Palm Springs, San Diego and Santa Barbara American Indian Lawyer Breakdown of Indian Law, Tribal Law and Native American Law

by R. Sebastian Gibson - Date: 2008-10-21 - Word Count: 596 Share This!

Tribal reservations of American Indian Tribes that were pushed aside as Europeans settled in America can be found in a number of areas in Southern California, notably in areas such as in or near the cities of the Coachella Valley such as Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Indio and Coachella as well as in or near Anza, Cabazon, Temecula, San Jacinto, El Cajon, Pala, in the counties of Riverside, San Diego as well as in Santa Ynez in the county of Santa Barbara.

Unless you have been practicing Indian Tribal Law for some years, it is difficult for most attorneys in the United States to know how Tribal Law works, much less to find useful resources to help explain this unique area of law.

Most tribes vest their legislative authority in a tribal council. Some tribes call it by a different name, but the council members are usually elected and for a specific number of years.

Most tribal constitutions call for there to be a tribal chairman who is alternatively sometimes called president or governor. Some tribes elect the tribal chairman by a vote of their council. Others elect the tribal chairman by the voting tribal members.

Tribal bylaws often state that it is the chairman's duty to preside over the tribal council. The role or power of the tribal chairman differs from tribe to tribe.

Indian tribes also have a long history of tribal courts. Today, most tribal courts administer tribal codes passed by the tribal council and which have been approved at some time by the Secretary of the Interior.

Tribal court systems can by highly structured with tribal prosecutors and defense advocates. Others are made up of informal single judges who work only part-time. Many tribes elect their tribal judges, commonly for a fixed set of years.

Indian tribes also often have a tribal attorney who often has a large influence on tribal affairs, particularly in dealings with non-tribal parties. The tribal attorney has responsibility to the entire tribe, not to its individual members.

Some tribes are incorporated under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act. Some tribes have voted to reject application of that Act.

Indian Tribes have sovereignty which means the inherent right to govern themselves. Tribes, however, have no authority over non-members on non-Indian fee lands, and no criminal authority over non-Indians anywhere.

Tribal sovereignty acts as a shield against state law intrusion onto Indian country. States may not directly tax reservation land or reservation Indians. Tribes enjoy sovereign immunity from suit except for suits by the United States. A tribe does not waive its immunity by bringing an action on its own. A tribe may however waive its sovereign immunity by contract.

If you have an American Indian Tribal legal matter of any kind, we have the knowledge and resources to be your California American Indian Lawyers, and California Native American Attorneys. For this reason, be sure to hire a California law firm with American Indian law lawyers who can represent you from Palm Springs, Rancho Cucamonga, Orange County, San Luis Obispo, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar, Anaheim, Irvine, La Jolla, El Cajon, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Temecula, Palm Desert, Yorba Linda, Carlsbad, San Diego, Costa Mesa, Westminster, and Murrieta, to Indian Wells and La Quinta.

If you have an American Indian Tribal law legal matter of any kind, call the Law Offices of R. Sebastian Gibson, or visit our website at and learn how we can assist you. You can also call us to speak directly to Sebastian Gibson on the phone about your legal matter.

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The Sebastian Gibson Law Firm serves all of San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs and Palm Desert, the Coastal Cities from La Jolla, Carlsbad and Del Mar to Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and up to Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. We also serve the Inland Empire cities of Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, Riverside and San Bernardino and all the cities in the Coachella Valley and high desert, from La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella to Yucca Valley and Victorville.

Visit our website at if you have an American Indian Tribal law legal matter of any kind. We have the knowledge and resources to represent you as your California American Indian Lawyer and California Native American Attorney or your attorney in and around the cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, San Diego, Orange County, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Riverside, Chula Vista, Irvine, San Bernardino, Huntington Beach, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Oceanside, La Jolla, Del Mar, San Marcos, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Garden Grove, Palmdale, Long Beach, Corona, Yorba Linda, Escondido, Orange, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Victorville, Carlsbad, Temecula, Murrieta, Mission Viejo, El Cajon, Vista, Westminster, Santa Monica, Malibu, Westwood, Hesperia, Buena Park, Indio, Coachella, Del Mar, Oxnard, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Cambria and Santa Barbara.

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