Welcome to Native American Law Focus, A Miller Nash Blog


Welcome to Miller Nash's Native American Law Focus–a blog dedicated to providing legal updates and news for tribal governments and their enterprises.

Native American Law Focus will feature postings from a number of practicing attorneys at Miller Nash LLP who work with our tribal group in various areas, including gaming, government relations, labor and employment, finance, litigation, and real estate.

We invite you to come and check us out–and come back often–to stay up to date on local, state, and national issues important to Indian Country.

- Chris Masse, Native American Tribes and Organizations Practice Team Leader
July 29, 2014 10:34 AM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
On June 23, President Obama nominated Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri (member of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma) to serve as Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission ("NIGC"). Chaudhuri is currently serving . . . read more
July 7, 2014 2:10 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The 2014 Northwest Indian Gaming Conference and Expo will be held July 14-16 at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington. . . read more
June 12, 2014 2:39 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie and Raymond, Emily (Summer Associate) | Permalink

On June 11, the Ninth Circuit granted the Big Lagoon Rancheria Tribe's petition for rehearing en banc.  The Tribe's petition urged reconsideration of the Ninth Circuit's January 21, 2014 decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, which authorized the state to collaterally attack a trust land designation

read more
June 4, 2014 6:52 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie and Raymond, Emily (Summer Associate) | Permalink
On June 3, 2014, the IRS released its finalized guidelines on the General Welfare Exclusion applied to payments from tribal governments. The new guidelines allow payments made to or on behalf of a member of an Indian tribe, under a tribal government program to promote the general welfare, to be excluded from the recipient's gross income for tax purposes. read more
May 27, 2014 10:47 AM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
The Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that tribal sovereign immunity prevents the State from suing an Indian Tribe for operating an off-reservation casino in northern Michigan. read more
May 23, 2014 2:16 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris | Permalink
Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn announced publication of proposed federal regulations under 25 CFR 83 to reform the process by which the Department of the Interior officially recognizes Indian tribes. read more
May 14, 2014 10:40 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Washington State Bar Association Indian Law Section is co-sponsoring the 26th Annual WSBA Indian Law Seminar—Staying Current. The May 23 seminar is being . . . read more
May 13, 2014 11:50 AM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Washington State Gambling Commission ("WSGC") approved the Cowlitz Tribe's gaming compact last Thursday in a 6-3 vote. Tribal Chairman Iyall presented the terms of the compact . . . read more
April 11, 2014 11:18 AM | Posted by Miller Nash LLP | Permalink
Registration is open for the 2014 Northwest Indian Gaming Conference & Expo. The annual event is being held at Little Creek Casino Resort from July 14-16 . . . read more
April 2, 2014 12:58 PM | Posted by Masse, Chris and Coyle, Brie | Permalink
On March 31, 2014, the Department of Revenue issued a Property Tax Advisory which advised that, under federal law, permanent improvements on tribal trust land are exempt from state property tax irrespective of tribal ownership. read more
March 18, 2014 2:25 PM | Posted by Seffernick, Aubrey | Permalink
The Washington State legislature wrapped up its 2014 session March 13, 2014. In this short 60-day session, the legislature passed a few pieces of legislation significant to tribes. The below mentioned bills have all been sent to Governor Inslee for approval . . . read more
March 14, 2014 4:03 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
On March 6, 2014, the Big Lagoon Rancheria Tribe filed its petition for rehearing, with suggestion for rehearing en banc. The petition argues that rehearing is necessary to "correct fundamental mistakes of fact and law" contained in the January 21, 2014, majority opinion. read more
March 13, 2014 1:56 PM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
Yesterday, the Department of the Interior released an opinion from the Solicitor that discusses the legal meaning of "under federal jurisdiction" in the Indian Reorganization Act (the "IRA").  This opinion is in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Carcieri v. Salazar . . . read more
February 26, 2014 10:16 AM | Posted by Coyle, Brie | Permalink
Last December, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan filed its opening brief in the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, challenging the National Labor Relations Board's ("NLRB") assertion of jurisdiction over its tribal casino. A few days ago, the NLRB filed its brief in response the Tribe's brief. read more