Tribal Court Trial Skills College
March 9-11, 2008
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
Advocate Training. Contact Sonia Reyna for more information (480) 727-0420
Tribal Court Trial Skills College
March 9-11, 2008
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
Advocate Training. Contact Sonia Reyna for more information (480) 727-0420
AStaff Attorney position at San Manuel has now been posted and can be found here:
The job description is below. Applicants must complete the online application to be considered for the position.
The Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, American Indian Policy Institute at ASU, American Indian Law Center, Inc., Native Nations Law and Policy Center at University of California, Los Angeles, National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Gaming Association, Arizona Indian Gaming Association, and the New Mexico Indian Gaming Association are pleased to announce a conference to commemorate and celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Conference entitled Indian Country’s Winning Hand: 20 Years of IGRA will be held on October 16-17, 2008 at the Ft McDowell Yavapai Nation’s Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino in Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
7:00 — 8:00 am Registration
8:00 — 8:45 am Welcome and Introduction
8:45 — 10:20 am A History of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
10:20 — 10:45 am Break
10:45 — 12:15 pm Federal Implementation of IGRA: The National Indian Gaming Commission, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Justice
12:15 — 2:00 pm Keynote Luncheon
2:00 — 3:30 pm Class III Gaming Compacts and the Impact of Indian Gaming on Tribalïƒ³State Relations
3:30 — 3:50 pm Break
3:50 — 5:30 pm Class III Gaming Compacts and the Impact of Indian Gaming on Tribal–State Relations
6:30 — 8:30 pm Pathbreaker’s Banquet (Courtyard Plaza)
Friday, October 17, 2008
7:30 — 8:30 am Check-In
8:30 — 10:00 am The Economic Impacts of Indian Gaming
10:00 — 10:20 am Break
10:20 — 12:15 pm Indian Gaming’s Impact on the Tribes
12:15 — 2:00 pm Keynote Luncheon
2:00 — 3:15 pm Indian Gaming and the Federal–Tribal Relationship
3:15 — 3:30 pm Break
3:30 — 5:30 pm Where Does Indian Gaming Go From Here?
Confirmed Speakers: (listed alphabetically)
Allison Binney (tentative)
Dr. Eddie Brown
Robert N. Clinton
Philip S. Deloria
Howard Dickstein, Esq.
Eric D. Eberhard
Diane G. Enos
Glenn M. Feldman
Matthew L.M. Fletcher
Thomas F. Gede
Carole E. Goldberg
Stephen M. Hart
Joseph P. Kalt
Thomas L. LeClaire
Steven Andrew Light
Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier
Kathryn R.L. Rand
G. William Rice
Jim Shore (tentative)
Alexander Tallchief Skibine
Kate Spilde Contreras. Ph. D.
Mark Van Norman
Dr. Peterson Zah
Others who have been or are being invited,
not yet confirmed.
Carl J. Artman
Joe A. Garcia
Philip N. Hogen
Richard M. Milanovich
Raymond G. Sanchez
Ernest L. Stevens, Jr.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of Office of Government Development/Legislative
JOB VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT OLS0316917-210391-0302
DATES 12/10/07 – 12/21/07
SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES
Knowledge of the Local Governance Act, Ethics in Government Law and Title II of the Navajo Nation Code. Knowledge of budgeting, goal setting, performance measure development, and fiscal management; skilled in contract drafting, management, procurement, compliance and enforcement; skilled in organizing, planning, and supervising; skilled in managing and directing
staff, maintaining open and effective communication, and employee rights and grievance procedures; skilled in researching, interpreting and analyzing a variety of legal documents; skilled in collection, analysis and evaluation of information to arrive at sound conclusions and recommendations; ability to forge effective working relationships with Council Delegates, Chapter Officials and staff, and the Navajo public; excellent public speaking skills and writing skills mandatory.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Directs an office engaged in complex governmental matters that may be highly political and impact the overall Nation; works under oversight of the Commission on Navajo Government Development and make regular reports to the Commission and Navajo Nation Council and/or Committees; prepares legislation, resolutions, policies; contracts and correspondence; explains
Navajo law and policies affecting the chapter governments; and conducts a significant amount of public education and speaking, preferably in Navajo. May involve review of small to medium size grants for chapter governments.
EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:
A Master’s degree in Public Administration, Business Administration or a related field; and
eight (8) years of adminstrative or management experience, which must include six (6) years of supervisory experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the capabilities to perform the described duties.
TITLE: Paralegal or Attorney, Law Office of Schaff & Clark-Deschene, LLC
HOURS: Full Time
Provide legal support regarding matters under tribal law, and in particular, matters involving enterprises of the Navajo Nation. Provide legal support regarding tribal governing laws and other authorities and related policies and procedures of the enterprise, including personnel policies and procedures and other internal policies and procedures of the enterprise. Provide negotiation support with regard to the above matters. Provide litigation services and/or support with regard to the above matters as those matters are litigated in tribal courts, and litigation support as the above matters are litigated in other jurisdictions. Remain advised and informed on matters impacting tribal energy projects and other industries as they may impact the tribal enterprise. Coordinate, in conjunction with the tribal enterprise, the work done by other attorneys and consultants under contract with the tribal enterprise. Provide project support and research services to the tribal enterprise as well as other in-house related legal services as are requested by the tribal enterprise. Travel required.
Desirable candidates will have paralegal training or a J.D. and two or more years of related experience with practice in the following areas: federal Indian law, energy and natural resources law, economic development, land use, government affairs, and/or litigation matters affecting not only tribes, but also non-Indian developers seeking to enter into relationship with tribal governments. Must reside in or near Window Rock, Arizona, have reliable transportation, and understand Navajo.
For attorneys, prefer state and Navajo Nation bar certification. Demonstrate self-reliance and willing to take initiative to accomplish project goals.
CLOSING DATE: Open Until Filled
In accordance with the Indian Preference Regulations, preference is given to American Indians. To claim American Indian preference, a copy of tribal affiliation must be submitted with resume.
Resumes and tribal affiliation records should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Law Offices of Schaff & Clark Deschene, LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Emails Only Please- we will call candidates who appear qualified for the position. Our firm resume available to you upon request. Thank you.
Commentary by Diane J. Humetewa, U.S. Attorney for Arizona and Jon M. Sands, Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona.
Reception will follow. If you plan to attend, we would appreciate if you registered at no charge. Thank You.
Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law — Great Hall
Professor Kevin K. Washburn teaches administrative law, gaming law, American Indian law, and other courses at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Washburn earned his law degree from the Yale Law School in 1993, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, Professor Washburn clerked for Judge William C. Canby, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Washburn began his career with the United States Department of Justice, litigating cases involving Indian tribes, mostly in the context of environmental and natural resources law, in federal district and appellate courts throughout the Western United States. He also worked as a federal prosecutor in New Mexico, where he prosecuted (primarily) violent crimes arising in Indian country. In 2000, Professor Washburn became the General Counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the independent federal regulatory agency that regulates Indian gaming nationwide. He served in that role until he joined the University of Minnesota Law School in the Fall of 2002. Professor Washburn is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. During the 2007-08 school year he is serving as the Onedia Nation Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he is taching gaming law, first year criminal law and American Indian law.
Alumna confirmed as U.S. Attorney
Diane J. Humetewa, a 1993 graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, was confirmed late Thursday by the U.S. Senate as Arizona’s next U.S. Attorney. Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, is the first Native American appointed to the position. Humetewa has been the senior litigation counsel and tribal liaison in the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office and serves as an appellate court judge for the Hopi Tribal Court.
Patricia White, dean of the College of Law, praised Humetewa. “She will bring professionalism, experience and a caring sensitivity to this position,” White said. “She will carry on the strong tradition of excellent U.S. Attorneys for Arizona, including her immediate predecessor Paul Charlton, his predecessor Jose Rivera, and his predecessor Janet Napolitano. They all brought exceptional talent and professionalism to the post. This is the tradition that Diane Humetewa inherits and will continue.”
Rebecca Tsosie, executive director of the Indian Legal Program, said Humetewa is an excellent choice. “Diane Humetewa has outstanding academic credentials and extensive experience as a prosecutor,” Tsosie said. “I cannot think of another person who has Diane’s depth and range of experience as a federal prosecutor and her familiarity with the many programs encompassed within the U.S. attorney’s office. “I cannot think of another individual who has the same combination of intellectual brilliance, outstanding lawyering skills, impeccable judgment, high ethical standards, commitment to professionalism, and the ability to build consensus and understanding among diverse groups. Diane Humetewa will be an excellent U.S. Attorney for the state of Arizona, the Native Nations within the southwest, and for the entire country.”
Humetewa, who served as a counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs from August 1993 to March 1996, when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was chairman of the panel, has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney for six U.S. Attorneys. She was recommended for the nomination by Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and McCain to fill the position vacated by Paul Charlton, one of eight U.S. attorneys ousted in a controversial purge of the Justice Department.
Daniel Knauss has served as the interim U.S. attorney since January. “I congratulate Diane Humetewa on her confirmation today as the new U.S. Attorney for Arizona,” Kyl said in a statement. “Her background as a prosecutor, crime-victims advocate, and years of public service made her an outstanding nominee and will serve her well in this important position.”
McCain praised Humetewa in his nomination. “Diane has demonstrated a devotion to public service and commitment to justice, and I believe she is uniquely qualified to address legal issues in the state of Arizona,” McCain said in a statement released on Thursday. “During my chairmanship on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee I had the opportunity to work with Diane and witness her dedication to serving Americans, commitment to justice and incredible work ethic. “These qualities will serve her well as the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona.”
Charlton told The Arizona Republic earlier this year that he and Humetewa had discussed the job, and he feels she is a “perfect fit.” “I tried a case with Diane about 10 years ago, and it was there that I saw this extraordinary combination of outstanding prosecutor and an individual with a clear moral compass who understood what was right and demonstrated good judgment consistently,” Charlton said. “One of the qualities you need to be a U.S. attorney in Arizona is to have a great deal of sensitivity to issues in Indian country, and no one has been better able to exemplify that than Diane.”
OF THE LAKE TRAVERSE INDIAN RESERVATION
OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL
The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation is looking for a licensed full-time, on site, attorney to serve in the Office of General Counsel at Agency Village, South Dakota 57262.
Legal Representation Duties and Responsibilities
The attorney will provide attorney services to the Tribe and its entities in all legal matters including any necessary litigation in federal, state and tribal courts. The legal work involves employment, gaming, land, corporate, and contractual issues and other Indian law issues.
Applicant must possess a Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school and must be currently admitted to practice law before any state court or obtain admittance to practice law in South Dakota by sitting for the next available examination by the South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners upon hire. If applicant’s graduated after June 1, 2005, applicant’s law school transcript must be submitted. Applicants must have a minimum of 1 year of experience in Indian law. The attorney must pass the South Dakota bar within 15 months and become a member of the Federal Bar in South Dakota within 15 months from date of hire.
Compensation and Application Process
Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample. All applicants may submit their information by mail, facsimile, or electronic mail to the following person:
Karen Bianas, Human Resources Director
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Agency Village, SD 57262
Please submit a copy of the application documents to Brenda J. Bellonger, via Tribal Attorney’s email: email@example.com, or mailed to: Mrs. Bellonger, Esq., Office of General Counsel, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, P.O. Box 509, Agency Village, SD 57262.
All questions should be directed to Brenda J. Bellonger, Tribal Attorney at 605-698-3911 Ext. 206, Fax: 605-698-7844, Cell: 605-237-4101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Salary is negotiable and is based upon level of experience.
Open until January 25, 2007.
TOUGH BENCHU.S. Indian Tribal JudgesGrapple With Legal Limits
Mr. Flies-Away’s CourtOffers Second Chances;Admonishing Valentino
By GARY FIELDSDecember 12, 2007; Page A1
PEACH SPRINGS, Ariz. — Judge Joseph Thomas Flies-Away, a graduate of Stanford and Harvard, is a national expert on Indian tribal law. But here in the Hualapai tribe’s court, a small, windowless room fashioned out of a converted kitchen, he seems more like a social worker.
“Valentino, you were just here. Now you’re here again?” asked the judge during a recent session. Mr. Flies-Away had known Valentino Washington and his family for years. Now, the 18-year-old was facing jail after assaulting his mother and sister in a drunken rage — as well as for not paying a previous fine. Unlike courts elsewhere in the U.S., the tribal reservation system doesn’t guarantee all Native Americans the right to defense counsel. So Mr. Washington sat alone, a situation that softened the judge’s usual businesslike demeanor.
After reprimanding the teen for his behavior, Judge Flies-Away ordered him to perform community service. Mr. Washington was puzzled as to what that meant.
“You go and clean somebody’s yard. You wash cars. You go work with the elderly,” the judge explained. Mr. Washington will remain in jail until the fine has been paid in labor. “Valentino, you might be in there a while,” said the judge, his low voice tinged with both sadness and resignation.
In this separate justice system crippled by arcane laws and decades of federal neglect, Mr. Flies-Away, a 42-year-old Hualapai Indian, is trying to make a difference. He frequently ministers to defendants from the bench, taking on the dual role of judge and adviser. He has pushed for harsher penalties for repeat offenders, and has clashed with federal authorities when they impinge on tribal business. He helped create the corporation that runs the tribe’s various businesses, sat on its council and has twice been tapped as chief judge.
OLD PROBLEMS, EARLY FIXES
Mr. Flies-Away walks with his shoulders drawn forward and doesn’t smile much. He can’t think of many success stories in this world, where his fellow tribe members are plagued by alcoholism, methamphetamine abuse and domestic violence. But the idea of leaving the reservation and returning to the elite precincts where he was educated runs counter to his sense of duty.
‘My People, My Relatives’
“These are my people, my relatives,” Mr. Flies-Away says. “So despite the hardships and problems, there is also family, joy and possibility. I have to keep thinking that or I might go off the deep end.”
The hundreds of judges who serve the nation’s 275 tribal court systems bring strengths and weaknesses — and a world of diversity — to the bench. They range from tribal council members without college educations to white law professors with impeccable rÃ©sumÃ©s. No matter their credentials, the obstacles they face are formidable.
Some tribes are too poor to hire public defenders. Simple matters, such as who has the power to make arrests, are not always easily solved. And tribal courts — which also rely on their own prosecutors — have limited powers to mete out sentences.
Lacking counsel, some defendants enter guilty pleas almost by default. Victims can suffer as well, since federal prosecutors take only a minority of cases. Another flaw of the system: If a crime is committed by a non-Indian, the tribes are virtually powerless, as their limited jurisdiction generally doesn’t allow them to prosecute outsiders. By contrast, if a tribe member commits a crime off the reservation, some states can use past tribal convictions to augment a new sentence.
A number of piecemeal efforts have sought to unravel such complexities. U.S. attorneys in several states, including Oklahoma, Michigan and North Carolina, have assigned federal prosecutors to focus on tribal crime in a bid to ensure that cases don’t fall through the cracks. Nationally, the Federal Bar Association is pushing Congress to relax sentence restrictions imposed by the Indian Civil Rights Act and to give tribal courts broader jurisdiction. South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune has introduced a bill to give federal prosecutors funding specifically for pursuing crimes in Indian lands.
“You’re not apprehending people, and if you catch them, they’re not being prosecuted, or if they are being prosecuted, they aren’t spending any amount of time in jail,” Sen. Thune says. “There is a federal role and responsibility.”
Until these potential fixes are in place, much of the procedural burden falls to judges like Mr. Flies-Away.
The Hualapai reservation sits on about one million acres along the Grand Canyon. The tribe, also known as the “People of the Tall Pines,” is best known for tourism. One attraction: a new transparent skywalk suspended 4,000 feet above the canyon.
Yet tribe members are poor. About half the adults in the 2,300-member tribe are unemployed. A third of all members live below the poverty line, supported by family members and a patchwork of tribal and federal programs.
Peach Springs, the tribe’s capital, with a population of 1,800, is split by the famed Route 66. Much of the traffic is gone now, taken by interstate highways. It doesn’t even have a gas station. There’s little in the way of activity, aside from the milelong Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight trains, which rumble through town every 20 minutes, forcing the lone hotel, the Hualapai Lodge, to give earplugs to patrons.
Mr. Flies-Away was raised on the reservation, where the impact of drugs and alcohol has taken a toll on his own family. Four of his mother’s 11 siblings drank themselves to death or committed suicide, he says. One uncle hanged himself in jail.
Intense and studious for much of his life, Mr. Flies-Away earned a scholarship to study at Stanford University. After graduating in 1989, he returned here to teach seventh grade. Eventually he became involved in tribal government, first as a planner who developed proposals for economic growth and revitalization of the tribe.
He left again for law school but quit his studies after a year when tribal elders asked him to become chief judge. After one term on the bench, he headed off to Cambridge, Mass., to study at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. From there, he went to Arizona State University, where he received his law degree.
He could have joined a private firm and earned “more money,” as he still recalls. Instead, a sense of obligation led him back to the reservation in 2006, when he became the first chief judge of the tribal court with a law degree. Mr. Flies-Away is now in the middle of a two-year term.
His court calendar is a full one. Aggravated assaults are some of the major crimes; baseball bats and knives are the weapons of choice.
Although it has only 2,300 members, the tribe handles about 1,000 criminal cases annually. The judge says the high number stems mostly from recidivists. Federal law permits him to hand down a maximum sentence of one year per charge, even for the most heinous of crimes such as rape. Jail overcrowding leaves free some of the criminals he’d like to lock up. The result: Those people often commit new crimes.
Mr. Flies-Away typically arrives at the court about 7 a.m. and puts in an 11-hour day. The judge, who is divorced and has no children, spends much of his time building his administration or helping other tribes develop their systems. His office is small and crowded with papers and books such as “Federal Rules of Evidence.”
Not shy to controversy, the judge has challenged some of the tribes’ cherished legal prerogatives, such as their protection against civil suits. Indian nations, by law, are effectively sovereign governments. As such, they can assert immunity against lawsuits. That quirk has created tensions with non-Indians as some tribes build vast commercial enterprises, including casinos. The judge, in his rulings, has opposed such a blanket immunity.
On a recent typical day, Judge Flies-Away headed to court for the afternoon session. Everyone stood as he entered the courtroom. The judge wore a black ribbon shirt, traditional American-Indian garb, instead of the black robe that some other judges prefer. “If I wear that robe I might as well put on a white wig, too,” he says.
Although the docket was filled only with arraignments — short procedures where defendants enter pleas — Mr. Flies-Away stayed for hours.
In Judge Flies-Away’s courtroom, some defendants actually prefer to take their chances solo, relying on the judge’s sideline counsel.
Appearing first before the judge was Kermit Marshall. The 21-year-old was accused of attacking his parents, lunging through the window of a car to punch his father and choke his mother. He already had three past assault convictions. The latest infraction, then, exposed him to the tribe’s maximum penalty: one year per charge. That also happens to be the maximum penalty Congress says a tribal court judge can hand down. To lengthen potential jail time, some tribes file multiple charges for each crime committed.
As Mr. Flies-Away began, Mr. Marshall quickly pleaded guilty to the battery and domestic-violence charges against him. The judge slowed the proceedings as he explained the ramifications of a guilty plea — several times.
“You have the right to be represented by the office of the public defender. You have the right to call witnesses and you have the right to question the witnesses against you,” he said. “You understand this? I really want you to understand. You have to know what you’re doing.”
Mr. Marshall stood by the guilty plea. He has since been sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to undergo domestic-violence counseling.
The local jail, which sits just about 50 yards from the courtroom, is not under tribal control. It is run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the federal agency that oversees certain tribal issues such as schools. Even though the facility houses criminals Mr. Flies-Away has sentenced, it is not bound by his, or any tribal judge’s rulings or detention orders. In some cases, BIA officials can essentially override the judge’s orders by releasing inmates early — often for lack of space.
“It’s tough to have a good justice system without good detention,” says Mr. Flies-Away.
Joel Querta, 58, who worked for the tribe’s natural-resources department, also pleaded guilty to a charge — drunken driving — without speaking to a defense advocate. It was his second conviction on the charge. Mr. Flies-Away sentenced Mr. Querta to 45 days in jail. But given that years had passed since Mr. Querta’s last brush with the law, he took the liberty of suspending the jail sentence. In the end, he fined Mr. Querta $200.
He asked Mr. Querta if that was agreeable. The defendant said he didn’t know. For several minutes, the judge tried to explain that Mr. Querta wasn’t going to jail. Another defendant, meanwhile, leaned over and whispered to Mr. Querta that he was getting a good deal. Finally the older man looked at the bench and said, “I’m quite satisfied” with the sentence.
The next defendant, Todd Watahomigie, 20, was well known to the judge, a situation common on tightknit tribal reservations.
He was in court as a fugitive, accused of slashing his mother’s face with a knife in March 2006. When he failed to appear for a hearing later that year, authorities put out a warrant for his arrest but had been unable to locate him because he had no valid address. “You are a hard man to find,” the judge said.
The defendant told the judge he needed to be released. “I’m trying to get a job. I need to work because I have a medical bill to pay,” he said.
The judge was skeptical. Compounding Mr. Watahomigie’s problems, Mr. Flies-Away was well versed in the social services available on the reservation, having been instrumental in obtaining them.
He peppered his charge with questions. “What have you been doing for the last year? Why haven’t you been working and why do you have a medical bill? Why are you paying for treatment? You can go over to Indian Health Services and they will handle it and pay for it.”
The young man gave up making excuses when the judge suggested having the court check out his claims. Mr. Flies-Away set bail at $900, a figure that he knew was too high for Mr. Watahomigie to pay. After being locked up for weeks, he was recently released under home detention by another judge.
The most difficult case of the afternoon was Valentino Washington’s. The judge has known the teen since he was a small boy, when Mr. Flies-Away placed him in protective custody after his alcohol-abusing mother neglected him. He landed here on a bench warrant for failing to pay a $500 fine he incurred for underage drinking. In the interim, between the imposition of the fine and this court hearing, he picked up charges for disorderly conduct, domestic violence and battery.
Years earlier, Mr. Washington had received a settlement of several thousand dollars after being hit in a car accident. Yet he said he couldn’t satisfy the $500 fine because his mother controls his money and she refused to pay it.
“You trust her with your money?” the judge asked.
“No,” replied Mr. Washington.
“That’s telling,” retorted Mr. Flies-Away. To make up for the overdue payment, the judge imposed community service.
Mr. Washington had watched others enter pleas during the day and listened to the judge explain the proceedings. He pleaded no contest to the new assault charges against him, acknowledging that they were true.
According to court documents, Mr. Washington was drunk at a family member’s home when he threw a television to the floor and began yanking it apart. As his sister tried to stop him, he attacked her, then his mother.
Judge Flies-Away repeated what he had told other defendants — about the right to hear witnesses, be represented by defense advocates and call witnesses on his behalf — before setting sentencing. Weeks later, Mr. Washington was in detention awaiting transfer to a rehabilitation program.
After the defendants left, Mr. Flies-Away sat quietly on the bench. “I’ve dealt with him a long time. I had him as a child, as a juvenile and now as a young adult. It’s sad,” he said of Mr. Washington. “Todd and Valentino, they weren’t raised by anyone. I wish I had the facilities to send them to, where they could think about their problems and get to the root of those problems….I’m afraid how this will end for them.”
A Positive Outcome
Back in his office, the judge struggled to remember a case with a positive outcome. He decided on Catherine Querta. He had known Ms. Querta, an alcoholic, since the tribe operated a wellness court, which was designed to divert defendants into treatment and away from jail. Although it disbanded after federal grant money dried up, Ms. Querta, 38, continued to receive some counseling. She found a job with the tribe and was a hard worker. “She tried,” the judge recalls.
In October, Ms. Querta was heading back to Peach Springs on foot along Route 66 when a car struck her. She was killed. Tribal authorities say she was intoxicated at the time.
“People think that as a judge I love this job, but I’d rather not deal with any of it,” says Mr. Flies-Away. “There is much sadness.” He feels compelled to stay, he says, in order to help empower his fellow tribe members.
“One time my grandma said to me, ‘You take care of them’…so I have done so.”
Contact: Nicole M. Homer
Employer: Ho-Chunk Nation Trial Court
Address1: P.O. Box 70
CityStateZip: Black River Falls, WI 54615
JobTitle: Judicial Law Clerk
SubmitOther: The Ho-Chunk Nation Judiciary instituted the law clerk program shortly after its establishment in 1995. The Judiciary employs two law clerks for staggered terms of two years beginning on or around July 1. Several recent law school graduates have participated in the program since its inception, and many of those individuals currently practice and/or teach in the area of Indian law. The intention of the program is to provide a starting attorney with the necessary foundation to ably continue in this regard.
POSITION: STAFF ATTORNEY / LAW CLERK
DEPARTMENT: JUDICIARY/HO-CHUNK NATION COURT SYSTEM
SALARY: $50,000 / yr. or $24.03/ hr.
SUPERVISOR: CHIEF JUDGE OF THE TRIAL COURTS
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Legal research and drafting of memoranda for Trial Court Judges
and Supreme Court Justices on questions of law.
2. Research legal issues identified by the Chief Judge, Associate Judges and Supreme Court Justice and prepare written memoranda, draft opinions and bench memos as directed.
3. Compile case law and make it available to users of the HCN Court System.
4. Field questions from court users and design court forms as needed.
5. Responsible for editing monthly Court bulletins, maintains opinion summaries and law library.
6. Maintain and advise on updates to the law library.
7. Coordinate HCN Law Day and maintain records necessary for CLE accreditation with State Bar of Wisconsin.
8. Coordinate HCN Bar Admission for the HCN Supreme Court and occasionally assist in drafting and issuing various Court Rules.
9. Must assist with Lay Advocate Training.
10. Responsible to work with minimal supervision and exercise their independent legal evaluation throughout the workday.
11. Other duties as assigned by supervisor.
1. Graduation from an accredited law school.
2. Strong research and writing skills.
3. Strong word processing and computer research skills including familiarity with INTERNET access.
4. Demonstrated interest in and familiarity with Tribal and Federal Indian Law.
5. Fluency in Ho-Chunk Language desired but not required.
6. Preference to members of the Ho-Chunk Nation, other Native Americans.
7. Valid driver’s license, dependable transportation and proper insurance, is required.