National Native American Bar Association Issues Formal Ethics Opinion on Duties of Advocates in Tribal Disenrollment Proceedings

Here is ethics opinion number 1: “Duties of Tribal Court Advocates to Ensure Due Process  Afforded to All Individuals Targeted for Disenrollment”:

National Native American Bar Association Formal Ethics Opinion No. 1

This follows up an earlier resolution from NNABA.

 

National NABA Issues Resolution Declaring Lawyers Assisting Tribal Disenrollment without Due Process are in Violation of the Ethical Rules

Here. An excerpt:

WHEREAS, Native Americans’ right of tribal citizenship is being increasingly divested or restricted without equal protection at law or due process of law, or any effective remedy for the violation of such rights, most commonly through a tribal process known as “disenrollment.”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Native American Bar Association hereby denounces any divestment or restriction of the American indigenous right of tribal citizenship, without equal protection at law or due process of law or an effective remedy for the violation of such rights.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Native American Bar Association hereby declares that it is immoral and unethical for any lawyer to advocate for or contribute to the divestment or restriction of the American indigenous right of tribal citizenship, without equal protection at law or due process of law or an effective remedy for the violation of such rights.

Attorney Sanctioned by State for Behavior in Tribal Court

Minnesota Supreme Court decision here.

The Director argues that Michael’s e-mail questioning the tribal court’s impartiality violated Rule 8.4(d). Michael counters that her accusation regarding the tribal court’s impartiality was well founded and, therefore, was not a violation of Rule 8.4(d). Similar to the misconduct in Getty, the conclusion that Michael’s conduct constitutes a violation of Rule 8.4(d) rests on the manner in which she raised her concerns about the tribal court’s alleged unfairness. Even if Michael could establish that her concerns were well founded, Michael’s flippant rhetorical question at the end of the e-mail that she addressed to the presiding tribal court judge and sent to opposing counsel was unprofessional and disrespectful. Michael’s conduct demonstrates a failure to “show . . . restraint and . . . respect for the judicial system even while disagreeing strongly with it or its decisions.” In re Getty, 401 N.W.2d at 671; cf. In re Snyder, 472 U.S. 634, 645-47 (1985)