PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A federal judge is sending to tribal court a lawsuit accusing the Narragansett Indian Tribe of failing to pay $1.1 million in legal fees.
The Providence Journal reports that U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith said Massachusetts lawyer Douglas J. Luckerman entered into a relationship with the tribe and the tribal court has claim over lawsuits from that relationship. The judge said he'll review the tribal court's conclusions.
Luckerman sued the tribe in March, seeking unpaid legal fees,s interest and court costs for representation following a 2003 state police raid on a tribal smoke shop.
Luckerman said the tribe waived its sovereign immunity.
A lawyer for Luckerman said he's pleased Smith ruled that the tribe waived its sovereign immunity.
The tribe's lawyer said Smith's finding that the tribe waived its immunity raises concerns.
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