Civil Procedure Indigenous Peoples

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Ninth Circuit Finds That Removal of Action to Federal Court Does Not Waive Tribe's Sovereign Immunity

In a precedential opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently chose to follow the lead of the Eleventh Circuit, holding that tribes do not waive sovereign immunity merely by removing a case to federal court. This...more

Court Decisions Define the Future for Tribal Gaming

Definitions and syntax. Not only on middle school quizzes, but also what determined the fate of the Mashpee Wampanoag and Cowlitz tribal casinos in Massachusetts and Washington, respectively. Two federal court decisions...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

Federal Court of Appeal: Government Failed to Adequately Consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway

On June 23, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal delivered the Northern Gateway Project another procedural setback in its decision on Gitxaala Nation v Canada (2016 FCA 187). In a 2-to-1 split decision, the court overturned the...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Curtailing NLRB’s Authority over Michigan Tribal Casinos

Recently, two Michigan tribes petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) authority to regulate labor practices at their casinos. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to...more

No Budding in Line Washington Redskins

In a case with special significance to our DuetsBlog crew (our founder Steve Baird started the fight to cancel the THE REDSKINS trademark registrations in 1992 – see more about the Harjo case here) and significant to...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Tribal Treaty Rights Obligate State to Ensure Harvestable Fish Are Available

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

The Law on Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Non-Members Stands with Supreme Court’s Tied Vote in Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi...

John Doe, a teenage member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, was working as an intern at a Dollar General store on the Tribe’s Reservation when he was sexually molested by the manager of the store. Doe sued Dollar...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

Vermont federal district court rules CFPA does not provide private right of action for alleged usurious loans; denies motion to...

A Vermont federal district court recently issued a decision ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss a class action involving allegations that an online tribal lending venture violated federal and state law because of...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19493 - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act - SC19493 Dissent - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator,...more

A Hail Mary to the U.S. Supreme Court? Owner of REDSKINS Marks Petitions for Hearing on Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the...

Pro-Football, Inc., the owner of multiple U.S. service mark registrations for REDSKINS, REDSKINETTES, and WASHINGTON REDSKINS, took the somewhat unusual step last week of petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of...more

In re Tam Redux Redux: Redskins Petition for Certiorari, Trying to Skip 4th Cir.

In response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) petition for writ of certiorari in to the U.S. Supreme Court In re Tam (“THE SLANTS” case), the owners of the Washington Redskins filed their own...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Motion to Compel Arbitration in FDCPA Putative Class Action

Hayes v. Delbert Servs. Corp., No. 15-1170, 2016 WL 386016 (4th Cir. Feb. 2, 2016) - In Hayes v. Delbert Servs., Corp.,the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that an arbitration agreement between the...more

Supreme Court Holds the Ninth Circuit Misinterpreted the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

In 2007, National Park Service rangers stopped John Sturgeon from travelling by hovercraft on the Nation River within the boundaries of Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Park Service regulations ban the use of...more

Supreme Court Update: Hawkins V. Patterson (14-520), Tyson Foods V. Bouaphakeo (14-1146), Nebraska V. Parker (14-406), Sturgeon V....

So many announcements since our last Update. The President announced D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland as his pick to take the late Justice Scalia's seat on the Court; Senate Republicans promptly announced that they...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Fourth Circuit Holds Arbitration Clause Unenforceable When It Forbids Arbitrator From Applying The Applicable Law

This case involves a class action filed in a Virginia district court against Delbert Services Corporation, the servicing agent of certain loans, for which the plaintiffs claimed that Delbert’s unfair debt collection practices...more

Supreme Court Update: Montgomery V. Louisiana (14-280), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission V. Electric Power Supply Association...

The decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana (14-280) was a biggie, and not just because it retroactively applied the Court's 2012 holding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth...more

Supreme Court Rejects Tribe’s Equitable Tolling Argument in Contract Support Litigation

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States, rejecting an argument that equitable tolling preserves some claims against the United States for failure to pay...more

Supreme Court Decides Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States, No. 14-510, holding that a litigant is entitled to equitable tolling of a federal statute of limitations only...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebuffs Tribe’s Bid for Equitable Tolling: Extraordinary Circumstances Causing Delayed Filing Must be Beyond a...

Concluding that the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (the “Tribe”) failed to justify its untimely filing under the equitable tolling doctrine, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirms stern limitations on the...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

D.C. District Court to Clean Up Indian Farmers and Ranchers Class Action

After years of post-settlement wrangling in a class action lawsuit brought by Native American farmers and ranchers for damages arising from what they claimed was systemic discrimination against them by the U.S. Department of...more

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