Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Cobell plaintiffs oppose Republican bill to restrict attorney fees

The plaintiffs in the Indian trust fund lawsuit said a bill to limit their attorney fee threatens the $3.4 billion settlement to the case.

The settlement leaves the final decision on fees to a federal judge. But House Republicans, angry over a court filing that requests $223 million, introduced H.R.887 to limit fees to $50 million.

"Political interference in the judicial process would harm 500,000 individual Indians, undermine our system of government and jeopardize the settlement in its entirety," the plaintiffs said in a statement.

In the settlement, the plaintiffs and the Obama administration agreed not to appeal a fee award between $50 million and $99.9 million. Republican lawmakers say the plaintiffs, in Congressional testimony, promised to limit fees to $99.9 million.

The House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs held a hearing on the bill yesterday. No one from the Cobell team or the Obama administration testified.

Get the Story:
GOP bill would reopen debate on Indian trust settlement legal fees (The Great Falls Tribune 4/6)
Legal fees debated in $3.4 billion Indian trust case settlement (The Oklahoman 4/6)
Panel hears plan to cap fees in $3.4B settlement (AP 4/5)
House Republicans Want Legal Fees Capped in Cobell Case (The Blog of Legal Times 4/5)

Committee Notice:
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 887 (April 5, 2011)

Related Stories:
Rep. Young threatens subpoena over bill on Cobell attorney fees (4/5)
Audio from House hearing on bill to restrict Cobell attorney fees (4/5)
Witness list for House hearing on bill to cap Cobell attorney fees (4/4)
Rep. Cole questions need for bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/31)
April 20 deadline approaching for $3.4B trust fund settlement (3/29)
Subcommittee sets hearing on bill to limit Cobell attorney fees (3/28)
Elouise Cobell discusses settlement at University of Montana (3/24)
Cobell attorneys host meetings in Alaska to explain settlement (3/23)
Oklahoma beneficiaries question payment to Cobell attorneys (3/23)
S.E. Ruckman: Indian beneficiaries look for answers on Cobell (3/21)
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Michael Roberts: Investing Cobell money in Indian institutions (3/18)
Lawyers in Cobell case discuss $3.4B settlement in Oklahoma (3/17)
So far, a few beneficiaries have opted out of Cobell settlement (3/16)
Audio from Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on budget (3/15)
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Rep. Gosar signs onto bill to restrict Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/11)
Cobell team to hold meetings in Oklahoma to discuss settlement (3/10)
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Cobell attorneys criticize Republican bill to restrict fees to $50M (3/4)
House Republicans plan bill to limit Cobell attorney fees to $50M (3/2)
Key deadline approaching for beneficiaries to Cobell settlement (3/1)
Dorgan calls Cobell attorney fee request for $223M 'shameful' (2/25)
Editorial: Lawyers the true beneficiaries in Indian settlements (2/25)
Cobell attorneys facing criticism over request for $223M in fees (2/24)
Elouise Cobell discusses Indian trust settlement in New Mexico (2/10)
Elouise Cobell headed to New Mexico to discuss $3.4B settlement (2/8)
Elouise Cobell to visit Navajo Nation to talk about $3.4B settlement (2/4)
Cobell team holding meetings across Indian Country for settlement (2/2)
Cobell attorneys detail request for $223M fees for 14 years of work (2/2)
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Attorney fees an issue as Cobell settlement moves ahead in court (1/4)
Shoshone-Bannock landowner not optimistic on trust reform at DOI (1/3)

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