Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Ask Elouise: DC Circuit affirms approval of trust fund settlement

Dear Indian Country,

Today, we are pleased to announce that the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s order granting final approval of the Cobell settlement. As you know, following the U.S. District Court’s order granting final approval, four class members (Kimberly Craven, Carol Goodbear, Charles Colombe and Mary Johns) filed appeals. The Goodbear, Colombe and Johns appeals were consolidated by the D.C. Circuit. The US Court of Appeal decisions can be found on the settlement website: in the “Court Documents” section.

In the 24-page decision, a three-judge panel rejected the arguments of Kimberly Craven, a landowner who had challenged the settlement as unfair.

The D.C. District Court also summarily rejected the arguments in the appeal of Goodbear, Charles and Mary Johns, holding that two of their four arguments were disposed of by the Craven decision and that their remaining two arguments were without merit.

Please note that Craven, Goodbear, Colombe and Johns may seek further review en banc from the full Circuit, a rehearing from the respective appellate panel, or review by the Supreme Court. They have 90 days to petition the Supreme Court. Should one or all of the appellants seek Supreme Court review, payments will be delayed further, i.e., through the Fall or Winter of 2012 or the Spring of 2013, at the earliest.

Prior Ask Elouise letters can be found at: There is also a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to answer the most common questions received:

Kind Regards,

Dennis Gingold
Lead Counsel, Cobell Plaintiffs

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