Estate Planning Lawyer & Family Law Attorney
Catherine Dunn Wittinghill is an estate planning lawyer and family law attorney at the law firm of Marks Clare & Richards in Omaha, NE.
Catherine spends her working hours assisting personal representatives in administering probate estates, and working with her clients to develop estate plans designed to carry out their wishes. As your attorney, she aims to protect your wealth and to minimize adverse tax consequences.
This estate planning lawyer has practical experience in drafting wills, powers of attorney for health care and for financial matters, testamentary trusts, revocable living trusts, charitable trusts, and special needs trusts. Catherine can support you in establishing a guardianship. If you’re looking for an attorney to help you with a conservatorship for disabled individuals and minors, she can help with those matters also.
In addition to her estate planning practice, Catherine is also an experienced family law attorney. Her experience includes the dissolution of marriages, paternity actions, divorce decree modifications, contempt of court cases, and grandparent visitation proceedings.
Attorney Whittinghill’s Courtroom experience
Attorney Catherine Dunn Whittinghill has represented clients in defending against will challenges, as well as will construction and trust reformation issues. She has petitioned for special administrators, and has assisted spouses in securing their forced shares.
What drives attorney Whittinghill:
Attorney Catherine Dunn Whittinghill loves the law “because it touches every aspect of life and society.” She finds the study and application of legal theory to real world scenarios to be an intellectual process that is never boring. She pairs this love of the law with the joy she experiences in both meeting new people and helping others. This makes navigating her clients’ legal issues, including striving for a timely resolutions of legal disputes and personal conflicts, her favorite place to be.
She draws positive energy from President Obama and musical artist Kendrick Lamar, aiming to deliver the same level of dedication to others and passion for the human spirit.
Education and Experience:
With two and a half decades of legal experience, Catherine Dunn Whittinghill is recognized as an excellent legal writer, which goes hand-in-hand with her outstanding legal research. Her fellow attorneys describe her as intellectual, empathetic, and serious – yet also enjoy her humorous side. Her professional appearance carries with it an elegance as well as a commanding presence.
Before an becoming an attorney, this Omaha lawyer was already deep in the world of law. After completing her education, she returned to Omaha to work as a research attorney for the judges of the Douglas County District Court. To supplement her county income, she taught classes at College of Saint Mary in their Paralegal Studies program. After two years as an adjunct instructor, she became a full-time faculty member with the titles of Assistant Director of Paralegal Studies and Assistant Professor. Fast-forward ten-plus years of teaching in and out of the classroom, Catherine Whittinghill opens up a private practice law firm with a focus on family law. Rewind the clock; Catherine is a freshman in high school with the desire to become an attorney.
Attorney Whittinghill Outside of the courtroom and law office:
You don’t have to be a parent to know that raising children takes both focus and flexibility. Maybe it’s also Catherine’s six children that have helped her become a master negotiator. “I have six kids – never a dull moment in my house.” In addition to being an exceptional attorney, Catherine Whittinghill is a busy mother, avid fiction reader, film and live music performance enthusiast, and routine runner.
Areas of Practice
Juris Doctor, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., May 1993.
Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, Political Science, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, May 1990.
Nebraska Bar Association – Member, 1994 to Present
Omaha Bar Association – Member, 2011 to Present
The Robert M. Spire American Inn of Court – Member, 2017 to Present
American Association for Paralegal Education – Member, 1999 to 2010
Nebraska Association of Legal Assistants (NeALA) – Honorary Member, 1999 to 2010
Honors, Awards & Grants
• Outstanding Faculty Member for 2008-2009, College of Saint Mary Student Senate, Omaha, NE – May 2009.
• Recognized by Paralegal Student for College of Saint Mary Service to the Mission – January 2009.
• Participant in Faculty Fellow Service Learning Program – 2006-2007.
• Awarded a CSM Service-Learning Faculty Mini Grant for the development of a service-learning course on liberty and justice, awarded March 27, 2006.
• Summer Faculty Development Grant – Received funds to support work in outlining and drafting chapters for a textbook addressing legal issues that specifically pertain to women. The working title of the textbook is Hear Me Roar: The Legal Protection and Empowerment of Women in the United States – Summer 2002.
• Core Curriculum Course Development Grant for an ELA course entitled “Pulp Law: A Critique of Legal and Ethical Issues in Film and Literature” – Summer 2001 – Fall 2002.
• Faculty Appreciation Award – Recognized for work writing and editing the NCA Self Study Report – Spring 2001.
• Core Curriculum Course Development Grant for a course entitled “Professional Presentations.” – Summer – Fall 2000.
• Faculty Appreciation Award – Recognized for work in preparing the American Bar Association Accreditation Report and work on the Core Curriculum Committee – Spring 2000.
Papers & Presentations
National Business Institute CLE Presentations and Publications
Enforcement and Post-Trial Modifications
December 2014• Advanced Family Law
July 2015• Voir Dire and Jury Selection
The Law of Jury Selection
How Jurors Think: What Every Litigator Needs to Know
• Divorce Cases from Start to Finish
Initial Interviews and Pleadings
• Forensic Accounting 101 for Attorneys
• Probate: Everything You Need to Know
Law Update, Rules Changes & Recent Developments
• Trusts from A to Z
Simple Testamentary Trusts and Revocable Living Trusts
• Advanced Family Law
Death and Divorce
• The Probate Process from Start to Finish
How to File an Estate in Court
Final Accounting and Closing the Estate
• Estate Administration Boot Camp
Forms of Administration and When They Are Used
First Steps and Notices, Executor Duties, Opening the Estate
• Presenter at American Association for Paralegal Education Annual Conference, Portland Oregon, October 29, 2009. Session 27: 21st Century Research: Manual is still Alive and Kicking: “Hitting the Books” by Catherine Dunn Whittinghill, J.D.
• Co-authored and published a peer reviewed article in the Spring 2009 issue of The Paralegal Educator with Shari Prior, Ph.D. “Defending Liberty & Justice: Teaching Students to Understand and Appreciate the United States Bill of Rights.”
• Presentation, “How to Use a Paralegal Effectively,” Spring Seminar for the Association of Legal Administrators, Nebraska Chapter, Omaha, NE, March 24, 2006.
• Co-authored and published College of Saint Mary Core Seminar Resource Book 2005-2006, with Shari Prior, Ph.D., in response to the need for a text that directly relates to student orientation and experiences at College of Saint Mary.
• Co-authored and published an article in the Spring 2005 issue of The Paralegal Educator with Dr. Shari M. Prior, Ph.D. The article is entitled “12 Angry Dead Men Walking (on the) Burning Bed: Teaching Law and Ethics Through Film.”
• Co-authored and published an article in the Spring 2004 issue of The Paralegal Educator with Shari Prior, Ph.D. The article “Inviting Dissent: College of Saint Mary’s Declaration of Open Discourse,” describes the process used to develop and approve college-wide guidelines for honest discourse and respectful dissent.
• Authored and presented a paper at the American Association for Paralegal Educators Annual Meeting entitled “Pulp Law and Beyond: The College of Saint Mary’s Approach to Merging Disciplines and Departments.” October 16, 2003.
• Published an article in the April 2002 issue of The Paralegal Educator. The article “Legal Research & Writing: Agony or Art?” addresses ideas and practical assignments used to facilitate teaching effectiveness in legal research and writing courses.
• Co-authored and presented a paper at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Meeting with Nursing Professor Dr. Mary Partusch, entitled “Big Things Can Come in Small Packages: Getting the Campus Involved in the Self-Study Process of a Private Catholic College for Women.” Published in A Collection of Papers of Self Study and Institutional Improvement, 2002 Edition.
• Nebraska Association of Legal Assistants (NeALA) Fall Seminar and Annual Meeting, September 17, 1999 – presentation on “Paralegal Career Trends.”