ExperienceIndian Gaming Law

  • In Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union v. Davis, 21 Cal. 4th 585 (1999), the California Supreme Court invalidated the Indian Gaming Initiative, holding that the measure violated the California Constitution’s prohibition on “casinos of the type currently operating in Nevada and New Jersey,” the position we advocated in our amicus curiae
  • The firm has represented dozens of local governments (counties and cities) in negotiations and arbitration with Indian tribes about the off-reservation impacts of tribal casino projects. For example, in 2009, the firm represented Yolo County in “baseball-style” arbitration against a local tribe seeking to expand its casino. The arbitrator sided with the County, agreeing that the tribe must provide greater mitigation of local impacts than it proposed.
  • Firm attorneys advocate for local governments regarding these tribal gaming issues with the Governor’s office, the Attorney General and the state Legislature, including seeking protection of local communities with respect to the terms of tribal-state gaming compacts.
  • We represent local governments in proceedings before the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of Interior involving tribal petitions to take land into trust, including issues related to compliance with federal environmental laws.
  • We represent local governments in federal court challenges to fee to trust decisions rendered by the Department of Interior.
  • The firm assists statewide local government organizations in drafting comments to proposed federal laws and regulations.
  • In County of Amador v. Ione Band of Miwok Indians, 149 Cal. App. 4th 1089 (2007), we successfully represented Amador County in challenging a Municipal Services Agreement, entered into between an Indian Tribe and the City of Plymouth, for violating CEQA.