Oral Argument Transcript in Craven Appeal of Cobell Settlement


This line from Judge Tatel to Craven’s attorney early in the argument must have the appellees concerned:

you sold me, you have a good case [page 4, lines 21-22]

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9 Responses to Oral Argument Transcript in Craven Appeal of Cobell Settlement

  1. Helen N. says:

    It seems the amount of what constitutes a “fair” settlement per class member (fair, adequate amount) now has the court’s attention when the injunctive question became one of monetary relief. Since the Cobell case has dragged on now for many years, it begs the question and one that neither Craven’s attorney nor the court now considers important to ask: what then about all the class members who have since passed away during this time and is it fair to drag out the haggling any further, causing more class members to pass on before or if they will even see compensatory relief?

    Furthermore, I understood that no one set amount of money could be set for all class members (or rather, should be set), if the basis of what is fair is based on actual activity, not speculative for an Individual Indian Monies Account. While no one can deny the DOI / BIA has mismanaged trust accounts, court relief can be granted based on actual, not speculative injury…hence, focusing on remediating the historical accounting methods causing the most of the injury and besides the usual compensation for injured, individual parties, proffering helpful changes to be adopted to ensure the harmful historical accounting methods – through a process of comission or omission will never re-occur (guaranteeing greater legal rights if newly adopted standards are mandated by court order). Have I missed something here?

    As to re-dress the truly historical failures in accounting and management, as I read it, the class structure as defined was too narrow to adequately redress the harm done to decedents passed on long, long ago…not allowing someone alive today to stand in all his/ her heirs shoes….even if adequate evidence of injury is plentiful and available. I’m quite sure that no settlement amount would ever be enough if the class definitions and the legal issues had been further expanded. While we may not like to conclude this, some settlement is better than none.

  2. There is no “one set amount”. this payment will be based on income received. It is unfair that at the age of 66 and having an IIM account since I was 17 that I may not get a settlement before I die. the only people who appeal seem to be the ones who never had an account because their family was not alloted any in the beginning. If they were
    entitled they would have been paid. If money is missing look to your own family, tribes. I know for a fact I got every penny accounted for. Now Leasing is thru the tribe realty. I do not receive money because farmers, DOT -no one is business. the Worst case is my family selling family land without my knowledge. Cemetary is there, where what is NAGRA doing? Leases don’t get paid until the Payor’s payup. Companies went under and that is business. O’bama approved, not that held up. If the President cannot order it then who can? Anyone who wants can block the majority cause no will sue Craven et al for keeping elders and families who made plans to purchase a home or car with a settlement. Heck let get another 10 100 attorneys.

  3. H. Nowlin says:

    I would have liked to have added not just accounting but also, general management failures by the BIA as Cobell case issues. As to Ms. Poodry’s comments, it seems every family has a member or two who conducted wheeling and dealing, including selling of land without ‘true’ authorization.
    My Chickasaw Grandmother Susan had been dead for about 22 years before her niece or my father’s first cousin filled in and filed the Proof of Death and Heirship form (NOTE: heirs to be lineal descendants) at which time, the BIA finally was notified of our Grandma’s death. My father’s cousin wrote in names, which included step children (not adopted), a leasee (completely unrelated) and other relatives by blood or marriage of my grandmother’s deceased brother. Of course, my father conveniently was left off the heirship list even though he was the only person who was alive to inherit. But, tragically, his first cousin did the ultimate act of betrayal at the time she and a few cohorts fraudulently disinherited him when he was but a minor child through the probate process (again, in many cases, there were no checks and balances during when Oklahoma territory became a state and those years soon thereafter to what amounted to land grabbing by everyone regardless as to race). We have since found out that the 40 acres included in the probate and the 90 acres excluded from the probate were sold before the probate had concluded – surmounting to about a three year period.
    About the DOI / BIA role in commission or omission: the BIA should have been and I believe now is required to have autonomy and independence in its decisions. When a representative of that agency just rubber stamps something without an attempt to ask the difficult questions, probably obvious ones at that, everyone suffers who is subject to its administration and clearly, families have been . Hopefully, the Cobell case was not an effort made in vain and true justice will prevail.

  4. Aubrey G Titchwy says:

    But why should anybody really be all that suprised? We Indians have always been willing to shoot ourselves in the foot over some technical point or some treaty of 1838, 1754, 1890 and so on rather than take the bird in hand and make something better of our lives with it.

  5. Cornelia kosea says:

    I need to know if we still getting pay out of that settlement from colbell

  6. H. Nowlin says:

    While it was the intention of the Obama Administration to settle, Congress and specifically the House must allocate the funds for any settlement. I understand that the money was rendered available before the Craven et. al appeals. I guess the answer depends on whether the court decides the amount of the settlement is sufficient (fair and reasonable). Additionally, what political disposition is in the House and Senate after the 2012 general election and whether the formerly allocated funds are still sitting in a trust account somewhere. Personally, I don’t intend to hold my breath.

  7. Thomas Hayes says:

    Just had to wake up those sleepin dogs.

  8. L Blackbull says:

    Its spilt milk, lets work the future.

  9. anna marie daly says:


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