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United States v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 6, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, et al., Defendants.

         SUB-PROCEEDING NO. 17-03

          ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO DEPOSE DR. C. JILL GRADY

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians (“Stillaguamish”) Motion seeking an order of the Court to permit it to take a perpetuation deposition of its expert witness, Doctor C. Jill Grady, due to the expert's age and the risk of further memory loss. Dkt. #88. Finding the Motion moot, the Court denies the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The background of the underlying dispute is not important to the resolution of this Motion. The factual background of this Motion is laid out by Stillaguamish in its brief and supporting documents:

Dr. Grady is a Cultural Anthropologist and an expert in the field of Native American Anthropology. She has a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Anthropology, and a Master's degree and Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. [Dkt. #90] ¶ 1 (filed herewith).
Stillaguamish first retained Dr Grady to conduct research related to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in 2002. Id. ¶ 2. Beginning in 2007, Dr. Grady began assembling evidence of Stillaguamish's marine fishing treaty rights in a capacity as an expert witness and researcher. Id. ¶ 3. In order to provide her expert opinions, Dr. Grady developed a comprehensive understanding of the ethnohistory of the Stillaguamish's people as well as that of other neighboring tribes and non-Indian settlers in the Puget Sound and their interactions with territorial, state and federal government. Dr. Grady's expert opinions rely on her knowledge of the natural ecosystem that supports Stillaguamish fishing, hunting and gathering.
At a perpetuation deposition to preserve her trial testimony, it is anticipated that Dr. Grady would set forth her opinions and the factual bases that prove Stillaguamish's treaty right to harvest fish and shellfish in the marine waters specified within the RFD. For example, Dr. Grady's testimony is anticipated to cover, though is not limited to, the following topics as outlined in her expert report:
• Stillaguamish peoples' reliance on fishing and shellfishing in certain marine waters for subsistence and trade; . the existence of Stillaguamish village sites located on marine waters;
• subsistence fishing at Stillaguamish's customary marine resources cites in the vicinity of their temporary reservations during the Indian Wars;
• Stillaguamish's continuous travel to and from these temporary reservations for potlatches and social gatherings in other parts of the Puget Sound;
• intermarriage between Stillaguamish and neighboring people and how these familial ties opened access to ...

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