Native American

  • 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.

  • March 2, 2017

    Seminoles Say Fla. Gambling Bills Cut Into $3B Compact

    The Seminole Tribe of Florida has expressed its opposition to two gambling bills currently pending in the state Legislature that would affect the $3 billion compact negotiated with the state and said they might violate federal law.

  • March 2, 2017

    9th Circ. Not Hooked By Wash. Bid To Rehear Salmon Row

    Washington’s request that the Ninth Circuit reconsider its decision ordering the state to replace roughly 1,000 culverts to protect tribal salmon fishing rights didn’t fare well Thursday, with the judges amending their opinion merely to reject arguments the motion raised, including claims that the federal government should help cover replacement costs.

  • March 2, 2017

    SD Senator Floats Bill To Audit Indian Health Service

    U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., has proposed a bill to require a thorough and independent audit of the Indian Health Service, saying the care provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency has “reached crisis level.”

  • March 2, 2017

    4 Top Tribal Concerns As Zinke Takes Charge Of DOI

    Former Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke brings a short yet solid record working with Indian Country to his role as the newly confirmed secretary of the interior, but attorneys for Native American tribes will be watching how the Republican tackles federal land management, budget restrictions, energy projects and other issues as the Trump administration moves forward. Here are four key areas to keep an eye on as Zinke takes the reins at the DOI.

  • March 2, 2017

    Tribe Gets Emergency Injunction In NM Casinos Suit

    The Tenth Circuit on Wednesday granted the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s emergency bid to restore an injunction that blocks New Mexico from punishing third-party vendors for working with the tribe's casinos, but said the order is only temporary.

  • March 2, 2017

    Ohio Men Get Prison For Digging Up Native American Remains

    Two Ohio residents have been sentenced to prison time for digging up and trafficking the remains of Native Americans, in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the U.S. Department of Justice said in an announcement on Wednesday.

  • March 1, 2017

    Scalia's Hand Guides Trump's Rollback Of Obama Water Rule

    President Donald Trump’s executive order calling for a review of a controversial Obama-era water rule draws inspiration from one of Trump’s favorite jurists, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and lights a path for new or revised regulations that experts say could significantly scale back the federal government’s Clean Water Act permitting jurisdiction.

  • March 1, 2017

    Hogan Lovells Adds Environmental Partner In DC

    Hogan Lovells added an attorney with longtime experience working in government at top-level jobs, handling a range of issues from public land management to water infrastructure as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, where she will join the firm’s environmental law practice and also spend time on Native American law.

  • March 1, 2017

    9th Circ. Won't Rethink Tribal Enrollment Dispute

    The Ninth Circuit said Tuesday it would not rethink upholding a win for the federal government in a dispute brought by the descendants of a Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians member who sought to fight the denial of their applications for enrollment in the tribe and for increases in recorded blood degree.

  • March 1, 2017

    NM Pueblo Says State Actions Risk Shutting Down Its Casinos

    The Pueblo of Pojoaque told the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday that its bid last week to quickly restore an injunction to block New Mexico from punishing third-party vendors for working with the tribe's casinos is now an emergency, saying the state gaming control board has since threatened its major vendors with millions of dollars in fines.

  • March 1, 2017

    Money Centers Ch. 11 Court Says Tribes Out Of Jurisdiction

    A Delaware bankruptcy court found Tuesday it lacks jurisdiction over several Native American casinos that were targeted for avoidance actions in cash access provider Money Centers of America Inc.'s Chapter 11 proceeding.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Avoiding The Hidden Costs Of Bargain-Priced E-Discovery

    Michael Cousino

    Many organizations are interested in finding electronic discovery partners who offer tantalizingly low prices for electronic discovery services. However, unforeseen gaps, lax security practices, ignorance of global practices and delayed deliverables can all add up to a surprisingly large final cost, says Michael Cousino of Epiq Systems.

  • Native American Cases To Watch In 2017

    Thomas F. Gede

    The current eight-member U.S. Supreme Court will examine two Native American cases early this year, and may hear additional cases following the confirmation of a ninth justice. Thomas Gede of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP discusses the most important cases to pay attention to, including Lewis v. Clarke and Lee v. Tam.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Breath At A Time: Mindfulness In The Law

    Jennifer Gibbs

    As critical as lawyers are to society, they are reported to be the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States. In response to the inherently stressful nature of the practice of law, more and more lawyers are turning to an ancient contemplative practice called “mindfulness,” says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Understanding How Blockchain Could Impact Legal Industry

    R. Douglas Vaughn

    Blockchain is essentially a computerized public ledger that can apply to almost anything that a person might save into a database or spreadsheet. This versatile technology may enhance the legal industry by providing an improved record keeping system, setting up "smart contracts" and tracking intellectual property and land records, say R. Douglas Vaughn and Anna Outzen of Deutsch Kerrigan LLP.

  • Bishop Criteria: The Future Of Indian Water Settlements

    Ryan A. Smith

    After decades of negotiation, the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana has successfully moved its water settlement through the House of Representatives, thanks in part to the new "Bishop Criteria" for Indian water settlement legislation. Although the new process is difficult and exacting, it nonetheless provides a path where none existed before, says Ryan Smith of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • The Path Forward For Industrial Hemp In Indian Country

    Michael D. Reif

    Historically, the legality of growing industrial hemp has been complicated by the commodity's classification as a Schedule 1 drug. As the movement for national legalization marches on, tribes interested in growing hemp should take steps to ensure that they do not lose ground relative to non-Indian farmers, says Michael Reif of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • 2016 Environmental Case Law Highlights: Part 3

    Anthony B. Cavender

    The final article in this series reviews some of the most significant environmental cases of 2016 decided in the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as several state supreme courts. Anyone who reads these cases will be impressed by the painstaking approach these courts apply to some of the most vexing and complicated cases on their dockets, says Anthony Cavender of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.