Free Urban Native American Legal Needs Seminar/Webinar - 31 March 2011


The free seminar/webinar “Serving The Legal Needs of Urban Native Americans” will be held Thursday, 31 March 2011 in Seattle, with the program available free worldwide via live webcast. The program is hosted by the law firm of Foster Pepper PLLC, in partnership with the Northwest Justice Project and the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities’ Committee on Native American Concerns.  The seminar has been approved by the Washington Sate Bar Association for 3.0 Ethics and 2.0 General CLE credits, 5.0 credits total.

Tens of thousands of Native Americans live in and around America’s major cities, often far removed from their ancestral Tribes and families. Often battling poverty and discrimination, many urban Native Americans see their legal and civil rights undermined by a lack of resources and effective advocacy. This program will demonstrate how specialized non-profit legal clinics in the Northwest are providing much-needed guidance and resources to urban Native Americans, and how this success can be replicated in cities throughout the US.

Who Should Attend: Attorneys and advocates of all kinds working for Native American rights; Tribal leaders and members; law students interested in serving Native communities, and any one interested in helping protect the legal rights of Native people living in Urban centers. The program will provide free CLE credit for attorneys, including ethics credits.


9:00 Registration/Breakfast

9:30 Seminar Welcome and Introductions
• W. Gregory Guedel, Foster Pepper PLLC Native American Legal Services Chair
Chairman, American Bar Association Committee on Native American Concerns

9:40 Recognizing The Need – Legal Issues for Urban Native Americans
• Millie Kennedy (Tsimshian), Native American Advocacy Coordinator, NW Justice Project
• Jenine Grey (Tlingit), Chief Seattle Club

10:45 Break

11:00 Addressing the Need -- Chief Seattle Club, NW Indian Bar Association and NW Justice Project
• Bree Ramirez (Native Hawaiian), President, NW Indian Bar Association
• John Perkins (Tlingit; Thunderbird/Eagle), Chief Seattle Club Urban Indian Legal Clinic
• Brooke Pinkham (Nez Perce), CLEAR Native American Advocate, NW Justice Project

12:00 Lunch & Networking

12:30 Under Fire: Relations Between Urban Native Americans, Police, and City Government
• Chris Stearns (Navajo), Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker; Seattle Human Rights Commission

1:30 Bridging The Gap — The Attorney’s Role of Engaging and Serving Urban American Indian clients
• Christina Parker (Chippewa Cree), Tulalip Tribal Attorney

2:30 A New Beginning – The Tahoma Indian Center
• Joan Staples-Baum (White Earth Chippewa), Director, Tahoma Indian Center
• Chrishendra Tucker, Field Attorney, NW Justice Project Tacoma Office


Navajo Public Defenders Undertake Intensive Skills Training

Attorneys from Navajo Public Defender, Foster Pepper, and UW Native American Law Center

Attorneys of the Navajo Nation’s Office of the Public Defender are participating in advanced litigation skills training seminars this week in Window Rock, Arizona, sharpening their skills in criminal case investigation and pre-trial evidentiary practice.

The training program is conducted jointly by the University of Washington’s Native American Law Center and Foster Pepper PLLC’s Native American Legal Services Group, and provides in-depth instruction and practical exercises in strategic case planning, conducting discovery, motions practice, and the role of Navajo Fundamental Law in the contemporary judicial system. The program culminates at the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation, where the Public Defenders will observe and analyze oral arguments before the Nation’s highest court on issues pertaining to defense of those accused of Navajo Criminal Code violations.