The San Diego Law Library welcomed an enthusiastic audience to the law library for the screening of the enlightening documentary film, “Tribal Justice.” The film followed the lives of two Tribal Court judges as they handled cases of the members of their tribes, rebuilt lives, and reunited families. The Hon. Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribe of Northern California, helped Toas, a man facing a third criminal charge and a substance abuse problem. She worked with him to find assistance with his substance abuse issues and reunite his family. The Hon. Claudette White, Chief Justice of the Quechan Tribe of Arizona and California, used the Indian Child Welfare Act to reunited a family and find services for a 9 year-old boy. She also helped her own nephew, who was involved in the criminal courts.

Judge Claudette White was also our special guest and updated us on the individuals featured in the documentary and her new role as the Chief Judge of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. She discussed the structure and jurisdictions of the different tribal courts, and ended the evening with an inspirational statement about the power of restorative justice and the resiliency of the Native American cultures.

We thank all of the attendees! The night’s events would not have been possible without the support of:

The University of San Diego School of Law for sponsoring the event,

HeinOnline for providing the refreshments,

And, the Hon. Claudette White, for inspiring us.

If you are interested in attending more events like this, we always have information in our newsletter. And, if you have ideas for future programs, contact us at