One of the longest running cases against the government, the Cobell Indian litigation, in which government incompetence in administering trust funds established by treaties to benefit Indian tribes ran up against a strange degree of plaintiff and judge radicalization, might finally be going away.
Of course, it took decades, the prevention of the use of email by the Department of the Interior for a matter of months, ten appeals to the DC Circuit, the removal of the case from a very angry trial judge, but finally, despite plaintiffs' best efforts, a court has issued a damages determination. $455 million. Kinda a lot, but the plaintiffs turned down $7 billion not long ago. They wanted $27 billion.
Cobell isn't a very businessy case, but to many DC litigants, it was, until today, what plaintiffs dreamed about. Endless discovery, lots of sanctions requests, many of which were granted, the opportunity to stop a government agency dead in its tracks, and maybe a rich settlement in the future, but it's so much fun to not do that today. Sometimes that's worth more in Washington than a damages award you don't really think will survive appeal anyway.
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