Native American Tribes Settle Lawsuit Against US Government Agencies

Native American Tribes Settle Lawsuit Against US Government Agencies

News

A federal judge in Oklahoma has approved a $186 million settlement of litigation between the United States and two Native America tribes, the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations. The Nations sued the government a decade ago to recover for the United States' sale of the Nations' valuable timberland in the early 20th century. With the case scheduled to be tried in July, the Nations retained WilmerHale in April to assist their lead counsel—Nix, Patterson & Roach, LLP and Whitten Burrage—with both trial preparations and settlement negotiations. Together with co-counsel, WilmerHale participated in extensive mediation sessions with senior officials at the Department of Justice and Department of Interior, ensuring that they understood the strength of the case the Nations would present at trial as well as the reasons why a significant settlement was warranted and would help overcome centuries of injustice perpetrated against the Nations, dating back to the forced "Trail of Tears" march in the 19th century.

The team of WilmerHale lawyers included Partners Thomas Strickland, Seth Waxman, David Bowker, Daniel Volchok and Senior Associates Daniel Winik and Jacqueline De León.