Gov. Dave Heineman on Thursday appointed Appeals Court Judge William Cassel of O'Neill to serve on the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The appointment took effect immediately.
Cassel will represent the Third Judicial District, which includes several counties in northeast Nebraska: Antelope, Boone, Boyd, Burt, Cedar, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Holt, Knox, Madison, Pierce, Platte, Stanton, Thurston, Washington, Wayne and Wheeler counties, in addition to portions of Douglas and Sarpy counties.
Cassel, 56, replaces Judge John Gerrard, who left the Supreme Court after being appointed a U.S. District judge.
"I am deeply honored by the trust and confidence expressed by this appointment, and I will endeavor to serve the citizens of Nebraska on Nebraska's highest court to the best of my ability," Cassel said.
Before being appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2003, Cassel spent 12 years as a district court judge. Before that, Cassel practiced law in Ainsworth from 1979 to 1992.
On the Court of Appeals, Cassel participated in approximately 5,000 appeals, including about 650 authored opinions and 1,300 authored reports in criminal, civil, domestic, juvenile, workers' compensation, administrative and other appeals from Nebraska trial courts, specialized courts and administrative tribunals.
He was a co-recipient of the 2011 Nebraska Supreme Court award for "Distinguished Judge for Improvement of the Judiciary," and has been elected as a fellow of both the Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.
Other nominees for the Supreme Court vacancy were Francie Riedmann of Omaha and John Samson of Blair.