LINCOLN – Gov. Pete Ricketts appointed Richard “Rick” R. Smith of Cook to the county court for the first district of Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline and Thayer counties.

 Smith, 40, has served as Johnson County attorney since 2015, and he was the county’s deputy attorney from 2007 to 2015.  As County attorney, he has prosecuted felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions and represented petitioners in juvenile and mental health board proceedings. 

He has also represented Johnson County in civil matters as well as in front of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.

 Smith has practiced law in Tecumseh since 2007, as a partner of Smith and Smith (formerly Smith Hogancamp Law) from 2007 to 2015 and as sole practitioner of Law Office of Rick Smith since 2015.  His private practice includes estate planning and probate, adoption, family law, real estate transactions and foreclosures, landlord/tenant actions, and debt collection.

 Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School.  He is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association and Southeast Nebraska Bar Association.

 Smith has taken cases pro bono from the community, and pro bono and reduced fee cases through the Volunteer Lawyers Program and Legal Aid of Nebraska.

 He actively serves the local community in a variety of capacities. 

He has been a member of the Cook Volunteer Fire Department since 2007 and a Director of its governing board since 2011.

  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Johnson County Central Schools Foundation, a nonprofit providing scholarships and student programming.  Additionally, he serves on the Southeast Community College Adult/Juvenile & Corrections Workforce Program Leadership Team and volunteers for Southeast Community College’s adult education program, tutoring adults seeking their GEDs or learning English as a second language.

 Smith fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Curtis L. Maschman.

 The primary place of office for the judgeship will be either Richardson County, Nemaha County, or Pawnee County, to be determined by the Nebraska Supreme Court in consultation with Judge Smith.