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Tribal Law

The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods resorts are among the largest tourist destinations in eastern Connecticut.  Renowned for their casinos, hotels, restaurants, and shopping, as well as their sports and music venues, these enterprises are owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribe, respectively.  Due to the status of these tribes as sovereign American Indian nations, claims for injuries that occurred at their entertainment facilities generally need to be brought in that Native American tribe’s tribal court, rather than in a state or federal court.  For instance, if someone slips and falls due to negligence at the Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods casino, or in one of their arenas, the proper court to sue in would likely be a tribal court.

Sometimes, a tribal court is the proper place to bring a claim for injuries that did not even occur on tribal lands.  For instance, if a customer at a tribally owned or operated casino becomes drunk, makes the poor decision to drive, and hurts someone, the injured person may want to, or need to, bring a lawsuit in a tribal court.

Separate licenses are required to practice in these courts that not all Connecticut-licensed lawyers have.  A separate license is required because lawyers need to be aware of the complex combination of federal, state, and tribal laws that these cases involve.  Some of the unique aspects of tribal cases can include shorter time limits to bring a lawsuit and distinct methods of calculating the appropriate amount compensation.  If you have been injured while at either of these resorts, it is critical to speak with an attorney licensed to practice in the appropriate tribal court as soon as possible.

At Suisman Shapiro, several of our attorneys are admitted to the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court or the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court, enabling us to represent clients who have been injured while at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun.  If you have been injured at either of Eastern Connecticut’s resort-casinos please contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys in this practice area include Kyle Zrenda, Roger Scully, Michael Carey and Michael Blanchard.

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