The litigation’s lengthy history and settlement are instructive not only to those working on issues in Indian country but to anyone concerned about the government’s ability to effectively gain and maintain public confidence in the government
LITTLE CANADA, MINNESOTA— Today’s headlines are filled with stories of mistrust of the government – from Tea Party activists who claim that that the IRS has unfairly targeted their organizations to revelations about abuses at the VA to those who claim that the federal government lied to the public in the lead up to the war in Iraq.
On July 16th, the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is sponsoring a forum that examines the state of public trust in the government, the erosion of that trust, and what should be done to restore it.
ILTF’s forum uses the Cobell v. Jewell* case to explore these issues. Filed nearly two decades ago, Cobell resulted in the largest class-action lawsuit against the federal government in U.S. history which stemmed from more than a century of mismanagement of American Indian trust assets. The case was settled for $3.4 billion in 2010.
“The Cobell v. Jewell litigation was based on mismanagement of assets held in trust by the federal government for Indian people. The litigation’s lengthy history and settlement are instructive not only to those working on issues in Indian Country but to anyone concerned about the government’s ability to effectively gain and maintain public confidence in the government,” said ILTF president, Cris Stainbrook. “The case also provides a perfect basis for frank and constructive discussions around corrective actions when the public trust in government is violated.”
The Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, Restoring the Public Trust: Cobell v. Jewell and Beyond, is sponsored by Indian Land Tenure Foundation and co-hosted by Arnold & Porter LLP and Van Ness Feldman. The event is July 16, 2014 in Washington, D.C. at Arnold & Porter LLP.
The event features an all-star lineup of speakers and faculty, including Dennis Gingold, the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in Cobell; Professor Alex Pearl, co-plaintiffs’ counsel in Cobell who helped secure congressional approval of the settlement; Professor Garrick Pursley, who will provide insights from the perspective of the bench during litigation of Cobell; and Dean of the University of Arkansas Law School Stacy Leeds, who was a member of the Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform established as part of the Cobell settlement. Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior, will share perspectives on Cobell, pending reforms and public trust in the government. In addition, Senator Al Franken has been invited to provide remarks at the reception following the forum.
For more information about Indian Land Tenure Foundation or this event visit us online at http://www.iltf.org.
*Case No. 1:96CV01285, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.