On 6 January 2022, a team of Three Crowns attorneys filed with the United States Supreme Court an amicus curiae submission in a case regarding the rights of the Penobscot Nation, an American Indian tribe, over the Main Stem of the Penobscot River, an important waterway in Maine that runs through the Penobscot Nation’s reservation.

Three Crowns partner Luke Sobota and associates Kimberly Larkin and Will Sullivan filed the brief on behalf of the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC), a quasi-governmental entity that facilitates tribal-State relations and regulates certain matters affecting Maine’s Indian tribes.

The amicus submission seeks U.S. Supreme Court review of a First Circuit Court of Appeals en banc decision that held that the Main Stem was not part of the Penobscot Reservation, based on an atextual reading of the relevant statutes. It presents evidence of MITSC’s consistent position that the Main Stem is within the Penobscot Indian Reservation, which is informed by treaties between the Penobscot Nation and the State, and by the importance of the Main Stem for the Penobscot Nation’s sustenance and culture.  The amicus submission argues that if left unreviewed, the First Circuit’s decision would infringe upon MITSC’s statutory authority and deny the Penobscot Nation its historic rights.

The as-filed amicus submission is available here.

ABOUT LUKE SOBOTA

Luke is a founding partner of Three Crowns and represents private and sovereign clients in some of their most significant commercial, investor-State, and inter-State arbitrations. His practice spans the technology, energy, and financial sectors and includes successfully prosecuting one of the largest ICC cases in history.

Luke is a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, and regularly writes and speaks about issues of international law and arbitration. His publications include the second edition of Judge Stephen M. Schwebel’s International Arbitration: Three Salient Principles (Cambridge 2020) and General Principles of Law and International Due Process (Oxford 2017).

ABOUT KIMBERLY LARKIN

Kimberly, an associate in the Washington, DC office, represents clients in international commercial and investment arbitrations across a variety of sectors, including the technology, energy, mining and natural resources, and financial services industries. She also regularly advises States and international non-governmental organisations on public international law issues, and maintains an active pro bono practice focused on human rights advocacy before U.S. courts and administrative agencies.

Kimberly is a recommended lawyer in The Legal 500 US 2021 and was recently named a “Rising ADR Star” by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.

ABOUT WILL SULLIVAN

Will is an associate in the Washington, DC office. He has advised clients in the finance, energy, and manufacturing sectors in both treaty and international commercial arbitrations conducted under ICC, ICSID, LCIA, and UNCITRAL rules.

Will studied classics at Princeton, law at Yale, and legal history at the University of Chicago, where he received a PhD in 2020. Before joining Three Crowns, he held the Raoul Berger-Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellowship at Harvard Law School and taught Roman law at Boston College Law School.

« Back