February 18, 2011

Attorneys explain Cobell Indian trust settlement

Attorneys explain Cobell Indian trust settlement

Lead attorneys in a massive, class action lawsuit that took 14 years to reach a proposed settlement, were in New Town Wednesday to explain what it means to Indian landowners and what the next steps are going to be.
Nearly 100 people turned out for the briefing at 4 Bears Event Center given by the plaintiffs lead attorney Dennis Gingold and his partner Justin Gilbert. Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall, who strongly supported the case and testified for the plaintiffs, asked a number of questions at the outset and relayed his concerns to legal counsel.
“We’re going through the settlement and what your options are,” Gingold said. “The goal is to explain all the issues so you have the adequate information to make an informed decision. What you’re going to hear is the straight stuff. You’ve been lied to enough.”
According to Gingold, current and former IIM account holders, owners of land held in trust or restricted status, or their heirs, should have received a packet of information in the mail explaining the suit titled Elouise Pepion v. Ken Salazar. Contents of that packet include a summary sheet of the two classes of the suit, information about the trust settlement, a claim form, and a copy of the case itself.
If someone is entitled to be a part of the suit and didn’t get a packet, they can either call 1-800-961-6109, or log on to (www.IndianTrust.com) to get more information and request the documents.

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