Cobell optimistic after appeals court arguments
Elouise Cobell, the lead plaintiff in the Indian trust fund lawsuit, was optimistic after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case on Monday.

"They're going to lose this one," Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Cobell and her attorneys argued that the federal government owes billions of dollars to Indian beneficiaries for the failure to account for their trust funds. They asked the appeals court to determine whether they can collect interest and whether to include certain funds, like those collected on behalf of members of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, in the tally.

The Department of Justice said the government owes nothing to the plaintiffs. Attorney Lisa Klein called the Interior Department's record-keeping near flawless.

The Osage Nation appeared to discuss whether it can participate in the appeal. The tribe's attorney said the Cobell plaintiffs can't claim money on behalf of individual Osages.

Get the Story:
Court hears sides in royalties case (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 5/12)
D.C. Circuit Takes Up Indian Trust Dispute—Again (The Blog of Legal Times 5/11)
.S. Says it Owes Nothing in Land Trust Suit (AP 5/11)

D.C. Circuit Order:
Cobell v. Salazar (March 13, 2009)

Lower Court Decision:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (August 7, 2008)

Related Stories:
Appeals court set to hear Cobell case on Monday (5/8)
Attorney who worked on Cobell case found dead in DC (5/1)
Cobell invites supporters to May 11 hearing in DC (4/28)
Cobell: Obama fails to bring change to Indian trust (03/24)
Cobell hasn't heard from Obama administration (3/23)
Court schedules Cobell historical accounting appeal (3/13)
Cobell frustrated by Salazar's comments on case (3/12)
Salazar vows to resolve Cobell trust fund lawsuit (3/10)
Elouise Cobell: Obama must make trust a top priority (01/09)
Elouise Cobell: Indians still the invisible Americans (12/19)
Obama vows Salazar will fulfill trust responsibilities (12/18)
Cobell seeks speedy appeal in long-running case (12/10)
Appeal granted for Cobell historical accounting (11/21)