Native Vote: Tracking bills, tracking redistricting

Last month, the Arizona Native Vote Communications Working Group made its return. Native Vote Fellow Blair Tarman-Toner (’21) attended the group’s meeting, and she will participate in the planning and organizing of election education and outreach materials to share in tribal communities as the group continues to meet regularly. 

ASU Law’s Indian Legal Clinic has continued working on the Native Vote policy project since Arizona’s legislative session began last month. Native Vote Fellows Torey Dolan (’19) and Tarman-Toner will continue tracking bills that impact voting and will inform tribes as to how particular bills impact their tribal members. So far, the Indian Legal Clinic has identified 142 democracy-related bills in the Arizona Legislature – 72 in the Senate and 70 in the House of Representatives. Additionally, the clinic has continued its work with other voting rights organizations through the Arizona Voting Rights Defense Coalition. 

The Indian Legal Clinic is preparing to present at two upcoming meetings of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona to discuss barriers to voting in Indian Country and the upcoming elections. 

Additionally, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission certified the state’s congressional and legislative maps. Tarman-Toner will continue tracking the county-level redistricting process. The county-level district lines must be finalized by July 1. 

ILC at Local Tribal Courthouse

The Indian Legal Clinic started off the semester with a visit to the Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Courthouse on Jan. 21. Chief Judge Yancy Jencsok led the tour for Professor Helen Burtis (’07) and student attorneys Gwendolyn Bell (2L), Ryan Maxey (2L), Lena Neuner (2L), Claire Newfeld (2L), Ravynn Nothstine (2L), and David Streamer (3L). Clinic students will become authorized to practice law before the Ak-Chin Indian Community Court and represent defendants.

“I have never been to a tribal courthouse, so it was an awesome experience to see and tour the courthouse with Chief Judge Jencsok,” said Streamer. “It was refreshing and inspiring to hear about Chief Judge Jencsok’s work and positive experiences with tribal courts, but more importantly it was nice to see that tribal courts like Ak-Chin Indian Community are operating, growing and have knowledgeable staff and judges like Chief Judge Jencsok.”

“It’s an empowering feeling to see a tribe exercise their sovereignty and jurisdiction,” said Nothstine. 

“Tribal courts are a literal concrete expression of a tribe’s sovereignty and it was an honor to have this opportunity to speak to Judge Jencsok about the role of the court in the community while familiarizing myself with a court I’d be practicing in with the clinic,” said Maxey.

We appreciate the Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Courthouse and Chief Judge Jencsok for the continued support.

2022 ILP Alumni Awards – Call for Nominations

The ILP alumni awards are now open. Nominate your classmates and friends! The ILP Awards include Professional Achievement, Alumni Service Award, and Emerging Leader Award. Nominations are due March 4, 2022! Nomination materials should be sent by email to: Kate.Rosier@asu.edu. Awards will be presented at the ILP Alumni & Friends Awards Ceremony at Fed Bar on Thursday, April 7, 2022 at Sandia Golf Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Nomination Guidelines

ILP Professional Achievement Award – This award recognizes outstanding achievement in Indian Law or Tribal Law throughout an individual’s career. The award honors ILP alumni whose achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law have brought distinction to themselves and real benefit to the Indian community. Nomination Package Requirements:

  • Describe the unique professional achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law that has brought distinction to the candidate. (maximum two pages)
  • Describe the recognized contributions made by this candidate that demonstrate a benefit to the larger community. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways in which the candidate’s achievements are truly extraordinary or exceptional. (maximum one page)
  • Provide at least two letters of support from individuals that can speak to the candidate’s impact on his or her profession.
  • Letters of support should speak to the magnitude of the individual’s impact in the practice of Indian or tribal law or in the Indian community.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Gloria Kindig (’89), Kathy Bowman (’86), Rob Rosette (’96), Diane Enos (’92), Ben Hanley (’71) and Herb Yazzie (’75).

ILP Alumni Service Award – This award is given for outstanding service to the Indian Legal Program, and is awarded for extended, extraordinary service to the Indian Legal Program. Nomination Package Requirements

  • Describe the ways in which the candidate has served or supported the ILP and the ILP alumni. Examples can include serving on committees, boards, CLEs, mentoring ILP students, or other volunteer or fundraising efforts or funding commitments. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways this service been truly extraordinary. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has benefited the ILP. (maximum one page)
  • Please provide at least two letters of support from ILP alumni as part of the nomination package.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Peter Larson (’02), Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04), Ann Marie Downes (’94), Mary Shirley (’92) and Jeff Harmon (’05).

ILP Emerging Leader Award – This award acknowledges and encourages service to Indian Country and the ILP by alumni who are less than ten years out of law school. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in their professional career, volunteer work, and promotion or support of the ILP and/or ASU NALSA. Nomination Package Requirements.

  • Describe how the candidate has achieved professional success in their legal career.
  • Describe the candidate’s volunteer work.
  • Describe how the candidate achieved an exceptional level of service while balancing the demands of being a recent graduate. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate was proactive in efforts to become involved in ILP and/or ILP alumni activities. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has been sustained over a long period of time or how the service has been innovative or beneficial. (maximum one page)
  • Provide two letters of support from fellow ILP alumni.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Derrick Beetso (’10), Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle (’09), Nikki Borchardt Campbell (’09), Steve Bodmer (’06), Elizabeth Medicine Crow (’05), Charles Galbraith (’07), Matthew Campbell (’08) and Michael Corey Hinton (’11).

Collaborative publications

Earlier this year, Professor Robert Miller and Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) published their article “The Indian Law Bombshell: McGirt v. Oklahoma,” which is now published in print by Boston University Law Review.

In addition to her role with the Indian Legal Program’s Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project, Dolan could not miss the opportunity when Miller approached her to co-author a law review article. 

Q: This is your first published law review article, how does it feel? How did it all start?
A: It feels great to have a published law review article to my name. I like to think that it started when I was a student in Professor Miller’s Indian Law class. I began following the legal question of reservation disestablishment with respect to the Muscogee Creek Nation reservation when it was before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Murphy v. Royal, the predecessor case to McGirt. The timing of the case coincided with Professor Miller teaching the standards of reservation disestablishment in his class. I would bug him in his office hours talking about the Murphy case and since then, we would talk about the legal issues as we watched the question go up to the Supreme Court. Once the Supreme Court issued their decision in McGirt, Professor Miller invited me to work with him on an article about the case.

Q: You were a student who sat in Professor Miller’s class and now a co-author, what was it like?
A: Good Professors become life long mentors, in my opinion. So, going from learning the area of law from Professor Miller as a student to joining him as a co-author on an article speaks of Professor Miller’s commitment to mentorship that is a core ethic of the Indian Legal Program. In this process I was able to work with Professor Miller as a colleague in intellect, but he also took this as an opportunity to teach me about the world of legal publication and helped demystify the process. The idea of publishing on my own in the future feels more obtainable and far less daunting thanks to going through this experience with Professor Miller. 

Q: Throughout the overall process, what did you find interesting?
A: I expected the research and writing to be the most interesting part, but honestly what I found interesting was learning about the world of publication. For academics, publishing means a lot and where, when, and what you publish is important. It was a whole world that I had not thought about nor ever been exposed to.

Q: For those who are considering publishing a law review article, what advice do you have for them?
A: If you can, find a Professor Miller to mentor you through the process. If you want to put your best foot forward with your first publication, having an academic mentor in your corner to not only review your work for substance but also teach you about publishing, SSRN, shopping an article around to journals, can maximize your potential for success.

Congratulations Professor Miller and Torey!

____

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator Sr, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Job Opportunity – Tribal Prosecutor

Pueblo of Zuni
Zuni, NM

General Definition: Provide prosecutor service for the Zuni Tribe in all classes of criminal offenses. Investigate and prosecute criminal matters and related legal issues of crimes that occurred within the exterior boundary of the Zuni reservation.

Duties:

  • Performs all phases of prosecution over a wide range of criminal matter related issues.
  • Present and prosecute all criminal complaints in Tribal Court.
  • Ensure that police execute Court orders, documents, services of process and other legal requirements.
  • Supervise the gathering of evidence by Tribal law enforcement officers to ensure that each case is promptly and fairly presented.
  • Initiate and/or assist in training tribal police officers in criminal and court procedures.
  • Provide legal services for the Police Department, to assist Social Services and other tribal departments in filing through tribal court and other legal processes.
  • Develop protocol for compiling chain of custody of evidence and legal review of cases.
  • Develop legal strategy for prosecutorial process.
  • Represent the interests of the Pueblo of Zuni in prosecuting individuals charged with violating Zuni Codes.
  • Abide by the ethical code of conduct.

Minimum Qualifications

Knowledge, skills and abilities: Knowledge of Tribal and Federal court systems and of state, federal and Tribal statutes, rules, regulations, and codes. Knowledge of principles, practices, and methods of legal research. Knowledge of judicial procedures and rules of evidence. Knowledge of court processes, administrative law processes, and legal terminology. Knowledge of legal strategies, their development and presentation. Skill in oral and written communication. Skill in records analysis. Skill in operating a personal computer, in use of software application, and in conducting internet searches. Skill in establishing, maintaining, and improving cooperative working relationships. Ability to plan, coordinate, and implement training. Ability to write reports and to complete forms that may be required. Ability to understand and be sensitive to Zuni culture and tradition. Must be of high moral character and integrity. Ability to follow instructions. Ability to maintain good working relationships with tribal employees, tribal court, law enforcement, and the general public.

Training and Experience:  Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school with one (1) year experience handling criminal cases. OR  A Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice or related major with two (2) years experience in victim assistance, law enforcement, and/or court processes preferred.

For full job description and to apply, go to: Tribal Prosecutor (open until filled)