Eric Van Loon brings years of experience to every resolution. A full-time dispute resolution professional since 1989, he has more than 20,000 hours of experience in 42 states and eight countries as a mediator, arbitrator, speaker, and trainer specializing in complex, multi-party disputes and is listed in "Best Lawyers in America
" for Alternative Dispute Resolution.
He has mediated many types of tribal claims, including land claims, land use, treaty rights, gaming, tribal governance, and legal representation. He is a frequent speaker at national and international forums, including at the ABA/NARF Conference on Indian Tribes, Natural Resource Conflicts, and ADR.
- Gaming. In 1996, Van Loon conducted a successful six-month mediation with the Wisconsin band of the Potawatomi tribe, Milwaukee Indian Community School, their bingo casino manager, and the National Indian Gaming Commission. The dispute concerned how the National Indian Gaming Act applied to the parties’ long-term contracts. The process included negotiation with the Tribal Executive Committee, Gaming Commission, and full Tribal Council (three all-day meetings). (Described more fully in ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine, Fall 1997)
- Governance. In 2002, Van Loon mediated a tribal governance merger agreement between the Historic Eastern Pequots and the Paucatuck Eastern Pequots after DOI denied separate tribal recognition, but offered them federal recognition as a single tribe. Issues included tribal council seat apportionment, tribal officers, eligibility requirements, a transitional governmental structure, and timing of the evolution.
- Inter-Tribal. 2003 mediation of the decades-long Hoopa-Yurok tribal dispute over a $70 million Congressionally-created settlement fund. The multi-month mediation resulted in an agreement which the California tribes presented to DOI and Congress.
- Land Claim. After ruling that 64,000 acres of upstate New York (with 11,000 inhabitants) were acquired from the Cayuga tribe improperly, Federal Judge Neal McCurn appointed Van Loon Neutral Settlement Master in 1999. The subsequent eight-month mediation included federal, state, and county authorities, private landowners, and NY and Oklahoma tribal members to attempt to find a mutually-acceptable resolution after 19 years of litigation.
- Land Use/Water/Coal. In 2004-07, Van Loon mediated a complex, long-running dispute involving litigation among the Navajo Nation, Hopi tribe, and three large multi-state corporations. Issues in the multi-year mediation included tribal sovereignty, coal royalties, water rights, natural resource protection, and federal legislative approval and implementation.
- Legal Representation. A two-day 1998 mediation settled all issues in a legal malpractice action against an attorney who had represented a tribe in an earlier transaction. A 2006 settlement similarly resolved a tribal legal malpractice action against an attorney who had represented the tribe for many years in multiple transactions.
- Treaty Rights. Mediated 2007-08 Chickasaw-Choctaw treaty violation claims against the U.S. government relating to land, timber rights, natural resource encumbrances, financial, and other trustee obligations. Process included historic mapping, SE OK site visit, tribal leader meetings. Mediated 2007-08 Chickasaw-Choctaw treaty violation claims against the US government relating to land, timber rights, natural resource encumbrances, financial and other trustee obligations. Process included historic mapping, SE OK site visit, tribal leader meetings.