Jessica Intermill to speak at upcoming Tribal In-house Counsel Association conference

jintermillFounding Member Jessica Intermill will speak at the inaugural conference of the Tribal In-house Counsel Association (TICA) about best practices for drafting tribal codes and regulations. The TICA conference is sponsored by the Michigan State University Indigenous Law & Policy Center. It will take place on November 5-6 at the MSU Law School in conjunction with MSU’s 12th annual Indigenous Law Conference. Learn more about the event here.


Western District of Wisconsin Grants Relief from 1991 Judgment, Allowing Tribes to Hunt Deer at Night in Ceded Territory

Last week the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that Wisconsin Chippewa tribes may exercise their treaty rights to hunt deer at night in ceded territory covering the northern one-third of Wisconsin. The decision comes after a generation of litigation.

Hogen Adams of-counsel Colette Routel led the litigation team before the Western District of Wisconsin and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Hogen Adams attorney Peter Rademacher also worked on the case at both the trial and appellate level, while he attended William Mitchell College of Law.

The decision is available here.

An article on the case is available here.

Jessica Intermill and Jessie Stomski Seim co-author Indian law article for Minnesota Bench & Bar Magazine

BenchAndBarArticleCoverHogen Adams founding member Jessica Intermill and associate attorney Jessie Stomski Seim co-author “The Nations Within: An Indian Law FAQ,” which is the feature article in the October 2015 edition of Bench & Bar of Minnesota Magazine. Bench & Bar is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and Intermill’s and Seim’s article is the first Indian-law focused feature article that the magazine has ever published. The article is available here.

This feature article supplements Hogen Adams’ work to bring Indian law to the attention of Minnesota’s larger legal community. Jessie and Jessica worked with Bench & Bar to add Indian law to its regular roster of Landmarks in the Law case-law updates. They will continue to work with the magazine to bring Indian law content to Minnesota practitioners.

Andrew Adams III to speak at upcoming Business Law Institute

ANDREW-ADAMS-IIIFounding Hogen Adams lawyer Andrew Adams III will speak at the May 4-5 Minnesota CLE 2015 Business Law Institute at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. On Tuesday, May 5, Andrew will participate in the panel discussion Cultural Competence for Business Lawyers. To register for the event, or to learn more about the two-day 2015 Business Law Institute, click here.

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Affirms Immunity of Tribal Enterprise

WI CapitolLast week, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed that the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians’ Lake of the Torches Casino is immune from a state-court suit by a former employee. After competing litigation in state and tribal court—the state court first transferred the case to tribal court, but after the tribal court ruled against the plaintiff on the merits of his claim, the state court reasserted jurisdiction and ruled against the Casino—the state court ultimately vacated its judgment against the Casino.

In affirming the Casino’s immunity, the Court of Appeals held that:

  • The gaming compact’s requirement that the Tribe maintain public-liability insurance only forbids the Tribe’s insurer from invoking the Tribe’s sovereign immunity, and does not address the Tribe’s ability to invoke immunity in a direct suit;
  • The gaming compact only relates to Class III gaming activities, so even if the compact waived the Tribe’s immunity, it would only do so for claims related to gaming activity;
  • The statement of the Tribe’s third-party claim administrator did not waive the Casino’s immunity because only the Tribe’s governing body can waive immunity;
  • A promise to pay medical bills is not an unequivocal consent to suit in state court; and
  • The Tribe’s consent to a tribal-court suit did not subject it to suit in tribal-court.

The opinion thus reaffirms foundational immunity principles: any waiver must be clear and express and must be strictly construed according to its terms. The text of the opinion is available here, and the appellate briefing in the case is available here.

Hogen Adams founding members Andrew Adams III, Jessica Intermill, and William Szotkowski, and associate Jessie Stomski Seim represented Lac du Flambeau in post-judgment briefing before the lower court and defended vacatur of the judgment on appeal.

Jessica Intermill earns highest Martindale-Hubbell ranking

JESSICA-INTERMILLMartindale-Hubbell has rated Hogen Adams founding member Jessica Intermill as an AV Preeminent lawyer, the highest ranking awarded by the organization The Martindale-Hubbell ratings allow other members of the bar and the judiciary to evaluate a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability. One reviewer called Jessica “an excellent attorney!” Another reported, “Jessica is a fine lawyer and a great person. I am proud and happy to call her my friend.” According to Martindale-Hubbell, the AV Preeminent rating is “a significant rating accomplishment—a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.” To learn more about Jessica and her practice, click here.

Hogen Adams congratulates of-counsel attorney Colette Routel, and Lac Courte Oreilles attorney Kekek Jason Stark, for obtaining a unanimous Seventh Circuit decision in favor of Chippewa tribes seeking to hunt deer at night in the ceded territory of northern Wisconsin

Hogen Adams would like to congratulate Hogen Adams of-counsel attorney, Colette Routel, and Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Lead Attorney, Kekek Jason Stark, for their Seventh Circuit victory in the efforts to restore night hunting rights to Wisconsin Chippewa tribes. The Plaintiff tribes are: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians; Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Indians; Sokaogan Chippewa Indian Community, Mole Lake Band of Wisconsin; Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians; St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin; and Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

Under a 1991 Western District of Wisconsin judgment, the tribes were prohibited from exercising their treaty rights to off-reservation deer hunting in the ceded territory covering about the northern one-third of Wisconsin. In Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin et al. v. Wisconsin, a group of Wisconsin Chippewa tribes sought to regain the right by moving to vacate the night-hunting portion of the 1991 judgment. The Western District refused to vacate, citing a threat to public safety.

Writing for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard Posner found little evidence of a threat to public safety in the plans set forth by the tribes. There is “compelling reason for vacating the 1991 ruling,” Posner wrote.

The case will now return to the Western District for further evidence on whether the court should vacate the night hunting prohibition in its 1991 decision.

Routel is a professor at the William Mitchell College of Law, where she and the law students in her Indian law clinic undertake a variety pro-tribal projects. Stark is the Lead Attorney for the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe, and he was formerly an attorney and policy analyst for the Great Lakes Indian

Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). GLIFWIC, the driving force behind the efforts to restore the tribes’ night hunting rights, represents eleven Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan who reserved hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the 1837, 1842, and 1854 Treaties with the United States government.

The decision is available here.