Michigan and Oregon Adopt Pro Hac Vice Court Rules for ICWA Cases

Edited to add that Nebraska deserves credit for codifying this back in 2015, which I knew and forgot until today when I was doing some research. The provision is at Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1504(3), a citation which I have now memorized so I won’t forget it again. 

This spring both Michigan and Oregon have changed their court rules to allow out of state attorneys to appear in ICWA cases on behalf of a tribe (Michigan and Oregon) or parent or Indian custodian (Oregon). Both waive the pro hac fees, and do not require the attorneys to associate with local counsel.

Michigan’s rule, MCR 8.126, is here. The rule is effective September 1.

Oregon’s rule, UTCR 3. 170(9), is here. The rule is effective August 1.

In both of these cases, the rule was a result of a recommendation and work from the respective Tribal State Judicial Forums.

In the hopes this is something other states may be willing to take on (hi California! Oh hey, Washington!), we’ve started a page with resources here.

Oregon Proposed Pro Hac Vice Waiver for Tribal ICWA Attorneys

Here is the proposed rule:

{(9) An applicant is not required to associate with local counsel pursuant to subsection (1)(c) of this section or pay the fee established by subsection (6) of this section if the applicant establishes to the satisfaction of the Bar that:

(a) The applicant seeks to appear in an Oregon court for the limited purpose of participating in a child custody proceeding as defined by 25 U.S.C. §1903, pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, 25 U.S.C. §1901 et seq.;

(b) The applicant represents an Indian tribe, parent, or Indian custodian, as defined by 25 U.S.C. §1903; and

(c) The Indian child’s tribe has executed an affidavit asserting the tribe’s intent to intervene and participate in the state court proceeding and affirming the child’s membership or eligibility of membership under tribal law.}

The proposed change is to rule 3.170, and comments in support of the rule change must be made by February 24th. Now both Michigan and Oregon have these proposed rule changes in the works. These are really important state rule changes for tribes and Native families–the cost of pro hac in Oregon alone is $500, and in other states tribal attorneys are still being denied the right of intervention without following long and onerous pro hac requirements–sometimes making it impossible to participate in child welfare hearings involving Native kids. 

Native American Mascots Banned in Oregon Public Schools

First part of the article from the Oregonian:

The Oregon Board of Education voted Thursday afternoon to ban Native American mascots in schools across the state. The policy, which represents one of the toughest stances on the issue nationwide, was passed on a vote of 5-1.

“There’s a collective right that exists here,” said board member Artemio Paz. These sorts of mascots produce “racism and unnecessary bullying. We do not allow that to exist for any of our populations.”

All told it will affect at least 15 Oregon schools. Some schools will have to change both their mascots and their nicknames. Others, who call themselves “warriors,” will be allowed to keep their names but must change their mascots. The schools will have to make the changes by July 2017 or risk losing state funding.

Previous post is here.

Proposed Oregon Administrative Rule on Native American Mascots

A couple of weeks ago, the Oregon Department of Education heard testimony on Native American Mascots in Public Schools. The post with article links is here.

Last week, the Board released a resolution and proposed rule. Other information found here includes:  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Hrg. April 27, 2012 9:00AM HRC State Capitol, 900 Court St. NE, Salem. Public comment accepted until May 17, 2012, 12:00pm email ODE.NativeAmericanMascots@state.or.us

Oregon Department of Education Considers Mascot Issue

The Oregon Department of Education is taking public testimony on the issue of American Indian mascots in public schools on March 8th and 9th. There are several newspaper articles on the topic including ones here, here, here, and here.

The Topic Summary for tomorrow’s discussion is here.

Coquille Tribe’s Forest Management Seeks Balance

An excerpt from the Register-Guard:

Logging practices on the Coquille Tribe’s forest are drawing attention locally and nationally as the tribe’s foresters work to balance ecological concerns with timber production.

The tribe, working with the Bureau of Land Management on an experimental logging project, has been recognized for stewardship on its own 5,000-acre forest, and is being sought for collaborative management by Coos County commissioners.


Rules that govern management on BLM’s 2.2 million acres of Western Oregon forests have been swatted around by lawsuits in recent years, with environmentalists calling for less logging and the timber industry demanding more.

Last year, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar called for pilot projects from well-respected forestry researchers on ways to harvest timberland that leave bigger trees behind while giving managers a little more freedom in figuring out which trees to cut.