Our Team

Confident. Clear. Committed.

When you are facing difficult legal challenges, the Hightower Reff Law team is here for you. As experienced attorneys, we help you manage the confusion and frustration of the legal system by helping to make things more clear, to get you moving forward.

We provide our clients respectful legal representation with a focus on realistic goals and moving on in life. Our firm is founded on the idea that it is our responsibility to empower people with confident, clear, committed support whether at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.

Choosing the right attorney can be difficult, but once you meet with us at Hightower Reff Law, you will see for yourself the benefits of our experience and commitment.

Tracy Hightower-Henne

Partner

Susan Reff

Partner

Carrie Gaines

Associate

Tosha Rae Heavican

Associate

Abby Johnson

Associate

Erin Wetzel

Associate

Tara Wrighton

Associate

Tracy Hightower-Henne

Partner

Send Email Connect

Omaha native Tracy Hightower-Henne has a passion for using her legal talents to help others. Together with law partner Susan Reff, Tracy founded Hightower Reff, Omaha’s premier family law and criminal defense law firm, in 2012.

After law school, Tracy worked in the corporate tax world and decided she wanted to spend her time helping families through what can possibly be one of the toughest times in their lives. Tracy represents clients in divorce through complex matters that are most important in the moment, and she is compassionate about making sure her clients are heard.

In 2018, Tracy was awarded the Midlands Business Journal’s prestigious 40 Under 40 award. Tracy is active in the community by supporting young professionals and women in business. Tracy enjoys mentoring young professionals and entrepreneurs both in and out of the firm. She is an alum of both the Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy and the New Leaders Council, class of 2017. Tracy was excited to become a member of the United States Supreme Court in 2019 and will observe any oral argument at the highest court anytime she’s in the capital city. Tracy also sits on the Midwest Innocence Project’s regional Nebraska board which supports inmates requesting review of their cases through DNA testing or other post-conviction means to determine if they have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. In her free time, Tracy loves to read any type of book and scuba dive with all kinds of marine life, but octopus and sea turtles are her favorite to see while under water.

Education

Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Lansing, Michigan
Juris Doctor – 2007

Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Lansing, Michigan
Master of Laws in Taxation – 2008

Doane University
Crete, Nebraska
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration Management

Practice Areas

Divorce & Family Law, Appeals, and Post-Conviction

Certifications

  • Certified by the Office of Dispute Resolution in Basic Mediation and Family Law Mediations
  • Member of the Nebraska Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Certified Collaborative Divorce Attorney
  • Member of the Heartland Women’s Network
  • Awarded AIOFLA 10 Best Family Law Attorney 2019
  • Awarded Midland’s Business Journal Top 40 Under 40

Susan Reff

Partner

Send Email Connect

Founding partner Susan Reff is a skilled criminal law attorney with seven years of intensive experience as a deputy public defender for Douglas County. But her heart lies in advocating for children and families with her specialization in family law.

In 2015, the Nebraska Families Collaborative recognized Susan’s commitment to families in the community by awarding her with their Community Champion for Children and Families distinction.

An active member of the legal community, Susan is a member of the Nebraska Women’s Bar Association, chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Juvenile Law Section and a former member of the Nebraska Bar Leadership Academy.

Education

Creighton University School of Law
Omaha, Nebraska
Juris Doctor – 2001

Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – 1997

Practice Areas

Divorce & Family Law, Criminal Defense, Juvenile Law

Certifications

  • Certified by the Office of Dispute Resolution in Basic Mediation and Family Law Mediation
  • Member of the Nebraska Academy of Collaborative Professionals and certified Collaborative Divorce Attorney
  • Awarded AIOFLA 10 Best Family Law Attorney 2019

Carrie Gaines

Associate

Send Email Connect

Over the course of her career, Carrie has had a wide variety of experiences and has represented clients in many areas of law.   With a general practice background, her expertise has a wide reach.

Carrie is an effective and efficient problem solver and approaches each matter with a uniquely wholistic perspective focusing on providing her clients with the most value possible.

Carrie is licensed in Nebraska, Indiana, various Federal Courts across the country and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  She has taught bankruptcy to undergraduates at Central Illinois University and Ivy Tech State College in Indiana.  She was chosen as a 40 Under 40 award recipient in Northern Indiana in 2008 and received a state of Indiana Pro Bono Award in 2015.

Away from the office Carrie enjoys coffee and spending time with her very busy daughters and her husband.  She is always trying to sneak in a walk, yoga session or a few minutes to read the New Yorker.   She loves hockey and football, always cheering for the Huskers, Notre Dame, the Blackhawks and the Chicago Bears.

Education

The John Marshall Law School

Chicago, IL

Juris Doctor, LLM Intellectual Property – 2001

Saint Mary’s College

Notre Dame, Indiana

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy – 1998

Practice Areas

General Civil Litigation, Bankruptcy, Corporate Law, Estate Planning & Probate Administration, Real Estate, Non-Profit Organizations, Municipal Law, Collections

Certifications

  • Approved by the Nebraska and Indiana Supreme Court as a Juvenile and Probate Court Guardian Ad Litem

 

Tosha Rae Heavican

Associate

Send Email Connect

Tosha Rae has turned her lifelong enthusiasm for helping others into a legal career that’s both professionally successful and personally rewarding. As a court visitor, she has assisted adult disabled persons through the guardianship process and helped families navigate the complicated probate system after the passing of a loved one. She enjoys advising families of all shapes and sizes on estate planning tools they can use to help protect their futures.

With a background in print media and communications, Tosha Rae is passionate about legal writing, review and research, and taught legal writing as an adjunct professor with the College of Saint Mary’s paralegal program.

Tosha Rae was named to the 2017-2018 Nebraska Bar Leadership Academy and enjoys being an active member of both the Nebraska and Iowa bars.

In her off time, Tosha Rae enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She is always cheering on the Huskers, no matter the score, and loves to bake for her family and friends.

Education

University of Nebraska College of Law
Lincoln, Nebraska
Juris Doctor – 2011

Doane University
Crete, Nebraska
Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications – 2007

Practice Areas

Estate Planning & Probate, Business Law, Contracts (including Prenuptial Agreements), Adoptions, Guardianship & Conservatorships

Abby Johnson

Associate

Send Email Connect

Everyone deserves to be fairly represented — that’s what drew Abby Johnson to the field of law. After graduating from law school, Abby worked for Legal Aid of Nebraska in the Lincoln office on the juvenile court contract with the Lancaster County Separate Juvenile Court. There, she represented juveniles and parents in abuse and neglect proceedings and law violation cases. She attended the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Trial Skills training in 2017 to fine tune her trial advocacy skills which is a bonus she brings to the firm. She moved to Omaha in 2017 and began practicing in the area of workers’ compensation in Nebraska and Iowa.

Now a member of the Hightower Reff Law team focusing on workers’ compensation, Abby is admitted to practice in Nebraska and Iowa. She is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and the Omaha Bar Association and is a board member of the Omaha Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.

Education

University of Nebraska College of Law
Lincoln, Nebraska
Juris Doctor

University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
B.A.

Practice Areas

Divorce & Family Law, Workers’ Compensation

Erin Wetzel

Associate

Send Email Connect

Erin’s first position in the legal field shaped the course of her career. After serving two years assisting inmates with legal research as a law clerk at the Douglas County Department of Corrections, she felt called to advocate for clients in the areas of family law, criminal defense and juvenile law.

In July 2017, Erin was awarded the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association’s Donald B. Fiedler Scholarship to attend the two-week National Criminal Defense program, the leading criminal defense trial skills program in the country.

Erin is an active member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and the Chair of its Women and the Law Section. She also belongs to the Omaha Bar Association, the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Education

Creighton University School of Law
Omaha, Nebraska
Juris Doctor – 2012

Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska
Bachelor of Arts in psychology – 2008

Practice Areas

Divorce & Family Law, Criminal Defense, Juvenile Law

Certifications

  • Certified by the Office of Dispute Resolution in Basic Mediation and Family Law Mediation
  • Approved by the Nebraska Supreme Court as a Juvenile and Probate Court Guardian Ad Litem

Tara Wrighton

Associate

Send Email Connect

Since graduating from South Dakota State University with a degree in human development and family studies, Tara has dedicated her career to speaking up for others. She spent five years as a mental health and substance abuse clinician before accepting a position with the State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in child protection. She advocated for children and families for nearly five years with the State of Nebraska before making the decision to attend law school at Creighton University.

Tara served as a law clerk to the Honorable Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, Judge of the Nebraska Douglas County District Court, and is a member of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society. Prior to joining Hightower Reff Law, Tara litigated cases in workers’ compensation, personal injury and family law. Tara is a member of both the Nebraska and Iowa Bar Associations and the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys.

Education

South Dakota State University
Brookings, South Dakota
Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies

Creighton University School of Law
Omaha, Nebraska
Juris Doctor cum laude

Practice Areas

Divorce & Family Law, Workers’ Compensation