SOURCE: BuckleySandler LLP

BuckleySandler LLP

September 24, 2014 19:27 ET

Navajo Nation to Sign Landmark Settlement in Breach of Trust Lawsuit Against United States

WASHINGTON, DC and WINDOW ROCK, NM--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2014) - The Navajo Nation will formally sign their landmark $554 million settlement with the United States on Friday, September 26, 2014, in Window Rock, N.M. President of the Navajo Nation Ben Shelley, Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council Lorenzo Bates and Task Force Chair Lorenzo Curley will be joined by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn, U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsh and New Mexico Attorney General Gary King on this historic occasion.

The landmark settlement was announced in June and this signing officially resolves the Nation's eight-year lawsuit against the U.S. government, which alleged that the U.S. had breached its historical fiduciary obligations by failing to manage, invest and account for tribal trust funds and resources under the custody and control of the U.S. in a manner that would maximize the financial return from those assets. This is the largest settlement obtained in any action by a single Tribe against the U.S. and exceeds, by more than $170 million, the largest single resolution in the more than 100 natural resource breach of trust cases filed against the U.S. by American Indian Tribes.

BuckleySandler partner Samuel J. Buffone, who led this representation since the firm was retained by the Nation in August 2012, Firm Chairman and Executive Partner Andrew L. Sandler, who led the long and complex settlement negotiations and partner Christopher F. Regan, who had principal responsibility for leading BuckleySandler's litigation team, will join the Navajo Nation at Window Rock to celebrate this momentous achievement.

"Sam, Chris and I feel privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to represent the Navajo Nation in this historic lawsuit. The $554 million obtained is the direct result of outstanding lawyering by the entire team. Most importantly, these funds will provide enormous benefits for the much deserving Navajo people," noted Sandler.

Buffone added, "Generations of Navajos have fought to redress breaches of trust and we are honored to have assisted them in obtaining some measure of compensation for these historic wrongs."

The BuckleySandler team worked closely with Don Grove of the Nordhaus Law Firm and Navajo Nation Attorney General Harrison Tsosie, Deputy Attorney General Dana Bobroff and former Attorney General Louis Denetsosie in pursuing these claims for the Navajo Nation.

With more than 150 lawyers in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London, BuckleySandler provides best-in-class legal counsel to meet the challenges of its financial services industry and other corporate and individual clients across the full range of government enforcement actions, complex and class action litigation and transactional, regulatory and public policy issues. Operating in the United Kingdom as BuckleySandler International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales, for the practice of US law. The Firm represents numerous national and international leading financial services institutions. Online: www.buckleysandler.com; Twitter: https://twitter.com/BuckleySandler; InfoBytes Blog: http://www.infobytesblog.com.

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