Job Announcement: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe seeks an Associate General Counsel (“Tribal Attorney”)

This is my current employer. It’s a great place to work and a great place to live. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe seeks a full-time Associate General Counsel for its on-reservation Office of General Counsel. The Office was established in August 2008, and has taken on most of the workload formerly performed by outside counsel. The Associate serves under the supervision of the General Counsel and will have a significant opportunity to help shape the strategic legal planning of the Tribe. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is involved in many important and fascinating issues.

Nature of Practice: The Associate General Counsel is one of two lawyers in the Office. As a salaried professional, the Associate General Counsel will generally have substantial latitude to work on projects directly with the Tribal Council, CEO, and tribal programs, to exercise independent professional judgment, and to contribute to the development of the Office. Duties include all matters pertaining to representation of the tribal government, as assigned or authorized, including: advice to and representation of the Tribe, its officers and staff; drafting of ordinances, regulations, and policies; representation of the Tribe and its entities in tribal, federal, and state courts, administrative tribunals, and before federal and state legislative bodies and agencies; negotiation and review of contracts and commercial transactions; drafting legal documents.


  • Required: A law degree from an accredited law school and a license to practice law (lawyers licensed by a state other than Washington must acquire a Washington license ASAP); strong writing, research, negotiation, and interpersonal communication skills; litigation experience; and an ability to thrive in an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural work environment.
  • Desired: A Washington State law license with 5–8 years as a practicing attorney; civil litigation experience in federal, tribal, and state courts; experience in Indian law and tribal-government representation, including ordinance drafting and basic governmental processes such as Self-Governance compacting, grants, contracts, etc.; experience working with federal and state agencies; economic development, gaming, and commercial transaction experience; exceptional writing and research skills.

Location: The Office of General Counsel is located in the Elwha Tribal Center on the Lower Elwha Reservation, about five miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. Port Angeles is a small, historic town located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and just a few miles from Olympic National Park. The office is approximately 85 miles west of Seattle.

Salary: Depends on experience. Full-time compensation includes medical and dental, retirement savings plan, and other fringe benefits.

Application: Applications must be received by March 15, 2013, but because the Tribe would like to hire a lawyer for this position as soon as possible, applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. To apply, submit a cover letter, a current resume, at least three professional references, and a writing sample to (e-mail preferred):

            Trent S.W. Crable, Associate General Counsel

            Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe                             

            2851 Lower Elwha Road                                  

            Port Angeles, Washington 98363                     


Elwha Klallam Tribe Seeks Full-Time Prosecutor (Western Washington)

I am in-house Counsel at Elwha, and it is a great place to work. Please spread the word if you know anyone who might be interested.



The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe seeks a full-time Tribal Prosecutor to prosecute criminal activity, juvenile delinquency, child dependency (child abuse and neglect), fish and wildlife offenses, traffic offenses, and other civil offenses as directed by the Tribe.

Nature of Practice: This staff member works with the Elwha Public Safety Commission, the Tribal Police Department, the Indian Child Welfare Program, the Probation Office, the Lower Elwha Housing Authority, and other tribal agencies to help assess tribal interests and provide vigorous and effective prosecution of crimes, juvenile delinquency and status offenses, child abuse and neglect, fish and wildlife offenses, civil exclusion matters, traffic offenses, and other appropriate civil offenses occurring within tribal jurisdiction. The prosecutor also provides legal support to the Tribal Police Department, ICW, Probation, Domestic Violence Program, and other tribal agencies in submitting and supporting their cases in Tribal Court. The prosecutor will also work with the Office of General Counsel to provide strategic planning support and assistance on tribal justice and victimization issues. The Prosecutor reports to and is supervised by the Tribe’s General Counsel.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A law degree from an accredited law school and a license to practice law (lawyers licensed by a state other than Washington must acquire a Washington license within nine months of hire).
  • Strong negotiation and interpersonal communication skills, litigation experience, and an ability to thrive in an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural work environment.
  • A commitment to restorative justice.

Location: The Tribal Prosecutor’s office is located in the Elwha Klallam Justice Center, located about five miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. Port Angeles is a small historic town located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and just a few miles from Olympic National Park. The office is approximately 85 miles west of Seattle.

Salary: Depends on experience. Full-time compensation includes medical and dental, retirement savings plan, and other fringe benefits.

Application: The Tribe would like to hire a lawyer for this position as soon as possible. Submit a cover letter, a current resume, at least three professional references, and a writing sample to (e-mail preferred):

Trent S.W. Crable, Associate General Counsel

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

2851 Lower Elwha Road

Port Angeles, Washington 98363


House Passes Bill to Provide the Quileute Tribe with Higher Ground

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that provides the Quileute Tribe an additional 785 acres of land, including land currently part of the Olympic National Park. Presumably the two key purposes of the bill are to (1) help get the Tribe out of tsunami and flood zones (most if not all of the Tribe’s current land is low-lying coastal land), and (2) secure a waiver from the Tribe regarding some long standing land claims the Tribe has.

Local news story here.

Legislation here.

Squaxin Island Tribe (WA) Seeks In-house Staff Attorney

The Squaxin Island Tribe, located near Olympia, Washington, seeks a staff attorney to join their practice group of five attorneys.

Approximately 40% of time will be devoted to Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) and related matters.  Seeking a candidate with a demonstrated commitment to ICWA and child welfare related matters.  Primary responsibility will be to serve the Tribe’s Department of Social and Health Services, particularly as related to planning, organizing and directing assigned ICW/Child Welfare, Youth, Truancy and Juvenile civil cases within the Legal Department, and to serve as presenting officer for Tribe.

Remaining 60% of time devoted to legal services covering a broad range of tribal government and federal Indian law issues as a member of the attorney staff.  Principal areas of Tribal practice include general government infrastructure needs, real estate transactions, commercial transactions, zoning and land use, water rights, housing and utilities, environmental protection, Indian gaming, business transactions, employment matters and economic development.  Seeking a candidate with willingness to work collaboratively with other staff attorneys as needed, including as aide to principal attorney in litigation and administrative hearings.

Minimum qualifications include two years experience practicing in tribal, federal or state Court; in good standing as a member of the Washington State Bar Association (or able to become licensed in Washington within 120 days); and working knowledge of federal Indian law principles and their interplay with state law.

Additional information at

Spirit Lake Tribal Council approves “perpetual” use of the Fighting Sioux name for UND

From the Grand Forks Herald:

Tribal Council approves ‘perpetual’ use of Fighting Sioux nickname

By Tu-Uyen Tran

Grand Forks Herald
Updated: 09/19/2009 12:26:18 PM CDT

The Spirit Lake Tribal Council issued a new resolution Friday that gives the University of North Dakota the “perpetual” use of the Fighting Sioux nickname, nickname supporters from the reservation said.

In a statement, Eunice Davidson, a pro-nickname activist, said she felt that a previous resolution of support had been misconstrued by nickname opponents. The new resolution would leave no doubt where the Tribal Council stood, she said.

Nickname opponents had said the earlier resolution merely said there was an election and a majority of tribal members supported the nickname — 67 percent voted “yes” in April — but did not state that the council was also behind the nickname.

The new resolution left little room for doubt. A key provision says: “The Tribal Council hereby amends tribal resolution No. A05-09-186 and affirmatively approves and supports UND’s use of the current nickname and related imagery, and hereby confirms Spirit Lake Tribe’s full permission for UND to continue using the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo and the duration of this authorization shall be perpetual commencing Oct. 1, 2009.”

The council also added this: “UND is entrusted with the responsibility of working cooperatively with the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe to increase the number of Native American graduates from Spirit Lake and to create a Native American program on UND campus which will bring about an air of respect and understanding amongst all students, faculty and staff at UND.”

Before the new resolution, Spirit Lake nickname opponents had hoped they would be able to get the council to reverse its support.

One of them, Terry Morgan, said Thursday that opponents would meet this weekend and mobilize for a meeting with the council next week.

But Friday night, on hearing news of the new resolution, Erich Longie, another nickname opponent, said, “Maybe this is a sign they’re saying they don’t want to meet with us.”

He rested his hopes on future councils, he said. The resolution might say “perpetual,” but he said resolutions aren’t perpetual, meaning future councils could issue new resolutions opposing the nickname.

Nickname opponents will never quit, he said, and will work toward another referendum to get voters to oppose the nickname. If that one doesn’t succeed, he said, opponents would put out another referendum. “We will not quit until we get the results we want.”

Davidson was not available Friday. Her statement was issued through Ralph Engelstad Arena, which also supports the nickname.

Under the settlement between the state and the NCAA, which considers American Indian nicknames to be “hostile and abusive,” UND has to win approval from the state’s two Sioux tribes. It has until February to do that, but the State Board of Higher Education had moved the deadline up to Oct. 1.

The board also required a 30-year agreement allowing use of the nickname from both tribes.

Board member Grant Shaft, who effectively has the nickname portfolio, said a binding agreement between the state and the tribes is what the board wants. This is necessary because resolutions can be undone by future councils, which would force UND to go through the same struggle it’s going through now, he said.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, whose interpretation Shaft said the board would defer to, has said he believes a resolution giving authorization for a certain period of time is sufficient to satisfy the NCAA settlement.

Standing Rock nickname supporters are working on a petition to get the council there to issue a referendum on the nickname, but they will not be ready by the Oct. 1 deadline.

They asked the state board to extend the deadline Thursday, but the board did not comment one way or the other.

Reach Tran at 701-780-1248; 800-477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran(at)

To see more of the Grand Forks Herald, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2009, Grand Forks Herald, N.D.

Steve Baird Calls for “Re-Branding” of The Washington Redskins

Steve Baird, the lawyer who filed the Harjo case, has a post over at the Duets Blog about the Redskins case. He asks a very good question: “…putting the legal issues aside, why doesn’t the team do the right thing, as a responsible business, and hire a branding guru to engage in some serious and successful re-branding?”

You can read the full post over at the Duets Blog here.

Thanks to my friend, law school classmate, and Steve Baird colleague Sharon Armstrong for directing me to the post.


Duets Blog

Posted at 4:34 AM on May 21, 2009 by Steve Baird

“Re-Branding Madness in Washington” Overlooks Obvious: The Washington Redskins

Re-branding occurs all the time.

Re-branding occurs in business. Remember when Bell Atlantic became Verizon? Andersen Consulting became Accenture? How about when Philip Morris became Altria?  

Re-branding occurs in politics too. Just days ago, Judson Berger discussed a kind of “re-branding madness” consuming Washington, D.C. right now: “Terrorist attack is out. — ‘man caused disaster’ is in.” Our friends at Catchword Branding had a lot of fun with the political re-branding of Swine Flu.

Re-branding even occurs in the world of professional sports. Remember when the NBA franchise Washington Bullets became the Washington Wizards in 1997 out of concern that the Bullets name of some twenty-three years (1974-1997) had acquired “violent overtones”.  How about the recent re-branding from the Seattle Supersonics to theOklahoma City Thunder? Even the NFL has decided to recognize Cincinnati Bengal Chad Johnson’s re-branding to Ocho Cinco.

Re-branding changes, according to Wikipedia, are “usually in an attempt to distance [the brand] from certain negative connotations of the previous branding.” So, given the widespread meaning and understanding of “redskin” as “offensive slang” and that it is “used as a disparaging term for a Native American,” given the pain the term has caused, and given that the team’s helmets sport a Native American profile and not a certain variety of spud on them, why won’t the Washington Redskins get on the re-branding bandwagon in our nation’s capital? After all, even one of the attorneys at the same law firm hired by the team apparently has spoken out, read about the details here.

Instead, millions upon millions of dollars continue to be spent defending trademark registrations that never should have been granted in the first place under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which forbids the federal registration of a trademark that “consists of or comprises matter” that “may disparage” persons or “brings them into contempt or disrepute”.

John Welch over at the TTABlog did a thoughtful post earlier this week summarizing the history of the seventeen year old trademark case that I filed on behalf of seven prominent Native American leaders back in September 1992 (Harjo et al v. Pro-Football, Inc.), with the latest unfortunate ruling on appeal, here. Basically, in this latest and final ruling in the Harjo case, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the D.C. District Court’s ruling that even the youngest of the Native American Petitioners, Mateo Romero, had slept on his rights and not pursued the cancellation action soon enough after reaching the age of majority. He was twenty-six when he brought the cancellation action in 1992 and one of the registrations he challenged had only issued two years earlier in 1990.

In 1999, when I left the case, the Harjo Petitioners had prevailed on the merits and successfully argued to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that cancellation actions based on the “may disparage” language are rooted in “public policy” so a laches defense should not even be available or apply, here. Five years before ordering that the team’s Redskins registrations be cancelled, the TTAB had wisely held in 1994 “there exists a broader interest — an interest beyond the personal interest being asserted by the present petitioners — in preventing a party from receiving the benefits of registration when a trial might show that [the team’s] marks hold a substantial segment of the population up to public ridicule.”

The good news, however, even in the face of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal’s disappointing ruling on laches, is that there is a brand new generation of Native American Petitioners, led by Amanda Blackhorse, to make sure that a brand new similar case is actually and finally decided on the merits. In fact, doesn’t this development demonstrate why the 1994 ruling that struck the team’s laches (slept on rights) defense was correct in the first place? The fact that, as long as the offensive team name continues, there always will be new Native American Petitioners reaching the age of majority anxious to object shows that their cause of action is rooted in public policy, not some personal and individual right that might be waived by failing to act quickly enough.

Again, putting the legal issues aside, why doesn’t the team do the right thing, as a responsible business, and hire a branding guru to engage in some serious and successful re-branding?

More News From the Firm that Represented the Redskins

According to Above the Law, the first-year associate at Quinn Emanuel who sent the e-mails challenging the firm’s representation on the Redskins case (see previous post here), has been fired for failing the California bar for a second time.

Read the story at Above the Law here.

Second Bar Failure Is Proximate Cause for Quinn Associate’s Ouster

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 6:03 PM – By David Lat and Elie Mystal

quinn redskins.jpgYesterday, we reported on an associate at Quinn Emanuel who had strong views about the firm’s recent victory in the Pro Football v. Harjocase, in which the D.C. Circuit upheld the Washington Redskins trademark in the moniker “Redskins.” We, along with many readers, speculated about whether the first-year associate would be able to hold onto his job after yesterday’s publicity.

We are now able to report that the Quinn associate was let go from the firm yesterday — but not because of the various “reply-all” emails.

Instead, the associate was let go because he failed the California bar exam. For a second time.

(Thus, as noted in the comments, any email indiscretions by him essentially amounted to harmless error.)

The firm declined to comment about individual personnel matters, but multiple sources report that it is the standing policy of Quinn Emanuel to part ways with associates who fail the bar multiple times.

But we shouldn’t necessarily look at the emails as an attempt to go out in a “blaze of glory.” As we understand it, the associate sent the first reply-all email — the one that was not meant to “rouse some rabble or down some debbies or outcrunch some crunchies” — before he found out that he failed the bar for a second time.

As for the rest of the emails, that might be a different story. More details, and a colorful “no comment” from the associate himself, after the jump.

Continue reading

Interesting E-mail Exchange About the Redskins Case at the Firm Representing the Team

Above the Law, a blog (or “blawg”) about law firms and other law related stuff, has a post about an e-mail exchange between lawyers at Quinn Emmanuel, the firm that represented the Redskins in their recent victory. After the partner in charge of the case sent a firmwide message boasting about the victory, a first-year associate replied to the entire firm and essentially suggested that the firm was on the wrong side of the battle.

Check it out here.

Quinn Emanuel Associate Has Reservations About ‘Redskin’ Victory

quinn redskins.jpgHere’s a post devoted to the perils of “Reply All” and idealism among first-year associates. Brought to you by the attorneys of Quinn Emanuel.

The firm just celebrated a victory in its Washington Redskins case, reports the Washington Post:

A federal appeals court yesterday handed the Washington Redskins another victory in their long-running legal dispute with Native American activists over the team’s name.

The appeals court did not address whether the name was offensive but upheld a federal judge’s ruling last year that a Native American man had waited too long to challenge six Redskins trademarks.

AmLaw Daily reports that Quinn attorney Robert Raskopf, who has been working on the case for as long it has been since the Redskins have seen a Superbowl stadium, was pretty psyched about the victory:

Raskopf was in a good mood when we spoke with him about the appellate win. He’s been on the case since it started 17 years ago. “It’s a great win for the team,” said Raskopf, who had help from Quinn partner Sanford Weisburst on the brief. “I’m so happy for the Redskins and their fans.”

Raskopf was so happy on Friday that he sent out a firm-wide victory e-mail. But not everybody was thrilled. After bouncing around the firm and racking up some responses, the victory chain made its way to our inbox via a tipster:

This is too good not to share. This was sent to all Quinn attorneys.

The First Year Associate Who Shat All Over Raskopf’s Victory Email OR The First Year Associate Who Repurposed the Redskins

After the jump, see the chain that culminates in a (soon-to-be-fired?) first-year associate’s plea for idealistic litigation at Quinn.

Continue reading

Fifty Miles From Tomorrow reviewed in the New York Times

A memoir written by Inupiat elder William L. Iggiagruk Hensley was reviewed in this weekend’s New York Times book section. You can find the review on the NYT’s site here.


Coming of Age in Alaska


A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People

By William L. Iggiagruk Hensley

Illustrated. 256 pp. Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $24

The Far North of the imagination is a cartography of cartoon proportions, made even more so by the sudden celebrity of Sarah Palin. In shorthand, Alaska is white, cold and exotic, or it’s a cruise ship fantasy of fast-melting glaciers and camera-friendly caribou seen between first and second helpings at the buffet table.

But every now and then someone comes along with a story that lays a serious claim to Alaskan authenticity, advancing the Outside’s view of what life is really like in the Great Land.

With his memoir of Alaska, the Inupiat elder William L. Iggiagruk Hensley offers a coming-of-age story for a state and a people, both still young and in the making. And while there are familiar notes in the Dickensian telling of this tale, Hensley manages to make fresh an old narrative of people who arise just as their culture is being erased — be they “Braveheart” Scotsmen or outback Aborigines. His book is also bright and detailed, moving along at a clip most sled dogs would have trouble keeping up with.

Hensley’s life runs from the Alaska at “the twilight of the Stone Age,” as he says, to the petro-dominated modern state with its thriving native corporations and billion-dollar energy schemes. Hensley saw it all, and shaped much of it.

On one level, his story is first-person history, for it was in Alaska that the government tried something radically different in settling land claims of indigenous people. Instead of reservations, natives set up regional corporations — everyone a shareholder with an initial stake of land and money in what Hensley calls “the most sweeping and fairest Native American land settlement.”

On a personal level, the book is riveting autobiography. Anyone who thinks times are hard now need only consider a winter spent on an ice floor under a sod roof, and the prospect of a life-or-death journey to the outhouse.

“For me, Alaska is my identity, my home and my cause,” he writes. “I was there, after all, before Gore-Tex replaced muskrat and wolf skin in parkas, before moon boots replaced mukluks, before the gas drill replaced the age-old tuuq we used to dig through five feet of ice to fish.”

Hensley was raised just north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of Kotzebue Sound. On a clear day, he probably could see Russia from his house, for it’s a mere 90 miles across the Bering Strait. The international date line is 50 miles away, and hence the title.

The first part of the book — to me, the most fascinating — is a depiction of the nearly lost world of a North American hunter-gatherer community. Born in 1941, Hensley was raised by his mother’s cousin in a village of 300 people with no electricity, no lights, no telephones. Winter is a nine-month affair, mostly dark. Women were prized for having strong teeth, the better to crimp dried sealskins into mukluks.

The perils included not just 50-below-zero weather, but random cruelties of the primitive life. An episode of botulism — fermented walrus meat, a delicacy, went bad — killed Hensley’s adopted father.

Though it sounds harsh, Hensley writes favorably of the boy’s world of hunting, fishing and exploring under the midnight sun, and the joy of having an ancient connection to a place: “There are few people in America who can say that their forebears were here 10,000 years ago. That is a powerful thing.”

The story of his early life reads like “Angela’s Ashes” without the baroque sense of misery. The oppressors here are missionary and government do-gooders, insistent on eradicating native culture in a rush to assimilation. Hensley notes that his parents’ generation was schooled by people who forced children to write “I will not speak Eskimo” 100 times on the board.

At 15, Hensley was sent to Christian boarding school in Tennessee, where — naturally — he learned about sex and Southern cooking. He couldn’t stand the food, citing pimento cheese sandwiches in particular.

An excellent student, athlete and, by his own account, boyfriend, he went on to college at George Washington University, a series of oddball jobs and a political career in a time of tumult and possibility.

He became a Thomas Jefferson of sorts for native people after a vast oil field was discovered in Prudhoe Bay. Led by Hens ley, natives held up the state’s attempt to exploit those oil riches until aboriginal land claims were settled.

The resolution came in the form of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, awarding 44 million acres of land and nearly $1 billion to the first Alaskans. It set up a series of regional corporations, some of which became Fortune 500 companies.

But the rush to modern life took a big psychic toll. Alcohol, suicide, domestic violence — the familiar litany of native social ills — prompted a long journey of the soul for Hensley. As with every other episode of his life, it is told here with a Far Northern twist and an intimacy with the land and the heart.

Timothy Egan’s latest book, “The Worst Hard Time,” won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2006. He writes the Outposts column for