EXPERIENCE

Challenged the Secretary of the Interior’s decision to acquire land in trust for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe for a casino-resort on behalf of citizen groups and local businesses.  The court ordered the secretary to rescind the trust decision after we proved that the Bureau of Indian Affairs made an arbitrary and capricious decision to designate the land as an initial reservation eligible for gaming.  The secretary subsequently issued a new decision with a new rationale, and a second phase of litigation followed.  The second case raises challenges under the Administrative Procedure Act, Indian Reorganization Act, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and National Environmental Policy Act.  In addition, the case has tested what constitutes a tribe under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009).