Judge Slams Interior Dept. In Oil Royalty Case

Law360, New York (January 31, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- A federal judge has lambasted the Department of Interior for dragging its feet in explaining what happened to billions of dollars in royalties owed to Native American landowners.

In his 135-page ruling handed down Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Robertson said the federal government agency had “unreasonably delayed” the completion of the accounting and had failed to make amends for its breach of duty to more than 500,000 landowners owed energy royalties.

But the judge, who presided over a 10-day bench trial in October 2007 and...
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