Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Indian Law in the Next Supreme Court Term: Grants and Pending Applications

The United States Supreme Court may have the opportunity to address a number of Indian law issues in its next term starting October 2018. To date, the Court has granted certiorari in Royal, Warden v. Murphy, No. 17-1107, an appeal from the…

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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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The Congressional Review Act: Regulations on the Chopping Block

Since it was enacted, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996, better known as the Congressional Review Act,[1. 5 U.S.C. §§ 801-808.] has been rarely used and certainly has not been the topic of headlines or water-cooler conversations. That has changed…

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Professor Kevin Washburn: Reflections on Service as Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, the State of Indian Law in 2016, and Returning Home to New Mexico

Kevin Washburn recently returned to his position as a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law after serving more than three years as the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs. A member of the Chickasaw Nation and a…

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Indian Law Cases Pending Before the Supreme Court Worth Following

The United States Supreme Court has a number of Indian law cases on its docket this term. Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians: Perhaps the highest profile case pending before the Court raises the issue of the necessary demonstration…

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Wind Energy: Challenged Under Federal Regulations, but More Native American Nations Appear to Be Embracing Its Development

Wind farms offer a source of low-carbon energy and are being developed around the world as governments and private entities seek new sources of energy to power our world.  Development of wind farms is not a simple task, though, and developers are…

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Indian Reserved Water Rights: Groundwater Included

Most Native American tribes have at least some land that was reserved by the federal government for the purpose of creating a homeland for the Tribe. Under the Winters doctrine, established by the United States Supreme Court in 1908,[1. Winters v. United States, 207…

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Balancing Opposing Cultural and Religious Beliefs on a Shared Reservation: Agency consideration of “Native American culture” not enough to demonstrate narrowly tailored compelling interest

In Northern Arapaho Tribe v. Ashe,[1. 2015 WL 1137487, No. 2:11-CV-00347-ABJ (D. Wyo. Mar. 12, 2015).] the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming contrasted two tribes’ eagle interests, the First Amendment, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and the Supreme…

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Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Sacred Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties and the Role of Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

Download PDF Sacred sites and traditional cultural properties are crucial to the preservation of indigenous peoples’ culture and society, and are increasingly recognized by international and state law and non-governmental entities. This article explores the various legal and non-legal documents addressing sacred…

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Recreational Release Enforced: Modrall Sperling Obtains Summary Judgment for Indoor Climbing Gym Sued for Negligence

Signing a liability waiver and release is a common prerequisite to participating in recreational activities, from exercising in a gym to riding in a hot air balloon.  Accidents do happen, and just because a participant has signed a release does not mean…

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