April 19, 2018 Articles

Be Aware of Sovereign Immunity

When doing work for Indian tribes or other sovereign nations, wise contractors recognize that they are in a situation where the rules of engagement may not be what they are used to operating under

by Lester Gulitz

When hearing the expression “sovereign immunity,” the average person may think of situations where foreign diplomats are immune to civil suits and criminal law because of their “foreign diplomat” status. A wise contractor in the construction industry, however, also knows that throughout the state of New York and other states, sovereign nations exist with whom they may transact business. Whether known as “First Nations,” “Indian Nations,” or “Indian tribes,” doing business with them requires the contractor to be aware that he or she is dealing with a sovereign nation, which, as such, will not be subject to state judicial dispute resolution proceedings except under limited circumstances.

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