Native American

  • February 15, 2017

    Conn. Claims Immunity Against Tribe's $610M Suit

    The state of Connecticut urged a state court Tuesday to toss a $610 million lawsuit brought by the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation seeking compensation for the alleged unconstitutional taking of the tribe’s land and mismanagement of its funds, saying the state’s sovereign immunity blocks the suit and it’s not clear the plaintiff has standing to represent the tribe.

  • February 15, 2017

    GAO Targets 34 Areas Of Concern In Federal High Risk List

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a new list of “high risk” federal programs particularly susceptible to fraud, abuse or mismanagement on Wednesday, adding various Native American programs, environmental liabilities and the upcoming census to the list while removing programs for managing terrorism-related information.

  • February 15, 2017

    Standing Rock Says Corps Broke Law With Pipeline OK

    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe asked a D.C. federal court Tuesday to rule that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flouted federal law by giving Dakota Access LLC the final approval needed for its controversial $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline and axing a planned environmental review.

  • February 14, 2017

    House OKs Bill Letting Texas, Okla. Set Red River Land Fate

    Texas and Oklahoma could soon determine their own borders — and the fate of 30,000 acres claimed as federal land — if the Senate takes up a bill the House passed Tuesday to mandate the federal government accept a survey of the Red River commissioned by the states.

  • February 14, 2017

    Tribes Seek Ruling That SD Kept Kids From Families Too Long

    The Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes continued to press a federal judge Monday to hand them a win on their allegation that officials within South Dakota's social services department inadequately trained and supervised staff in a lawsuit challenging the state's handling of custody proceedings involving Native American children.

  • February 14, 2017

    EPA Asks Out Of Navajo, NM Suits Over Gold King Mine Spill

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urged a federal judge Monday to toss liability suits by the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico over the agency’s role in the 2015 Gold King Mine spill, saying it has sovereign immunity to claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

  • February 14, 2017

    Ex-Health Exec Blasts Tribe's Dismissal Bid In FCA Suit

    A former health executive of the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe of Washington asked a federal judge Monday not to toss his False Claims Act suit against the tribe, saying that as a statute of general applicability, the act applies to the tribe in suits brought by or on behalf of the United States.

  • February 14, 2017

    BIA Asks 9th. Circ. To Nix Injunction In Contract Row

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to undo a ruling that blocks the agency from approving contracts for two tribes that share a reservation in Wyoming but lack a confederated government without receiving consent from both, saying it has already committed to doing so.

  • February 14, 2017

    Senate Dems Push To Delay Pruitt Vote, Question Icahn Links

    Democratic members of the Senate Environment Committee on Tuesday pushed to delay a confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying they need to review a pending open records lawsuit against the nominee, while other Senate Democrats demanded more information on Carl Icahn's role in the Trump administration.

  • February 14, 2017

    Utilities Vote To Close Navajo Coal Plant At End Of 2019

    Citing high electricity costs, the owners of the Navajo Generation Station voted on Monday to close the massive coal-fired power plant at the end of 2019, although one owner — the federal government — wants to explore ways to keep the plant open.

  • February 13, 2017

    Some Indian Health Jobs Exempt From Hiring Freeze: HHS

    The acting director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Indian Health Service told Native American leaders in a letter Friday that certain positions in the agency will be exempted from President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze, including those connected with direct patient care.

  • February 13, 2017

    Wash. Tribe Insists Court Can Limit BNSF Oil Shipping

    A Washington state tribal community on Friday continued pressing for a new ruling in a dispute with BNSF Railway Co. over the right to transport large quantities of crude oil across tribal land, challenging the “assumptions” behind the court’s decision that it had no power to enforce the parties’ right-of-way agreement.

  • February 13, 2017

    NCAI President Looks For Trump To Build On Obama Success

    The leader of the National Congress of American Indians urged the Trump administration Monday to work with tribes at a government-to-government level on infrastructure, energy development, tax reform and other issues to build on former President Barack Obama’s strong track record with Indian Country.

  • February 13, 2017

    Tribe Tells 8th Circ. Lower Court Got Pipeline Row Wrong

    Officials for the Three Affiliated Tribes asked the Eighth Circuit on Friday to find that a lower court lacked jurisdiction over Paradigm Energy Partners LLC’s lawsuit seeking to prevent them from interfering with the construction of a pair of pipelines underneath a lake on the tribes' reservation in North Dakota.

  • February 13, 2017

    Agent In Tribal Relics Sting Wins 10th Circ. Suicide Row

    The Tenth Circuit in a precedential ruling Monday declined to revive an excessive force claim that a doctor's estate brought against a federal agent after the doctor committed suicide not long after being arrested amid an investigation into Native American artifact trafficking.

  • February 13, 2017

    Cheyenne Lose Emergency Bid To Halt Dakota Access Drilling

    A D.C. federal judge refused Monday to halt construction and drilling on the recently approved final stage of the Dakota Access pipeline, rejecting the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s plea for a temporary restraining order to ostensibly protect a religiously and culturally significant lake.

  • February 13, 2017

    Oglala Sioux Push For Dakota Access Pipeline Enviro Report

    The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit in D.C. federal court Saturday to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete an environmental review that fully analyzes the impacts of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline on the tribe’s treaty rights.

  • February 13, 2017

    South Dakota, Tribe Seek Quick Wins In Casino Tax Suit

    The state of South Dakota and the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe both sought quick wins in federal court Friday in a tax dispute, with the state arguing that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act doesn’t preempt the collection of a use tax on purchases by those who aren't members of the tribe.

  • February 10, 2017

    Stay Of Embezzlement Suit Mulled As Criminal Case Proceeds

    The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and a handful of entities it targeted in a massive lawsuit accusing former tribal officials of a wide-reaching embezzlement scheme argued Thursday against the ex-officials’ bid to completely pause the suit while related criminal charges against some of them are resolved.

  • February 10, 2017

    NM Judge Won't Restrain State In Tribal Gambling Row

    A New Mexico federal judge on Thursday rejected a bid by the Pueblo of Pojoaque to restore an injunction preventing the state from issuing citations to third-party vendors doing business with the Pueblo in the absence of a tribal-state gambling compact, saying the federally recognized tribe wasn’t likely to win its Tenth Circuit appeal of the judge’s decision to lift the injunction.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Trump Should Establish Undersecretary For Indian Affairs

    Brian Gunn

    The Obama administration opposed establishing an undersecretary for Indian affairs despite longtime Indian country support and bipartisan support in Congress. The Bureau of Indian Affairs currently lacks a meaningful voice in major policy and funding decisions, but an undersecretary would correct a decades-old power imbalance within the U.S. Department of the Interior, says Brian Gunn of Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC.

  • Strengthening EPA Water Transfers Rule At The 2nd Circ.

    Ronda L. Sandquist

    In Catskill Mountains Chapter of Trout Unlimited v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Second Circuit issued a highly anticipated ruling confirming the legality of the EPA's water transfers rule. The decision is significant in that it strongly reinforces the legality of the rule and offers additional assurance to water providers that employ or intend to develop water transfers, say attorneys with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • Can Federal Agencies Reverse Course Under Trump?

    Steven D. Gordon

    The next four years will see litigation that explores the extent to which the Trump administration can alter or reverse the regulatory policies of the Obama administration without having to enact new legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court has recently made clear that there are fewer limits to an agency changing course than had previously been thought, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Trump Will Likely Hinder Federal Recognition For Tribes

    Ryan A. Smith

    If history is any guide and President Donald Trump is consistent with Republican policies, the Trump administration will likely roll back several of the Obama's administration's polices and regulations that have made it easier for Native American tribes to gain federal recognition, say Ryan Smith and Michael Smith of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP

  • Opinion

    The Myth Of The Forceful Mediator

    Jeff Kichaven

    When mediators rely on force to get cases settled, it doesn’t work. It’s time to suggest more productive ways for top-gun litigators and top-flight mediators to engage, says Jeff Kichaven of Jeff Kichaven Commercial Mediation.

  • Sue-per Bowl Shuffle: The Year In NFL IP Litigation — Part 1

    David Kluft

    I always worry about what will happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asks me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those intellectual property lawsuits IP lawyers are supposed to know about. This article is my solution — a summary of gridiron IP disputes since the last Super Bowl, says David Kluft of Foley Hoag LLP.

  • Opinion

    Love And Law In The Age Of Trump

    Kevin Curnin

    Love is not a subject that lawyers typically devote themselves to professionally. But as we witness this historic transition to a new administration, lawyers in particular are reminded that love is tied, however imperfectly, to our cherished founding ideals, says Kevin Curnin, president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • In Congress: More Cabinet, High Court


    Congressional activity this week is likely to be overshadowed by the president’s expected announcement of a Supreme Court nominee on Thursday, initiating a confirmation process that will consume a great deal of Senate time in the weeks ahead, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • The State Of The Litigation Finance Industry In 2017

    Christopher P. Bogart

    In the United States, the number of lawyers whose firms have used litigation finance has quadrupled since 2013. Even so, too many remain poorly informed, leaving them at a competitive disadvantage and prone to oddly persistent “alternative facts” about litigation finance, says Christopher Bogart, CEO of Burford Capital.

  • Understanding Trump Pipeline Memo On US-Sourced Materials

    James Bowe, Jr.

    Among the executive orders and presidential memoranda focused on pipeline projects that President Donald Trump signed on Monday was one that called for any future pipeline work to use "materials and equipment produced in the United States." The memorandum provides some interpretive guidance, but leaves other important terms unclear, say attorneys from King & Spalding LLP.