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Native American

  • October 22, 2018

    9th Circ. Stands Firm On $64M Tax Rulings Against Tribal Co.

    The Ninth Circuit on Monday declined to rethink two rulings that found a Native American tobacco company liable for some $58 million in excise taxes and $6 million in fees.

  • October 22, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Rejects Bid For PTAB Tribal Immunity Rehearing

    The full Federal Circuit on Monday said it won't reconsider a panel’s ruling that tribes can face Patent Trial and Appeal Board scrutiny, likely paving the way for one of the court’s closest-watched cases to head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • October 22, 2018

    Tribe Accuses Mich. Of Using 'Rules Of Their Own Invention'

    An American Indian community and Michigan officials have filed competing motions in federal court seeking quick wins in a suit over the state's tax authority, with the community saying Michigan was applying “legally incorrect rules of their own invention” and the officials saying the community relied on inapplicable law.

  • October 22, 2018

    Gov'ts Must Link Patient Data To Prescriptions In Opioid MDL

    A special master on Sunday said that local governments suing drugmakers over the opioid crisis in multidistrict litigation should provide opioid manufacturers with patient data for opioid prescriptions, along with other information, so that the companies can match the information in other databases.

  • October 22, 2018

    Okla. Tells Justices Congress 'Destroyed' Tribal Authority

    Oklahoma has pressed the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's reservation no longer exists in a case involving the state court murder conviction of a Creek citizen, saying Congress intended to "dismantle" the Creek and other Oklahoma tribes and "destroyed" their land ownership in order to create the state.

  • October 22, 2018

    Native, Animal Groups Launch Privacy-Based Climate Suit

    A Native American women’s green group and an animal rights organization sued the federal government Monday, alleging its actions on a host of environmental issues have exacerbated climate change and violated U.S. citizens’ right to privacy under the Constitution.

  • October 22, 2018

    NCAI Puts Exec On Leave Amid Hostile Workplace Claims

    The National Congress of American Indians announced Saturday that tribal leaders had placed the organization’s executive director on leave amid calls for an investigation into reports of a hostile workplace and sexual harassment, weeks after the departure of the organization’s long-serving counsel.

  • October 19, 2018

    3 States Say Controversial Water Rule Infringes Their Rights

    Three states told a Texas federal court that an Obama administration rule that broadened the reach of the Clean Water Act and was widely contested by other states and industry groups should be thrown out, saying it conflicts with Supreme Court precedent, the intent of the law and infringes on states’ rights.

  • October 19, 2018

    Trump Looks To Ease Burdens On Western Water Projects

    President Donald Trump on Friday directed two federal agencies to look for ways to make it easier for developers to complete water infrastructure projects in California, Washington and Oregon, including streamlining procedures that are in place to protect the environment and endangered species.

  • October 19, 2018

    CashCall Owes $200M For Loan Scheme, CFPB Tells 9th Circ.

    The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a lower court order and force CashCall Inc. to cough up more than $200 million for bilking consumers on high-interest payday loans, saying the company escaped with just a $10 million fine because a federal judge wrongly decided the company didn't have to pay restitution.

  • October 19, 2018

    Ex-Tribe Head's Testimony Shows Lack Of Reservation: Mich.

    Michigan told a federal court to deny a bid from The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to trim claims in a suit seeking recognition of its boundaries, saying testimony from the former tribe chairman supports that a 1994 law was not intended to reaffirm the borders of the reservation prior to the 1870s.

  • October 19, 2018

    EPA Withdraws Obama-Era Uranium Mining Safety Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday withdrew an Obama-era proposal for new health and environmental protection regulations for uranium ore extraction that would have required stricter groundwater quality and monitoring standards.

  • October 19, 2018

    Texas Foster Care Would Imperil Indian Children, Tribes Say

    Four Native American tribes pressed a Texas federal judge Friday to put a hold on his ruling that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional, saying that a Fifth Circuit decision the previous day showed that putting Indian children in the state’s foster care system would expose them to “severe risk of sexual and other abuse."

  • October 19, 2018

    Ex-Google Exec's Co. Can't Arbitrate Tribal Payday Loan Suit

    A Washington federal judge has denied a bid by a former Google executive's financial technology company and a tribal corporation through which his fintech firm ran a payday lending business to force into arbitration a suit over exorbitant interest rates, ruling that arbitration clauses in agreements borrowers signed are invalid.

  • October 18, 2018

    Allergan Must Produce CEO’s Tribal Patent Docs In MDL

    A New York federal judge has ordered Allergan to produce documents from the files its CEO and other senior executives on a deal that transferred patents to a Native American tribe for plaintiffs in multidistrict litigation accusing the drugmaker of illegally delaying a generic version of its dry-eye medication Restasis.

  • October 18, 2018

    Va., Ind. Residents Say Tribal Lender Skirted State Usury Laws

    Virginia and Indiana residents have hit MobiLoans LLC with a proposed class action to stop it from allegedly circumventing state usury laws to make loans to needy consumers at triple-digit interest rates.

  • October 18, 2018

    Wash. Tells Justices Tribal Right Isn't Violated By Fuel Tax

    The Washington State Department of Licensing told the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling in favor of a tribal fuel distributor, saying a fuel tax does not violate the Yakama Nation’s right to travel on public highways and the company read a tribal treaty right too broadly while mischaracterizing state law.

  • October 18, 2018

    $2.6M Atty Fee Cut Upheld In Tribal Land Buyback Suit

    The D.C. Circuit has upheld a $2.6 million attorneys' fee reduction against a lawyer who successfully represented tribes in a class action leading to a $1.9 billion land buyback program, finding the court did not abuse its discretion by electing a different fee calculation rate than the one proposed by the lawyer.

  • October 18, 2018

    Tribes Scoff At States' Urgency In Child Welfare Case

    A group of four Native American tribes has pressed a Texas federal judge to put the brakes on his recent decision that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional, saying worries by Texas and two other states about delays while the ruling is appealed don’t hold water since the law has already been around for 40 years.

  • October 18, 2018

    Enviros Sue Trump Admin. Over Border Wall Exemptions

    A coalition of environmental groups filed suit in D.C. federal court on Thursday against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security accusing it of improperly waiving a slew of laws and environmental protections so it can build 24.6 miles of border wall in two counties in Texas.

Expert Analysis

  • Tax Decisions Bring Challenges And Opportunities To Tribes

    Rob Roy Smith

    In the wake of U.S. v. Jim in the Eleventh Circuit and South Dakota v. Wayfair in the U.S. Supreme Court, Native American tribes should takes steps to protect their rights under the general welfare exclusion and assert their sovereignty to impose new sales taxes, says Rob Roy Smith of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Is It Time For A Challenge To Chevron Deference?

    Joseph Diedrich

    In a recent concurring opinion, outgoing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed some skepticism over the scope of the "Chevron deference" doctrine, which requires federal courts to defer to an administrative agency’s "reasonable" interpretation of an ambiguous statute. Overturning or limiting Chevron could have a profound effect on the power of federal agencies, says Joseph Diedrich of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Limiting Law Firms' Professional Liability Risks: Part 3

    Stuart Pattison

    As clients increasingly look to limit their own liability exposure, they can reasonably expect that their retained counsel should do the same. In this context, a carefully crafted, thoughtfully presented engagement letter can help a law firm strike a successful balance between protecting itself and preserving a client relationship, say Stuart Pattison and John Muller of Sompo International Holdings Ltd.

  • New Stats On Millennial Attorney Disciplinary Actions

    Jean Edwards

    In this analysis of disciplinary action trends in the legal industry, Edwards Neils LLC managing member Jean Edwards examines data provided by bar organizations for 17 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Limiting Law Firms' Professional Liability Risks: Part 2

    Stuart Pattison

    With law firms increasingly exposed to professional liability risks associated with their corporate client relationships, firms must craft well-structured client engagement letters to help protect against malpractice claims. Two key elements of an engagement letter are how it defines the scope of engagement and how it handles conflicts of interest, say Stuart Pattison and John Muller of Sompo International Holdings Ltd.

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: Prioritizing Is Always Key

    Joe Lieberman

    Today, members of Congress often seem able to blame colleagues of the other party for not getting anything done for their constituents. In law practice, you can’t really blame a bad result for your clients on the lawyers on the other side, says former Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.

  • Limiting Law Firms' Professional Liability Risks: Part 1

    Stuart Pattison

    Corporate law departments are increasingly demanding more concessions from outside legal counsel, and presenting engagement letters that open the door to greater professional and cyber liability exposure for law firms — often beyond the scope of their insurance coverage. Firms must add their own language to engagement letters to limit liability, say Stuart Pattison and John Muller of Sompo International Holdings Ltd.

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: How Congress Affected My Career

    Yvonne B. Burke

    Being a former member of Congress put me in an advantageous position when I approached law firms in the late '70s, at a time when there were few female lawyers, and even fewer African-American lawyers, in major law firms, says former Rep. Yvonne B. Burke, D-Calif., a director of Amtrak.

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: DC Isn't As Bad As You Think

    Norm Coleman

    Popular culture paints the Hill as a place teeming with intrigue, corruption and malicious intent. But in Congress I learned important lessons about respecting people and the work they do, says former Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., of Hogan Lovells.

  • Series

    From Lawmaker To Lawyer: 6 Things I Learned In Congress

    Charles Gonzalez

    I found that senior members of Congress didn’t have time to mentor younger members. Lawyers — though just as busy as members of Congress — cannot afford to follow this model, says former Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas, of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.