California Indian Law Association
Board of Directors
Leonard K. Powell J.D. (CILA President) is experienced in municipal, administrative, environmental, regulatory, and Indian law issues. He is a proud member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, where his son serves as Tribal Council. Leonard helped California Tribes establish the foundations and framework for effective gaming regulation in California in the pre-compact era by co-founding and helping facilitate the California Tribal Gaming Commissioners/Regulators Networking Group. Leonard is currently the Community Preservation Manager for the City of Fremont where he is in charge of municipal code enforcement, and helps administer the City’s Zoning and Building Regulations. He has twenty-seven years of city and county government experience, and has previously held the fulltime positions of Airport Manager, Transit Manager, Fleet Manager, Community Services Supervisor, and has held the civic offices of Municipal Advisory Councilman, Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and Economic Development Advisor. He earned his undergraduate degree from USF, majoring in Organizational Behavior.
Michele Fahley (CILA Vice-President) serves as Deputy General Counsel for the Pechanga and of Mission Indians. She has a joint degree in law and American Indian Studies from UCLA. Before joining Pechanga’s Office of General Counsel, Michele served as a staff attorney in the Escondido office of California Indian Legal Services for over 5 years. At CILS, her work focused on tribal representation in ICWA cases, estate planning and training under the American Indian Probate Reform Act, cultural resource protection, tribal court development, and gaming and economic development. As Deputy General Counsel, Ms. Fahley provides general representation to the tribal government in all matters. Ms. Fahley serves as Chair of the Conference Planning Committee. (J.D. 2003; M.A. 2004); University of Washington, Seattle (B.A. 1998).
Lauren Frinkman (CILA Secretary) (Cochiti Pueblo) serves as the Tribal Law and Policy Institute’s (TLPI) Tribal Law Specialist, which includes facilitating technical assistance to tribal governments, and researching legal and policy issues as they face tribal governance and sovereignty. Ms. Frinkman is a recent graduate of UCLA School of Law, where she focused her studies upon Tribal and Federal Indian Law. While in law school, she served as president of the Native American Law Students Association, and as Area 1 Representative of the National Native American Law Students Association. Ms. Frinkman participated in two tribal clinics, including the Tribal Legal Development Clinic and the Tribal Appellate Court Clinic. Ms. Frinkman has previously served as law clerk at the Native American Rights Fund and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
David J. Montoya III (CILA Treasurer) (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo of New Mexico) currently acts as the research analyst at UCLA's American Indian Studies Center. His position allows him to actively engage UCLA's Native student population and the Native community in the Greater Los Angeles area. Long-term research projects include analyzing shifts in education, housing, employment, and health of the Los Angeles Native community to determine how local, state, and the federal government should allocate resources and better serve urban Native Americans. David also works on Partners for Justice, a research initiative created by the Center to support the work of the Indian Law and Order Commission created by the Tribal Law and Order Act. Additionally, he has sat on the Orange County Legal Aid Society's Indian Law Panel since 2011. David graduated from UC Irvine's political science program with honors in 2005 and later graduated from UCLA's joint-degree program in 2009, earning a Juris Doctor and Master of the Arts in American Indian Studies.
Javier I. Kinney is a Tribal member and Director of Office of Self-Governance for the Yurok Tribe. He has attained a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis, a Master of Arts degree in Law & Diplomacy, specializing in Development Economics and International Law from Tufts University-Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law School. Mr. Kinney has extensive experience working for Tribal governments specializing in areas of public policy, economic analysis, tribal governance, grant management, protection of tribal cultural resources and strategic planning.
Carole Ross is a senior attorney with the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. She graduated from UCLA law school in 1992 and began her career as a general litigator. In 1995, she joined Sheppard Mullin. Carole’s practice includes labor and employment law, litigation and Indian law. Carole’s employment law practice involves representing employers by providing employment advice, preparation of policies, and litigation in all aspects of employment law including discrimination, harassment, wage and hour and traditional labor law. Carole’s Indian law practice includes employment law as well general litigation matters including taxation, Winters doctrine and torts.
Leonard R. Powell is a member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians and the current Secretary of the Hopland Tribal Council. He received his BA from UC Berkeley in 2008. After taking some time to produce feature films in Hollywood (including the Sundance hit Bellflower), he was elected to the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians Tribal Council in 2010. He plans to begin law school in 2013.
Hon. Christine Williams, a member of the Yurok Tribe, earned her law degree and Indian Law Certificate from Arizona State University in 2000 and was admitted topractice law in California the same year. Judge Williams’ legal career has focused on representing Tribes in a broad spectrum of tribal legal matters primarily Indian child welfare, tribal court development and cultural resource protection. She currently serves as the Chief Judge for several tribes in Northern California. Additionally, Judge Williams provides training and education on various areas of Indian law and history.