Thomas J. Shomaker
phone 402-397-6200 (Local)
1-(888) 4SODORO (Toll Free)
Admitted to Nebraska Bar 1974, Iowa Bar 2007. Education: Creighton University and University of Minnesota (B.A. 1969); Creighton University (J.D. December, 1973).
Before attending law school, Mr. Shomaker was a teacher at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska for one year, conducting classes in economics and political science for high school juniors and seniors.
From 1974 to 1977, he was associated with a general firm practicing in all areas of law, ultimately concentrating on civil litigation. From 1977 to 1979, he worked at the Douglas County Attorney’s Office as a Deputy County Attorney on the Felony Trial Staff, first-chairing 20 jury trials involving murder, arson, robbery, burglary and sexual assault.
From 1979 to the present, Mr. Shomaker has been associated with the Sodoro firm exclusively defending doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice cases and healthcare related lawsuits. He has a special emphasis on obstetrical malpractice cases and for the last 30 years has represented hundreds of doctors and hospitals in litigation resulting in dismissals, mediations, settlements, and has received over 100 jury verdicts in his career. Most jury trials have lasted from 1 to 3 weeks in court. He has tried to conclusion- and won – numerous cases involving brain damaged children with severe neurological outcomes, usually involving cerebral palsy, and his physician clients have prevailed in a large number of death claims. Mr. Shomaker has personally argued cases on appeal in the Iowa Court of Appeals, the Iowa Supreme Court, the Nebraska Court of Appeals, the Nebraska Supreme Court, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Several of these appellate matters have resulted in significant legal decisions which have becom bedrock concepts in Nebraska jurisprudence:
- In the case of Hanzlik v. Paustian, 216 Neb. 575, 344 N. W.2d 649; 211 Neb. 322, 318 N. W .2d 712, a matter which went to the Supreme Court of Nebraska twice and ultimately was preliminarily taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, the concept of the quantum of summary judgment evidence required has set a standard which is used in all summary judgment pleadings in the State of Nebraska.
- The case of Brewington v. Ricard, 235 Neb. 8431457 N.W.2d 814, defined concepts regarding the Nebraska Hospital-Medical Liability Act, the principal legislation which governs the vast majority of malpractice cases in the State of Nebraska.
- Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center, et al, Appellees, v. Robert Haworth, Jr., Special Administrator of the Estate of Robert Wayne Haworth, Sr., deceased.
Mr. Shomaker is a frequent lecturer on the subject of malpractice in general and obstetrical malpractice in particular. For years he has participated in the teaching of these subjects to family practice residents of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and on a semester by semester basis has conducted lectures to the Nebraska College of nursing students on the subject of malpractice. He has participated in the Creighton Law School Student-Client Counseling Competitions, Client Negotiating Tournaments, and Appellate and Moot Court Competitions for the last several decades.
Mr. Shomaker has been inducted in The American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to 1% of the lawyer population of any state.
Mr. Shomaker is an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell and is a lifetime fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Association, an honorary position, and has been asked to participate in other national honorary legal organizations. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar and the Iowa State Bar.
For the past several years, he has continuously maintained cases with the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, a pro bono organization which provides no-cost legal services to low income members of the community, and has participated in the Memorial Courts, and Medical-Legal Committees of the Omaha Bar Association for over 35 years. He is a member of the National Arbitration Forum, selected as mediator•arbitrator.
Recently, Mr. Shomaker has been voted by his peers to serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission to assist in filling the District Court vacancies for the Nebraska Fourth Judicial District.
Mr. Shomaker’s community involvement includes leading roles in a number of musical productions at the Omaha Community Playhouse since 1978, as well as participating in other musical shows, and singing in weddings, funerals and other functions for 40 years. He is a semi-annual volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and since 1985, has read a weekly program “For Your Information” at Radio Talking Book, a service for the visually impaired in the Omaha and out state areas. He has conducted a solo music ministry at St. Margaret Mary’s Church since the mid-1970s.
Mr. Shomaker has 3 grown children, 6 grandchildren, and for 33 years has been married to Lori Ecklebe.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Medical Malpractice Claims Defense
- Health Care
- Nebraska, 1974
- Iowa, 2007
- Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska, 1973 J.D.
- University of Minnesota, 1969 B.A.
- “Medical Malpractice in Nebraska”
HONORS AND AWARDS
- Fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Association
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
- American College of Trial Lawyers Lifetime
- Fellow Nebraska State Bar Association Omaha
- Bar Association Member
- National Arbitration Forum Member
- Nebraska State Bar Association Member
- Omaha Bar Association Member, the Memorial, Courts
- Omaha Bar Association Member, Medical-Legal Committees
- Omaha Bar Association Member, Volunteer Lawyer’s Project
PAST EMPLOYMENT POSITIONS
- Douglas County, Nebraska, Deputy County Attorney, 1977-1979