Trust Breach Claims by Nine Tribes Survives Motion to Dismiss

Here are the materials in Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate v. Jewell (D.C. District Court):

17 Amended Complaint

19 US Motion to Dismiss

22 Opposition

23 US Reply

27 DCT Order

Fletcher Paper on the Seminole Tribe and the Origins of Indian Gaming

At the invitation of Alex Pearl and the FIU Law Review to write a symposium piece on Florida Indian history and law, a challenge for me since I know very little about it, I came up with “The Seminole Tribe and the Origins of Indian Gaming.” Assuming the law review finds it publishable, it will appear in the FIU Law Review alongside the work of luminaries like Siegfriend Weissner and Sarah Krakoff.

Here is the abstract:

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has played perhaps the most important role in the origins and development of Indian gaming in the United States of any single tribe. The tribe opened the first tribally owned high stakes bingo hall in 1979. The tribe in 1981 was involved in one of the earliest lower court decisions forming the basis of the legal theory excluding most states from the regulation of high stakes bingo, a theory that Congress largely codified in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) years later. The tribe was a party to the Supreme Court decision in 1996 that radically altered the bargaining power between tribes and states over the negotiation and regulation of casino-style gaming under IGRA. And more recently, the tribe has been a leading participant in negotiations and litigation over the regulatory landscape of Indian gaming after the 1996 decision. The Tribe is one of the most successful Indian gaming tribes in the nation.

This paper traces that history, but also offers thoughts on how the culture and traditional governance structures of the Seminole Tribe played a part in its leadership role in the arena of Indian gaming.

Mashantucket Pequot Second Circuit En Banc Petition (and Amicus Support)

Here are the new materials in Mashantucket Pequot Tribe v. Town of Ledyard (2d Cir.):

MPN En Banc Petition

Amicus Brief in Support of En Banc Petition — Seminole, Umatilla, and Coquille

Panel decision and briefs are here.

State Law Claim to Recover Gaming Losses from Seminole Tribe and Other Dismissed

Here is the opinion in Crawley v. Clear Channel (M.D. Fla.):

DCT Order Dismissing Crawley Complaint

Technically, Seminole Tribe was not a defendant, but intervened for purposes of filing a motion to dismiss under Rule 19:

Seminole Motion to Dismiss

The court deemed Seminole’s motion to dismiss moot, as it dismissed the claims on other grounds.

Seminole/Hard Rock Credit Rating Affected by Distribution of Casino Revenues to Tribal Members

From St. Pete Times:

Two top credit rating agencies Wednesday downgraded their ratings on the Seminole Tribe of Florida, citing chronic problems with the tribe’s internal financial controls governing funds associated with their extensive casino gambling operations.

The downgrade reflects the inability to resolve the tribal government’s “long track record of weak internal controls with respect to financial and accounting practices,” said Fitch Ratings, which resulted in the June 3 notice of violation from the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Rating agency S&P said it put the tribe on “credit watch with negative implications” as well as its affiliates, Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment Inc. and Seminole Hard Rock International LLC. S&P also cited the gaming commission’s notice about the improper uses of gaming revenues by certain tribal members, including members of the tribal council. The Seminole Hard Rock Casino has locations in Tampa and Hollywood in South Florida.