Law Seminars International Presents:

The Fifth Annual Comprehensive Conference on

Tribal Water in the Southwest

Major new developments for Indian water rights policy, regulations, settlement processes, infrastructure and delivery challenges

March 8 & 9, 2018

Laveen, AZ
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

Download PDF Brochure
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Program Overview

Who Should Order

Attorneys, Tribal, local, state and federal governmental representatives, environmental professionals, industry executives, water users and their representatives

Why You Should Order

Water scarcity remains a concern in the Southwest and with much of the land in the region being Tribal lands Tribal water rights will remain an important consideration for water planning and resource allocation throughout the region for the foreseeable future. This includes ongoing State general stream adjudications, which must address both federal reserved water rights for Tribal Reservations and water rights established by Tribes under state law. Many Tribes are still seeking to settle their water rights claims to not only resolve longstanding disputes, but to address much needed water infrastructure and delivery challenges. For Tribes that have water settlements, regional drought and other factors continue to complicate efforts to fully implement their settlement, and scarce federal funding only adds to the complexity of addressing regional water scarcity.

Adding to the inherent complexity of addressing water rights issues are political considerations and the need to reconcile federal environmental law with Tribal and private water use. This Conference will present a comprehensive and current overview of the legal and practical issues impacting Tribal water rights in the region. It is particularly timely as we finish the first year of the Trump administration. We hope you'll be able to join us for a lively and informative discussion.

~ Linus Everling, Esq. of Gila River Reservation and Jason T. Hauter, Esq. of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~ Federal Tribal Water Policy Trends
  • ~ Update on the Little Colorado Adjudication
  • ~ Update on the Agua Caliente case and Tribal control over groundwater
  • ~ National update on other Tribal water cases
  • ~ Drought contingency planning in the Lower Basin states
  • ~ Implementation of the Central Arizona System Use Agreement
  • ~ The Trump Administration and Tribal water rights settlements
  • ~ Tips for presenting persuasive Tribal water rights cases
  • ~ Tips for developing Tribal water management codes

What Attendees Said

  • "First experience attending this conference, I enjoyed it very much, a lot of information was shared."
  • "Excellent Speakers, Wide range of expert level knowledge, Great update on current state of issues."
  • " Now I have a better understanding on how Tribal Water is a big issue and there are laws, settlements, and financial gates to get through. All the speakers and topics were very interesting."
  • "Very good climatologist presentation as one of the first subjects to be touched on. Great presentations of explaining data."
  • Very informative and entertaining!

Agenda Day 1

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Linus Everling, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, General Counsel
Gila River Indian Community / Sacaton, AZ

Jason T. Hauter, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

8:45 am

Federal Policy Trends Affecting Tribal Water in the Southwest

Prospects for federal funding for water and other Tribal infrastructure projects

Jason T. Hauter, Esq. , Program Co-Chair (inv)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

The Trump Administration's focus on deregulation: The impact on Clean Water Act and Clean Drinking Water Act enforcement; litigation update including an expected uptick in citizen suits; implications for Tribal water use and management

Ian A. Shavitz, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

10:00 am


10:15 am

Tribal Control Over Groundwater

Ninth Circuit decision in Agua Caliente Band v. Coachella Valley Water District: Tribal right to control the groundwater underneath their reservation including water quality in the aquifer

Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Esq.
Native American Rights Fund / Boulder, CO

10:45 am

Tribal Water Litigation Update

National overview of additional state and federal cases impacting Tribal water issues

Thomas L. Murphy, Esq. , Deputy General Counsel
Gila River Indian Community / Sacaton, AZ

11:30 am

Lessons from Recent Litigation and Settlements for Presenting an Effective Case on Indian Water Rights

Updating your playbook for identifying the evidence you'll need and efficiently gathering it

Joe Ely , Director of Indian Project Development
Stetson Engineers Inc. / Chandler, AZ

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Drought Contingency Planning in the Lower Basin States

Update on climatological forecasts for near and long term water supplies: How much water will we have to work with?

Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D. , State Climatologist
Office of Climatology - Arizona State University / Tempe, AZ

Update on the proposals currently under consideration: Who is advocating for what? What does the state of Arizona see as its priorities?

Nicole Klobas , Deputy Counsel
Arizona Department of Water Resources / Phoenix, AZ

Anticipating the potential impact on Tribes: Tribal priorities and participation in the process; how Tribal water rights stack up against other claims to water; water marketing as an opportunity for Tribes and what it takes to be able to do that

Brett Bovee , Intermountain Regional Director
WestWater Research / Fort Collins, CO

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Central Arizona System Use Agreement

Technical operational aspects

Suzanne K. Ticknor , Director of Water Policy
Central Arizona Project / Phoenix, AZ

Overview of the Agreement and what it means for Tribes

Robyn L. Interpreter, Esq.
Montgomery and Interpreter PLC / Phoenix, AZ

Technical operational aspects

Lisa Lance, Esq.
DOI Office of the Solicitor / Phoenix, AZ

Technical aspects: Where water enters the system; how the wheeling agreement works; provisions for monitoring and enforcing water quality standards

Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. , President
Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc. / Paradise Valley, AZ

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Gila River Reservation

Friday, March 09, 2018

8:30 am

Tribal Water Rights Settlements

National update: Overview of pending Tribal/state water settlements

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

Federal criteria and procedures: Roles of the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB); budget and staffing levels; new administration policy priorities

Katie Brossy, Esq.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

Tips for working with the federal government on settlement issues: Dispute resolution strategies for avoiding litigation; obtaining federal support for pursuing and funding settlements

John C. Bezdek, Esq.
Dentons / Washington, DC

John B. Weldon, Jr., Esq.
Salmon, Lewis & Weldon PLC / Phoenix, AZ

10:15 am


10:30 am

Tribal Water Regulation

What the federal government is looking for in Tribal water regulations

Jason T. Hauter, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

Tips for developing a code that will meet the Tribe's objectives and pass muster

Jason T. Hauter, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Washington, DC

11:00 am

Q & A

Members of the Faculty

11:30 am

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Linus Everling, Linus Everling, Esq., Program Co-Chair, is General Counsel at the Gila River Indian Community and a past Director of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona. He is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, Belcourt, North Dakota.

Jason T. Hauter, Jason T. Hauter, Esq., Program Co-Chair, is Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. He advises clients regarding American Indian law and policy. Previously, he was in-house counsel for the Gila River Indian Community, representing the community on economic development, construction, taxation and internal policy.

John C. Bezdek, John C. Bezdek, Counsel in Dentons' Public Policy and Regulation practice and Native American Law and Policy practice, brings to clients more than 20 years' experience establishing programs and policies affecting water rights quantification and water resources management in the western United States.

Brett Bovee Brett Bovee is Intermountain Regional Director at WestWater Research, a water resources consulting firm specializing in water valuation and water markets. He has managed engineering, economic, and planning projects in the water sector, and has been working with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on water-related projects, including recent water marketing activities.

Katie Brossy, Katie Brossy, Senior Council at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, is a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She has worked on a number of highly significant Tribal issues, including one of the largest Indian water rights settlements in U.S. history and the largest Tribal trust claim settlement.

Joe Ely Joe Ely serves as Tribal Project Coordinator and Director of Indian Project Development with Stetson Engineers Inc. He is a former Tribal Chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and is experienced in Indian water rights quantification and establishment.

Robyn L. Interpreter, Robyn L. Interpreter, founding partner at Montgomery and Interpreter PLC, focuses her practice areas in Tribal and Federal Indian law, water law, business, real estate, and estate planning. She is the counsel of record for two federally recognized Indian Tribes in Arizona's General Stream Adjudication

Nicole Klobas, Nicole Klobas, Deputy Chief Counsel at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, represents the Department in matters related to the Colorado River and serves as counsel to the Arizona Water Banking Authority. Ms. Klobas participated in negotiations of the 2007 Lower Basin State Forbearance Agreement and other documents associated with the 2007 Interim Guidelines on behalf of the Department.

Lisa Lance Lisa Lance is an attorney in the DC Office of the Solicitor for the Department of the Interior. Ms. Lance works on Indian affairs and Bureau of Reclamation Issues, including the Central Arizona Project. She is a member of the Department's Hualapai, Havasupai, San Carlos Apache, Gila River Indian Community, and White Mountain Apache tribal water settlement and implementation teams.

Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. Peter A. Mock, Ph.D., R.G. is President and Principal Hydrologist, Geologist and Environmental Scientist at Peter Mock Groundwater Consulting, Inc. He has worked on challenges in hydrologic science, including groundwater-surface water interaction, the Gila River Adjudication and Tribal water rights.

Thomas L. Murphy Thomas L. Murphy is Deputy General Counsel for the Gila River Indian Community. Previously he was in private practice in New Mexico specializing in trial and appellate litigation in federal, state and tribal courts. He has particular interests and expertise in civil litigation involving Indian tribes and Native American water rights.

Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D., Nancy J. Selover, Ph.D., is the State Climatologist for the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. In that role, she educates groups on the urban heat island, monsoon, drought, extreme weather, climate change, and Arizona's climate. She interfaces with state and city agencies, Tribes, private businesses, researchers, and the public, providing climate data and information.

Ian A. Shavitz, Ian A. Shavitz, Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, assists Tribes in securing required federal, state and local approvals for development projects located on and off Tribal lands; advises on securing easements on and leasing of Tribal lands, including advising on and preparing HEARTH Act regulations for Tribes.

Suzanne K. Ticknor Suzanne K. Ticknor is Director of Water Policy for the Central Arizona Project. Ms. Ticknor previously worked as a Senior Staff Attorney in CAP's legal department. Her areas of practice have included water law, environmental law, and federal reclamation law and contracts.

John B. Weldon, Jr., John B. Weldon, Jr., founding member, Salmon, Lewis & Weldon, PLC, focuses on water law, natural resources litigation, environmental law, Indian law, and electric power and utilities.

Heather Whiteman Runs Him, Heather Whiteman Runs Him, staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund, focuses on Tribal water rights and natural resource issues. She previously served as Joint Lead Counsel for the Crow Tribe of Montana.

Pamela S. Williams is Director of the Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ms. Williams coordinates Indian water right settlement issues among DOI's agencies, provides policy advice to officials at the highest levels of the DOI, and supervises Water Rights Office staff

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 10.0 Arizona CLE credits, 10.0 Washington CLE credits, 10.25 California CLE credits, and 11.5 New York CLE credits.. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

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