The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that a Nevada businessman must do everything he can to settle his dispute with the Hualapai tribe over a Grand Canyon walkway in tribal court before proceeding to the federal level.
The business man is disputing the contract he signed with the Hualapai tribe of Indians regarding management fees and an incomplete visitors' center near the Grand Canyon walkway.
The business man invested $30 million to build the bridge that opened in 2007 and is seeking $28 million as the result of a judgment handed down by an Arizona federal judge. However, since the bridge is located on Hualapai land, tribal attorneys are arguing that the case ought to be governed by Hualapai law. Even though an Arizona federal judge ruled in favor of the businessman, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has decided in favor the Hualapai tribe and has sent the case back to tribal court before the business man can proceed to the federal level with his contract dispute.
Any case that involves a contract dispute is often very complicated because of the complex language contained within contracts. In this particular case, the contract dispute is even more complex because it centers on who has jurisdiction over the case - the Hualapai Indian tribe or the federal court system.
Consulting with a business law attorney whenever there is a dispute regarding a contract is a smart move to make. With a business law attorney readily available, it is easier to prove to a court that you held up your end of the contract while the other party or parties involved did not.
Source: azfamily.com, "9th Circuit rules in Grand Canyon Skywalk dispute", April 26, 2013