Fletcher Study on American Indian Legal Scholarship and the Courts

I have posted the data so far in chart form for my ongoing study on the impact of American Indian legal scholarship on the judiciary. The draft paper, which will be available on a limited basis at the Berkeley conference on Phil Frickey’s legacy, is called “American Indian Legal Scholarship and the Courts.” The data is available on SSRN here.

Here is the abstract for the appendices:

“American Indian Legal Scholarship and the Courts” is a forthcoming article that includes charts representing data on the citation patters of federal, state, and tribal courts to American Indian legal scholarship (defined as law review and similar publications focused on American Indian law). This paper includes three appendices in the form of simple charts that organize that data. Appendix 1 is a chart of Supreme Court opinions dating back to 1959 that include citations to Indian law review articles. Appendix 2 is a chart of law review articles cited in lower federal, state, and tribal courts since 1959, organized by article. Appendix 3 is the same chart reversed, with the chart organized by case first.

Henderson Center’s Fall 2012 Symposium, “Heeding Frickey’s Call: Doing Justice in Indian Country”



A few years before his untimely death the renowned Indian law scholar Phillip Frickey delivered a lecture at the University of Kansas citing the “failure of scholarship in federal Indian law” to “grapple with the law on the ground in Indian country” or to educate a judiciary that has little knowledge of Native culture.  In the aftermath of Professor Frickey’s critique of the abstract writing of law professors, some academics accepted his challenge and expanded their scholarship to address the problems requiring solutions in Indian country. Many of these efforts have been accomplished in partnership with tribal leaders and in response to their expressed needs.  Yet significantly more needs to be done.  In the face of increasing hostility to Indian law claims in the federal courts, it is imperative for Indian law scholars to assume some of the responsibility for educating the judiciary about Indian country.  Moreover, as courthouse doors are closing, it is necessary for tribes, their counsel, and Indian law scholars to expand their audiences and to search for remedies beyond the courts.

This symposium will highlight the challenges facing tribal communities today and ways in which Indian law scholarship has contributed to tackling the issues “on the ground in Indian country.” While recognizing the success stories, the participants will also be encouraged to redouble their efforts, to stretch themselves beyond their usual comfort zones, and to raise the bar for the academy.

Berkeley Law School Symposium on Legacy of Phil Frickey — Sept. 2012


A few years before his untimely death the renowned Indian law scholar Phillip Frickey delivered a lecture citing the “failure of scholarship in federal Indian law to grapple with the law on the ground in Indian country” and encouraged his colleagues to educate a judiciary with little knowledge of Native culture.

This symposium will bring together tribal leaders, jurists, Indian law scholars and practitioners to highlight the challenges facing tribal communities today and to explore ways in which the legal academy can contribute to meeting those challenges.

Symposium agenda and registration details to follow.


Top Ten Indian Law Stories of 2010

Based on numbers of hits, and a nice review of the year, here is the First Top Ten Indian Law Stories of the Year:

  1. Wells Fargo v. Lake of the Torches EDC. The effort by the bank to force Lac du Flambeau to pay its obligations had been shut down by the conclusion of a federal court that the trust indenture was a gaming management contract. A Seventh Circuit appeal was briefed and argued, and is pending. Posts are here and here.
  2. Tribal Law and Order Act. Congress finally passed a piece of legislation geared at dealing with a national problem — the incredible rise of violent crime in Indian Country, and most especially violence against Indian women. Top posts are here and here.
  3. Challenges to the PACT Act. Congress’s effort to destroy what remains of Indian country tobacco sales over the internet was initially enjoined, but that injunction was lifted. The cases are now pending in the Second Circuit. Top posts here and here.
  4. Gun Lake Band Casino news. The Gun Lake Band finally began construction on its casino after more than a decade of legal challenges, only to face a difficult financing market. Posts are here and here.
  5. Bay Mills Indian Community opens casino in Vanderbilt, MI on fee land. Would probably be number 1 or 2 if it happened earlier in the year. Posts here and here.
  6. Chief Justice Roberts dissent in North Carolina v. South Carolina. Mountain out of a molehill? Maybe, but still…. Post here.
  7. Bloomberg report on Foxwoods default. Old news, but continuing to be important. Post here.
  8. Elena Kagan Appointment to Supreme Court. Plenty of speculation here on her (lack of an) Indian law record. Top posts here and here.
  9. Supreme Court 2010 October Term Preview. Here.
  10. Possible Keith Harper Appointment to Tenth Circuit. Here.

Honorable mentions include the indictment of former Sault Ste. Marie tribal official Fred Paquin; Walter Echohawk’s new book; federal court challenges to consecutive sentences by tribal courts; the Saginaw Chippewa reservation boundaries settlement, and the passing of Phil Frickey.

Update (2:30 PM): Obviously, as Alex Skibine noted in the comments section, the Cobell settlement was a huge story for the year, while probably happening too late in the year to generate enough hits to make the top ten list. Same goes for President Obama’s announcement of support for the UN DRIP.

California Law Review Special Issue on Phil Frickey

The entire issue is available online here.

Forwarded message:
Issue in Honor of Professor Frickey

The August, 2010 issue of the California Law Review is dedicated to the lasting memory of Professor Philip P. Frickey — a towering scholar, beloved teacher, and inspiring mentor.

In April 2009, Boalt Hall hosted a festschrift honoring Professor Frickey, who had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. This issue collects essays presented at the event, as well as other contributions, including an annotated bibliography of Professor Frickey’s scholarly work; a tribute poem by a colleague; and a student comment that developed, with Professor Frickey’s guidance, in his Federal Indian Law course.

Most poignantly, this issue includes a posthumous Essay Professor Frickey authored in his final year. His wife, Mary Ann Bernard, provides a short introduction to the Essay, which takes the form of a prologue to a book he never finished.

In that Essay, the ever-humble Professor Frickey predicts that the legal academy will not remember his work in fifty years. We respectfully disagree, and hope this issue helps prove the contrary.