Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Cyber Espionage: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Cyber espionage adds a unique element to the relationship between a business and its legal counsel. If your business possesses privileged information that would be useful for a competitor or an industry, then it is crucial that you obtain the best advice…

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Potential Hurdle to Right-of-Way Acquisition and Renewals: The Tenth Circuit Holds Tribal Acquisition of an Undivided Interest in an Allotment Defeats Congressional Eminent Domain Authority

On May 26, 2017, the Tenth Circuit issued its decision in Public Service Company of New Mexico v. Barboan,1 upholding a New Mexico federal district court’s ruling2 that tribal ownership of even a very small fractional interest in an allotment bars condemnation…

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A Historic Moment in Indian Water Rights in New Mexico: Entry of the Aamodt Final Decree

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico entered its final decree in State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer v. Aamodt, a state stream adjudication filed in 1966 (Aamodt) to determine the rights of water users in…

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Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update—Corps’ NEPA Analysis Flawed-In Part

Introduction: On June 14, 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Boasberg issued a lengthy Memorandum Opinion granting in part the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s (Standing Rock) and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s (Cheyenne River) Motions for Summary Judgment.1 The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project…

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BIA Regulations on Appraisal/Valuation of Indian Property

On June 10, 2016, Congress passed the Indian Trust Asset Reform Act (ITARA), and on June 22, 2016, President Barack Obama signed it into law.1 According to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the purpose of the Act “is to reaffirm the…

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Trumping the National Monument Designations of Past Presidents

When a President of the United States sets aside important federal lands for conservation, the accompanying fanfare typically invokes the notion of forever.  But, in light of President Trump’s Executive Order 13792, maybe these national treasures should be asking our government the…

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Mineral Reservation Clause Allowing Mining Did Not Constrain Surface Owner’s Public Opposition

A New Mexico state court judge has rejected a mineral estate owner’s attempt to constrain a surface owner from publicly opposing its mining project on the basis of a strongly worded mineral reservation that expressly reserved mining rights and attendant surface rights. …

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What Can We Legally Ask Foreign Workers During the Pre-Employment Process?

Employers, both in New Mexico and throughout the United States, often have questions regarding what they can ask an applicant in connection with citizenship status and whether they can make hiring decisions based on the applicant’s status. Fortunately, the U.S. Equal Employment…

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An Employer’s Dilemma in Providing a Recommendation for a Former Employee

As all employers can attest, it can be difficult to determine what information to provide in a verbal or written recommendation for departing employees.  Indeed, some managers find themselves dreading a phone call from a prospective employer of a former employee.  That…

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Executive Order on Review of Designations under the Antiquities Act

President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) on April 26, 2017, directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations of national monuments under the Antiquities Act.1  The review mandated by the EO…

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Employment Law
Native American Law
Natural Resources and Energy Law
Water Law