MORISSET SCHLOSSER JOZWIAK & SOMERVILLE

811 First Avenue, Suite 218, Seattle, WA 98104    ·    206-386-5200

THANE D. SOMERVILLE

Firm Director / Partner

Thane D. Somerville is a Director of our Firm and has been principal since 2011. His focus is tribal litigation on issues of natural and cultural resources protection, including FERC proceedings. He also specializes in tribal treaty rights, water rights, jurisdictional issues, child welfare, the federal trust responsibility, tribal sovereignty and economic development, and general litigation in federal, state, and tribal courts. He speaks regularly at seminars and co-authored Tribal Court Jurisdiction, Washington’s Civil Procedure Deskbook in 2014 along with many other publications.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak, & Somerville, Seattle, Washington                                                              June 2005 – Present

Attorney/Director

Comprehensive representation of Indian tribal governments and tribal enterprises on issues of natural and cultural resource protection, tribal treaty rights, water rights, jurisdictional issues, child welfare, the federal trust responsibility, tribal sovereignty and economic development, and general litigation in federal, state, and tribal courts.

 

Short Cressman & Burgess PLLC, Seattle, Washington                                                                                                       Sep. 2001 – Feb. 2004

Associate Attorney, Environmental, Land Use, and Natural Resources Section                                                                         June 2000 – Sep. 2000

Litigated all aspects of land use, environmental, real estate, and municipal law cases at superior court and appellate level; Represented municipal governments, Indian tribal governments, citizen groups, and private landowners.

 

Australian Law Reform Commission, Sydney, Australia                                                                                                      June 1999 – Sep. 1999

Research Assistant

Researched and wrote portions of two comprehensive reports on reform of Australian civil litigation system and Australian marine insurance law.

EDUCATION

Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon                                                                           Aug. 2004 – May 2005

            LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law

            Graduated Magna Cum Laude, With High Honors

 

University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington                                                                                           Sept. 1998 – June 2001

            Graduated Order of the Coif, With Highest Honors

            Washington Law Review, Notes and Comments Editor

 

Washington State University, Pullman, Washington                                                                                                             Aug. 1994 – May 1998

            Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration

            Graduated Magna Cum Laude, With High Honors

BAR ADMISSIONS

State Supreme Courts

            Supreme Court of Washington, Bar Number 31468

            Supreme Court of Oregon, Bar Number 09250

            Supreme Court of Arizona, Bar Number 30870

U.S. District Courts

            U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington

            U.S. District Court for District of Oregon

            U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. Appellate Courts

            Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals          

            Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

            D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

            Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

Various Tribal Courts

            Hoopa Valley Tribal Court

           Tribal Court of the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation

           Tribal Court of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Tribal Court Jurisdiction,  Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook, co-authored with K. McGaw (2014)

Washington’s Indian Child Welfare Act,  WSBA Family Law Deskbook (2012)

Indian Law in the Scalia Era:  Tribes Will Face a Skeptical Court in the 2010-2011 Term,  WSBA Indian Law Newsletter (2010)

Tribes and Dams:  Using Section 4(e) of the Federal Power Act to Protect Indian Tribes and Restore Reservation Resources,  Seattle University Journal of Environmental Law (2009)

Tribal Court Jurisdiction,  Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook, co-authored with K. McGaw (2006)

King County, Washington Ordinance 15053:  Is “The Most Restrictive Land-Use Law in the Nation” Constitutional?,  36 Envtl. Law 257 (2006)

Re-Inventing the Superfund Site:  Redevelopment Opportunities For Individuals, Business Entities, and Indian Tribes Under the 2002 Superfund Amendments,  Published for Brownfields and Superfund Reform CLE, Seattle, Washington (2002), Co-authored with R. Du Bey

The Equal Pay Act as Appropriate Legislation Under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment:  Can State Employers Be Sued,  76 Wash. Law Review 279 (2001)

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

ESA Litigation:  Reinitiation of Section 7 Consultation, Tribal Water in California Seminar (January 2019)

Intersection of the Endangered Species Act and Tribal Water Rights:  Recent Developments, Center for Environmental Law and Policy Winter CLE (December 2018)

The Fort Bridger Treaty:  Lasting Lessons Through 150 Years, Keynote Address Shoshone-Bannock Treaty Rights Seminar (April 2018)

Federal Employment Laws – Application to Tribal Employers , WSBA Indian Law Seminar (June 2015)

Management of Bald and Golden Eagles Under Federal Law, WSBA Indian Law Seminar (May 2014)

Tribal Trust Mismanagement:  Litigation and Settlement, WSBA Indian Law Seminar (June 2012)

Litigating Indian Health Care:  Can Federal Courts Enforce Indian Health Service’s Duties?, WSBA Indian Law Seminar (May 2011)

How Can We Protect Public Lands and Promote Renewable Energy Development?, Panelist, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon (March 2011)

Interim Protective Conditions During FERC Re-Licensing, Hydropower in the Northwest Seminar (Nov. 2010)

Tribal Court Jurisdiction:  A Story of Race, Land, and Federal Court Second Guessing, Panelist, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, Oregon (March 2010)