Law | Trust

Supreme Court takes up Jicarilla Apache Nation trust case

UPDATE: Oral Argument Transcript

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in US v. Jicarilla Apache Nation, a fiduciary trust case, this morning.

The Jicarilla Apache Nation of New Mexico sued the federal government for breach of trust. During the litigation, the tribe asked the Interior Department to produce certain documents.

Interior refused but the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government must provide the documents because fiduciary obligation to the tribe was greater than the attorney-client privilege. The Obama administration appealed and the justices agreed to hear the case.

The tribe is being represented by Holland & Knight. Partner Steve Gordon will argue the case.

"We believe that the High Court will agree with both lower courts that Indians are entitled to the same information as other trust beneficiaries about how their trust monies were managed," said President Levi Pesata.

Pasata is attending the hearing, along with council members Ernest Petago, A. Roy Velarde, Danny Garcia, and Merlin Cassador.

The Supreme Court will post the transcript from the hearing later today.

Federal Circuit Decision:
In Re United States (December 30, 2009)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court hearing in Jicarilla Apache trust case on April 20 (4/4)
Supreme Court agrees to hear Jicarilla Apache Nation trust case (1/10)
Levi Pesata: Obama should withdraw appeal in tribal trust case (10/1)
Supreme Court approves extension in Jicarilla Apache trust case (8/18)
Supreme Court approves extension for Jicarilla Apache trust ruling (8/2)
Jicarilla Apache Nation hopes to recover $6M in royalty dispute (7/23)
Appeals court reopens Jicarilla Apache Nation gas royalty lawsuit (7/19)
Court says government must produce trust documents (1/13)
Judge rejects Jicarilla Apache gas royalty lawsuit (4/1)

Join the Conversation