Law Offices of Joanne Willis Newton
A Professional Corporation
Biography
Joanne Willis Newton established her own legal practice in
2005, after seven years with California Indian Legal Services.  
Before joining California Indian Legal Services, she worked
for several years as a consultant on matters of Aboriginal law
in Canada, after articling with the Department of Justice
Canada.  

Joanne has served Tribes, tribal agencies, and individuals on
a broad range of Indian/Aboriginal law issues.  

In Canada, she worked as a consultant to federal agencies,
such as the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern
Development and the Department of Justice, on Aboriginal
rights issues, including land rights, and hunting and treaty
rights.  In addition, she has provided legal research, analysis
and writing services to a number of First Nations entities.  

While at California Indian Legal Services, she assisted
numerous Tribes on self-government matters, including:
developing or revising tribal ordinances, regulations,
resolutions, policies and procedures; providing ongoing
counsel and advice on the day-to-day affairs of tribal
government; and asserting or defending tribal jurisdiction.  
She has significant experience assisting Tribes in
establishing Tribal Gaming Agencies and providing ongoing
advice and representation to such agencies.  She also
developed a state-wide reputation for her advocacy on Indian
Child Welfare Act matters, and was the lead attorney
responsible for drafting and moving SB 678 forward through
the California Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005.

She also devoted a significant portion of her time at California
Indian Legal Services to assisting low-income individuals,
providing advice and representation regarding Indian law
issues (e.g., Indian Child Welfare Act proceedings, Indian
wills and probate, religious freedoms, and Jay Treaty rights)
and providing brief advice on general legal issues (e.g.,
consumer law, family law, wills, contracts, education rights,
and probate guardianships).

Her litigation experience includes representing Tribes and
Native Americans in state court proceedings, at both the trial
and appellate levels, in juvenile dependency cases involving
the Indian Child Welfare Act, guardianship and
conservatorship petitions in probate court, and general civil
litigation.

Joanne is also dedicated to community education and has
provided trainings on a range of Indian law issues, including:
the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Public Law 280, gaming
regulation, the Native American Graves Protection and
Repatriation Act, tribal justice systems, tribal sovereignty, and
sovereign immunity.  Her audiences have included tribal
officials, employees of tribal, state and local government,
attorneys, judges, students, and community members.
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here for more details.

Joanne has been married to her high school sweetheart for
over twenty-five years and resides in San Diego, California.
She and her two daughters are members of the Cree Nation
of Chisasibi and citizens of both the United States and
Canada.
Bar Admissions
Confederated Salish and Kootenai
Tribes Tribal Court, 2015

Intertribal Court of Southern
California, 2010

Chemehuevi Tribal Court, 2007

State Bar of California, 1999

Quebec Bar, 1998

Law Society of Upper Canada,
1995-2015

Education
LL.M, University of San Diego,       
1998, cum laude

LL.B., University of Ottawa School  
of Law, 1992, cum laude

B.A. (Psychology), University of   
Ottawa, 1989, magna cum laude

B.Sc. (Biology), University of
Ottawa, 1988, cum laude

Memberships
Appellate Defenders, Inc. panel

California Appellate Project Los
Angeles panel

California Indian Child Welfare
Association

California Indian Law Association

Native American Lawyers Assoc.

San Diego County Bar Association
Click here for résumé.
© 2005-2016 Joanne Willis Newton