Robert Van Pelt
Van Pelt was born in Gosper County, Nebraska. He received an A.B. from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska in 1920 and an LL.B. from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law in 1922. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney of District of Nebraska from 1930 to 1934, and an instructor at the Nebraska College of Law from 1946 to 1957. In 1923, Van Pelt's law firm was that of Stewart, Perry, Stewart, and Van Pelt. In 1930, Van Pelt left this firm and went into practice with Lloyd J. Marti, who eventually became mayor of Lincoln, NE from 1943-1947.
Van Pelt was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on May 22, 1957, to a seat on the district court vacated by John W. Delehant. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 11, 1957, and received his commission on June 13, 1957. He assumed senior status on May 5, 1970.
While on the Federal bench, he served on the committee that drafted the Federal Rules of Evidence and was named Special Master by the Supreme Court for four boundary disputes (Texas v. Louisiana, 426 U.S. 465 (1976), California v. Nevada, 447 U.S. 125 (1980), Ohio v. Kentucky, 444 U.S. 335 (1980), and Kentucky v. Indiana, 474 U.S. 1 (1976)).