Native American Law: A Practitioners’ Guide to Indian Law & Policy


Re-Broadcast on February 5, 2018

This course will give an overview of the origins and framework for Native American law in the United States, with a focus on guiding the general and specialized practitioners through the history of Indian Law and federal policy to modern day sources of conflict and cooperation – such as federal, state and tribal jurisdiction, taxation, property rights, Indian gaming, natural resources issues and economic development.

This course is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   History and Development of Native American Law
•   Jurisdiction
•   Taxation
•   Indian Gaming
•   Natural Resources
•   Economic Development

Date / Time: February 5, 2018

•  2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•  12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•  11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•  Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•  On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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James T. Meggesto, Esq. is a partner and deputy practice leader of the Native American Law Practice Group based in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office. He focuses his practice on legal matters involving Native American tribes, including issues involving policy and regulation, public law, tribal sovereignty, gaming and compact negotiation, project development, finance and litigation.

Mr. Meggesto began his career in Native American affairs in Washington, D.C., nearly 25 years ago as a staff professional at the National Congress of American Indians, focusing on intergovernmental affairs, including the first-ever White House meeting between the president and tribal leaders from all federally recognized Indian tribes. His legal career in federal Indian law started at a nationally renowned boutique firm. In his role at Holland & Knight, he provides clients with the full range of legal services needed in Indian Country with the resources of a full-service international law firm.

Throughout his career, Mr. Meggesto has been devoted to the exclusive representation of Indian tribes, tribal governmental entities and economic ventures that do business with Indian tribes. Mr. Meggesto represents Indian tribes and tribal interests nationwide and in federal, state and tribal courts as well as before Congress and federal agencies. He has argued cases in several federal district courts, multiple circuit courts of appeals and has second-chaired two Indian law cases before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Meggesto has also argued cases in several tribal courts.

Typical tribal representations involve complex litigation and transactional matters, such as gaming laws, land-into-trust matters, economic development initiatives and federal treaty rights litigation. In addition, Mr. Meggesto is a frequent speaker on Native American topics and is the author of a chapter in the book Emerging Issues in Tribal-State Relations, 2014 edition.

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Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE will seek credit where attending attorneys are primarily licensed for all of its live webinars and live teleconferences, except in states which allow for reciprocity (see reciprocity section below). Credit for CLE in a self-study format is sought for in most states; however, some states do not allow for CLE credit to be earned in a self-study format (see the self-study section below). Many states typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state.

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On-demand CLE
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Section I. History and Development of Native American Law
a) Important Definitions
        i. Indian
        ii. Indian Tribe
        iii. Indian Country / Indian Lands
b) Shifting Federal Policy
        i. Allotment and Assimilation
        ii. Indian Reorganization (IRA)
        iii. Termination
        iv. Self-Determination
        v. Off-ramp?

Section II. Jurisdiction
a) Federal Jurisdiction
        i. Federal Laws of General Applicability
        ii. Criminal Jurisdiction
b) State Jurisdiction
        i. Public Law 280
        ii. Persons and Property
        iii. Inside or Outside of Indian lands
c) Tribal Jurisdiction
        i. Civil
        ii. Criminal
                • 2013 Amendments to Violence Against Women Act
        iii. Tribal Courts

Section III. Taxation
a) Tribal Governments are not taxable entities
b) Tribes are not subject to federal income tax on gaming or business income.
c) Tax treatment of tribally owned entities
        i. Federally chartered corporations
        ii. Tribally chartered corporations and instrumentalities
        iii. State law corporations
        iv. Limited Liability Companies
d) State Taxation issues
        i. Legal incidence of the tax
        ii. On or off-reservation transactions
        iii. White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker – balancing test

Section IV. Indian Gaming
a) The origins of Indian Gaming
        i. Indian gaming before 1988 — bingo operations, California, Florida.
        ii. Early court cases – Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth, 658 F.2d 310 (5th Cir. 1981).
b) The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.
        i. Classes of Indian Gaming.
        ii. Tribal State Compacts.
        iii. State and Tribal Sovereign Immunity.
                • Seminole Tribe v. Florida;
                • Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community.

Section V. Natural Resources
a) Energy Development
b) Indian lands, Indian consent
c) Environmental Impacts / Environmental Justice

Section VI. Economic Development
a) Business formation
b) Doing Business in Indian Country
c) Doing Business with Indian Tribes