Of Counsel, Crowell Law Offices –Tribal Advocacy Group.
General Counsel to the Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation and the CTEC Board of Directors
Adjunct Professor at Gonzaga University Law School teaching Federal Indian Law
Part of the team tasked with developing and constructing new gaming facilities for the Colville Tribes
Successfully opened the Kalispel Tribe’s Northern Quest Casino and served as its first General Manager
Served 8 years in the Office of Reservation Attorneys for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Assistant United States Attorney and Liaison to the Tribes of the Eastern District of Washington
Of Counsel, Crowell Law Office – Tribal Advocacy Group, 2009 - present
Crowell Law Offices, established in 1989, is located in Spokane, Washington. With rare exception, the firm represents tribal governments exclusively. The firm’s range of services range from serving as general legal counsel to tribal governments to special litigation counsel on specific matters of Indian law. The firm has been extensively involved in Indian gaming issues in several states and on national issues, including as lead attorneys in several lawsuits involving the interpretation and application of IGRA (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and has also served as lead negotiator in numerous tribal-state compact negotiations the areas of gaming and taxation.
Corporate Counsel, 2007/2009
Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation,
Served as general counsel of the Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation (CTEC), a charted enterprise of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. CTEC operates 14 separate enterprises and employs 800 people. Its largest divisions are forest products, gaming, and construction.
Interim CEO, 2005/2007
Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation
Serve as Chief Executive Officer of Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation (CTEC). CTEC was chartered by the Colville Tribes in 1984 and operates and manages the diverse businesses of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, including a plywood plant, a sawmill, three gaming facilities, three grocery stores, a bank, a resort, and a houseboat operation on Lake Roosevelt. Gross revenues range from $125-140 million per year and CTEC distributes $10-25 million annually to the Colville Tribes.
Supervise the Directors of CTEC’s six divisions, consisting of Forest Products, Gaming, Construction, Small Businesses, Finance, and Corporate Support. Oversaw $36 million refinance of Corporation, implemented a new wage compensation and job classification system and increased net income $7.5 million during first year as CEO.
Corporate Counsel, 2003/2005
Provide comprehensive legal advice and represent the CTEC Board of Directors, the President and CEO, and CTEC Administration in all facets of the operation, including corporate governance, statutory and regulatory requirements as well as financial, employment, and environmental matters. Represent CTEC in tribal, federal and state court litigation, negotiations and alternative dispute resolution. Oversee the hiring and performance of specially retained counsel. Advise individual enterprise managers, oversee corporate contracting, and advise HR on personnel matters and employee grievances and appeals.
General Manager, 2000/2002
Northern Quest Casino, a chartered enterprise of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians
Oversee the successful startup and operation of the Kalispel Tribe’s 53,000 square foot gaming enterprise. Set up and established the systems for internal controls, human resources, risk, and financial management which led to clean audits during the first two years of operation. The casino featured 425 VLTs, 24 Table Games, Poker, Keno, a full-service buffet and lounge.
Successfully completed the requirements within the first year of operation to enable the casino to move to Phase II under the Tribal/State Compact. The Tribe was able to increase the betting limits, hours of operation, and expand the number of games to 30 tables and 675 VLTs at Northern Quest.
Oversee the planning and construction of a 37,000 square foot expansion on time and under budget in only four months. The expansion provided space for 300 additional VLTs and features the Pend Oreille Pavilion, an entertainment and conference center.
Assistant United States Attorney, 1995/2000
United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Washington
Serve as one of six lawyers in the civil division of the United States Attorney’s Office who represent the United States in affirmative and defensive civil litigation in federal court. As the Special Assistant for Tribal Relations my primary duties focused on fostering the United States’ government-to-government relationship with, and responsibilities to, the four Indian Tribes located within the District.
Reservation Attorney, 1987/1995
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
Served as one of three in-house counsel providing a comprehensive range of legal services needed by the Colville tribal government, its departments and agencies. The work included representation before courts and administrative agencies, legal advice and consultation as well as legislative drafting.
Lead counsel for the Tribes on all Indian gaming matters. Duties included advising the Tribes on all regulatory matters regarding implementation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA); negotiations with the state for a tribal-state compact under the IGRA; litigation under the IGRA; and, advising the Tribes’ gaming enterprise.
Other areas of special emphasis included: planning, zoning and land use issues; environmental matters; water quality and rights protection; tribal code development; and, child welfare matters.
General Counsel, 1985/1995
Colville Environmental Quality Commission and
Colville Water Quality Management Program (CWQMP) which is an EPA national model for Indian Tribes.
Prepared the Colville Tribes’ successful application to the EPA for treatment as a state pursuant to section 518 of the Clean Water Act. Negotiated and developed Tribal/State water quality enforcement agreement that led to certification of CWQMP by State of Washington. Negotiated and co-authored Tribal/EPA agreement providing for implementation of Federal Clean Water Act programs on the Colville Reservation. Developed and drafted Tribal proposal that led EPA to promulgate the Tribes’ water quality standards as federal standards, the first ever such action.
Provided general advice, draft permits, rules and regulations to assist tribal departments in implementing various tribal and federally delegated environmental regulatory programs. Enforce compliance with CWQMP by preparing notices of violation and prosecuting civil actions and appeals on behalf of the responsible tribal department against violators of the CWQMP.
Colville Confederated Tribes Legal Office, Nespelem, Washington
Responsible for the planning, management and operation of a legal aid office that provides individual legal services to the enrolled members of the Colville Tribes. Duties included preparing budgets, fiscal management, and supervising a staff of three attorneys, two paralegals and five office assistants in two office locations as well as carrying a full caseload.
2003-Present Adjunct Professor, Indian Law Curriculum, Gonzaga University School of Law (concurrently)
1993/2000 Instructor, Indian Law Curriculum, Falmouth Institute, Fairfax, Virginia (Concurrently)
1982/90 Instructor, Legal Curriculum, Wenatchee Valley College North, Omak, Washington (concurrently)
1978/79 Instructor, University of Idaho College of Law Moot Court/Legal Writing Course, Moscow, Idaho
Hundreds of criminal and civil cases including many judge and jury trials in Federal, State and Tribal courts
Wright v. Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation, 159 Wash.2d 108, 147 P.3d 1275 (2006). Successfully defended tribally chartered Corporation’s immunity from suit in state court and recognition of tribal court jurisdiction in such cases
United States v. Pend Oreille Public Utility Dist. No. 1, 135 F.3d 602 (9th Cir. 1998). United States brought trespass action and obtained damage award on behalf of Kalispel Indian Tribe based on value of flooded tribal land as part of power project.
Thon v. Ferry County, 21 Indian Law Reporter 3182 (E.D. Wash. July 21, 1994). Successful defense of challenge to Intergovernmental Land Use Planning Agreement and the Tribes’ authority over development on non-Indian fee lands
Colville Tribes v. State of Washington, 20 Indian Law Reporter 3124 (E.D. Wash. June 4, 1993). Successful challenge to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, giving the Colville Tribes the right to establish class III gaming on all Reservation lands
Colville Tribes v. Omak Wood Products, Inc., 18 Indian Law Reporter 6037 (Colv. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 1991). Successful trial and appeal to enforce tribal land use and health regulations against sawmill on Colville Indian Reservation
Colville Tribes v. Washington Department of Revenue, 17 Indian Law Reporter 3067 (E.D. Wash. Apr. 30, 1990). Successful protection of individual Indian tax immunities for on-reservation business activities
Many other administrative and trial proceedings in tribal, state and federal court, including criminal prosecutions and Indian Child Welfare Act matters
2007 Speaker, Sureties and Native American Sovereigns, Basic Principles of Federal Indian Law, sponsored by the Pearlman Association
Speaker, Emerging Northwest Tribal Economies, sponsored by the Seminar Group
2006 Speaker, Third Annual Indian Law Conference, Employment Law Update-Lessons from Wright v. CTSC, sponsored by the University of Idaho College of Law
2004 Speaker, First Annual Indian Law Conference, Litigation Update, sponsored by the University of Idaho, College of Law
1998/2001 Trustee, Washington State Bar Association, Indian Law Section
2000 Speaker, Thirteenth Annual Western Regional Indian Law Symposium, Current Issues in Indian Gaming, sponsored by the Washington Law School Foundation
1997 Tenth Annual Western Regional Indian Law Symposium, The Status of Gaming in Washington State (written presentation), sponsored by the Washington Law Review and the Washington Law School Foundation
1994 Speaker, Eighth Annual Indian Law Symposium, The Conundrums of Cabazon: Does “Any” Mean “All” and Will “Friendly” Litigation Provide the Key? Sponsored by the Washington Law School Foundation
1993 Speaker, Indian Natural Resources Law Symposium, Building Tribal Capability to Manage Environmental Programs, sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law
1992 Speaker, Sixth Annual Western Regional Indian Law Symposium, Good Faith Wars Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law
1991 Speaker, Fifth Annual Western Regional Indian Law Symposium, Compacts under the IGRA: A Tribal Perspective of Negotiations in Washington, sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law
1990 Panel presentation entitled “Negotiating Tribal/State Gaming Compacts under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act” at the World Gaming Conference and Exposition, Mirage Casino, Las Vegas
1989/90 Chairman, Washington State Bar Association, Standing Committee on Legal Aid
1989 Panel presentation entitled “Environmental Protection and Planning on Native American Lands” at the Solving Environmental Problems: The Past as Prologue to the Present Conference held at Evergreen State College co-sponsored by the American Society for Environmental History and the Northwest Association for Environmental Studies.
1988 Speaker, Second Annual Western Regional Indian Law Symposium, Indian Reservations and the Environment, co-sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law and the ABA Committee on Native American Natural Resource Law.
Chaired an advanced seminar entitled “Natural Resource Protection in Indian Country: Special Jurisdictional Problems” at the Indian Law Support Center, Native American Rights Fund Indian Law Training Conference.
1986/89 Member, Washington State Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid
1984/86 Member, Okanogan County Bar, Law Related Education Steering Committee
1979 Researcher for Cliff F. Thompson, Dean of University of Idaho College of Law, for his article, “Environment and the Law: The Role of Lawyers in the Legal System” published by the Idaho Council of Humanities in Our Responsibility for Nature, Fall, 1979.
Assisted in founding the University of Idaho, College of Law Environmental Law Clinic
1978 University of Idaho, College of Law Moot Court Team
Washington State Bar Association
Colville Tribal Court Bar Association
Federal Bar, Eastern District Court of Washington,
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court
Order of Barristers
1980 J.D., University of Idaho, College of Law
1975/77 University of Goettingen, Goettingen, West Germany
1974 B.A., Political Science, Colorado College
Married to Terri L. Didesch for 25 years and have four children and two grandchildren. I enjoy outdoor activities, particularly golf and cross country skiing, and try to get out on one extended wilderness back packing trip with my son each year.
Gary George, CTEC Board Chairman 2005-2007; General Manager, Wildhorse Resort & Casino, 4221 NE Riverside Avenue, Pendleton, Oregon 97801
Michael Taylor, Tulalip Tribes Legal Department, 6700 Totem Beach Rd., Marysville, Washington 98270
Hon. Steven D. Aycock, Former Chief Judge, Colville Tribal Court, Assistant Director, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, P.O. Box 8970, Reno, Nevada 89507
Juliana C. Repp, P.O. Box 1250, Spokane, Washington 99210
Earl J. Barlow, 3912 S. Bernard St., Spokane, Washington 99203
Weston B. Meyring, Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, 200 West Front Street, Room 3191, Boise, Idaho 83702