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Overview

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.

Lauren’s transactional business practice emphasizes software and other technology licensing, distribution and compliance. Her transactional experience includes drafting and negotiating services agreements, including master services agreements, SAAS, licensing, publishing, cross-marketing, distribution, localization, porting, QA, customer service and game development agreements. She advises clients regarding digital/virtual currency laws, proper terms of use/privacy policies and End User License Agreements. Lauren has negotiated several international licensing agreements. She also advises clients with respect to privacy and data security obligations under federal law and applicable state security, privacy and breach notification laws.

Professional Activities

  • 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, Board Member, Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, 2020-present

Experience

Experience

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

Speaking Engagements

Past Appearances

Publications

Admissions

  • 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

Education

  • 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
  • B.A., University of Washington (with distinction), 2004

Honors & Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America© Native American Law, 2018-2020
  • 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

Languages

  • Spanish, fluent
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