Building in Indian Country: Understanding and Successfully Navigating Construction Contracts

2.5 General AV CLE Credits | WSBA AV CLE Activity ID #410731

Session 2 is a wide ranging discussion of the skills, strategies and best practices for the development and execution of construction contracts on tribal lands.


Recorded:  07/08/2015
Credits:  2.5 General AV CLE | WSBA AV CLE Activity ID #410731
Length: 2 hours, 42 minutes

Featured Speakers:
Eric D. Eberhard, Steven J.W. Heeley

Speaker: Steven J.W. Heeley - Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, D.C.

This session will examine the issues that arise when a tribe or a tribal business entity negotiates and enters into contracts for the construction of facilities and infrastructure. It will examine best practices with regard to the use of AIA contract forms; the pros and cons of various types of construction contracts; dispute resolution alternatives; choice of law and choice of forum; the use of phased turnovers and liquidated damages and completion bonuses; waivers of sovereign immunity; indemnification; shared contingency, guaranteed maximum price vs. stipulated sum contracts, subcontractor management, the use of consultant agreements for construction related work; retention, use of preconstruction agreements, insurance and bonding, claims procedures, and terms that should be included in Requests for Proposals and Bids


Program Chairperson

Eric D. Eberhard

Co-Faculty Director, Center for Indian Law and Policy and Distinguished Indian Law Practitioner in Residence, Seattle University School of Law

Eric D. Eberhard is a Distinguished Indian Law Practitioner in Residence at the Law School at Seattle University. From 1995 to 2009 he was a partner in the Seattle office of Dorsey and Whitney LLP. He received his B.A. degree from Western Reserve University in 1967; a J.D. degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1970 and an LL.M. from George Washington University in 1972. He has been actively engaged in the practice of Indian Affairs law since 1973, including employment in legal services, private practice and as the Deputy Attorney General of the Navajo Nation and Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. His practice has involved all aspects of the representation of Indian tribes, organizations, individuals and entities doing business with Indian tribes in federal, state and tribal judicial, legislative and administrative forums.

From 1989 to 1995 he served as the General Counsel and Staff Director on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for Senator John McCain of Arizona. In that capacity he had direct responsibility for legislation relating to the protection of the environment on Indian lands, Indian cultural resources protection, gaming, water rights, self-determination and self-governance, tribal courts and economic development.

In December, 2000, the U. S. Senate confirmed President Clinton's appointment of Mr. Eberhard to the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall Foundation. President Bush nominated Mr. Eberhard for a second term on the Board in 2005 and he was confirmed by the Senate in 2007. From 2001 to 2011 he chaired the Board's Committee on the Native Nations Institute. In 2011, he was elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Native American Concerns Committee of the American Bar Association's Committee on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Eberhand is an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Suislaw Indians in Oregon.

He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers. At Dorsey & Whitney he was recognized as the Partner of the Year, the Diversity Partner of the Year and the Pro Bono Partner of the Year. He has been honored by the United South and Eastern Tribes, Navajo Nation and its courts, the National Indian Gaming Association, the National Association of Indian Legal Services Programs, the Intertribal Timber Council and the American Indian Religious Freedom Coalition for outstanding service and contributions. In 2013 Mr. Eberhard was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Northwest Indian Bar Association.


Session 2

Steven J.W. Heeley, Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, D.C.

Steve serves as a consultant to Akin Gump. He advises Indian tribes on corporate, transactional and natural resources matters, as well as on tribal governance and jurisdictional issues. He has served as the deputy general counsel for the Gila River Indian Community for over 10 years. In addition, he served as an adjunct law professor at Arizona State University, teaching seminars on economic development and tribal law and government in Indian Country. He also served as a member of the University's Advisory Committee for the Indian Law Program for over 10 years.

During the 104th Congress, he served as staff director and chief counsel to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which was chaired by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Prior to assuming that role, Steve was counsel to the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs of the Committee on Natural Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives, which was established in 1993. Prior to the creation of this subcommittee, he served as the Deputy Counsel on Indian affairs to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs under Chairman George Miller. From 1989 to 1991, he was Deputy Minority Counsel to Sen. McCain on the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs and prior to that he was an attorney for the Gila River Indian Community.

During more than three decades of experience in Indian law, Steve has negotiated a lease agreement and the related documents necessary for the development of a 360,000 square foot retail development on tribal trust lands; tax-exempt financing pursuant to an award under the Tribal Economic Development Bond program to finance the construction of a three star hotel and related facilities on tribal trust lands; the development and construction of a three star casino hotel and related facilities; the development and construction of a four star casino hotel on trust lands; the development and construction of a 500 room four star resort hotel and spa; and a number of management and license agreements covering resort hotels, business hotels, golf courses, retail businesses, and themed entertainment venues.

Steve is a Potawatomi Indian and a citizen of the Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario, Canada.


General Registration (in-person attendance) - $75.00

SU School of Law Alumni/Tribal Attorneys (in-person attendance) - $60.00