Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Cobell
Cobell invites supporters to May 11 hearing in DC


The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Indian trust fund lawsuit on Monday, May 11.

The appeal centers on the amount of money owed to Indian beneficiaries for the federal government's failure to account for their trust funds. Lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, hopes supporters will be able to attend the hearing in Washington, D.C.

"We will argue that we are entitled to interest on that money and say that his method of calculating how much money was not properly credited was inaccurate. The government has indicated it will argue that you, the trust account holders, are not entitled to any money at all. They will say that the government believes it has properly credited the accounts of all trust beneficiaries," Cobell said in a letter to supporters.

Judge James Robertson said the plaintiffs are owed $455.5 million, far lower than the billions sought by Cobell. He previously ruled that a true accounting of the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust was "impossible."

The appeal will be heard by Judge David B. Sentelle, Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg and Judge A. Raymond Randolph at 9:30am on May 11. The D.C. Circuit is in the same building as the U.S. District Court.

D.C. Circuit Order:
Cobell v. Salazar (March 13, 2009)

Lower Court Decision:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (August 7, 2008)

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