Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Request for Proposals

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is soliciting proposals from qualified, licensed attorneys to provide judicial services for the Band’s tribal court. The Band anticipates selecting four individuals to serve as appellate court judges and one individual to serve as a pro tem trial court judge.

The pro tem trial court judge will serve when the Band’s Chief Judge is unavailable, as assigned by the Chief Judge. The pro tem judge presides on motions and requests of the parties; schedules and presides over conferences, evidentiary hearings and bench trials; conducts necessary legal or factual research; and renders legal opinions.

The Band’s trial court hears cases on the first Monday and Tuesday of the month, unless the first Monday is a holiday. In that case, the court convenes on the second Monday and Tuesday of the month. Other court dates may be scheduled by the Chief Judge as necessary. The Trial court hears cases involving violations of the traffic, animal control, truancy and conservation codes, as well as general civil matters, including but not limited to dissolution of marriage, name change, small claims, contracts, and probate. In 2015, there were 179 new cases filed with the court. The Band’s ordinances are available at

The Band does not currently have an appellate court. The Band’s appellate code is currently under development. It is anticipated that oral arguments will be held at the Fond du Lac Tribal Court, and that the number of appeals will not exceed five annually.

Indian preference will apply in the selection process in accordance with the Band’s Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance.

Applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Have graduated from an accredited law school and be admitted to the bar in any state;
  2. Have a minimum of 8 years’ experience practicing law (which may include service on a tribal, federal or state court bench);
  3. Have a demonstrable knowledge of Indian and Federal law;
  4. Be familiar with the Constitution and laws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the laws of the Fond du Lac Band;
  5. Have never been convicted or pleaded guilty to any felony, nor been found guilty of any crime involving fraud or dishonesty or moral turpitude.

Demonstrable knowledge and experience with Tribal Courts is preferred, but not required.

To submit a proposal, send a proposal by e-mail to or by mail to Kristi Wheale, Clerk of Court, Fond du Lac Tribal Court, 1720 Big Lake Road, Cloquet, MN 55720

The proposal should include:

  1. A proposed rate or fee;
  2. A statement to indicate whether the applicant is interested in an appellate court position, the pro-tem trial court position, or both.
  3. A resume and a statement of qualifications;
  4. A list of at least three professional references that may be contacted by the Band. It is preferred that the references include clients for whom similar work has been done within the past two year period. References shall include a complete address, contact name and telephone number.

Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. central time on Friday, October 7, 2016.

About Sarah M Donnelly

Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law.
This entry was posted in Author: Sarah Donnelly, jobs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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