Tribal Justice Project | UC Davis School of Law

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall

400 Mrak Hall Drive

Davis, CA 95616

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Tribes Training Tribes

Judge Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe, sitting in the Yurok Tribal Court.

The CA Trial Advocacy Skills Training is a collaborative effort between the Tribal Justice Support Directorate (Bureau of Indian Affairs), the Yurok Tribe of Northern California, and the Tribal Justice Project at the UC Davis School of Law. The goal of this training is to provide tribes with culturally appropriate information on how to prosecute illegal narcotics (e.g., marijuana and opioids) and violence in their communities. The theme of this training - and other trainings like it around the country - is to promote the idea of "tribes training tribes." This theme is important for it incapsulates the belief that the future of tribes lies in their successful reliance on each other and the the assertion of their sovereignty alongside their state and federal partners.

This particular training at the UC Davis School of Law will focus on the environmental impacts of illicit marijuana growth on tribal lands. Specifically, the training will focus on the impact of chemicals that contaminate groundwater as a result of the marijuana refining process. Additionally, the training will explore the powers and limitations of tribal police and the ramifications of such limitations on tribal courts. This training is extremely valuable for tribes in California and other Public Law 280 States, as well as other tribes who face environmental degradation from illegal narcotics activity in their communities. Moreover, this training will bring together experienced trainers who have worked on other "access to justice" initiatives, both at the federal and state level, to teach attendees the skills necessary to make an opening statement, to make a closing statement, to admit items into evidence, and much more. We hope you can join us for this exciting opportunity.



Where will the training take place?

The training will take place at the UC Davis School of Law. 

How much does it cost to attend the training?

The training is free. Attendees are responsible for their lodging, transportation, and meals.

Do you need to be an attorney to attend?

No, both attorneys and lay advocates are invited to participate in this training!

Are only California tribes invited?

No. While California tribes and other Public Law 280 State tribes are the target audience, the skills taught are universally applicable in other, non-PL 280 courts.

Will there be CLE credit?

Yes, attendees will receive CLE credit for the different training sessions. Attendees, however, must attend all three days of the training

Are there qualifications to register?

No. While there are no qualifications to register, preference will be given to  licensed attorneys and experienced advocates. 

If space is limited, when will I find out if I am registered?

You will receive confirmation of your registration within 24 hours of registering for the training. Please refrain from making travel and lodging arrangements until you receive confirmation.  

What will I learn?

As a participant and attendee, you can expect to learn how to be either a prosecutor, defender, or judge in tribal court. As part of the training, you will practice opening statements, closing statements, admitting evidence, and other trial skills.

For all other questions, please email