In sweeping fashion, the Nooksack Appeals Court handed down three significant decisions yesterday in favor of the Nooksack 306 and their counsel, Galanda Broadman, PLLC.
The Appeals Court did so one day after six Indian law professors filed an amicus brief expressing concern "regarding patent violations of [the federal Indian Civil Rights Act], harm to the integrity of all tribal courts, and, most importantly, the strategic deprivation of counsel and barred access to justice for Nooksack tribal citizens."
Most dramatically, the Appeals Court reinstated Gabriel Galanda, Anthony Broadman, and Ryan Dreveskracht "as advocates admitted to practice before the Nooksack Tribal Court," for their 331 enrolled Nooksack clients. In addition to the Nooksack 306, they represent scores of clients, including Chairman Bob Kelly's two sons, who have sued to compel a Tribal Council election.
The appellate judges found that the lawyers "have been unlawfully denied their right to have the Tribal Court rule on their challenge" to their apparent disbarment in late February 2016 and that the court's previous efforts to provide them relief had been "unlawfully ignored and the rule of law on the reservation, at least within the scope of this case, has completely broken down."
As reported by Law360, Galanda commented yesterday: "This is an enormous moral victory, meaning a win against wholly immoral forces."
In a related Order, the Appeals Court awarded the Galanda Broadman lawyers $2,790.15 in attorneys fees and costs against Nooksack Police Chief Rory Gilliland, pursuant to the Court's previously issued contempt Orders against him.
Finally, the Appeals Court issued its latest injunction order, expanding its previous injunction over to cover 17 more members of the Nooksack 306, until such time as the Tribal Court reopens its doors for the Nooksack 306 plaintiffs to hear various motions that have been pending since January 2016, including a motion to compel an election for four expired Tribal Council seats.
Galanda concluded: "We and our clients will take advantage of all three orders issued by the appeals court."