Sovereign Immunity Update:
Minimizing Your Tribe's Liability After
Lewis v. Clarke

Do tribal employees and officials still have sovereign immunity after the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Lewis v. Clarke? In this important class, we’ll examine the cracks recent case law has put in the sovereign immunity defense and what steps your tribe should proactively be taking to protect itself. We’ll expose potential pitfalls and explore strategies to effectively manage risk of litigation against tribal employees, including a thorough look at Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) coverage and a review of the adequacy of insurance policies now that employees risk suits under Lewis v. Clarke. We’ll take a look at subpoenas and ex parte young suits, and examine tribal official immunity, tribal judicial immunity and immunity for tribal enterprises, as well as individual tribal employee liability. Help protect your tribe’s assets and its sovereignty — register today!

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E    
Sovereign Immunity of Indian Tribes
  • Overview of tribal sovereignty
  • The sovereign immunity doctrine and its limits
  • Waivers of tribal sovereign immunity
  • Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community and other sovereign immunity cases
Tribal Employee Liability - When Can a Tribal Employee Be Named as a Defendant?
  • Individual capacity suits against tribal employees
  • Lewis v. Clarke, the recent U.S. Supreme Court case
  • Overview of some of the earlier cases, including Maxwell v. County of San Diego and Pistor v. Garcia
  • How to protect employees working within the course and scope of their employment
Tribal Official Immunity - When Can Tribal Officials be Sued?
  • Understanding legislative vs. executive and administrative functions
  • Legislative immunity
  • Judicial immunity
  • Ex Parte Young doctrine - suits for non-monetary, prospective relief
Immunity Issues for Tribal Enterprises
  • Tribal Section 17 corporations
  • Tribally-chartered corporation and LLCs
  • State-chartered LLCs
  • "Arm of the tribe" test
Subpoenas - When Can a Tribe Be Compelled to Respond to a Subpoena?
  • Does sovereign immunity bar subpoenas against tribes?
  • Subpoenaing tribal records vs. tribal employee witnesses
  • State and federal court jurisdiction to enforce subpoenas
  • Role of tribal records in individual capacity suits against tribal employees
Improving Risk Management Post Lewis v. Clarke
  • Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) coverage
  • What to look for in tribal insurance policies now that tribal employees risk being sued individually
  • Tribal code provisions to improve risk management

*Topics subject to change.

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