This month, a chapter on "Tribal Court Litigation" co-authored by Gabe Galanda and Ryan Dreveskracht for an authoritative commercial litigation handbook, was published by the American Bar Association Business Law Section. The chapter appears in the 2012 edition of Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. The breadth of the very complex Indian law issues covered by the chapter is suggested by its Table of Contents:
§ 27.1 Introduction to Transacting in Indian Country § 27.2 The Third Sovereign § 27.2.1 The Modern Erosion of Tribal Sovereignty § 27.2.2 State Regulation and Taxation, and Federal Indian Preemption § 27.3 Tribal Sovereign Immunity § 18.104.22.168 Scope of Tribal Immunity § 22.214.171.124 Waiver of Tribal Immunity § 27.4 Tribal Structures § 27.4.1 Tribal Corporations § 27.4.2 Tribal Courts § 27.5 Tribal Assets and Federal Approval § 27.4.1 Fee-to-Trust and Carcieri § 27.4.2 Federal Approvals § 27.6 Tribal Labor and Employment § 27.7 Federal Laws of General Applicability § 27.8 Federal Court Jurisdiction § 27.9 Tribal Court Jurisdiction § 27.9.1 Tribal Authority Vis-à-vis State Authority § 27.9.2 Tribal Exhaustion Doctrine § 126.96.36.199 National Farmers Union § 188.8.131.52 Exceptions to the Exhaustion Doctrine § 27.10 Conclusion
Consider the conclusion to the chapter:
Economic growth and development throughout Indian country have spurred many businesses to engage in business dealings with tribes and tribal entities. Confusion may arise during these transactions because of the unique sovereign and jurisdictional characteristics attendant to business transactions in Indian Country. As a result, these transactions have prompted increased litigation in tribal and nontribal forums. Accordingly, counsel assisting in these transactions, or any subsequent litigation, should conduct certain due diligence with respect to the pertinent tribal organizational documents and governing laws that may collectively dictate and control the business relationship.
To maximize the client’s chances of a successful partnership with tribes and tribal entities, counsel should ensure that the transactional documents contain clear and unambiguous contractual provisions that address all rights, obligations, and remedies of the parties. Therefore, even if the deal fails, careful negotiation and drafting, and in turn thoughtful procedural and jurisdictional litigation practice, will allow the parties to more expeditiously litigate the merits of any dispute in the event that the deal fails, without jurisdictional confusion. As business between tribes and nontribal parties continues to grow, ensuring that both sides of the transaction fully understand and respect the deal will lead to a long-lasting and beneficial business relationship for all.
Gabe served as the Editor-in-Chief of Annual Review for the 2007 through 2010 editions, and has co-authored the Tribal Court Litigation chapter each year since 2006. This is Ryan's first year co-authoring the chapter.
Gabriel "Gabe" Galanda is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC, of Seattle, an American Indian owned law firm. He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. Ryan Dreveskracht is an associate with Galanda Broadman. Gabe and Ryan litigate various critical matters on behalf of tribal governments and businesses and individual Indians, in tribal, state and federal court.