Native American

  • March 8, 2017

    Tribe's Enviro Review Fight Falls Short, Dakota Access Says

    Dakota Access LLC has blasted the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's bid to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers final approval of the company's controversial oil pipeline, telling a D.C. federal judge Tuesday the tribe is making baseless procedural claims simply because it's unhappy with the decision.

  • March 8, 2017

    Arapaho Tribe Can’t Halt BIA-Established Court

    A Montana federal judge on Tuesday denied the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s bid to restrict a court the Bureau of Indian of Affairs instituted on a reservation it shares with another tribe from interfering with its own tribal court, saying that the requested relief falls beyond the scope of the tribe’s complaints in the consolidated action.

  • March 8, 2017

    DOI Says Calif. County Can't Upend Tribal Casino Land Ruling

    The U.S. Department of the Interior urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to uphold a lower court ruling backing the department’s decision to take land into trust for the Mechoopda Indian Tribe’s casino project, saying the DOI didn’t disregard evidence submitted by a California county that opposes the casino.

  • March 7, 2017

    Water Agency Can’t Revive Challenge To Tribal-Land Tax Rule

    The Ninth Circuit held Tuesday that a California water agency was not injured by a federal regulation it argued might keep it from collecting certain taxes and fees from non-Indians who lease reservation lands, affirming the toss of the agency’s challenge.

  • March 7, 2017

    Tenn. Judge Nixes Native Groups' Suit Over State Recognition

    A Tennessee federal judge on Monday tossed a suit by three Native American groups claiming the state violated their constitutional rights by reneging on a state commission's decision to recognize them as tribes, saying Tennessee hadn't waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity to those claims.

  • March 7, 2017

    Feds Try To Nix Cherokee Nation's Suit Seeking FCA Action

    Four federal agencies asked a D.C. federal court Monday to toss the Cherokee Nation’s “scattershot allegations” against them in a suit seeking to force the federal government to bring False Claims Act litigation on the tribe’s behalf for purported health care fraud, calling the allegations “fundamentally flawed.”

  • March 7, 2017

    Sioux Tribe Rebuffed On Religious Bid To Block Pipeline

    A D.C. federal judge on Tuesday rejected the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s bid to block operation of the Dakota Access pipeline on federal land in North Dakota, saying the tribe likely won't be able to show that the federal government interfered with its exercise of religion by allowing the project to go forward.

  • March 7, 2017

    9th Circ. Upholds Calif. Tribe's Groundwater Rights

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court ruling extending the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ water rights to groundwater in the Coachella Valley, saying the federal government set those rights aside for the tribe when it created its reservation.

  • March 6, 2017

    Tribe, Enviros Seek En Banc Review Of Water Transfer Ruling

    A Native American tribe, several states and a slew of environmental groups on Monday asked the Second Circuit to grant en banc review of a panel decision that revived a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule exempting some water transfers from Clean Water Act review.

  • March 6, 2017

    Calif. Tribal Faction Says BIA Was Wrong To Reverse Ruling

    A faction of a California tribe urged a federal court Friday to grant it summary judgment in its suit challenging a Bureau of Indian Affairs ruling that the tribe had to be reorganized, saying the agency wrongly reversed a previous BIA decision and opened the door for a rival faction within the tribe to assert power.

  • March 6, 2017

    Tribal Court Can't Subpoena AmEx For Records, Group Says

    The Seminole tribal court has overstepped its jurisdiction by ordering American Express to hand over private financial information of a group of people associated with a Florida energy company that’s accused of breach of contract in an underlying tribunal proceeding, the group said in a complaint filed Friday in Florida federal court.

  • March 6, 2017

    BIA Beats Enviro's Suit Over Approval Of Wind Farm Lease

    A California federal judge freed the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Monday from a conservation group's lawsuit claiming the agency flouted environmental law when approving a lease between a wind farm developer and a tribe despite the risk to golden eagles and other migratory birds.

  • March 6, 2017

    Texas, Tribe Press For Quick Wins In Bingo Battle

    The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and the state battled in federal court filings Friday over the gambling machines the tribe furnishes at its East Texas facility, with the tribe contending it’s offering legal electronic bingo and the state claiming the games meet the definition of an illegal lottery.

  • March 3, 2017

    DOI Urges Justices To Reject Attack On Cowlitz Land Ruling

    The government has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a challenge to its decision to take land into trust for a Washington tribe’s casino project, saying the tribe’s members fit the federal definition of “Indian” even though the tribe was formally recognized nearly 70 years after an ostensible cutoff date.

  • March 3, 2017

    NLRB Has Authority Over Calif. Tribal Casino, 9th Circ. Told

    The National Labor Relations Board has urged the Ninth Circuit to reject a California tribal casino’s bid to overturn a board decision that the casino can't stop employees from handing out union leaflets in guest areas, saying the casino counts as an employer under the NLRB’s governing statute.

  • March 3, 2017

    Nooksack Council Looks To Sink RICO Suit By Members

    Nooksack Tribal Council members urged a Washington federal judge Thursday to toss claims against them by several tribe members seeking to stave off disenrollment, saying the members’ suit is part of a long-running dispute within the tribe that doesn’t belong in federal court.

  • March 3, 2017

    Alaska Native Corp. Says Relator Took Privileged Docs

    An Alaska Native corporation urged a federal court on Wednesday to toss a False Claims Act suit by a would-be whistleblower accusing the company of abusing a Small Business Administration contracting program for disadvantaged groups through "sham" subsidiaries, saying the relator tainted the case “beyond repair" by allegedly taking privileged documents.

  • March 3, 2017

    Okla. Tribe Says Fracking-Linked Quakes Damaged Buildings

    The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit in its tribal court Friday accusing two oil companies' fracking operations of triggering a recent record-breaking earthquake in the state that caused “extensive damage” to tribal government buildings.

  • March 3, 2017

    Tideland Owners Can't Duck Fishing Plan Dispute With Tribe

    A Washington federal judge on Thursday shot down a tideland owner’s bid for a quick win in a dispute with the Skokomish Indian Tribe over a fishing plan, saying evidence indicates the tribe has yet to receive its share of a shellfish harvest despite exercising its treaty rights.

  • March 2, 2017

    Sioux Slam Terror ‘Ruse’ Behind Bid To Shield Pipeline Docs

    Two Sioux tribes urged a D.C. federal judge Wednesday not to block the release of documents Dakota Access LLC claimed could be used by terrorists to target its controversial pipeline, saying the company is trying to shield “deeply flawed” documents addressing the risk of an oil spill from the project.

Expert Analysis

  • 6 Ways To Get More From A Limited Budget For Trial Graphics


    With so many possibilities and variables, it can be difficult to adhere to a strict graphics budget when preparing effective visuals for trial. There are several things you can do to limit the cost of your visuals without sacrificing quality, says Marti Martin Robinson of Litigation Insights Inc.

  • Native American Recognition In Newfoundland: Part 2

    Stephen M. Anstey

    Applicants seeking membership to the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band are evaluated by an unforgiving point system, which makes it especially difficult for those living outside Newfoundland to gain Qalipu status. Placing such a significant weight on geographic location is problematic, says Stephen Anstey of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Native American Recognition In Newfoundland: Part 1

    Stephen M. Anstey

    On Jan. 31, tens of thousands of applicants expect to be denied membership to the Qalipu Mi'kmaq First Nation Band because they do not meet the now stringent membership criteria. Applicants' concerns include heightened and sometimes double standards, the unforgiving point system and the composition of the enrollment committee, says Stephen Anstey of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • Inside High Court Argument On Offensive Trademarks

    Ann Dunn Wessberg

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lee v. Tam to decide whether the Trademark Act’s prohibition on registering “disparaging” marks violates the First Amendment. The court heaped a good deal of skepticism toward both sides, perhaps a little more against the government, says Ann Dunn Wessberg, chairwoman of Fredrikson & Byron PA's trademark group and former chief trademark counsel for Target.

  • How Litigation Funding Is Bringing Champerty Back To Life

    John H. Beisner

    While some courts have declined to apply the common-law doctrine of champerty to invalidate third-party litigation funding agreements, two recent rulings by appellate courts in New York and Pennsylvania have brought renewed attention to champerty principles, casting doubts on the legality of certain forms of third-party litigation funding, say John Beisner and Jordan Schwartz of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Attracting And Retaining The Millennial Lawyer

    Christopher Imperiale

    Instead of trying to change the new workforce to follow a law firm's existing processes and procedures, perhaps it's time for firms to start changing their processes and procedures to better accommodate the mentality of this next generation of lawyers, says Christopher Imperiale, a law firm adviser with Berdon LLP.

  • A Look At The Next 4 Years In Indian Affairs

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    The three previous Republican administrations can be characterized by negative views about federal public lands and federal trust responsibility to Indians and tribes. If more of the same can be expected from the new administration, Indian tribes will have to play defense against federal interventions in their affairs, says Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • It’s Time To Change The Law Firm Business Model

    Lucia Chiocchio

    Every year, statistics reveal very little change in the number of women and minorities in the ranks of partnership. So how do law firms change this painfully slow rate of progress? It takes more than adding a diversity policy or a women’s leadership program to the current law firm business model, says Lucia Chiocchio, co-chair of Cuddy & Feder LLP's telecommunications and land use, zoning & development groups.

  • Tribal Treaty Rights And Public Interest: Showdown In ND

    Lael Echo-Hawk

    Following the Obama administration's refusal to issue a required permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, the matter is far from resolved. However, regardless of the ultimate outcome, the world is now better educated about Native American issues, and the government has shown a willingness to fulfill its legal obligations, says Lael Echo-Hawk of Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP.

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveals that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.