United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation, No. 10-382, 2011 BL 154640 (U.S. June 13, 2011) On June 13, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege does not apply to the trust relationship between the U.S. Government and Indian tribes. The Court reasoned that the rationale justifying the fiduciary exception in the private context does not apply when the Government is serving as the trustee for tribal funds.
Jicarilla Apache Nation and Its Trust
The Fiduciary Exception Did Not Apply to the Trust Relationship between the Government and the Tribe
The trust obligations of the United States to the Indian tribes are established and governed by statute rather than the common law, and in fulfilling its statutory duties, the Government acts not as a private trustee but pursuant to its sovereign interest in the execution of federal law. The reasons for the fiduciary exception . . . do not apply in this context.
To view additional stories from Bloomberg Law® request a demo now