Tribal Sovereign Immunity: What Surety Professionals Need To Know When Working With Native American Tribal Governments and Business Entities

Recorded On: 08/22/2018

Projects with Native American tribal governments as owners are growing larger and more complex.  Native American business entities are expanding and their need for surety bonds is increasing.  Because of this, it is important for the surety professional to understand the concept of tribal sovereign immunity and how it impacts relationships with tribal entities as project owners and as bond principals.  A understanding of the issues of sovereign immunity waivers and dispute resolution is essential to ensuring non-tribal customers have recourse in the event of a dispute with a tribal owner and sureties can obtain effect indemnity agreements from tribal indemnitors.   This presentation will review the current state of the law surrounding sovereign immunity and give practical tips for obtaining valid waivers of sovereign immunity when needed, understanding the impact of choice of law and venue, and analyzing key contract terms.

Brad Espinosa

Vice President, Zurich Surety

Brad Espinosa, a Vice President with Zurich Surety, has underwriting responsibility for Zurich’s Middle Market Northwest Region and is based in San Francisco. With 10 years in the industry, Brad has held underwriting and leadership positions in Northern California and Seattle. He served as the Seattle Surety Association President and the SFAA Young Professional West Region Leader.  He holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.  

Michelle Randall

Assistant Vice President, Zurich Surety Risk Solutions

Michelle Randall is an Assistant Vice President with Zurich’s Surety Risk Solutions, a team of surety attorneys dedicated to providing legal expertise and innovative problem solving to Zurich’s underwriters and customers.  She spent most of her legal career in Hartford, Connecticut, where her practice focused primarily on representing surety companies in claims matters, recovery, and litigation.  She joined Zurich Surety three years ago and now calls Sioux Falls, SD home.  Michelle has authored chapters in four books published by the American Bar Association’s Surety and Fidelity Committee and in the Fifty-State Construction Lien and Bond Law series.  She graduated from the University of Massachusetts and earned her law degree, summa cum laude, from Western New England University School of Law.

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Open to view video. NASBP Virtual Seminar: Tribal Sovereign Immunity: What Surety Professionals Need To Know When Working With Native American Tribal Governments and Business Entities – August 2018
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