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Seventh Circuit Finds Tribal Arbitration Is Unreasonable and Unconscionable

In a victory for advocates who worry that the odds are impossibly stacked against consumers in some arbitral fora, the Seventh Circuit found that a class of borrowers did not have to proceed with arbitration conducted by the...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Pojoaque’s Plan to Seek an Imposed Contract: Is Interior’s Process Consistent with IGRA?

The Pueblo of Pojoaque needs a new Class III gaming compact by June 2015 in order to continue operating its casinos which are located north of Santa Fe. However, the Pueblo objected to the financial concessions being demanded...more

Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. The decision marks the first time that Aboriginal title has been granted – until now, the...more

Gaming Legal News - June 2014 • Volume 7, Number 10

In This Issue: - INDIAN COUNTRY AWAITS 9TH CIRCUIT’S EN BANC REHEARING IN BIG LAGOON CASE: In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Reaffirms Tribal Sovereign Immunity for Commercial Activities Conducted Off-Reservation

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that, absent a waiver or Congressional action to the contrary, the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity applies to lawsuits arising from a tribe’s commercial activities, even if they...more

Duty to Consult where Government Action Impacts a First Nation’s Economic Interests

On May 14, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Ehattesaht First Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2014 BCSC 849. The case concerned an application for...more

The Hualapai Grand Canyon Disputes Continue

The Hualapai (pronounced wah-lah-pie) Tribe has about 2,300 members, 1,300 of whom live on the Tribe’s northwest Arizona reservation. The enormous reservation borders the Colorado River and includes portions of the West Rim...more

California Appellate Court Holds State Regulators Lack Authority To Regulate Tribe-Affiliated Lenders

On January 21, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, held that short-term, small-dollar credit businesses owned by certain federally recognized Indian tribes are sufficiently related to their respective tribes to...more

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Protects Payday Lenders From State Enforcement

Last year, the Commissioner of Business Oversight issued several alerts warning consumers that it has received complaints with respect to unlicensed firms offering payday (deferred deposit) loans in California. The common...more

The Illusion of Federal Jurisdiction in Tribal Contracts

Contracts with Indian tribes should specify a venue for disputes arising from those agreements. A common mistake for attorneys drafting agreements involving tribes is to assume that federal courts automatically have subject...more

Gaming Legal News - October 2013 • Volume 6, Number 23

In This Issue: - WAR GAMES IN WISCONSIN (2013 STYLE): Wisconsin is home to 11 recognized Indian tribes. It is a fact that 11 tribes will not unanimously agree on all issues. It also is a fact that not all issues...more

States and Consumers Battle Tribal Payday Lenders

The tribal payday lending business finds itself facing a flurry of class action lawsuits and state crackdowns painting the lenders as loan sharks preying upon vulnerable consumers with usurious rates and fees. The tribal...more

CFPB Rejects Tribal Lenders’ CID Challenge

On September 26, the CFPB denied three tribal lenders’ joint petition to set aside civil investigative demands (CIDs) issued in June 2012. The CIDs were issued in connection with the Bureau’s investigation into several...more

CFPB Denies Payday Lender’s Petition to Set Aside Civil Investigative Demand

The CFPB denied two online payday lenders’ petition to set aside a civil investigative demand. The lenders claimed they are chartered under the laws of federally recognized Indian tribes and therefore, the CFPB’s...more

Asserting Personal Jurisdiction Over Non-Tribal Parties in State Court: What To Do When a Foreign Defendant Argues It Is Not...

Tribal governments are empowered to establish court systems to adjudicate disputes arising within their jurisdictions. This authority is an essential component of autonomy and self-government for Native Americans, and tribal...more

Amending the Oklahoma model Tribal Gaming Compact

The recent “settlement agreement” between the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes and the Governor of Oklahoma (Exhibit A hereto) has revived interest in amendment of the terms of the Model Tribal Gaming Compact (the “Compact”) (Exhibit...more

Two Significant Duty-to-Consult Cases Released in Alberta and British Columbia Courts

Alberta: Lameman v. Alberta, 2013 ABCA 148 - The Beaver Lake Cree Nation (BLCN) brought a Statement of Claim before the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench alleging that the Alberta and federal governments have failed to...more

SCC Rules Roadblock an Abuse of Process Where Legal Remedies Not Exercised

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., 2013 SCC 26. The case sets out some important principles that may be relevant for those who engage in operations in areas where...more

Mineral Claims And The Duty To Consult In Yukon

On December 27, 2012, the Yukon Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Ross River Dena Council v Government of Yukon, 2012 YKCA 14. The decision related to an appeal of Mr. Justice Veale’s decision regarding the claim of...more

Gaming Legal News - December 20, 2012 • Volume 5, Number 28

In This Issue: - Indian Gaming Issues To Watch In 2013 - Will The Ex Parte Young Doctrine Swallow Tribal Sovereign Immunity Whole? - Detroit Casinos’ November Revenues Decrease From Save Month Last Year: Michigan...more

Gaming Legal News - July 25, 2012 • Volume 5, Number 18

In This Issue: - THE CARCIERI CHALLENGE: PROVING “UNDER FEDERAL JURISDICTION [AS OF 1934]” by Dennis J. Whittlesey: The June 18 Supreme Court ruling in Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band (“Gun Lake Band”) v. Patchak...more

Gaming Legal News - June 29 2012 • Volume 5, Number 16: The Gun Lake Decision: What Does It Mean For Indian Gaming?

By this time, everyone with an interest in gaming, is aware of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered in the case of Match-EBe-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak. The Tribe is commonly known as the...more

Gaming Legal News - June 21, 2012 • Volume 5, Number 15

In This Issue: - BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! Supreme Court Allows Challenge to Gun Lake Tribal Casino to Proceed Forward: On Monday, June 18, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in the closely watched...more

Real Estate Transactions With Native American Tribes By Adam M. Starr*

INTRODUCTION - Commercial contracting with Native American tribes presents a number of complicated and unsettled questions of federal and state law. The increasing visibility of tribal entities in California real estate...more

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