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August 12, 2020

Published in the Navajo Times on August 6, 2020

This isn’t a lawyer joke, and the answer is two lawyers: one an enrolled member who practices in Navajo Nation and owns a business, and the other a former Navajo Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer. Yes, you read that corre...

July 14, 2020

I called you a couple times today and left a message on your machine and with the secretary. I also sent you a couple emails over the past few days. Please respond to me when you get back from lunch, traveling, the conference, training, the funeral, sick leave, and/or...

May 1, 2020

When I give lectures at conferences on Navajo common law, I frequently receive questions about our peacemaking program. What is it? How does it work? And can it be used by people who are non-Navajo? At the outset, I’ll make it known for those who are unfamiliar that pe...

July 5, 2019

In 1978, the United States Supreme Court decided a case called Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, 435 U.S. 191 (1978). The question before the Court was whether tribes had the power to prosecute non-Indian defendants in tribal court for crimes committed on reservation...

January 29, 2019

This award winning essay was written by Joseph Austin for the 18th Annual Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition.

Dedicated to those young Native warriors who carry the torch of a forgotten people, the light in the darkness, the hope of generations past, and the vision...

January 21, 2019

In English, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for indigenous people, it seems to be the opposite—a word in our language is worth a thousand pictures. As a kid, and even today, I ask my father to help me interpret a Navajo word into English, and we both...

January 5, 2019

My first day of law school began with contracts law. In the days leading up to the first day of class, we were assigned readings, mostly consisting of cases. I’m pretty sure most of us going into that first day of contracts law read the cases but understood less than 2...

August 15, 2018

This award winning piece was written by Joseph Austin in 2016 for the UofA College of Law Richard Grand Writing Competition. The competition prompt was to write about a place that is special to the author. At a time when places sacred to indigenous peoples were being v...

August 13, 2018

Author Bio: Juris Doctor (J.D.), James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona; Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) in Business Administration, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona; Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Economic Law & Policy; Doctor of...

July 25, 2018

To the Native/Indigenous Students of Indian Country:

This past spring, my company co-sponsored a conference that was organized by me and a colleague/friend Adam Crepelle. It was called, “All Roads Lead to Chaco Canyon,” and it was perhaps the first of its kind. It cente...

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