Law Seminars International Presents: The Second Annual Conference on

Tribal Water Law
Indian water rights, claims, settlements, opportunities and challenges

(For this past program, we offer two options for purchase: a Homestudy (DVD and written materials) or written materials alone.)

October 27 & 28, 2011
Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, tribal representatives, governmental officials, business executives, water users and their representatives, engineers and consultants involved with water use issues and project development

Why You Should Order

Throughout Indian Country, there are significant water resources and well-established legal rights to extensive water resources held by Indian Tribes. But many water rights remain unquantified or are not legally recognized. The federal reserved rights doctrine that recognizes Indian water rights plays out in many different ways, often unique to an Indian reservation location. States have differing perspectives on how to handle Indian water rights. Municipal uses, energy development, environmental needs and increased economic development on Indian reservations also require water rights and drive the various constituents to resolve Indian water claims.

This conference seeks to address the current outlook for federal government involvement in the resolution of tribal water issues and will review some recent successes. In addition, regional case studies will be discussed, so that professionals in the Indian water arena can follow the latest events. We will also explore tribal implementation of water rights once those rights are resolved, including in hydropower projects.

You will hear about hot topics where Indian water law intersects with environmental issues, energy development, land use planning and tribal code development. Don't miss this excellent updated overview on today's legal and policy developments, along with practical strategies and tips to assist attorneys, tribal representatives, agency officials, engineers and consultants navigate Indian water law issues.

~Program Co-Chairs: Stephen J. McHugh, Esq., The Trust Resources Law Firm, P.C. and Jennifer H. Weddle, Esq., Greenberg Traurig, LLP

What You Will Learn


Thursday, October 27, 2011

8:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

Stephen J. McHugh, Esq., Program Co-Chair
The Trust Resources Law Firm, P.C. / Washington, DC

Jennifer H. Weddle, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Greenberg Traurig, LLP / Denver, CO

8:45 am

Update on Water Right Settlements Activity and Prospects for Future Settlements

Case study of the recent Crow Water Right Settlement and implementation

Cedric Black Eagle, Chairman
The Crow Nation / Crow Agency, MT

Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Esq., Joint Lead Counsel
The Crow Nation / Crow Agency, MT

How changes in Congress may impact future settlements

David A. Mullon, Jr., Esq., Republican Staff Director and Chief Counsel
U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs / Washington, DC

10:15 am


10:30 am

Allocating Scarce Water Resources: Case Study of the Colorado River

Steven C. Hvinden, Office Chief
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Boulder Canyon Operations Office / Boulder City, NV

Karen Kwon, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Colorado Office of the Attorney General / Denver, CO

11:30 am

Developing Tribal Water Codes

Big Horn Decree; guidelines for use of tribal water; differences between tribal and state law; Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes Water Code

Orville St. Clair, Business Council Member
Eastern Shoshone Tribe / Fort Washakie, WY

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Special Address: Water as a Component of the Department of the Interior's Overall Tribal Policy Priorities

Pamela S. Williams, Esq., Director, Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office
U.S. Department of the Interior / Phoenix, AZ

2:15 pm

The Intersection of Tribal Water Treaty Rights and Environmental Protection Laws

Non-tribal activities with an impact on tribal resources; permitting issues and processes for tribal water projects

Jeanne S. Whiteing, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Boulder, CO

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Water Issues in Oil and Gas Development: Fracking and Wastewater Disposal Issues

How the technology works; update on areas of consensus and open questions in the scientific community; review of pending regulatory issues including EPA, Congress and state regulations

Barclay R. Nicholson, Esq.
Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. / Houston, TX

Litigation update: What legal theories are being pursued? What are the trends in outcomes for court cases?

Lidiana Rios Acuna, Esq.
Trout, Raley, Montano, Witwer & Freeman, P.C. / Denver, CO

Practical solutions for drilling on tribal lands: Mitigation agreements between tribes and energy companies

Jennifer H. Weddle, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Greenberg Traurig, LLP / Denver, CO

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP


Friday, October 28, 2011

8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

Stephen J. McHugh, Esq.
The Trust Resources Law Firm, P.C. / Washington, DC

Jennifer H. Weddle, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Greenberg Traurig, LLP / Denver, CO

8:45 am

Tribal Participation in Hydropower Projects

Overview of the FERC licensing and re-licensing processes for operating generating and pumped storage facilities

Quanah M. Spencer, Esq.
Williams Kastner / Seattle, WA

The challenge of maintaining stream flows for fish; compliance with treaty rights, the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act

Mason D. Morisset, Esq., Director
Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville / Seattle, WA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Tribes as Hydro Powers

Update on the Seneca Nation application to obtain the FERC license to operate the Kinzua Dam generating station and a related pumped storage facility

Wendy N. Huff, Executive Director of the Kinzua Dam Relicensing Commission
Seneca Nation of Indians / Salamanca, NY

Shannon Keller O'Loughlin, Esq.
Seneca Nation of Indians / Salamanca, NY

Assad S. Safadi, Ph.D., Senior Vice President
Natural Resources Consulting Engineers, Inc. / Fort Collins, CO

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe pumped storage project in Colorado

Celene Hawkins, Esq., Associate General Counsel
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe / Towaoc, CO

11:45 am

Leveraging Instate Resources

Forbearance agreements and other ways to make deals happen

L. William Staudenmaier, Esq.
Snell & Wilmer LLP / Phoenix, AZ

12:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for this program is $995 with a group rate of $745 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $665. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $497.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 10.5 AZ CLE, 12 CO CLE, 11 CA MCLE, 10.5 ID CLE, 10.9 NM CLE, 10.5 NV CLE, 12 OK CLE, 11.25 OR CLE, 10.5 WA CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Faculty Bios

Stephen J. McHugh, Program Co-Chair, partner at The Trust Resources Law Firm, P.C., represents Indian tribes in land and water claims, and prosecutes breach of trust claims against the United States. Previously, he was at Holland & Knight LLP, and also was the Deputy Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Jennifer H. Weddle, Program Co-Chair, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and Co-Chair of the American Indian Law Practice Group, focuses on tribal jurisdiction and natural resources development on tribal lands. She is listed in Best Lawyers and Chambers USA.
Full bio and contact info for Jennifer H. Weddle at Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Pamela S. Williams, Special Address, is Director of the Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office at the United States Department of the Interior. Prior to joining the Department, she was Assistant Attorney General for the Navajo Nation and Associate Tribal Attorney for the Colorado River Indian Tribes.

Lidiana Rios Acuna of Trout, Raley, Montano, Witwer & Freeman, P.C., practices in the areas of water rights, environmental, municipal, regulatory and litigation.

Cedric Black Eagle is Chairman of the Crow Nation.

Celene Hawkins is Associate General Counsel of the Justice Department of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, which advises the Tribal Council on all legal matters. She focuses her work on tribal, state and federal water law, renewable energy development, and cultural and natural resources protection.

Wendy N. Huff (Bear Clan, Seneca) is Executive Director of the Seneca Nation of Indians' Kinzua Dam Relicensing Commission, which oversees the Nation's license applicant and stakeholder interests in the FERC relicensing of the Seneca Pumped Storage Project.

Steven C. Hvinden is Office Chief at the United States Bureau of Reclamation Boulder Canyon Operations Office.

Karen Kwon, Assistant Attorney General with the Federal and Interstate Water Unit within the Colorado Attorney General's Office, is the state's lead counsel on the Colorado River, its compacts and laws governing interstate water use. She focuses on protecting Colorado's rights and authorities in the Colorado basin.

Mason D. Morisset, Director at Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville, is responsible for Indian treaty and water rights litigation including successful arguments before the United States Supreme Court, the Washington State Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and FERC.

David A. Mullon, Jr. serves as Republican Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, under Vice Chairman John Barrasso, a position he held in the 110th Congress as well, under Vice Chairman Lisa Murkowski and before her, Vice Chairman Craig Thomas.

Barclay R. Nicholson, partner at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., focuses on business disputes. He is experienced in handling energy and construction litigation cases and has represented some of the world's major oil and gas producing and refining companies. He is listed in Chambers USA.
Full bio and contact info for Barclay R. Nicholson at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

Shannon Keller O’Loughlin is a sole practice legal counselor concentrating on Indian Nations law and policy, and Special Counsel to the Seneca Nation of Indians. Her expertise is to provide legal and policy support to Indian Nation clients to build, strengthen and protect their sovereign interests within an Indian Nation's governmental structure as the Nation interacts in external consultation, regulatory and adjudicatory matters.

Assad S. Safadi, Ph.D., Senior Vice President at Natural Resources Consulting Engineers, Inc., has over 24 years of experience in Water Resources Engineering. His responsibilities include oversight of over 30 technical staff members, the evaluation of water resources, the conceptual and detailed design of water development scenarios, and investigations of water uses.

Quanah M. Spencer, of counsel and Vice Chair of the Tribal Practice Group at Williams Kastner, focuses on providing strategic legal advice to tribal governments, businesses and individuals on matters related to government regulation, taxation and government investigations.

Orville St. Clair, Business Council Member of Eastern Shoshone Tribe, focuses on Indian water rights issues. He is principal owner of Wind River Associates.

L. William Staudenmaier, partner at Snell & Wlmer LLP, concentrates on water and environmental law. He represents clients in general stream adjudications, and negotiates settlements of Indian water right claims and contracts for transfer of water rights. He is listed in Best Lawyers and Chambers USA.

Jeanne S. Whiteing, Attorney at Law, represents Indian tribes and tribal entitites, focusing on natural resources law, Indian water rights, land claims, and jurisdictional and tax issues.

Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Joint Lead Counsel for the Crow Nation's Executive Branch, is responsible for coordinating work on legal issues including tribal water rights, intergovernmental affairs issues, land use, economic development, law enforcement, elections, enrollment and litigation.