Articles Posted in ANCSA Corporations

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This post is a follow-up to a couple of prior postings. I realize this makes it look like I lack creativity since I’m not saying anything new. But I can’t help it. The fascist running dog who is the Virtual Managing Editor of the has insisted that I do more linking back to prior blog postings. He says this is necessary for “search engine optimization.” I don’t even know what that means. Goofy legal stuff — like maiden rents or the fertile octogenarian — I understand. Website technospeak, I don’t get.

In any event, updating of a couple of earlier blog postings is my attempt at keeping the e-tyrant at bay.

On the first of October, I wrote about limitation of liability clauses in this post. I ran into a problem with one of these horrid clauses a week or two ago and had to forcibly cut its heart out. In the process, though, I found a 2008 Colorado case that I think illustrates the points I was making in the earlier post.

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The Alaska Supreme Court yesterday ruled that two elders’ benefit programs of an ANCSA Regional Corporation were valid. Atkinson, Conway & Gagnon handled the case for the winning side. The case is Bodkin v. Cook Inlet Region, Inc. The Court held that CIRI’s elders’ programs were authorized under Section 7(r) of ANCSA and that no constitutional challenges to the programs could be sustained.

The ruling gives me a chance to toot my own horn over a job well done in the appellate court because I wrote the brief and argued the case. BLAAAPPP! (Sorry. My horn is strained a bit from driving around with all the other knuckleheads out there this winter.)

babe+ruthThe Court’s decision was especially gratifying since I was already on record as saying the Court would rule this way. I spoke about the case at the November 2007 meeting of the Alaska Native Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. I boldly predicted that the Alaska Supreme Court would affirm the lower court’s decision and uphold CIRI’s programs. I even made this prediction with the lawyer on the other side of the case, Fred Triem, sitting there, participating in the discussion. Yes, that’s right my friends. Just like Babe Ruth and Joe Namath, I have successfully called my own shot.

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Because we work with Native corporations all the time, the lawyers at Atkinson, Conway & Gagnon like to keep up with what is going on in the world of ANCSA. I have just read an interesting article by Douglas Branson, a law professor from Pittsburgh who has often pontificated on ANCSA corporations. .

Professor Branson’s new article appears in the Alaska Law Journal. The title of the article is ridiculously long, but the first part of it is Still Square Pegs in Round Holes? (The article can be found here: Alaska Law Review Current Issue) This title harkens back to Professor Branson’s original ANCSA law review article of 1979, which was called Square Pegs in Round Holes: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Corporations Under Corporate Law. The original article was notable for its position that ANCSA corporations should be viewed as business corporations under the law first, last and always.

The new article is full of detail that means nothing in the real world. And there are even a few inadvertently humorous points where he demostrates the great distance between Pittsburgh and Alaska. For example, he writes about filing corporate amendments with the “Alaska Secretary of State.” Real Alaskans know that, while there is an official First Dude of the State, there is no Secretary of State.