Indigenous Peoples Civil Procedure

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Does Rule 23(e) Require that Settlement Class Members Receive Notice of Modification to Cy Pres Remedy?

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently held that a modification to a settlement agreement was not subject to the procedural protections of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e) because it would...more

Use of NAVAJO – Is Urban Outfitters Infringing or Not?

Battles continue to wage over use of the “Navajo” and “Navaho” marks in New Mexico federal court. The Navajo Nation (“the Nation”) sued Urban Outfitters and its subsidiaries, including one of my favorite retailers,...more

Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed To Stop BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Last Friday, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) opened their arguments on a preliminary injunction motion to halt the federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final...more

No Aboriginal Title Required: BC Court of Appeal Allows First Nations’ Civil Claim Against Alcan to Proceed

On Wednesday April 15, 2015, the BC Court of Appeal released its decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. In its decision, the court allowed the claims of the plaintiffs Saik’uz...more

Bills Propose to Reverse National Labor Relations Board Jurisdictions over Indian Tribal Governments

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) was enacted by Congress in 1935. The Act, also known as the Wagner Act after its champion, New York Senator Robert F. Wagner, passed the Senate in May 1935, the House in June 1935,...more

Wisconsin Indian Tribe Prevails – State Cannot Ban Electronic Poker on Reservation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overturned a federal district court ruling that had permitted the State of Wisconsin to prohibit the Ho Chunk tribe from offering electronic poker on its reservation...more

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal: No Surface Activity Means No Duty to Consult First Nations

In its recent decision in Buffalo River Dene Nation v. Saskatchewan (Energy and Resources), the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan held that the government was not required to consult the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) before...more

Court Upholds First Nations’ Right to Bring Claims Based on Interference with Unproven Aboriginal Rights and Title

In its recent decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (BCCA) confirmed that First Nations may bring actions against private parties in...more

Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Exploration Dispositions: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The grant of exploration dispositions for oil sands located beneath treaty lands did not trigger the Crown’s duty to consult, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held recently in Buffalo River Dene Nation v Ministry of Energy...more

5th Circuit Vacates Arbitration Award Conducted By Wrong Arbitrator Under Wrong Rules

Let’s say your arbitration agreement calls for arbitration administered by JAMS under JAMS rules, but the arbitrator is independent and applies AAA rules, over one party’s objection.  A new decision from the Fifth Circuit...more

Aboriginal Heritage Update: Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning Of 'Sacred Site' In Western Australia

In Robinson v Fielding [2015] WASC 108 the Supreme Court of Western Australia determined that the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, the body charged with evaluating the importance of places and objects for the purposes...more

North Dakota Requests to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Federal Fracking Regulations

On Wednesday, April 1, the state of North Dakota filed a motion to intervene in Wyoming’s lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) federal hydraulic fracturing regulations. (Wyoming v. U.S. Dept. of...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 5: North Fork Tribe Sues State For Compact In Latest Chapter Of Gaming Saga

By the summer of 2014, it appeared that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California had finally made it over the last hurdle to begin construction of a Class III casino with 2,000 slot machines and 40 gaming tables...more

BC Court of Appeal Overturns Ruling that BC Government Liable to Logging Company for Failure to Consult

In Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 89, the BC Court of Appeal recently overturned the trial judge’s decision (reported at 2013 BCSC 2348, and summarized in an earlier update here) which had awarded...more

BC Supreme Court to Consider Cumulative Impacts of Resource Development on Treaty Rights

On March 3, 2015, Blueberry River First Nation (“BRFN”) sued the Province of BC seeking to break new ground by considering the cumulative impacts of resource development on BRFN’s traditional territory and treaty rights....more

Provincial Licence Doesn’t Promise Adequate Consultation with First Nations

In its recent decision in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v. British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Court) held that the Province of British Columbia (Province) can contractually exclude liability for losses...more

Independent Producers Lead Legal Challenge Against BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

After a regulatory review process lasting more than three years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued today a final rule purporting to govern hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. Given BLM’s failure to...more

Californian court puts tribal online bingo website on ice

A Native American tribe’s attempt to launch an internet bingo website has faced setbacks following a recent court order temporarily restraining the site’s operation. In its decision, the Court made a number of important...more

FTC Announces Settlement with Online Payday Lenders

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a settlement with two online payday lenders to resolve charges that they violated the FTC Act, the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA). The...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - February 2015

Court Considers Constitutionality of Maryland's Personal Income Tax - On 11/12/14, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of Maryland's personal income tax in Comptroller of the Treasury...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 7, Number 12: Department Of Justice Files Suit Against Santa Ysabel Tribe’s "Desert Rose Bingo" Site

On December 3, United States Department of Justice attorneys filed a complaint in federal court seeking to prevent the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, a federally recognized Indian tribe near San Diego, from continuing to...more

Employment Income not Substantively Connected to a Reserve is Taxable

In Baldwin et al v the Queen, 2014 TCC 284, the Tax Court of Canada had an opportunity to consider section 87 of the Indian Act and when employment income is “situated on a reserve” for tax purposes....more

Tribes Should Beware of Dissent in High Court Ruling, Lawyers Say

Native American tribes shouldn’t celebrate too heartily after a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court by the Bay Mills Indian Community, Oklahoma lawyers said. Tribal lawyers Michael McBride III with Crowe & Dunlevy and...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on Halloween this year. A complete coincidence, but I do hope that nothing in this term’s opinions has scares you! This term resulted in two cases related to...more

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