The Supreme Court denied my cert. petition June 24, 2013. One way to look at this, of course, is four years of work down the drain. But that isn’t how I look at it.
I gained invaluable insight and experience. I know how to bring a civil rights and/or excessive force claim and have learned many of the nuances of qualified immunity and individual v. official capacity suits.
Based on this work, I have been receiving phone calls from potential clients around the region. At least twice in the past year, potential clients from different parts of the state have called me regarding off-reservation criminal arrests by tribal police.
A few choice samples:
- Murder. From an attorney in Oregon: Client, a non-tribal member, was driving through the Reservation in the passenger seat. Tribal cop pulled the car over, asked the driver, also a non-member, for his driver’s license. Driver complied. Cop went back to his squad car and ran the license. Cop walked back to the driver and shot him in the head. Killed him.
- Accidental Death. From an attorney in Seattle: (Attorney represents the estate). Client, a tribal member, went to a sweat lodge, run by another tribe. Tribal member overheated, had a heart attack, and died.
- False Arrest. From two or three recent potential clients:
- Scenario A. Potential client was buying gas miles from the Reservation, or otherwise minding his own business, when a tribal police officer arrested him for something or another.
- Scenario B. Potential client was on fee land within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation. Arrested by tribal police officers. Taken by the same officers to the local county jail.
The solution to all of these cases lies in the same legal framework that I developed in my Supreme Court case. It was not four years down the drain. It was an investment.