Ferguson-Bohnee receives national appointments from Lawyers’ Committee, ABA

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee

Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Faculty Director of the Indian Legal Program, was recentlyappointed National Commissioner for the Commission on Voting Rights by the organization Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under the Law.

According to the Lawyers’ Committee, the Voting Rights Commission is dedicated to the struggle to achieve equality and protect advances in voting rights for racial and ethnic minorities and other traditionally disenfranchised groups.

Ferguson-Bohnee was also recently appointed by the American Bar Association (ABA) to the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice and named Vice Chair of the ABA’s Committee on Native American Concerns of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section.

Ferguson-Bohnee has substantial experience in Indian law, election law and policy matters, voting rights, and status clarification of tribes. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and has represented tribal clients in administrative state, federal, and tribal courts, as well as before state and local governing bodies.


Students from the Indian Legal Clinic file Amicus Brief in The Supreme Court of the United States

Students in the Indian Legal Clinic were afforded a rare opportunity to apply their legal
knowledge in a case involving the Indian Child Welfare Act pending before the
United States Supreme Court.  Indian Legal Clinic students Stephanie Whisnant, Stephanie Skogan, Brittney Burback, Michael Mainwold, Fernando Anzaldua, Kristin McPhie, Miguel Zarate, and Lily Yan, prepared the Brief of Amicus Curiae The National Native American Bar Association Supporting Affirmance under the supervision of Professors Robert Clinton and Patty Ferguson-Bohnee.  The Court will hear oral
arguments in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a minor child under the
age of 14, No. 12-399, on April 16.

To see brief click here: NNABA+Amicus

Can International Law Support Changes to Federal Indian Policy? Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Conference

April 19, 2013 – 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
Great Hall, Armstrong Hall, 1100 S. McAllister Avenue, Tempe, AZ  85287
Free and Open to the Public – Registration requested.

Keynote Speaker:  S. James Anaya, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Agenda and registration online at:  http://conferences.asucollegeoflaw.com/drip/
Contact:  Darlene Lester / darlene.lester@asu.edu / 480-965-7715
Sponsored by the Indian Legal Program & the Center for Law and Global Affairs at ASU
CLE Registration $150.00 is available for Attorneys seeking  CLE credits.
CLE Credits: 5 CLE Credits for AZ & CA, 5.5  MCLE credits for NM
Live Web-streaming at:  http://law.asu.edu/undrip2013

Please Join Us!  Please help us spread the word about this important conference . 



Distinguished professor and executive director hired for Indian Legal Program

Distinguished professor and executive director hired for Indian Legal Program

Robert Miller
Gregory Hill
Douglas Sylvester

The College of Law has hired Robert J. Miller, one of the nation’s leading scholars in Indian Law, and Gregory L. Hill, who will serve as Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program.

“We consider our Indian Legal Program the nation’s leading organization devoted to improving the legal systems that affect tribal governments,” said Dean Douglas Sylvester. “The addition of Bob and Greg underscores our commitment not only to providing unique opportunities and experiences to students that relate to Indian law, but also to furthering the Program’s other key objectives, including maintaining and expanding our close relationships with American Indian nations and other native governments and organizations.”

Miller will join the faculty in the fall of 2013. As a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., since 1999, Miller has taught various courses, including Federal Indian Law, American Indians and International Law and Civil Procedure.

He worked at the Stoel Rives law firm from 1992-1995 and practiced Indian law with Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker from 1995-1999. An enrolled citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Miller is Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Grand Ronde Tribe and sits as a judge for other tribes.

He is the author of two books, “Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny” and “Reservation Capitalism: Economic Development in Indian Country.” He is also co-author of “Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies.”

“I am very excited about joining the College of Law and its outstanding Indian Legal Program,” Miller said. “I am looking forward to working with the ASU students, faculty and staff and to enjoying many rewarding intellectual and professional experiences at the College.”

Hill, a practicing attorney for 18 years, has held various leadership positions in the legal profession since 1995. A member of the Oneida Nation, Six Nations of Indians, he most recently served as a capital attorney in the Office of the Public Defender in Tampa, Fla., where he provided legal services to indigent clients.

He is a former deputy director of Stetson University College of Law’s National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law. Additionally, Hill served as Assistant Attorney General in the state of Florida, ran a solo legal practice earlier in his career, and clerked for the general counsel of the Seneca Nation while in law school.

“I am honored to be selected to serve as the executive director of the Indian Legal Program,” Hill said. “The chance to contribute to such a distinguished program, to help our students become better prepared for the future they will encounter, and to directly support the Indian communities will create opportunities that I am eager to pursue.”

The Indian Legal Program was established in 1988 to provide legal education and generate scholarship in the area of Indian law and to undertake public service to tribal governments. It trains students to effectively engage the representation of Native peoples and seeks to promote an understanding of the differences between the legal systems of Indian nations and those of the state and federal governments. The Program is among the most renowned of its kind, and its graduates work at all levels of tribal, state and federal government, as well as in private practice. The Program provides a unique set of academic and clinical opportunities for students and is committed to maintaining strong partnerships with American Indian nations and other native governments and organizations.

Lunch Lecture – George Skibine

 “Perspective from 35 Years of Federal Service for Native Americans at the Department of the Interior”

George T. Skibine
Counsel, SNR Denton, 
Washington, D.C.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Time:   12:15 p.m.
Place:   Armstrong Hall, College of Law, Room 114
Lunch will be provided so your RSVP is greatly appreciated!
RSVP/Contact:  Kathy Tevis 480-965-2922 or kathy.tevis@asu.edu
Click here to download flyer!

NEWSLETTER – Indian Legal Clinic

Hey everyone! Check out the Indian Legal Clinic newsletter covering Spring ’08 – Spring ’09 semesters. It’s on the Clinic’s webpage – go to law.asu.edu, then Clinical Program, then Indian Legal Clinic.

If you have any suggestions about the newsletter, or would like to be added to our mailing list for future newsletters, just let me, Jen Williams, know. My email is jenniferw@asu.edu and phone number is 480-727-0420.

Indian Legal Clinic helps Gila River prosecutors win appeal

April Olson andDerrick Beetso Derrick Beetso, a third-year law student in the Indian Legal Clinic, recently assisted April Olson (Class of 2006) in an appeal before the Court of Appeals of the Gila River Indian Community.

Olson successfully prosecuted the defendant on the charges of theft and robbery. The defendant raised three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court improperly precluded witnesses; (2) whether the trial court improperly admitted opinion testimony; and (3) whether the trial judge improperly relied on facts not in evidence.

Through the Indian Legal Clinic’s partnership with the Gila River Indian Community Prosecutor’s Office, Beetso was asked to argue the merits of the case before a three-judge panel of the Gila River Court of Appeals.

The case was argued on Sept. 16, and the Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the trial court decision in favor of the Community On Dec. 28.

Indian Legal Clinic in DC

On behalf of the ILP, I wanted to share exciting news and a link. Patty Ferguson Bohnee and four Indian Legal Clinic students are in Washington DC today. Patty was asked to present testimony at an oversight hearing on “Fixing the Federal Acknowledgment Process” for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Patty was invited to speak last week and the students helped her prepare her testimony. If you would like to see the testimony you can watch now at the following link. http://indian.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.LiveStream It is my understanding that Patty will be the last speaker today. On a side note, the students will also have an opportunity to watch a Supreme Court oral argument while in DC. What a great opportunity for our students!

Ferguson-Bohnee to testify before Congress

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, director of the Indian Legal Clinic, has been asked to testify on “Fixing the Federal Acknowledgment Process” before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Ferguson-Bohnee has substantial experience in Indian law, election law and policy matters, voting rights, and status clarification of tribes. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the Louisiana State Legislature regarding tribal recognition, and has successfully assisted four Louisiana tribes in obtaining state recognition. She has represented tribal clients in administrative, state, federal, and tribal courts, as well as before state and local governing bodies and proposed revisions to the Real Estate Disclosure Reports to include tribal provisions. She has assisted in complex voting rights litigation on behalf of tribes, and she has drafted state legislative and congressional testimony on behalf of tribes with respect to voting rights’ issues.

Before joining the College in 2008, Ferguson-Bohnee clerked for Judge Betty Binns Fletcher of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was an associate in the Indian Law and Tribal Relations Practice Group at Sacks Tierney P.A. in Phoenix. As a Fulbright Scholar to France, she researched French colonial relations with Louisiana Indians in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Ferguson-Bohnee, a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian tribe, serves as the Native Vote Election Protection Coordinator for the State of Arizona.