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Trust
Cobell: Appeals court ruling a favorable one


"Lawyers for the Indian plaintiffs in our long-running Cobell v. Norton lawsuit say the November ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia may give 500,000 Native Americans a faster route to resolve the government's mismanagement of their Individual Trust Accounts. The ruling didn't contain everything plaintiffs wanted, but also didn't give the government what it was expecting.

In fact, the government lost a couple of key points it had hoped to win, especially its effort to get the appeals court to send the case to the court of claims and to get the appeals court to limit the number of beneficiaries. Those were major defeats.

But the point I want to stress is that the ruling may have made resolution of our case easier.

The appeals court held that, "It is not disputed that the government failed to be a diligent trustee. In the two decades leading up to the plaintiffs' initiation of their lawsuit, report after report excoriated the government's management of the IIM (Individual Indian Money) trust funds.""

Get the Story:
Elouise Cobell: End in sight for Indian lawsuit? (The Oklahoman 12/19)
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Historical Accounting Decision:
Cobell v. Norton (November 15, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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