(courtesy of Robert Wilken,
During law school (1970-72), I was fortunate to find part-time work as “director of operating rights” for Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc., Sioux City, IA, a refrigerated motor carrier owned by law school classmate, George Hirschbach and his late father, Ray. Attended my first ICC hearing in April 1970, as a witness, with my employer (and several other motor carriers) represented in that matter by Marshall Becker of Stern & Becker, Omaha, NE. Then, in 1972 I was equally fortunate to be hired by Hirschbach’s usual counsel in Lincoln, NE, as an associate in the law firm of Acklie & Peterson. Founded by Duane W. Acklie and Richard A. Peterson in 1969, the firm mostly represented motor carriers in ICC proceedings. I returned to SD in 1979.

At this May 2007 “reunion” in Lincoln, NE are the following (first row, left to right):
Richard Peterson, still at it in Lincoln as general counsel of Crete Carrier Corporation (and affiliates); Duane Acklie, Chairman, Crete Carrier Corporation, Lincoln, NE, and former Chair, American Trucking Association; Gailyn Larsen, farm kid from Harlan, IA, former partner at Acklie & Peterson, now at York, PA, Managing Partner of Transport Capital Partners; (back row) me, the youngest farmer and only Swede in this picture; George Hirschbach, now of rural Hartington, NE, serving as the elected County Attorney for Cedar County (most lawyers have retired at his age); in the distant background, the “Sower” of Nebraska State Capitol, looking the other way; Marshall Becker, still in active law practice at Omaha; and Sam Van Pelt, lawyer and retired District Judge for Lancaster County, NE (and Sheriff, briefly), now residing on a farm near Hickman, NE.

Look out, Lincoln! Gailyn Larsen and I return for a day. The "Open Latch" is now closed, somehow the city wasn't the same, but it was great fun regardless. The "Sower" is unmoved. After leaving Lincoln in 1979, Gailyn is now a partner in Transport Capital Partners and residing at York, PA.

Bev Morgan, Lincoln, NE, formerly a legal secretary at the Acklie & Peterson firm in the decade prior to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. Bev is now a Manager of Select Transportation Services, LLC, Lincoln, NE, providing sales and marketing services for motor carriers.

This is Ralph Jinks, formerly of Midwest Coast Transport, Inc., Sioux Falls, SD, now with Collier Transportation, Gretna, NE. I met Ralph in Washington, DC at my first ICC hearing in April 1970, both of our employers being represented in the case by Attorney Marshall Becker.

The Executive Building, 521 S. 14th Street, Lincoln, NE -- the "home" of Acklie & Peterson, and mine, too, from 1972 to 1979. Both the office and I are still standing at this point.

Philip G. Clark (Sioux Falls), inventor, entrepreneur, formerly of Hansen Manufacturing Corp. As owner of Skyblue Winds, LLC., Phil is presently working on a new wind rotor design. I have been privileged to work with Phil since 2001.

Sharon Koch and Shelley Koch Schipper, Sioux Falls. Sharon and Shelley are majority shareholders of K & J Trucking, Inc., motor carrier specializing in refrigerated transportation. David A. Koch (husband of Sharon, father of Shelley), who passed away in 1991, was one of my “old-time” motor carrier clients.

John Zomer, Sioux Falls, officer of Zomer Bros., Inc. and Zomer Truck & Trailer Sales, Inc. John, brother Hank (Conrad, Montana), and cousin Russ Zomer have been involved in livestock transportation and truck equipment sales for many years.

Tim Anderson and Larry Anderson, son and father team at A & A Express, Inc. (Brandon, SD), a carrier specializing in refrigerated goods. The Andersons moved to Brandon from Walnut Grove, MN a number of years ago, and I'm privileged to have represented the company for about two decades.

Out for a stroll in downtown Brookings, SD, December 2007 - left to right, George Hirschbach, Cedar County (NE) Attorney (USD Law '72), Retired Circuit Judge Rodney Steele (USD Law '72), and USD Law Professor Michael Myers (USD Law '67).

Donald Stern, one of the surviving "old lions" of the now extinct ICC motor carrier practice. Don, a native of Omaha, served in the US Coast Guard in 1945, attended Creighton Law School, and graduated from University of Nebraska School of Law. Don practiced for many years in Omaha, representing some of the nation's largest motor carriers in operating rights cases and a myriad of other challenges, and, together with his law partner, Marshall Becker, mentored many of the young lawyers practicing before the Interstate Commerce Commission in the last half of the 20th century. (I was fortunate to have survived some of that "mentoring.") Don and Marshall, both recently retired, continue to live in Omaha. Don and Marshall should write a book. (Photo by Ralph Jinks)