The first rule of professional responsibility is that representation must be “competent.” Legal scholars and the model rules explain that the rule requires “legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” But how does the legal requirement apply to tribal law? What is “reasonable” preparation? Does the lawyer need to be knowledgeable in tribal customs, tradition, and unwritten laws? What does “thorough” preparation include?
Who’s your client? Ethical duties and responsibilities often run to “clients,” but it may not often be clear who your client is in the tribal context. This presentation will explore the intricacies of the question of who is a tribal client and embedded questions concerning an attorney’s duties to representatives and component parts of a tribe.
TJ McReynolds, Of Counsel at Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC; Managing Attorney at Rain Mountain Law LLC; In-House Counsel at Nambé Pueblo
Jessica Intermill, Founding Member at Hogen Adams
TICA is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization created to provide resources and networking opportunities to assist tribal in-house practitioners.