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Representative Cases
Navajo Health-Foundation-Sage Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Burwell, et al., 220 F.Supp.3d 1190 (D.N.M. 2016) (granting summary judgment to Sage Hospital and holding that the United States us liable for its unlawful declination of Sage's proposed FY2016 Annual Funding Agreement).




Navajo Nation v. United States Dep't of the Interior, 819 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 2016) (reversing the District Court's decision that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and agreeing with the Navajo Nation that the decision of the National Park Service to apply NAGPRA to 303 sets of human remains and associated funerary objects removed from the Navajo Nation's treaty lands by the Service without the Navajo Nation's permission was final agency action under the Administrative Procedures Act) (co-counsel with Paul Spruhan of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice).




Diné Care v. United States Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 643 Fed. Appx. 799 (10th Cir. 2016) (agreeing with the firm's client, a tribally owned energy company, that the District Court's opinions and orders in favor of environmental plaintiffs should be vacated and the case dismissed).




Navajo Health Foundation-Sage Memorial Hospital, Inc. vv. Burwell, et al., 2015 WL 977785 (D.N.M. Oct. 26, 2015) (granting summary judgment to Sage Hospital and holding that IHS must award and fully fund Sage's contract proposals through September 30, 2017).




Navajo Health Foundation-Sage Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Burwell, et al., 110 F.Supp.3d 1140 (D.N.M. 2015) (ruling on a matter of first impression, the District Court ruled that Sage Hospital is entitled to summary judgment on its claim that the Indian Health Service violated the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act and the federal Contract Disputes Act in failing to commit to decide Sage's five-year Contract Support Cost claim within a reasonable time).




Navajo Health Foundation-Sage Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Burwell, et al., 100 F.Supp.3d 1122 (D.N.M. 2015) (granting the Sage Hospital preliminary injunctive relief, requiring the Indian Health Service ("IHS") to fund Sage at pre-dispute levels pending the conclusion of the litigation, and agreeing with Sage that the IHS violated its regulations in refusing to renew Sage's Self-Determination Act contract, that Sage would suffer irreparable harm without the injunction, and Sage was not required to post a bond in connection with the injunction).





Navajo Health Foundation-Sage Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Burwell, et al., 86 F.Supp.3d 1211 (D.N.M. 2015) (in a case of first impression, ruling that the Sage Hospital properly brought suit against several Indian Health Service officials in New Mexico based on the domicile of one of those officials).




Yazzie v. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 185 IBLA 243 (2015) (agreeing with the firm's client, a tribally owned energy company, and affirming the administrative law judge's decision that tribal membership does not confer standing to a tribal member for an agency decision affecting interests in tribally owned lands and resources)



Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company v. Window Rock District Court, No. SC-CV-25-14 (Nav. Sup. Ct. June 20, 2014) (holding that certain members of the Board of Directors were not validly removed or suspended by certain Navajo Nation Council delegates).



EEOC v. Peabody Western Coal Co. and Navajo Nation, 2006 WL 2816603 (D. Ariz. Sept. 30, 2006) (rejecting on the basis of Navajo Nation sovereign immunity EEOC's challenge to Navajo Preference in Employment Act), rev'd and remanded, 610 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 91 (2011), aff'd, 773 F.3d 977 (9th Cir. 2014) (holding that a tribe-specific hiring preference in a mineral lease was a political classification outside the scope of Title VII).




Thermal Energy Company, 183 IBLA 126 (2012) (affirming denial of federal coal lease applications in Navajo "checkerboard" area).



HRI, Inc. v. EPA, 198 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000) (upholding EPA's determination that tribal trust land in Eastern Navajo Agency is "Indian country" for Safe Drinking Water Act purposes and not subject to State jurisdiction, and that the jurisdictional status as "Indian country" of an isolated tract of non-Indian fee land there was properly deemed in dispute by EPA), opinion after remand, 562 F.3d 1249 (10th Circuit 2009) (off-reservation fee land in Eastern Navajo Agency is "Indian Country"), rev'd on reh'g, 608 F.3d 1131 (10th Circuit 2010) (en banc).



Navajo Nation v. United States, 46 Fed. Cl. 217 (2000) (finding that United States had breached its trust duties in Peabody coal leasing decision but holding that court had no jurisdiction to award damages under Indian Tucker Act), rev'd, 263 F.3d 1325 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (reversing on jurisdiction and remanding for determination of damages), rev'd, 537 U.S. 488 (2003) (reversing on jurisdiction and remanding for further proceedings), on remand, 347 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (remanding for additional proceedings), on remand, 68 Fed. Cl. 805 (2005) (adhering to original jurisdictional holding); rev'd, 501 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (holding that the United States breached compensable trust duties in colluding with coal company to minimize Navajo coal royalties), rev'd, 566 U.S. 287 (2009).



Jepsen v. Vigil-Giron, 29 Indian L. Rptr. 5105 (1st Jud. Dist. N.M. 2002) (upholding Navajo Nation's proposal for State legislative redistricting) (co-counsel).



The Navajo Nation, et al., 152 IBLA 227 (2000) (reversing BLM determination that coal lease applicant was entitled to lease in Eastern Navajo Agency).



The Navajo Nation, 150 IBLA 83 (1999) (same).



Ark Land Co., 139 IBLA 196 (1997) (requiring BLM to consider Navajo Indian allottees' and occupants' rights prior to coal leasing decision in Eastern Navajo Agency).



Thermal Energy Co., 135 IBLA 291 (1996) (same)



Texaco, Inc. v. Zah, 5 F.3d 1374 (10th Cir. 1993) (remanding for additional findings in case challenging Navajo taxes); opinion after remand, Texaco, Inc. v. Hale, 81 F.3d 934 (10th Cir. 1996) (affirming dismissal of Texaco's case pending exhaustion of tribal remedies).



Texaco, Inc. v. Hale, 81 F.3d 934 (10th Cir. 1996) (affirming dismissal of Texaco's case pending exhaustion of tribal remedies).



Navajo Nation v. Lujan, No. CIV 89-2066 JGP, 22 Indian L. Rptr. 3235 (D.D.C. 1995) (requiring new "Indian lands" rulemaking under 1977 Surface Mining Act).



Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co. v. Yazzie, 909 F.2d 1387 (10th Cir.) (holding that Executive Order reservation was diminished pursuant to 1908 Act of Congress and remanding for a determination if the P&M South Mine is otherwise in Navajo Indian country for tax purposes), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1012 (1990); opinion after remand, Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co. v. Watchman, 52 F.3d 1531 (10th Cir. 1995) (holding that P&M was required to exhaust Navajo administrative and court remedies in challenge to Navajo taxes).



Mescal v. United States, 161 F.R.D. 450 (D.N.M. 1995) (holding that United States intentionally obstructed justice in class action brought by Navajo allottees seeking mineral rights; suit later settled by Government issuing supplemental trust patents relinquishing mineral estate to approximately 15,000 individual Navajo allotment owners).



United States v. Tsosie, 849 F.Supp. 768 (D.N.M. 1994), aff'd, 92 F.3d 1037 (10th Cir. 1996) (requiring federal Government to exhaust Navajo Nation court remedies before bringing ejectment action against Navajo citizen living on disputed land in Eastern Navajo Agency).



Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co. v. Office of Surface Mining, 115 IBLA 148 (1990), aff'd, No. CIV 90-730-JC (D.N.M. 1994) (holding that Navajo Nation fee lands within P&M South Mine are "Indian lands" under 1977 Surface Mining Act, and remanding for a hearing on whether Navajo allotments within the mine area are also "Indian lands" not subject to State jurisdiction).



Valencia Energy Co., 109 IBLA 40 (1989), aff'd, No. CIV 89-758-M (D.N.M. 1994) (holding that Navajo Nation fee lands in Eastern Navajo Agency are "Indian lands" under 1977 Surface Mining Act and not subject to State jurisdiction).



Chavez v. Tome, 5 Navajo Rptr. 747 (Navajo Sup. Ct. 1987) (affirming judgment in favor of Navajo Attorney General in libel and slander action).



Navajo Tribe v. United States Dep't of Interior, 667 F. Supp. 747 (D.N.M. 1987) (remanding funding decision in Indian Self-Determination Act context).



Star Lake R.R. v. Fourteen (14) Rights-of-Way Across Indian Allotments, No. CIV 82-392 JB, 13 Indian L. Rptr. 3005 (D.N.M. 1985) (granting attorney fees to allottees after remand and dismissal of condemnation action).



Star Lake R.R. v. Navajo Area Director, BIA, 15 IBIA 220 (1987) (revoking right-of-way across Navajo Nation land in accordance with resolution of the Navajo Nation Council), aff'd, Star Lake R.R. v. Lujan, 737 F. Supp. 103 (D.D.C. 1990), aff'd, 925 F.2d 490 (D.C. Cir. 1991) (per curiam).



New Mexico Navajo Ranchers Ass'n v. I.C.C., 702 F.2d 227 (D.C. Cir. 1983) (revoking certificate of public convenience and necessity for proposed railroad in Eastern Navajo Agency), opinion after remand, 850 F.2d 729 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (imposing extraordinary conditions on permission to construct railroad in Eastern Navajo Agency to protect cultural values).



McClanahan v. Hodel, No. CIV 83-161-M, 14 Indian L. Rptr. 3113 (D.N.M. 1987) (invalidating uranium leases on Navajo allotments due to violation of federal trust duties), vacated as moot, Nos. 87-1186, 87-1234 (10th Cir. 1988).



The Navajo Tribe, 82 IBLA 387 (1984) (rejecting federal Government's claims of mineral ownership in unallotted, unrestored lands described in Executive Order 1000).



Begay v. Albers, 721 F.2d 1274 (10th Cir. 1983) (affirming judgment in favor of Navajo allottees who lost their land in exchanges by the BIA predicated on deeds forged in the 1940s).
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