (having served as an elected member of the House of Delegates from 2004-2011), and the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association.
Klein has been actively involved with the youth in his community. For ten years, he has served as a Member of the Board of Directors for Wahoo Baseball Association and also as an Assistant Baseball Coach. This builds on decades of service as a soccer, hockey, and track and field coach. Klein has been a USATF Track and Field Official since 1992. He has been a volunteer mock trial competition judge since 1994, and he is a team coach for middle and high school students in the Calvary Robotics Club.
Klein also serves as a volunteer speaker for several organ and tissue donation initiatives throughout the state, including for Live on Nebraska, the Lions Club Organ Donation Program, and the Nebraska Organ Retrieval Systems. Additionally, he serves on the NICU Family Support Committee for the March of Dimes through the Nebraska Medical Center.
Klein fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Kenneth J. Vampola.
The primary place of office for the judicial vacancy is Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska.