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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fine Point Group wins Tribal Court Appeal in the Buffalo Thunder Dispute

Late last year, the Pojoaque Tribal Court rendered a significant decision against the Pueblo of Pojoaque's gaming operations and in favor of The Fine Point Group for illegal tribal actions in terminating a business relationship between them.

The Decision was issued on December 9, 2011 by The Honorable June Lorenzo, a pro tem judge appointed by the Pueblo to hear The Fine Point Group's case. She ruled that the Tribe and various tribal officials acted illegally in March 2011 when they terminated the company's consulting agreement and revoked a tribal gaming license. She ruled in favor of the company and its managing director, Randall A. Fine, on all issues while rejecting the Pueblo's justification for refusing to pay tens of millions of dollars owed to the company.

The case stems from a 2010 consulting agreement between The Fine Point Group and Buffalo Thunder, Inc. and Pojoaque Gaming, Inc., subsidiaries of Buffalo Thunder Development Authority, which is a wholly-owned tribal corporation. The Las Vegas company was hired as part of the proposed restructuring of more than $250 million in casino development bonds that the Pueblo was unable to repay.

The Pueblo's illegal contract and gaming license actions were taken only a few months after the documents were executed. The Tribal Court specifically ruled each of those actions void ab initio and ordered reinstatements retroactive to the dates on which they were terminated. Under the company's contract, the Tribe ultimately could be liable for tens of millions of dollars.

Judge Lorenzo's Decision and the relevant briefs describing the case can be found at http://www.thefinepointgroup.com/buffalothunder.aspx.

The Fine Point Group is represented in this matter by attorneys from Dickinson Wright's gaming group and the New Mexico law firm of Sutin, Thayer & Browne's litigation and Indian gaming law groups.