New district judge promises respect, hard work, decisions faithful to the law

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

As he prepares to become Southwest Nebraska's newest district judge, David Urbom of Arapahoe has set forth three guiding principles. "First," he said, "I will do my utmost to treat all who comes before me with respect; second, I will work as hard as I can to do a good job; and, third, I will do what the law tells me to do in the cases which come before me."

Urbom, 53, expressed the viewpoints Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Gazette. "I am very humbled to be appointed," he said, remembering the distinguished jurists who have preceded him as the District Judge for the southwestern part of the 11th District.

The list of judges include George Norris, who went on to be a United States Senator. Among those who followed were Charles Eldred; Victor Westermark, Jack Hendrix and John Battershell.

All faced landmark decisions during their years on the bench; and, no doubt, the same will be demanded of Judge Urbom.

He has not yet made definite arrangements, but Urbom is tentatively planning to begin his judicial duties Jan. 19. Although he has not had judicial responsibilities before, Urbom has grown up in a family of lawyers. His father, Ward, has been a lawyer in Arapahoe for 57 years, and his uncle, Warren Urbom, is a federal district judge in Lincoln.

David and his brother, Kevin, followed their father in the practice of law in Arapahoe, with David spending 16 years of his career, from 1979 to 1995, as the Furnas County Attorney.

Now, the family's legal tradition is extending into the third generation. David and wife Christine's oldest daughter, Erin, graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law and is now serving as an aide to State Sen. Carroll Burling of Kenesaw. The Urbom family also includes Jon, a freshman in the UN-L school of law, and Sarah, a junior at Arapahoe High School. Christine, whose maiden name was Faw, is a physical therapist. "She teases me sometimes," David said, "saying that one of the kids should bypass law and enter the medical field."

As district judge, David Urbom will have a distinguished tradition of court excellence to uphold. With his emphasis on respect, hard work and the law, he is setting the right foundation for judicial service.

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