Lumbee Tribe ends relationship with longtime attorney
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has ended its relationship with Arlinda Locklear, its longtime attorney.

Locklear, a tribal member, was working for free for the last 20 years. She has been a consistent and prominent voice for the tribe's federal recognition bid as tribal leadership and the political climate in Washington, D.C., have constantly changed.

"I no longer represent the tribe," Locklear, who was the first Native woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, told The Fayetteville Observer. "The tribal council decided last week to go elsewhere."

Ricky Burnett, the tribal council's speaker, praised Locklear's work. But he suggested the tribe needed someone new to push for recognition.

"Arlinda has done an outstanding job. I admire her. She's hardworking and a great person," Burnett told the paper. But after 20 years, he said, "there's a door we can't get through."

The tribe has hired Lewin International of Nevada, whose specialty is gaming, the paper reported. Burnett, however, said the tribe is not interested in a casino and a bill pending in Congress bars the tribe from engaging in gaming.

Get the Story:
Contract with gaming consultant angers some Lumbees (The Fayetteville Observer 3/19)
Tribe cuts ties with lobby lawyer (The Laurinberger Exchange 3/19)

Related Stories:
New Lumbee chairman promises to push for recognition (1/15)
Lumbee Tribe chairman aims to boost credibility (11/18)
Lumbee Tribe moves closer to federal recognition (10/23)