Klamath Irrigation District v. Bureau of Reclamation Cert Petition [Rule 19 & Tribal Immunity]


Question presented:

Whether Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 requires dismissal of an action challenging a federal agency’s use of water subject to state-adjudicated water rights if a Native American tribe asserts an interest in the suit and does not consent to joinder.

Lower court materials here.

Jaune Smith

Klamath and Hoopa Tribes Prevail in Ninth Circuit Klamath River Water Distribution Challenge

Here is the opinion in Klamath Irrigation District v. Bureau of Reclamation.


Klamath irrigation Opening Brief

Shasta View Opening Brief

Hoopa Answer Brief

Klamath Answer Brief

Federal Answer Brief

Shasta View Reply


Lower court materials here.

Fifth Circuit Briefs in Immunity/Federal Jurisdiction Case Involving Hoopa Valley Tribe

Here are the briefs in Mitchell v. Bailey:


Hoopa Appeal Brief_ECF Filed


Hoopa Reply

Lower court materials in Mitchell v. Bailey (W.D. Tex.):

1 Complaint

32 Hoopa Motion to Dismiss

34 Response

35 Hoopa Motion to Substitute US as Party

40 Response

41 Reply in Support of 32

47 Reply in Support of 35

48 DCT Order

Update in Klamath River Flow Litigation [Rule 19 Motion]

Here are updated materials in Klamath Irrigation District v. Bureau of Reclamation (D. Or.):

Dkt 89 Magistrate Findings and Recommendation of Dismissal

ECF 70 Second Amended Complaint

ECF 73 Shasta 2nd amended complaint

ECF 74 HVT Motion to Dismiss

ECF 75 Klamath Motion to Dismiss

ECF 76 Feds Response to Motion to DIsmiss

ECF 83 Hoopa Reply Re Dismissal

ECF No 77 ShastaViewOppMotDismiss

ECF No 78 KIDopposMotDismiss

Here is a new pleading in a related case, Yurok Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation (N.D. Cal.):

909-1 Yurok Motion

Additional materials (9/8/22):

80 Hoopa Reply

81 Klamath Tribes Reply

86 Magistrate Recommendation

94 DCT Order

Cert Petition by Western Ranchers and Farmers Challenging Reserved Water Rights [updated]

Here is the petition in Bales v. United States:


Question presented:

Whether, against the legal backdrop of Congress’s and this Court’s recognition of the primacy of state law to determine, quantify, and administer water rights, a federal court may deem federal agency regulatory action under the Endangered Species Act to constitute the adjudication and administration of water rights for tribal purposes.

Lower court materials here.


05142020-1 PacificCoastFedFishermen Opposition Brief

OpposBriefUSA-20200514173954985_19-1134 Baley

Federal Circuit Decides Baley v. United States [Indian reserved water rights to Klamath River water predate farmers]

Here is the opinion.

Here are the briefs:











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 indigenous@law.msu.edu.

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe

General Counsel. Persons interested in applying should send a letter of interest, writing sample, and a resumé which includes references to:

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe
Human Resources Department
5318 Chief Brown Lane
Darrington, WA 98241

With a copy to mrsdlroberts@sauk-suiattle.com and to courtclerk@sauk-suiattle.com For additional information you may contact the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe Office of Legal Counsel at (360) 436-0139.

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson, & Perry LLP

2018 Summer Associates. A national law firm dedicated to representing Native American interests in a wide range of endeavors – including trial and appellate litigation, federal Indian law, tribal law, Indian self-determination and self-governance matters, transportation and infrastructure, natural resources, and economic development, among others – is currently recruiting incoming 2L students for 2018 summer associate positions. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample (a sample relevant to our practice area is preferred, but not necessary) to Will Stephens, Partner at wstephens@sonosky.com (please also copy kwray@sonosky.com). Interested applicants should send this information no later than Thursday, August 31, 2017.

Hoopa Valley Tribe

Executive Director, Hoopa Valley Housing Authority, F/T, Regular, Salary: DOE. Performs general administrative work with supervisory and management responsibilities; has constant contact with the public, Tribal Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Tribal Council, departments and federal agencies; requires knowledge of project development, planning, accounting, financial management, budgeting, investments, and knowledge of sound business practices. The HVHA operates under tribal and federal laws and is funded primarily through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA). Directs operations to provide low-income housing, rentals, and related services to eligible recipients and manages existing Mutual Help housing units. Minimum Requirements: Master’s Degree (M.A.) or equivalent and two (2) years of related experience; or a Bachelor’s Degree with four (4) years of related experience including two (2) years of management or supervisory experience; or at least eight (8) years of experience working with HUD programs including management experience, and extensive knowledge of HUD and NAHASDA regulations. Must have a Valid CA Driver’s License and be insurable. Must successfully pass an employment background check in accordance with Title 30A; Employment Background Check Policy of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. DEADLINE: August 22, 2017.

These positions are classified safety-sensitive. For job descriptions and employment applications, contact the Human Resources/Insurance Department, Hoopa Valley Tribe, P.O. Box 218, Hoopa, CA 95546. Call (530) 625-9200 Ext. 13 or 17. Or email hr2@hoopainsurance.com. The Tribe’s Alcohol & Drug Policy and TERO Ordinance Apply.

Michigan Indian Legal Services

Staff Attorneys (2), Southwest Michigan, Upper Peninsula. Please send resume, cover letter and writing sample to:

James A. Keedy
Executive Director
Michigan Indian Legal Services
814 S. Garfield Ave., Suite A
Traverse City, MI 49686

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Staff Attorney. Submit resume, cover letter, and employment application to hr@millelacsband.com. Closes August 10, 2017.

Previous Friday Jobs Announcement: 7/21/17

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 indigenous@law.msu.edu.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Assistant Attorney General/Prosecutor in Okmulgee, OK. Will assist in the prosecution of criminal, juvenile and elder cases and matters on behalf of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation (MCN), provide legal advice and counsel to various departments and agencies of the MCN; negotiation, review & drafting of contracts; negotiation & purchase of commercial & individual property for MCN; assists with legal advice & counsel to the Tribal communities; drafting of Tribal legislation, attends tribal committee meetings & provides legal advice to Tribal committees. Perform other duties as assigned by the Attorney General.

Candidate must meet the following requirements: Graduate of an accredited law school; knowledgeable and/or have experience in Federal Indian law; must be able to communicate effectively with the public and handle workload under pressure situations; must be able to work with confidential materials; must be licensed to practice law in any state and must be in good standing with that jurisdiction; must be willing to become licensed to practice law in Oklahoma; must be a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Bar Association or eligible to become a member

Visit our website for more information: www.muscogeenation-nsn.gov
Muscogee (Creek) and Indian Preference

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

Congressional Advocate on Native American Policy Fellowship, Washington, D.C. Is the lead staff position for the Native American program and collaborates with communications and strategic advocacy (outreach and organizing) staff. Link: FAQ.

DNA People Legal Services

2017 Summer Law Clerks. DNA is one of the largest Indian legal service organizations in the country, located in northern AZ, northwest NM, and southern UT.  We serve clients who live in poverty, with their civil legal needs, such as consumer law, domestic violence, guardianships and other family law, landlord/tenant, employment and public benefits cases.  We practice in tribal, state, federal and administrative courts. We have summer law clerk positions (volunteer or Work-Study) available, the internships are 10 weeks long, generally June 1st-August 12th, but we’re flexible.

Ak-Chin Indian Community

Assistant Prosecutor, Maricopa, AZ. $67,028 – $80,433.50 per annum. Minimum Qualifications: Experience equivalent to two years of full time work providing legal counsel in a tribal, local government, or corporate setting, at least one year of trial work is preferred.  Federal Indian Law course work or clinical experience in an Indian legal clinic or law school setting will be considered toward the required experience.  Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and possess a Juris Doctorate.  Must posses a valid Arizona Driver’s License and be able to meet the Community’s insurance carrier requirements. (see list attached to application or on the website).

Closes Monday, April 17, 2017 at 5:00 p.m To be considered for this position, please submit a signed and complete Ak-Chin Indian Community application (additional resume optional), 39-month driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles, a copy of CIB or proof of tribal enrollment if claiming Indian Preference, and a copy of DD214 if claiming Veteran’s preference to: Ak-Chin Indian Community, Attn:  Human Resources Department 16-85a, 42507 W. Peters and Nall Rd, Maricopa, AZ 85138, Fax:  520-568-1051, Email:  resumes@ak-chin.nsn.us, Website:  www.ak-chin.nsn.us

The Rothstein Law Firm

Indian Law Associate, Tempe, AZ. Rothstein Donatelli is accepting applications for an Indian law associate position in its Tempe, Arizona office. The position is for an attorney with a minimum of 2 years of Indian law or general legal experience. Candidates should possess excellent oral and written communication skills. Rothstein Donatelli, with offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM and Tempe, AZ, focuses its practice on federal Indian law, civil rights, white collar criminal defense, and personal injury. Rothstein Donatelli is committed to advancing the sovereign rights of Native American tribes.

Please send a cover letter, writing samples and resume to Joseph Meserve, Executive Director, P.O. Box 8180, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87504-8180. E-mail responses may be submitted to jmeserve@rothsteinlaw.com. http://www.rothsteinlaw.com

Hoopa Valley Tribe

Associate Attorney. Seeking attorney interested in working and living in beautiful Humboldt County, CA. J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and admission to any state bar required; CA license a plus. Three to five years’ experience in federal Indian law or a related field preferred.  Litigation experience helpful but not required. Salary DOE with excellent benefits, which may include housing. Email cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to hvtota.wilbur@gmail.com.

Ninth Circuit Decides Klamath-Trinity River Flow Dispute in Favor of Feds and Tribes

Here is the opinion in San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Haugrud.

From the court’s syllabus:

The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s judgment, and held that the Bureau of Reclamation had the authority to implement the 2013 release of Trinity River water from the Lewiston Dam, above and beyond the amount designated in the applicable water release schedule.

Reversing the district court, the panel held that the Act of August 12, 1955, gave the Bureau the authority to implement the 2013 flow augmentation release to protect fish in the lower Klamath River. Affirming the district court, the panel also held that the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate Central Valley Project Improvement Act (“CVPIA”) section 3406(b)(23), which called for a permanent water release that would serve only the Trinity River basin. The panel further held that the 2013 flow augmentation release did not violate California water law and, in turn, did not violate the Reclamation Act of 1902 or CVPIA section 3411(a), both of which require the Bureau to comply with state water permitting requirements.

Briefs here.