Lauren handles complex litigation matters for a variety of clients around the country. She also advises companies and Native American tribes on technology transactions and operations, governance, and regulatory advice.
Lauren is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and her Native American law practice includes working with tribal clients on a number of regulatory and business issues. Her practice includes drafting and negotiating commercial agreements, including master services agreements governing a variety of subject matter, construction contracts, real estate transactions and other commercial matters. Lauren has also advised tribal clients regarding 8(a) matters, intellectual property issues, intergovernmental agreements, and related disputes. Lauren has extensive experience advising clients on sovereign immunity matters and Ex Parte Young considerations.
Lauren also litigates complex disputes involving tribes, including commercial disputes, treaty rights cases, and lawsuits and other disputes involving protection of sacred sites. Lauren co-chaired a five-and-a-half week Native American treaty fishing rights case on behalf of the Quileute in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington and successfully defended the trial victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and against a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. She has successfully represented tribal clients in a number of other disputes.
- American Bar Association, Member
- Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington, Member, 2009-present
- King County Bar Association, Member, 2010-present
- Muscogee (Creek) Nation Bar Association, Member
- Northwest Indian Bar Association, Member, 2008-present
- Board Member, 2011-2016
- Northwest Tribal Court Judges Association
- Board Member
- Former Liaison to the National American Indian Court Judges Association
- Seattle Indian Health Board, Board Member, 2017-2019
- Washington State Bar Association, Member, 2008-present
- Indian Law Section, Chair, 2015-2016
- Washington State Gambling Commission, Commissioner, Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, 2020-present
Representative Work: Notable Victories
- Skytec v. Logistic Systems. Successfully assisted in obtaining dismissal of case in 2018 based on discovery abuses by plaintiff in multimillion dollar commercial contract dispute in district of Puerto Rico.
- United States v. Washington, Subproceeding 09-1. Successfully represented the Quileute Tribe in a six-year-long treaty fishing rights case in federal court. In that case, the Makah Tribe and the State of Washington challenged Quileute’s treaty fishing rights, seeking to reduce their fishing area from 40 miles offshore to 5-10 miles offshore. Quileute prevailed after a 23-day trial involving nine expert witnesses and 472 admitted exhibits relating to where Quileute fished in the Pacific Ocean in 1855, which establishes their treaty fishing rights. (2015)
- Defeated three tribes’ claims of treaty hunting rights in Quileute’s territory. (2015)
- Skokomish Indian Tribe v. Goldmark. Dismissal of case where Skokomish Tribe claimed treaty hunting rights in Quileute’s territory. (2013)
Representative Work: Native American
- Review of construction and related agreements for Quileute Tribe’s reservation move to higher ground.
- Represent Muscogee (Creek) Nation in litigation and related matters regarding protection of culturally and religiously significant tribal sites.
- Advised Quileute Tribal Council on governance matters, including hunting and fishing regulations, indemnification agreements, ongoing negotiations in disputes with other entities and strategic litigation decisions.
- Negotiated on behalf of the Quileute Tribe with federal, state and tribal entities, including the Department of Justice, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and numerous northwest tribes.
- Represented various tribes in issues relating to sovereign immunity, including Ex Parte Young suits.
- Northwest Intertribal Court System – Drafted Indexing Services Agreement for publishing and indexing tribal court opinions online.
- Hoh Tribe – Represented the Hoh Tribe in a 20-year halibut dispute regarding the appropriate allocation and management of halibut among 13 treat halibut tribes.
- North American Indian Legal Services – Assisted in writing grant proposal for a study examining the conditions of confinement in Indian Country detention facilities.
- Advised clients on government-tribal relations and legal obligations, including application of federal laws such as ERISA to tribal operations; taxation of services provided on tribal lands, including fire services and stormwater runoff services; tribal jurisdiction and sovereign immunity.
- Represented various tribal clients in the drafting and negotiation of relevant portions of lease agreements, licensing agreements and other related business agreements.
News & Insights
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 8.20.20
- Native News Online, 7.20.20
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 7.16.20
- This Land - Crooked Media, 7.16.20
- Talk Radio AM 1170, 7.10.20
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 6.12.20
- Seattle Indian Health Board Research Helps Create Government Task Force for Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska NativesFoster Garvey Newsroom, 1.7.20
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 8.15.19
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 6.10.19
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 6.10.19
- Associated Press, 6.5.19
- Foster Garvey Newsroom, 10.3.18
- Panel PresentationVirtual Event, 11.13.20
- Speaking EngagementVirtual Event, 9.15.20
- WebinarVirtual Event, 5.8.20
- "Diminished boundaries, treaty rights, and effect of statehood," OSB Indian Law Section CLE: Emerging Land Issues in Indian CountrySpeaking EngagementEugene, OR, 10.25.19
- Speaking EngagementWalla Walla, WA, 10.3.19
- Speaking EngagementOctober 2019
- "Millennials and The Judiciary: Who You Think They Are, Who They Really Are, and Why We Should Care," Ninth Circuit Judicial ConferenceSpeaking EngagementSpokane, WA, 07.22.19-07.25.19
- Panel DiscussionOklahoma City, OK, 06.05.19-06.06.19
- Speaking EngagementVancouver, WA, 4.25.19
- Conference Planning CommitteeAlbuquerque, NM, 04.11.19-04.12.19
- Panel DiscussionEl Cajon, CA, 02.10.19-02.13.19
- "Recent Decisions: Tribal Water & Treaty Rights in the U.S. Supreme Court," 6th Annual Advanced Conference on Tribal Water in CaliforniaPanel DiscussionFunner, CA, 01.28.19-01.29.19
- Speaking Engagement11.1.18
- "Tribal Water Rights: Summary of Foundational Cases and the Recent Culverts Decision," American Water Rights Association Washington State ConferenceSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 10.16.18
- Speaking EngagementScottsdale, AZ, 10.11.18-10.12.18
- "Tribal Issues: Fishing Rights, Culverts and More," On the Edge of the World - Navigating Environmental and Legal Challenges on the Washington Coast, Seattle University School of LawSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 9.28.18
- "Defined Terms of Federal Indian Law," 60th Annual Judicial ConferenceSpeaking EngagementYakima, WA, 9.24.18
- Speaking EngagementOklahoma City, OK, 06.06.18-06.07.18
- "Hickory Ground: Alabama Homelands, Litigation and Cultural Preservation," Doing Business in Indian CountrySpeaking Engagement04.26.18-04.28.18
- Conference Planning CommitteeScottsdale, AZ, 04.05.18-04.06.18
- "National Indian Gaming Litigation Update," Northwest Gaming Law SummitSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 12.1.16
- Speaking Engagement12.1.16
- "The Concerns of the Judiciary - A Focus on Mutual Concerns of the State, Federal and Tribal Bench," The Sovereignty SymposiumPanel DiscussionOklahoma City, OK, 06.08.16-06.09.16
- Speaking Engagement6.1.16
- Speaking EngagementMarch 2016
- Speaking EngagementMay 2014
- "Special Presentation: Suing and Defending Tribal Governments," Suing and Defending Government, The Seminar GroupSpeaking EngagementMay 2014
- Speaking EngagementNovember 2013H
- "New Developments in Online Gaming, Tribal Payday Lending Operations, and New Guidance on Tribal Economic Development Bonds," Tribal Sovereignty, Strategic Planning and Economic DevelopmentSpeaking EngagementNovember 2013
- Speaking EngagementAugust 2013
- "Protecting Native American Artists Through Intellectual Property and Non-Profit Law in Washington," Washington State Bar Association Indian Law CLESpeaking EngagementMay 2013
- Speaking EngagementApril 2013
- EventFebruary 2013
- "Millennials and the Judiciary: Working with the Newest Generation of Judicial Clerks and Attorneys," Federal Magistrate Judges Association BulletinFederal Magistrate Judges Association Bulletin, September 2019
- Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, 2009
- Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section Newsletter, 2013-2014
- King County Bar Association, 2009
- Washington, 2008
- Oklahoma, 2016
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 2009
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 2010
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2018
- Muscogee Creek Nation, 2015
- J.D., University of Virginia Law School, 2008
- Virginia Journal of Law and Technology
- Editor in Chief, 2007-2008
- Articles Editor and Executive Editor, 2006-2007
- Preston Gates & Ellis National Minority Fellowship, 2006
- Bracewell & Giuliani Best Oralist, First-year Moot Court, 2006
- Native American Law Students Association, Vice President, 2007-2008
- Virginia Journal of Law and Technology
- B.A., University of Washington (with distinction), 2004
Honors & Recognition
- The Best Lawyers in America© Native American Law, 2018-present
- Native American 40 Under 40, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, 2018
- Rising Star, Native American Law, Law360, 2016
- Rising Star, Washington Super Lawyers, 2013-2020
- Washington State Bar Association Leadership Institute, Fellow, 2012
- Spanish, fluent