Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NARF announces the addition of three attorneys

The Native American Rights Fund is pleased to announce that experienced Indian water rights attorneys Sue Noe and Heather Whiteman Runs Him have joined the organization and will be housed in the organization’s Boulder, Colorado office.  Joel Williams joined NARF’s Washington, D.C. office.

Sue Noe is an experienced water rights attorney and brings over twelve years water rights litigation experience to the NARF water team.  She specializes in large, complex litigation.  While in private practice Sue teamed up with NARF and worked on behalf of the Nez Perce Tribe in the Snake River Basin Adjudication in Idaho and the Klamath Tribes in the Klamath Basin Adjudication in Oregon, achieving success in both adjudications the first ending in a Congressionally-approved settlement and the latter securing resounding victories before Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings.  In addition to her work on behalf of Native American tribes, Sue has substantial international experience.

Sue received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with high honors, and earned an LL.M. in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Denver College of Law, where she received several awards for Scholastic Excellence.  Along with her former law professor, George (Rock) Pring, Sue has co-authored two book chapters on natural resource issues in international law published by Oxford University Press.  She is licensed to practice law in Colorado and New York.  Sue began work for NARF on December 1.

Heather Whiteman Runs Him (Crow) comes to NARF from the Crow Tribe  Office of Executive Counsel where she served as Joint Lead Counsel for the Tribe since July of 2009, and as Deputy Executive Counsel from 2006 - 2009.  Heather was responsible for a wide variety of work, overseeing tribal prosecution and Indian Child Welfare attorneys; responsibility for legal issues pertaining to intergovernmental relations, tribal land management, water rights, elections, health, law enforcement, economic development, and general litigation issues.  She also consulted on renewable energy development.  Prior to working with the Crow Tribe, Heather practiced in New Mexico as an Assistant Public Defender in the Albuquerque Metro Division, worked as an Associate Attorney with Sonosky Chambers Sachse Endreson & Mielke, LLP and with Nordhaus Haltom Taylor Taradash & Bladh, LLP, serving tribal governmental clients on a wide variety of issues.

Heather received her B.A.F.A. with honors in Art History, and Studio Art from the University of New Mexico in 1999 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2002.  She received her A.F.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1999.  She is licensed to practice law before the State Bar of New Mexico, the District of New Mexico, and the Crow Tribal Bar.

Joel Williams, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He obtained degrees in Psychology and Religious Studies from Naropa University. At Naropa, he was awarded the President’s Leadership Scholarship and his senior project in the religious studies department focused on Cherokee history and religion. Joel attended Widener University School of Law, where he was a student attorney at the environmental law clinic and represented citizen groups pursuing lawsuits under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Administrative Procedures Act. He was also awarded a certificate of achievement by Joseph R. Biden.

After graduating from law school, Joel was an Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel, where he represented the executive branch as a trial and appellate attorney.

Joel is currently an LLM Environmental Law candidate at Vermont Law School. Immediately before joining NARF, Joel was Senior Legislative Officer with Cherokee Nation and director of the tribe's Washington, DC office.