Tribal Lands

News & Analysis as of

Massachusetts Court Holds No Coverage Under Lawyers’ Malpractice Policy for 93A Claim

In its recent decision in Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co. v. Lamond, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103117 (D. Mass. July 29, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider what portion...more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...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

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

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 the State’s failure to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with the Big Lagoon...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

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

BIA Proposes Rule Revisions for Rights-of-Way on Indian Lands

On June 17, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published proposed revisions to 25 CFR Part 169, whereby the new rule seeks to comprehensively update and streamline the process for obtaining BIA grants of Rights-of-Way...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Bars State from Suing Tribe Seeking to Operate an Illegal Off-Reservation Casino

On May 27, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), states may only sue to enjoin a tribe from conducting class III gaming “on Indian lands.” Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 2014...more

The corridor of uncertainty diminishes following another pro international arbitration judgment from the Indian Supreme Court

For international parties who have contracted with Indian counterparties and agreed to refer disputes to international arbitration, a critical issue is the degree to which the Indian courts have jurisdiction to review and set...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity in Bay Mills Decision

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, highly anticipated by Indian tribes and Indian law practitioners, in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, et al. In a 5-4 split, the Court reaffirmed the doctrine of...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community et al.

The U.S. Supreme Court (“Court”) issued a 5-4 decision Tuesday in a case with implications for Tribal-State relations and the resolution of disputes under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq....more

Bureau Of Indian Affairs Proposes Regulation To Allow Taking Of Land Into Trust For Tribes In Alaska

After decades of interpreting the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) to preclude the federal government’s acquisition of land in trust for tribes in Alaska, on May 1, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs...more

A Bridge to Reconciliation: A Critique of the Indian Residential School Truth Commission

Truth and reconciliation are separate and important elements in overcoming mass wrongs. While truth can be attached to fact finding, bridging the path to reconciliation can be far more difficult. In the Ojibway creation epic,...more

Canada (Attorney General) v. Pictou Landing First Nation: Factors to Consider on a Motion to Intervene under the Federal Courts...

On January 29, 2014, Stratas J.A. of the Federal Court of Appeal granted two motions to intervene in Canada (Attorney General) v. Pictou Landing First Nation. In deciding those motions, Stratas J.A. commented on the factors...more

Proposed Bill Seeks To Require Federal Agencies To Count Species On State, Tribal, And Private Lands Before Listing The Species...

Republican Congressman Chris Stewart (UT) recently introduced a bill that would amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require federal wildlife agencies to include the number of species found on state, tribal, and private...more

Bureau of Land Management to Focus Anew on Venting and Flaring on Federal and Indian Lands

Consistent with the administration’s ongoing focus on methane emissions, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a process of inviting feedback for the anticipated rulemaking regarding Onshore Oil and Gas Order 9,...more

Tribe Files Suit to Block California Compact Referendum

The landmark ballot referendum proposing to reverse the California Legislature’s ratification of two off-reservation tribal casinos is being challenged in state court litigation seeking to block the referendum from appearing...more

Office of the Solicitor Issues Carcieri “Fix” Opinion

In response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the Office of the Solicitor for the United States Department of the Interior issued a memorandum opinion on March 12, 2014,...more

Administrative Law Judge Rules Camera-Equipped Model Airplanes Are Cleared for Take-Off

A ruling by an administrative law judge punches a hole through the FAA's ban on the unlicensed use of commercial drones. The decision may be significant for ongoing discussions in Congress and in Indian Country about drone...more

Sixth Circuit Grants Stay in Lansing, Michigan, Off-Reservation Casino Case

In an order issued on February 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a stay of its decision in State of Michigan v. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sixth Circuit Case No....more

A Precedent-Setting Ninth Circuit Victory for Tribes and Their Business Partners

In a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit has held that state and local governments lack the power to tax permanent improvements built on non-reservation land that is held in trust by the federal government....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

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Blocks Payday Lending Enforcement Action, Calif. Appellate Court Rules

In a state enforcement action alleging violations of California’s lending law and seeking to enjoin continued lending to state residents, a California Court of Appeal has ruled that tribal sovereign immunity shielded the two...more

Alberta Court Grants Six-Month Injunction Against Lubicon Blockade

On December 16, 2013, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted a six-month injunction in favour of Penn West Petroleum Ltd., authorizing the RCMP to remove a road blockade erected by individuals associated with Bernard...more

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