Native American

  • December 13, 2016

    Justices Urged To Review Tribal Immunity In Card Receipt Suit

    A man claiming the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin illegally printed too much credit card information on receipts appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, saying the Seventh Circuit's ruling in favor of the tribe is at odds with a Ninth Circuit ruling on tribal sovereign immunity.

  • December 13, 2016

    Gov. Couldn't OK Tribal Casino Decision, Calif. Court Says

    A California appeals court on Monday dealt a setback to the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians’ plans to open an off-reservation casino in Northern California, ruling that the state’s governor didn’t have the authority to concur with a U.S. Department of the Interior decision that allowed it to take land into trust for the casino.

  • December 13, 2016

    Former DOD Counsel To Join WilmerHale

    WilmerHale announced on Tuesday that a former deputy general counsel of environment, energy and installations for the U.S. Department of Defense with decades of experience at the federal government is set to join its Washington, D.C., offices as special counsel.

  • December 13, 2016

    Cherokee AG Says Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

    The Cherokee Nation attorney general has declared that the Oklahoma-based tribe’s constitution protects same-sex marriages, saying the tribe can’t deny a marriage license to couples or refuse to recognize their marriages based solely upon their gender.

  • December 12, 2016

    Feds Accuse Man Of Selling Tribal Art Stolen From Employer

    The federal government announced Friday that it has charged a man in New York federal court with stealing at least 13 works of Native American and African tribal art worth more than $600,000 from his employer and attempting to sell them through a Manhattan-based flea market.

  • December 12, 2016

    CashCall Shouldn't Be Allowed Quick Appeal, CFPB Says

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau told a California federal court on Sunday that CashCall Inc. should not be given permission to immediately challenge a ruling that held it violated federal law when it offered high-interest loans through a firm based on tribal lands in states where such loans were barred.

  • December 12, 2016

    Blue Cross Wants Irrelevant Claims Data, Tribe Says

    The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians on Friday blasted Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's requests for claims documents for hospital services obtained by more than 1,000 of its members not employed by the tribe, saying those claims are not relevant to the suit against the insurer.

  • December 12, 2016

    2nd Circ. Hands DOI Another Win On Oneida Trust Land

    The Second Circuit on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that tossed a challenge to the U.S. Department of the Interior's 2008 decision to take thousands of acres of land into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation, marking the latest victory for the government in defending the Oneidas’ trust land.

  • December 12, 2016

    Tribal Group Asks For Injunction In Ariz. Highway Fight

    The Gila River Indian Community on Friday asked the Ninth Circuit to halt work on a Phoenix-area highway project while it challenges a ruling that federal and state agencies took no shortcuts on environmental reviews when giving the project the go-ahead, saying it would be irreversibly harmed if construction were to continue during the appeals process.

  • December 12, 2016

    USPTO Can't 'Protect' Against Offensive Words, Band Says

    The rock band challenging the federal government’s ban on offensive trademarks fired its opening shot Friday at the U.S. Supreme Court, telling the justices that the First Amendment does not allow the government to try to “protect” Americans from being offended.

  • December 9, 2016

    Wash. Congresswoman Likely Choice For Interior Secretary

    President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., a longtime supporter of energy development and the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, as head of the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to published reports Friday.

  • December 9, 2016

    BIA Wants Tribal Input On 'Indian Trader' Regulations

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced its plan Friday to develop a rule that would help update and simplify so-called Indian Trader Regulations for businesses on tribal lands and is seeking tribal leaders’ input on what changes to the regulations could help spur tribal economic growth.

  • December 9, 2016

    Army Corps Tells DC Circ. Dakota Access Ruling Must Stand

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urged the D.C. Circuit on Thursday not to vacate a lower court decision that rejected the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's bid to block construction on the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.

  • December 9, 2016

    Tribe Blasts Blue Cross Hidden Email Claim In ERISA Suit

    The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians told a Michigan federal court Thursday that it has already produced all the relevant emails requested by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in the tribe's suit alleging the insurer disregarded the Employee Retirement Income Security Act while administering an employee health benefit plan.

  • December 9, 2016

    Tribe, Bank Rebuked Over Embezzlement Suit Discovery Row

    A California federal magistrate judge on Thursday called behavior during a discovery dispute between the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and a bank it has asserted claims against in its lawsuit accusing former tribal officials of a sprawling embezzlement scheme "unacceptable."

  • December 9, 2016

    Enviros Win Intervention Bid In BLM Flaring Rule Suit

    A federal magistrate judge has allowed a slew of environmental groups to join a lawsuit that seeks to block a new Bureau of Land Management rule aimed at limiting the release of methane from drilling operations on federal and Native American lands.

  • December 8, 2016

    Feds Say New River Review Hurts Calif. Districts' ESA Claim

    The federal government told the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday that a recent environmental review it conducted in California's lower Klamath River helps undercut an Endangered Species Act claim brought by local water districts that challenged the release of extra flows in drought years to prevent fish die-offs in tribal fishing grounds.

  • December 8, 2016

    DOI Watchdog Finds SD Tribe Misused $1.4M In Federal Funds

    The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misused more than $1.4 million in federal funding intended for the operation of a water system in South Dakota.

  • December 8, 2016

    11th Circ. Won't Rethink Tribal Immunity In Age Bias Suit

    In a brief order, an Eleventh Circuit panel on Thursday rejected a rehearing bid from a former employee of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ health department who had argued that the tribe should not be shielded from her age discrimination suit by sovereign immunity.

  • December 8, 2016

    Native Class Rep Fights Deal To Divide $380M Leftover Funds

    A Native American class representative in the landmark Keepseagle settlement of farmer racial discrimination claims against the government pressed the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday to throw out a plan to redistribute $380 million left over from the deal over opposition from the lead class representative and the government.

Expert Analysis

  • Preparing For Changes To Federal Appellate Rules

    Matthew J. Dowd

    On Dec. 1, 2016, several important amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure take effect. The most impactful amendment is the shortening of the permissible length of appellate briefs, which will affect many appeals and will have a particularly significant impact on complex appeals such as patent cases, says Matthew Dowd of Dowd PLLC.

  • OPINION: 3rd-Party Litigation Funding Needs Transparency

    Lisa A. Rickard

    The practice of third-party litigation funding, in which funders front money to plaintiffs law firms in exchange for a cut of any settlement or money judgment, is growing increasingly popular. Currently, litigators are not required to disclose the involvement of third-party funders, but transparency will improve justice in courts, say Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and Mark Behrens, a partne... (continued)

  • Offensive Trademark Ban Going Down? It Probably Should Not

    Jane Shay Wald

    A recent Law360 article reported on the U.S. Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in Tam and noted that many trademark lawyers “will be fine” with a result striking down Section 2(a) as unconstitutional. That may be. But many other trademark lawyers will not be fine with this result, say Jane Shay Wald, chairwoman of Irell & Manella LLP's trademark practice group, and Susan Heller, chairwoman of Greenberg Traurig LLP's trademarks group.

  • Tribal Immunity: A Perfect Storm Against Tribal Interests?

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher

    Although the U.S. Supreme Court grudgingly affirmed the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity two years ago, the court warned tribes against abusing their sovereign status. In the near future, decisions against tribal immunity may expose Indian tribes to extreme land dispossession and monetary liability, says professor Matthew Fletcher of Michigan State University College of Law.

  • 5 Tips For Forming A Tribal Electric Utility

    Tara Kaushik

    Forming a tribal public utility allows a community to independently manage its own energy resources, procure a cleaner energy supply, operate more efficiently than its current electric service provider, generate steady revenues over the long term, and serve the needs of its community. Tara S. Kaushik of Holland & Knight LLP reviews five points tribes should consider when undertaking this process.

  • The Art Of Silence At Trial

     Martha Luring

    When communicating to a jury, trial lawyers know that words matter. Thus, it may seem odd to focus on the topic of silence. However, this tool is often underutilized in all facets of the litigation life cycle, says Martha Luring of Salmons Consulting.

  • DOE Rule Simplifies Interstate Power Transmission Siting

    Jay Ryan

    The Integrated Interagency Pre-Application process provides a framework for DOE to coordinate with applicable federal and non-federal entities for permitting and environmental reviews required under federal law to site certain electric transmission facilities, say Jay Ryan and Marcia Hook of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Coming Soon: The 3-D (And 4-D) Brief

    Martin Bienstock

    From e-discovery to attorney profitability, the technologies of the 21st century have had a major impact on legal practice. Yet the tech revolution has had surprisingly little impact on the form and content of legal briefs — the very bread-and-butter of many legal practices. This is about to change, according to Martin Bienstock of Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC.

  • The 'Tough Noogies' Doctrine: Rights But No Remedies

    Andrew Melzer

    In recent years the courts have demonstrated an increased use of the “tough noogies” doctrine. These types of cases involve individuals wronged by powerful institutional interests who are shown the door, often based on poor or weak reasoning or in defiance of common sense. Andrew Melzer of Sanford Heisler LLP highlights a few recent examples of this doctrine and discusses whether the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way.

  • Oral Advocacy And 'Vocal Fry'

    Higdon (1).jpeg

    In a sneak preview of the fall edition of Legal Communication & Rhetoric, Professor Michael Higdon of the University of Tennessee College of Law explores the negative reactions to "vocal fry," the accusations of sexism those reactions have engendered, and what all this means for female attorneys.