About the Tribal Court Opinion Indian Law Bulletin

Frequency of Updates: Research is performed on a regular basis to identify new relevant tribal court opinions to add to the bulletin.  New case information will be added on a regular basis - usually each week and previously published case information will be archived.  Alerts will be sent to subscribers via email when new content is published. This bulletin launched on the National Indian Law Library website in January 2017.

Selection Policy & Process: The National Indian Law Library (NILL) with the Colorado Law School American Indian Law Clinic endeavors to retrieve important cases decided by tribal courts from sources described below. Retrieved cases generally fall under the following categories: Environmental Law, Criminal Law, Property Law, Family Law, Commercial Law, and Employment Law. Each category contains sub-categories for more precise review. 

We run broad searches in the Westlaw, LexisNexis, Casemaker, and Versuslaw databases to locate the most important cases. These databases may not contain all cases and the research strategy may not identify every case in the databases. We also monitor select tribal websites for current court opinions. During this process, the student attorneys use their judgment as to which cases should be included in the bulletin. Therefore, this bulletin should not be considered an exhaustive list of cases, and should not substitute for independent research and does not constitute legal advice.

Sources of Information

Summary & Holding Information: We locate and select cases from LexisNexis, Versuslaw.com, Casemaker and Thomson Reuters Westlaw and from individual courts and attorneys. We provide case summary and holding information when available from Westlaw and LexisNexis by agreement.  When summary or holding information is not available, we provide metadata to describe the main issue(s) of the case.

Publication of Full-text Opinions: We provide full-text copies of all cases on our website and include vendor-produced copyright-protected material under an agreement with the vendor.  

Researchers:  J.D. Candidates at the University of Colorado, for the Colorado Law American Indian Law Clinic.

Searching & Browsing Tips: Legal cases are listed in reverse chronological order by calendar year. The most recently added cases appear at the top of the page. The archives contain all previous cases. All current and archived pages can be searched in full-text using the custom Google search feature available on the Bulletins hope page: http://www.narf.org/nill/bulletins/index.html

Indexing: NILL metadata or subject headings are assigned by law librarians at the National Indian Law Library (NILL).

Archiving: Annual archives of opinions are created and are searchable using the custom Google search engine. The "pre2016 archives" contain all of the full-text opinions (40+) featured in Matthew Fletcher's American Indian Tribal Law (2011) in addition to other selected opinions from other sources.

Community Submissions: The Tribal Courts Bulletin welcomes submissions of tribal court opinions by the legal community for consideration.  If you would like to submit a judicial opinion please e-mail it to TribalLaw@narf.org.