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
On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Office of the Attorney General issued a notice setting forth principles for the AG and Department of Justice to work with federally recognized Indian tribes. Highlights of these principles...more
When a Native American tribe acquires a hydroelectric power plant licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does the project become exempt from some federal regulations?
Yes, according to a FERC order...more
On Thursday December 11, 2014, the press was abuzz about a just released Department of Justice memorandum titled “Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country.” Some news outlets heralded the memorandum as a...more
Three years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued Executive Order B-10-11. Among other things, Governor Brown ordered:
that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department...more
In any child custody proceeding involving Indian children, all parties should understand there are significant legal and procedural requirements that must be met before parental rights to Indian children may be terminated....more
Designed to appeal and speak to the customers of a specific time and place, trademarks can become hallmarks of a bygone era.
The controversy surrounding the use of the REDSKINS trademark and logo shows just how much...more
On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 52 ("AB 52"), which modifies the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") to add new protections for Native American cultural resources and enhances the role of...more
Using a different analysis, but reaching the same result as a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that a defendant could not compel arbitration of consumer claims before the Cheyenne River...more
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) allows a party to move for relief from a final judgment on the ground that “it prospectively is no longer equitable.” Motions under Rule 60(b)(5) must be made “within a reasonable...more
Timely Topics -
Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more
On Sept. 26, 2014, President Obama signed into law a measure that excludes from taxable income various general welfare payments to members of Indian tribes.
One of the last pieces of legislation agreed upon by the...more
In a clash of competing sovereigns’ interests, the Second Circuit recently upheld, for now, the authority of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate online payday loans made by Indian tribal lenders to...more
Conducting commercial operations on tribal lands can pose significant challenges for non-Indian companies. Demonstrating sensitivity to the cultural nuances of Native American society and navigating the complex web of federal...more
Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a...more
Agencies Must, Upon Request, Consult With Tribes About “Tribal Cultural Resources” -
Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: “tribal cultural...more
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
Health plans across the country are increasingly receiving demands for payment from the Indian Health Service (“IHS”), tribal health programs (collectively “Indian Organizations”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury for...more
In Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office once again canceled various registrations for trademarks used by the Washington Redskins football team as being disparaging to Native Americans. While...more
Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders?
The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...more
The 177-page tome the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) just issued in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. is remarkable for its length and its subject matter, cancellation of the controversial REDSKINS mark as disparaging...more
At Meadowlawn Elementary in the 1960s, my West Michigan friends and I would boast about things that made us "better" than each other. It was the golden age of Superman comics and, while I didn't have super strength or x-ray...more
Over the past year, debate regarding whether the National Football League’s Washington, D.C. franchise should continue to call itself the Redskins has risen to a fever pitch once again. So, naturally, it was big news when, on...more
I’ve been having fun listening to commentators – most of whom appear to know little or nothing about trademark law – expound on last week’s decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel six trademark...more
It is rare that items from the United States Patent and Trademark Office are “breaking news” or even make general news headlines. But it happened Wednesday (6/18/14) with the announcement that the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more
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