The Chaloupka Legacy In Nebraska

The Chaloupka Legacy in Nebraska 

Attorney Maren Lynn Chaloupka has been in law since she was 11 years old, when she began working in her dad’s office and would often travel with him visiting clients across Nebraska. Bob Chaloupka was revered for his powerful courtroom presence and for taking on cases that other lawyers believed couldn’t be won.

Not only did he wholeheartedly embrace fighting for the underdog – and being the underdog himself – Bob obtained Nebraska’s first million-dollar jury verdict in a personal injury case. He is believed to be the first trial lawyer in Nebraska to secure both a million-dollar verdict and an acquittal in a first-degree murder case.

The Bob Chaloupka Trial Skills Seminar

Though he died in 2009, Bob’s legacy lives on through Maren, the Chaloupka family, and the annual Bob Chaloupka Trial Skills Seminar, a continuing legal education program that celebrates, educates, and strengthens client service in the courtroom. Bob himself loved mentoring young lawyers. He especially enjoyed watching them learn, seeing them get excited about doing important work, and congratulating them as they became really, really good at it.

Register for the seminar here.

Bob’s memory is celebrated by many in Scottsbluff, in Nebraska, and across the country. Like her dad, Maren tries cases in cities large and small, in Nebraska and beyond – but she is forever honored to call Scottsbluff home.

About Bob Chaloupka 

Bob Chaloupka turned down a steady job as a big-city federal prosecutor to build a law practice in rural Nebraska.

It was 1970. Bob was living in Georgia, a young husband, father, and attorney finishing up his service as a Captain in the United States Army. At that crossroads of his life, Bob was trying to determine the next best step for his family and his career.

While on his way to Denver for that job interview, Bob took an unexpected detour to Scottsbluff to meet with R.M. Van Steenberg, a local attorney who was a partner in a small law firm in town. The “interview” with Van turned out to be an afternoon at the Schottz Pool Hall. Bob realized that not only had he deeply and emotionally connected with Van – he wasn’t meant to be a federal prosecutor in an urban setting. It was about putting roots down and making a difference in a place he already felt at home.

After all, Bob was no stranger to Nebraska, having grown up in Callaway –  the heart of the Nebraska Sandhills. He was the son of a schoolteacher and a country doctor, as well as the cousin of many who gave back by keeping  the community beautiful and alive, a tradition that continues today. Because of that, the call to serve was deeply rooted in Bob from the time he was born. He learned from example. From the model of his family members, Bob always responded to calls to serve.

Bob and his wife, Judy, headed for Scottsbluff, where Bob built a law practice – and a life – that made a lasting impact with everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path. He saw working as a trial lawyer as an opportunity to make his community better, especially for those who were often ignored, overlooked, or demeaned. To him, everyone mattered.

Bob took cases that other lawyers often turned down. Once they saw how Bob could find unlikely – and successful – paths to justice, many instead sought Bob’s help and advice on personal injury, products liability, or criminal cases that upon first glance had seemed impossible to win.

Other lawyers would determine a case was simply too challenging to take on. “This case looks too hard,” they’d say. Bob took a different approach. “This person needs help,” he’d say. “How can we find a way?”

It didn’t always work, but if there was a way, Bob found it.

Bob pioneered methods of persuasion in products liability cases; cases involving governmental liability; and unusual damages cases. He was humble, never puffing his chest up about the size of his civil verdicts in the way that many personal injury lawyers do. If you asked Bob what his biggest verdict was, he’d say: “Not guilty.”  If you asked him, “So how do you get a million-dollar verdict?” he’d say: “Screw up a two-million-dollar case.”

Bob never quit learning – he was always interested in learning new ways to better serve clients in tough cases.

Most importantly, Bob gave his clients hope. He treated his clients with dignity, kindness and respect.  He treated them as individuals.  He listened. He developed lasting relationships with his clients, who stayed in touch long after their cases concluded. People in the Scottsbluff community and across Nebraska approached Bob for advice and wisdom, knowing he would give them straight answers and good humor.

Bob loved practicing law – but he loved his family above all else. He fought to spend every day he could with his beloved Judy and their three children. Bob’s legacy, his wisdom, and his spirit is with his daughter at Chaloupka Law in all she does. Like Bob, Maren is here to help. It’s simply the right thing to do.

Top Nebraska Trial Lawyer 

Call Chaloupka Law at 308-270-5091, email or fill out our confidential contact form.