Law360 Interviews Anthony Broadman Re: 5 Bad Tribal Sovereignty Rulings

Anthony Broadman is quoted at length by Law360 regarding "5 Rulings That Have Sown Confusion Over Tribal Sovereignty."

As to Montana v. U.S.:

The Montana decision creates problems for tribal courts by assuming they lack jurisdiction, according to Anthony S. Broadman of Galanda Broadman PLLC.

“We all talk about [the decision] as granting tribal court authority, but really what it says is tribes don’t have authority, except here and here,” Broadman said. . . .

While Montana can be tolerable for tribes, the erosion of its exceptions requires them to be much more vigilant about including specific language regarding tribal authority in contracts or tribal codes in order to protect their interests, attorneys say.

“In the hands of a fair court, Montana is a workable rule,” Broadman said. “But that’s asking a lot.”

As to Donovan v. Coeur d'Alene Tribal Farm:

While the Coeur d’Alene exceptions make the law easy to apply and provide reassurance to parties unaccustomed to dealing with tribal authority, tribes have a hard time knowing where a court is likely to draw the line, Broadman said.

As to Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co.:

The case clearly involved questions that tribal courts are well-suited to address, but the high court chipped away again at tribes’ authority over non-Indians, Broadman said.

“The problem with the decision at its core is it looked at tribal courts as something less than other courts, instead of recognizing how far tribal courts have come since Montana,” Broadman said.

Anthony Broadman is a partner with Galanda Broadman, practicing out of Bend, Oregon, and can be reached at and 206.321.2672.