William A. Nebeker, founding partner, and John M. Sticht, an associate in our Phoenix office, successfully briefed the Supreme Court of the State of Arizona as counsel on behalf of an Amicus Curiae client on an issue of tribal law with statewide importance and national implications.
The issue concerned whether a state court can exercise jurisdiction over tribal business entities that commit tortuous acts off of Indian tribal lands. In its opinion dated February 25, 2020, the Court unanimously agreed with our firm’s position that the tribal business entity at issue was subject to jurisdiction because it was not a “subordinate economic organization” entitled to share the tribe’s sovereign immunity, based on the record before the Court. The firm’s advocacy helped to shape the factors that the Supreme Court ruled courts in Arizona must now examine to determine whether a tribal entity serves in such a capacity. Obtaining such a precedential ruling has helped to solidify the client’s position in the overall ongoing litigation related to the alleged tortious conduct at issue.