When dealing with Indian Law, it's important to know that American Indian Tribes are separate legal entities under federal law and that each tribe has its own set of laws and court system. Members of an Indian tribe have a special status under federal law and the lands that make up Indian reservations are under the jurisdiction of the tribal courts.
If that was all there was to it, Indian law would be very similar to state law and easy for most lawyers to navigate. But there's much more.
Unfortunately, the Federal government, over the last two and a half centuries, has dealt with the tribes in many different, often contradictory ways. The result is nothing less than a hodgepodge of precedents making Indian law extremely confusing. For lawyers who do not focus on this area, the laws are full of obstacles ready to trip them up.
Indian Law Consultant Brian Utsey understands the inconsistencies in Indian law and which ones take precedence. His experience can be a big help as you prepare a case that could end up in a tribal court jurisdiction instead of state court.
There are 21 federally recognized Indian Tribes in Arizona. Each has its own set of Tribal Laws and Tribal Court System.
In some cases, Tribal Law was based on the same statutes that most state law is based on. But in other cases, Tribal Law is based on the traditions of the particular tribe making it very different.
Add to that nearly 250 years of sometimes conflicting federal government guidance and interference and you have the potential for legal confusion.
If you're dealing with a legal issue involving American Indian Tribal Law, you need someone with experience in this particular area of law. A lawyer like Attorney Brian Utsey.
Brian Utsey focuses on American Indian Law and Tribal Law, and he can help guide you through the pitfalls inherent in the system.
If you have a question about Tribal Law on one of the reservations or American Indian Law in general, Brian Utsey is a great resource.
Arizona’s 21 Indian Reservations each have their own Tribal Court System. The larger tribes have very structured and formal systems, while the smallest tribes may only have an informal and even part time Tribal Court System.
Just as each of the tribes has a different set of laws that lawyers need to understand, an effective Indian Law attorney must recognize the individual tribal court system’s idiosyncrasies in order to be effective.
Attorney Brian Utsey focuses his practice on American Indian Law in Arizona and he’s gained a lot of unique knowledge about the laws and the systems here.
If you have a case coming before any of the 21 Arizona tribal court systems, place a call to the Law Offices of Brian Utsey. He can help.
American Indian tribes have Tribal Sovereignty, which simply means they have sovereign immunity to lawsuits similar to many other government entities. In some ways, tribal sovereignty goes beyond the sovereign immunity extended to other government units, like states or cities.
This might make a tribal government seem more like a foreign government, but in reality court cases have chipped away at total sovereignty.
However, if you're doing business with an Indian tribe, you may be under the authority of a sovereign tribal government - and your right to sue may be severely limited.
As the former director of a Tribal legal services office, I can't tell you how many cases were dismissed simply because contracts didn't take tribal sovereignty into account. An outside law firm would file suit and lose their case out of hand.
Disputes will occur in today's society. Indian law attorney Brian Utsey can help you write a contract that will set aside tribal sovereignty. As long as both parties feel the contract is fair and sign it in good faith, it will be upheld in Tribal, State, or Federal Court.
Arizona's Indian tribes have need of many services and products and are good customers. Outside companies just need to take justified precautions with specialized contract language that will stand up in Tribal court should the need arise. Attorney Brian Utsey will help you make sure you're treated fairly.