Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Some announcements might still appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law job posted on Turtle Talk, please email

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potowatomi

Legal Intern, Fulton, MI. Work up to 10 hours per week during the school year. Open to first and second year law students.

Water Protector Legal Collective

Summer Intern, Mandan, N.D. The Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) is seeking (1L/2L) law students for a summer internship to work on the ground supporting water protectors, movement justice, and the Pro Hac attorney program.

Pueblo of Isleta

Tribal Prosecutor, Isleta, N.M. The position presents criminal complaints and prosecutes individuals accused of violating civil and/or criminal laws. Serves as presenting officer in Person-at-risk cases. Application.

National Congress of American Indians

Project Attorney, Washington, D.C. Responsible for day to day management of NCAI’s VAWA implementation technical assistance project.

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Assistant General Counsel, Fountain Hills, AZ. Closes May 1, 2017.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Senior Associate General Counsel, Mt. Pleasant, MI.

Associate General Counsel, Mt. Pleasant, MI.

Update on NLRB v. Tribal Casino Cases (from Kaighn Smith at DWM)

Normally, we don’t post these kinds of updates from law firms, but this is so well done and has links to primary documents we crave (see bolded text under the fold), so here goes:

Three recent unfair labor practice cases leveled against Indian nation casinos by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have gone in three different directions.  There may be ominous implications.

First, there was the complaint against the WinStar World Casino, owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation, filed before the NLRB’s Regional Office in Oklahoma.  The NLRB charged casino managers with violating the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by disciplining employees who engaged in union organizing activities.  The Chickasaw Nation sued the NLRB in federal court and secured an injunction to stop the case on the ground that the NLRB has no jurisdiction over labor relations within the Chickasaw Nation’s territory.  The NLRB has appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  It argues that federal courts have no authority to stop an NLRB unfair labor practice case until after the case has proceeded to final decision by the full Board.  (Under a provision of the NLRA, parties can appeal final Board decisions to the federal courts of appeals.)

Second, there was the complaint against the Soaring Eagle Casino, owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, filed before the NLRB’s Regional Office in Michigan.   In that case, the NLRB charged the casino with violating the NLRA when it fired an employee for soliciting union support in violation of the casino’s non-solicitation policy.   The Tribe sued the NLRB in federal court just like the Chickasaw Nation.  This time, however, the federal court declined to hear the case.  It said the Tribe needed to make all of its arguments to the Board before proceeding to federal court.  The unfair labor practice case then went to hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and the casino lost.  The ALJ ordered the casino to reinstate the employee and pay her back wages.  The ALJ also ordered the casino to post notices to employees announcing their rights under the NLRA, stating that it had violated the NLRA, and announcing that it would revoke its non-solicitation policy.  The casino has now appealed the ALJ’s decision to the full Board in Washington, D.C.  It argues that the NLRB has no jurisdiction over employment relations at its casino.

Third, there was the complaint against the Fort McDowell Casino, owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.  In that case, filed before the NLRB’s Regional Office in Arizona last February, the NLRB claimed that the casino maintained work rules that infringed on the ability of employees to engage in concerted activity in violation of the NLRA.  Before the case proceeded to hearing before the ALJ, the casino settled with the NLRB.  Under the settlement agreement on file with the NLRB’s Regional Office, the casino must post the following notice:

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Split Arizona Supreme Court Holds that Tribal Judges May Serve on State Redistricting Panel

Here is the opinion in  Adams v. Comm’n on Appellate Court Appointments.

An excerpt describing the tribal judge in question, Paul Bender:

Bender, an independent, stated on his application that he serves as “Chief Judge of two Arizona tribal courts.” Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University, serves as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

And from the analysis:

Consistent with the tribes’ distinctive status, Arizona’s constitution and laws generally do not include tribes within the meaning of the word “public.” Cf. Ariz. Const. art. 20, § 4 (referring separately to “public lands” and “lands . . . owned or held by . . . Indian tribes”). As noted above, see supra ¶¶ 23-29, Arizona’s constitution and statutes refer in many places to public office or public officers (for example, in provisions governing recall or financial disclosure), but none of those provisions has been construed to embrace tribal offices. Indeed, at oral argument, counsel could not identify any instance in Arizona law in which the word “public” has been interpreted to refer to Indian tribes.

From the dissent:

Giving the term “public office” the broad construction that § 1(3) suggests, I would conclude that Bender, as chief justice of two tribal courts, holds public office. At oral argument, amicus Valley Citizens’ League’s counsel (advocating for Professor Bender’s eligibility) expressly stated that Bender is a public officer of the respective tribes he serves. The constitutions and bylaws of both the San Carlos Apache and Fort McDowell Yavapai tribes support this acknowledgement, expressly delegating the judicial authority of their respective nations to their judiciaries. And it is indisputable that the judicial powers of a tribal nation are governmental powers of a sovereign. See 25 U.S.C. § 3631 (2006) (recognizing inherent sovereign authority of each tribal government’s judiciary); Penn v. United States, 335 F.3d 786, 789 (8th Cir 2003) (“[A] tribal court judge is entitled to the same absolute judicial immunity that shields state and federal court judges.”). As a judge, therefore, Bender exercises a portion of the governing power of these two sovereigns, making him a public official of these tribes.