Sault Tribe Prevails over Interior over Interpretation of Mandatory Trust Land Acquisition Statute

Here is the opinion in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):


Case tag here.


Sault Tribe Moves for Summary Judgment in Its Off-Rez Fee to Trust Claim

Here are the pleadings in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):

43 Sault Tribe MSJ

45 Detroit Casinos MSJ


54 Interior MSJ

56 Sault Tribe Reply

60 Detroit Casinos Reply

61 SCIT Reply

62 Interior Reply

63 NHBP Reply

Case tag here.

Tribes and Detroit Casinos Allowed to Intervene in Sault Tribe Suit over Lansing and Wayne County Off-Rez Gaming Applications

Here are the materials so far in Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):

1 Complaint

1-1 Solicitor Opinion on Bay Mills

1-2 Wayne County Application

1-3 Lansing Application

1-4 Supplemental Materials

1-5 Jan 2017 Interior Letter

1-6 July 2017 Interior Decision

11 Answer

16-1 Saginaw Chippewa Motion to Intervene

18-1 Detroit Casinos Motion to Intervene

20 Nottawaseppi Huron Band Motion to Intervene

28 Sault Tribe Opposition to Intervention Motions

29 Federal Opposition to Detroit Casinos Motion to Intervene

31 Saginaw Chippewa Reply in Support of 16

32 Detroit Casinos Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene

33 NHBPI Reply in Support of Motion to Intervene

35 DCT Order

Prior posts on the Lansing/Wayne County casino proposals are here.

Sault Tribe Motion to Dismiss Michigan Gaming Suit

Here are the new materials in the case captioned State of Michigan v. Payment (W.D. Mich.):

2015-03-20 Brief in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

2015-03-20 Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint

71 Michigan Response to Motion to Dismiss

72 Sault Tribe Reply

The state’s amended complaint is here.

State of Michigan Sues Sault Tribe Officials–Amended Complaint with Exhibits

Amended Complaint

2Exhibit A (Letter from DOI)

Exhibit B (letter from Gov. Snyder to Chairman Eitrem)

Exhibit C (Sault Tribe Submission for Mandatory Fee-to-Trust Acquisition)

Exhibit D (Same, for the Sibley Parcel)

Exhibit E (Sault Tribe approval of development agreement with Lansing, MI)

Exhibit F (Comprehensive Development Agreement between Sault Tribe and Lansing)

Previous coverage of the Lansing casino case here.

Updated Materials in Michigan v. Sault Tribe — State Seeks to Sue Tribal Officials

Here are the materials in State of Michigan v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (W.D. Mich.):

49 Renewed Motion to Dismiss

53-1 State Motion for Relief

55 State Response to Motion to Dismiss

57 Soo Tribe Reply

58 Soo Tribe Response to Motion for Relief

60 State Reply

63 DCT Order to Adjourn and Reschedule Oral Argument

Sixth Circuit materials are here.


Michigan Files Cert Petition against Sault Tribe in Lansing Casino Controversy

Here are the petition materials in Michigan v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians:

Michigan Cert Petition

Petition Appendix

Lower court materials here.

The CA6 stayed this matter, here, here, and here.

Fletcher: “Bullshit and the Tribal Client”

I’ll be presenting aspects of a draft paper, “Bullshit and the Tribal Client,” at Federal Indian Bar next week. Here is the abstract:

While it is well established that lawyers may not lie to their clients, it is not well established whether counsel can bullshit their potential and active clients. I do not mean bullshit as a term of abuse, but rather as philosopher Harry Frankfurt meant it. Frankfurt identified politicians and public relations professionals as examples of modern day bullshitters. Politicians and PR professionals care only about reaching their goals, and while that may include telling lies, it definitely includes making statements that no one can possibly know is true or not. All that matters is the outcome. Lawyers are bullshitters, too. And lawyers utilize bullshit for the same reason politicians do – to persuade someone to select them. Politicians want a vote; lawyers want a client. In American Indian law and policy, lawyers are not the only bullshitters – elected tribal officials are politicians, too, and many of them are bullshitters as well.

While there is a lot of bullshit going around, I am mostly (but not entirely) concerned about bullshit from outside counsel, often specialized counsel, directed at tribal clients. This paper is intended to identify areas where counsel employs bullshit when dealing with tribal clients. By counsel I mean both outside counsel and in-house counsel, and by clients I include both in-house counsel and tribal leadership. The relationship between in-house counsel and most, if not quite all, tribal government clients renders tribal clients uniquely vulnerable to bullshit by outside counsel. I offer suggestions, mostly for the benefit of in-house counsel, on how to deal with bullshit from both outside counsel and tribal officials. However, I will be the first to acknowledge that in-house may be placed in a no-win scenario, especially once appellate specialists take control of a case involving tribal interests.

Substantive comments welcome.

On another note, I recommend learning more about and perhaps joining the Tribal In-House Counsel Association.

Sixth Circuit Denies Sault Tribe Motion to Reconsider Stay


CA6 Order Denying Reconsideration

Prior posts on the stay are here and here. Panel materials here.