Montana Indian Law CLE (May 7, 2021)

Tribal Court Lay Advocates and law students can join the Indian Law Section as an associate member here: (not required to attend CLE).

Indian Law Section CLE

Presented by the Indian Law Section, State Bar of Montana; 

With the Criminal Law Section, State Bar of Montana 

Friday, May 7, 2021

(all times MST)

Register here:

12:45 – 1:00: Opening (Lillian Alvernaz, Indian Law Section Chair; James Taylor, Criminal Law Section Chair; Sam Alpert, State Bar of Montana) 

1:00 – 2:45: The Death Penalty in State & Federal Courts

  • Panelists: 
    • Michael Donahoe, Deputy Federal Defender, Federal Defenders of Montana
    • SK Rossi, Owner, Central House Strategies 
    • Gary Mitchell, Attorney
  • Session Moderator: James Taylor, Managing Attorney, Tribal Prosecutors Office, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
  • Session Overview: The panel will present an overview of the federal death penalty and the ethical issues in representing someone facing a possible death sentence; the history of the death penalty in Montana with an emphasis on recent changes in the state system; and an in-depth discussion of United States v. Lezmond Mitchell

2:45 – 3:00: Break

3:00 – 4:45: Holistic Responses in the Tribal Justice System

  • Panelists: 
    • Dr. Sarah Deer, Professor, University of Kansas
    • Kathleen Littleleaf, Billings Urban Indian Health & Wellness Center
  • Session Moderators: Robin Turner (ILS Section Member) & Lillian Alvernaz
  • Session Overview: This panel will discuss the impacts of over-policing and incarceration of Native American people and how Tribal justice systems can work to holistically support individuals involved in the criminal justice system. The presenters will also explore the disproportionate victimology of the Native American population and how abiding by non-Indian systems of justice fails Native American people.

4:45 – 5:00:  Closing