Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Cobell critic files objection to $3.4B trust fund settlement

Kimberly Craven, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota, has filed an objection to the $3.4 billion Indian trust fund settlement.

Craven says the attorneys who handled the case for 14 years are seeking too much money. Her objection questions the billing records submitted by attorneys like Dennis Gingold.

"The request for $237 million for the attorneys and class representatives might be excusable if class counsel and [lead plaintiff Elouise] Cobell had any basis to assert that their litigation was successful," the objection states. "They do not. The last four years of litigation, a product of the greed of class counsel, have been disastrous for the class."

As for the deal itself, Craven says it isn't fair to Indian beneficiaries. Most of her objections center on the Trust Administration Class, which resolves mismanagement claims against the federal government.

Beneficiaries can opt out of the Trust Administration portion of the settlement. But Craven says the deal can't resolve claims that weren't included in the lawsuit.

The deadline to opt out was April 20. The fairness hearing for the settlement will take place June 20 in Washington, D.C.

Get the Story:
Objection in $3.4 billion Cobell Indian trust settlement (Point of Law 4/20)

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