The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit and protests over the Dakota Access pipeline dominated headlines in the latter half of 2016, but a D.C. Circuit ruling on the government’s land-into-trust process and U.S. Supreme Court decisions on tribal court authority, taxation and the use of tribal convictions in federal domestic violence prosecutions also made major marks this year.
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contractor working at the Gold King Mine the day 3 million gallons of chemicals were released asked a New Mexico federal judge Friday to dismiss a complaint by the Navajo Nation, arguing it was not liable because the EPA, not the contractor, was in charge.
An association of trademark holders on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to find a rock band’s “offensive” trademark is commercial speech that should be subjected to lower scrutiny in a case that could set precedent for controversial trademarks including that of the Washington Redskins.
North Dakota’s new Republican governor spoke out in support of the Dakota Access pipeline on his first day in office Thursday, calling on President Barack Obama’s administration to grant an easement needed to finish the project and saying the federal government should reimburse the state $17 million in costs caused by “unjustified political delays.”
The federal government urged a Wyoming federal court Thursday to reject a bid by states and industry groups to block implementation of a new Bureau of Land Management rule aimed at limiting the release of methane from drilling operations on federal and Native American lands.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs retaliated against and removed a whistleblowing employee after he angered Colorado's Southern Ute Indian Tribe by pointing out that some of its oil and gas lease agreements flouted both the agency’s regulations and environmental statutes, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Thursday following an investigation.
A Montana tribe has thrown its weight behind the U.S. Forest Service's plans to allow logging on national forest land in Montana, telling the Ninth Circuit that environmental reviews of the project's effects on the local lynx population could harm the tribe's future access to the forest.
"Widespread corruption" has been discovered during numerous probes that centered on the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s contract with the Chippewa Cree Tribe to plan and build a rural water system in Montana, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s watchdog.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Thursday asked a federal judge to sanction the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for filing a bid for an extension to their expert disclosure deadline, arguing the tribe always had all the necessary information to timely make the disclosures.
Florida pressed a federal judge on Wednesday to revise a ruling that held the Seminole Tribe of Florida can keep offering card games such as blackjack and baccarat for the remainder of a gambling deal it made with the state, arguing that the ruling conflicted with state and federal law and with evidence presented at trial.
Environmental, community and tribal advocates implored the Ninth Circuit to overturn a ruling that federal and state agencies took no shortcuts on environmental reviews when approving a Phoenix-area highway project, maintaining Wednesday that the agencies flouted the National Environmental Policy Act.
The driver of a Mohegan Tribe-owned limousine urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to uphold a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that he shared the tribe’s sovereign immunity to a state tort suit by a Connecticut couple over an off-reservation car accident, or find that he had official immunity to the suit.
A Montana contractor and his construction company denied charges that they conspired to file false claims with a federal agency that had given millions to the Chippewa Cree Tribe in relief after a flood damaged a tribal health clinic.
The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin have received a $78.85 million senior secured credit facility from CIT Bank NA for a new gaming and travel plaza and a handful of other projects, according to an announcement from CIT Group Inc. on Wednesday.
President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday officially said he planned to nominate Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, saying the ex-U.S. Navy SEAL would help roll back regulations and spur resource development.
A California federal judge on Tuesday nixed the remaining claim asserted against the federal government by an activist group challenging the construction of a tribe's $400 million casino near San Diego, saying the group's National Environmental Policy Act claim failed as a matter of law.
The Alaska Federation of Natives and 18 states are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit and strike down critical habitat designations for the polar bear, saying the circuit’s ”expansive” reading of the Endangered Species Act needlessly threatens industry, jobs, state sovereignty and the traditional way of life for many Alaska Natives.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe urged a Montana federal judge Tuesday to rule that its proposals to operate a tribal court and offer counseling services under federally funded contracts must be deemed approved, claiming the Bureau of Indian Affairs improperly rejected the proposals amid a battle with another tribe that shares its Wyoming reservation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday finalized a rule extending the life of permits granted to kill bald or golden eagles at wind energy projects, electric utilities and timber operations from five to 30 years, the second time the agency has attempted the action.
The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday ordered a lower court to dismiss a proposed class action alleging a Native American tribe-owned restaurant’s receipts did not properly truncate credit card expiration dates, saying the customers lacked standing and showed no actual injury.
Lawyers often use analytics in the course of an e-discovery review for production, where these tools help them assign documents into buckets such as “relevant” or “privileged.” Increasingly, lawyers are using analytics to see if there is anything unusual within the collection and if there are stories the documents can tell, say Thomas Gricks, Bayu Hardi and Mark Noel of Catalyst Repository Systems.
For young trial associates who want to evolve into young trial lawyers, getting the necessary experience is increasingly challenging. The only surefire way associates can become first chair advocates is through effective mentoring, and the best way to achieve effective mentoring is to incorporate it in your approach to cases, say Stephen Crain and Drew Taggart of Bracewell LLP.
It is natural in an environment like the White House, particularly for lawyers who have an active interest in public life, to wish to be in every conversation, on any topic, of general interest or major importance. It is a trap, says Perkins Coie LLP partner Robert Bauer, who served as White House counsel for President Barack Obama.
The day after Barack Obama was elected our 44th president, President Bush gathered the White House staff and made clear that the work of his administration during its final two months would be defined by whatever was necessary to help President-elect Obama and his team succeed. It was perhaps the most critical event of the transition, say Gregory Craig, who was White House counsel for President Obama, and Michael Scudder, who was g... (continued)
On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, I stood on the Oval Office porch and watched as Marine One landed on the South Lawn, bringing President Bush home. The president decided immediately that the attacks that morning placed America on a war footing against a nonstate actor. This generated a number of unique and complex legal issues for me, says Alberto Gonzales, who served as White House counsel for President George W. Bush.
Every day, it seemed that virtually the entire day was spent trying to shape the news. Balancing the media day-to-day with the need for strategic planning requires staff to stay in their positions rather than congregate around the ball. Yet the impulse to run to the action is as tempting in the White House as on the soccer field, says C. Boyden Gray, who served as White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush.
I was given immediate responsibility for responding to the Iran-Contra crisis. My problem as a lawyer was what to do about all the requests for files, documents and other information that were coming in from investigators. Ultimately, it came down to this: What do I believe about my client? says Peter Wallison, who served as White House counsel for President Ronald Reagan.
The experience of preparing for the 1981 air traffic controller strike brought home to me the responsibility a lawyer owes to his or her client — be it an average citizen, a corporation or a president, says Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP partner Fred Fielding, who served as White House counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Results from a recent International Association of Defense Counsel survey reveal a significant disconnect between inside and outside lawyers when it comes to perceptions of their own effectiveness versus the perceptions of their counterparts on the other side of the fence, say Andrew Chamberlin, a partner at Ellis & Winters LLP, and Orlyn Lockard, associate general counsel at Siemens Corp.
This year, there has been considerable litigation related to Indian tribes' ability to impose tax on business activities on reservations free from state and local taxation. Catherine Munson and Claire Newman of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP discuss several major court of appeals cases, and the important issues that they raise.