Native American

  • March 16, 2017

    Calif. Tribe, Groups Slam DOI In DC Circ. Over Casino

    The Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians and other opponents of a different tribe’s proposed casino have urged the D.C. Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling that backed two U.S. Department of the Interior decisions to approve the project, with the Picayune claiming the agency's top official ignored the potential economic damage to its own casino operation.

  • March 16, 2017

    Sioux Tribe Asks DC Circ. To Halt Dakota Access Oil Flow

    The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe urged the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday to block Dakota Access LLC from letting oil flow through its nearly completed pipeline on a stretch of federal land in North Dakota, a day after a lower court refused an injunction based on the tribe's claims the pipeline would interfere with its exercise of religion.

  • March 16, 2017

    Mich. Judge OKs Tribe's Gambling Deal With State

    A Michigan federal judge on Wednesday approved an agreement between the state of Michigan and the Hannahville Indian Community that will allow the tribe to continue to operate its Island Resort & Casino in the state’s Upper Peninsula under the terms of its old gaming compact.

  • March 16, 2017

    9th Circ. Backs Tribal Right To Water. But How Much?

    A Ninth Circuit ruling backing the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians' right to tap groundwater for their reservation marked a key win for tribes, but experts say the still-unresolved question of how much water tribes may be entitled to in similar disputes may cause them to look for settlements in future water access battles.

  • March 16, 2017

    Clean Energy Takes It On The Chin In Trump Budget Plan

    Clean energy technology development and federal land acquisitions are on the chopping block in slimmed-down U.S. Energy and Interior Departments budgets proposed Thursday by President Donald Trump, though the agencies were spared the draconian cuts proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • March 16, 2017

    Trump Proposes Slashing EPA's Budget By $2.6B

    President Donald Trump on Thursday proposed cutting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by nearly a third, a $2.6 billion reduction that would prompt drastic changes at the EPA and move the agency further from the climate change goals of the previous administration.

  • March 15, 2017

    DOI Plans To Rescind Obama-Era Fracking Rule

    The federal government is planning to take back hydraulic fracturing regulations finalized in 2015 now that Pres. Donald Trump’s administration is in charge, according to a filing Wednesday asking the Tenth Circuit to put off oral arguments at least until the government makes its move.

  • March 15, 2017

    DOI Indian Affairs Deputy Solicitor Rejoins Steptoe

    Steptoe & Johnson LLP on Tuesday announced the return of one of its attorneys who principally focuses on Native American policy and legal matters after he spent the last couple of years serving in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

  • March 15, 2017

    Judge Denies Tribal Status To Frank's Landing For Now

    A Washington federal judge on Wednesday approved the U.S. Department of the Interior’s bid to throw out a suit brought by Frank's Landing Indian Community seeking qualification as a tribe eligible to conduct gambling, saying it doesn’t qualify under current statute but may still seek recognition through administrative procedures.

  • March 15, 2017

    Mich. Tribe Seeks End To Woman's Slip-And-Fall Suit

    The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians pressed a Michigan federal court Monday to rule that it cannot hear a woman’s case challenging a tribal appellate court’s decision to toss her tort claims stemming from an incident in which she fell at a convenience store owned by the tribe.

  • March 15, 2017

    Enviros Fight EPA For Pruitt’s Emails

    The Center for Biological Diversity said Wednesday it has filed an administrative appeal of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny its request for any and all communications to and from new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt since he was confirmed by the Senate.

  • March 15, 2017

    Tribe Can't Halt Dakota Access Oil Flow During Appeal

    A D.C. federal judge refused Tuesday to prevent Dakota Access LLC from letting oil flow through its pipeline on a stretch of federal land in North Dakota while the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe challenges a recent ruling that shot down its attempt to block the pipeline’s operation there.

  • March 15, 2017

    9th Circ. Rules In Tribe’s Favor Over Its Exclusion Of Members

    In a split decision Tuesday, a Ninth Circuit panel affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a challenge from members of the United Auburn Indian Community to a decision that temporarily banned them from tribal land, saying the lower court lacked jurisdiction to review their claim.

  • March 14, 2017

    Michigan Reaches Gambling Deal With Hannahville Tribe

    The state of Michigan and the Hannahville Indian Community filed an agreement with a federal court Tuesday that would allow the tribe to keep operating its casino in the state’s Upper Peninsula under their old gaming compact, after negotiations toward a new compact stalled.

  • March 14, 2017

    10th Circ. Keeps Clamps On New Mexico In Tribal Casino Row

    The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday kept an injunction in place to block New Mexico from punishing third-party vendors that work with the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s casinos, despite the state’s contentions that the tribe’s gaming operations are illegal and the state’s regulation of the vendors doesn’t violate Indian gaming law.

  • March 14, 2017

    Tribe Tells 9th Circ. It Can’t Trust BIA Absent Injunction

    The Northern Arapaho asked the Ninth Circuit Monday to uphold an injunction barring the Bureau of Indian Affairs from entering contracts for services on a shared Wyoming reservation without the consent of both tribes.

  • March 14, 2017

    Feds Say Fla. Tribe Can't Dodge Tax Ruling On Casino Cash

    The federal government urged the Eleventh Circuit on Monday to uphold a lower court ruling that a Miccosukee Tribe of Indians member was responsible for taxes on the tribe's payments to her, saying the lower court rightly found the money was taxable gaming income and that the tribe is bound by the ruling.

  • March 14, 2017

    NM, Navajo Tribe Blast EPA Bid To Duck Gold King Spill Suits

    The state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation on Monday blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s bid to toss their liability suits over the agency’s role in the 2015 Gold King Mine spill, rejecting the contention that the agency has sovereign immunity to claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

  • March 14, 2017

    6 Dems Want EPA OIG To Probe Potential Pruitt Conflicts

    Six House Democrats wrote a letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday asking that it investigate the agency’s conflict of interest policies and procedures in the wake of reports of a close relationship between industry groups and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

  • March 14, 2017

    Tribe Says No Conflict Between Claims, 9th Circ. Water Ruling

    The Havasupai Tribe told a federal judge Monday that there is no conflict between its suit accusing groundwater well owners of illegally depleting an Arizona aquifer that provides water to the tribe and a recent Ninth Circuit decision affirming a lower court’s ruling extending another tribe’s water rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley.

Expert Analysis

  • Law Firm Margin Improvement: The Long Game

    Jack Diggle

    For all the lessons learned since 2008, it's surprising that margin management remains so tactical, rather than an ongoing strategic endeavor, for law firms. The firms that will survive and thrive must invest in ongoing margin-improvement capability, which will combine enhanced business- and change-management skills and take a long-term view to drive out the more difficult changes, says Jack Diggle of Elevate Services Inc.

  • 2017 Check-Up: Is Your Law Firm Positioned For Success?

    William G. Johnston

    Over the next few weeks, a slow trickle of news about one measure of law firm success — law firm financial results — will gradually become a flood as more firms open up about their performance in 2016. Law firm leaders would be wise to focus on nine factors that determine success, says law firm management consultant William Johnston.

  • The Missing Key To 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

    Tripp Haston

    Unlike other forms of commerce and unlike in other nations, litigation investment and funding in the U.S. is largely unregulated with few disclosure requirements. Where darkness exists, ignorance and mistrust breed. Disclosure and transparency in litigation investment and funding is the first and proper step to better understand this opaque dynamic in the U.S. civil justice system, says Tripp Haston of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

  • Opinion

    President Trump's Pipeline Memos Send The Right Message

    John Povilaitis

    Regardless of the final outcome of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects, President Trump’s pipeline memorandums send an appropriate message that failure to timely review and make balanced regulatory decisions on energy project proposals is unacceptable, say John Povilaitis and Alan Seltzer of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • 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.