Serving today’s Muscogee Nation
Today’s Muscogee (Creek) courts stand on a rich history of civic development dating back to long before European immigration. Now a single governing body for the descendants of a confederacy that once comprised numerous towns of the Lower Creek and Upper Creek, the Muscogee Nation first established a modern, constitutional judicial branch in 1867.
In more than 150 years since the tribe’s jurisprudence was vested in a constitutionally-based court system, tribal government has survived determined efforts to disband and assimilate the original indigenous nations. The court today relies on timeless traditions reflected in modern tribal law, along with judicial practices adopted from other tribes and from non-tribal courts around the U.S. and around the world.
Among the traditions carried forward in today’s tribal courts is a right to seek justice by telling one’s own story. In modern jurisprudence, the right to trial includes a right to representation by skilled legal counsel. To fully realize members’ right to an attorney, the Muscogee Nation Supreme Court admits licensed attorneys to appear in Muscogee (Creek) Courts after vetting and approving an attorney’s standing.
Honoring Muscogee Values
The Muscogee nation stood the test of time with a foundation on strong principles: Respect, responsibility, wisdom, integrity and humility. As attorneys representing clients in Muscogee nation courts, we rely on these principles to guide our service. Here’s how:
Much as communities have done since the dawn of time, modern jurisprudence relies on customs and traditions to demonstrate a posture of respect. In court, we respect the system and every person involved – from the judge to the defendant. Besides basic polite conduct and proper attire, you demonstrate your respect for the court by appearing with an attorney who knows the courts customs and rules.
What’s more, when you appear in court you might want to avoid arguing with court officials because of your respect for the court and for the Muscogee Nation. Yet court is an adversarial process. You need someone there who knows when to argue and how to present a powerful argument respectfully. Our mission is to represent your interests to the court while demonstrating your respect for the process.
Demonstrating responsibility to a court means more than just showing up on time for hearings. In a family matter, it can mean showing your concern for your child now living in a two households by contributing time and resources for the child’s upbringing. It can mean being available for your child and making your child available to your former spouse. Responsibility can mean good-faith participation in difficult family processes.
Responsibility certainly means being truthful, even when truth might go against you. Because honest, respectful people sometimes make mistakes, they are also often more than willing to admit their error. That’s not always the best approach in court.
You need a criminal defense attorney for tribal court to help determine when it’s best to spill the beans and when to exercise your right to remain silent. If there’s a mistake you need to account for, your tribal court attorney can advise you how to do so with confidence and humility. If you’ve been accused of something for which you’re not responsible, your attorney can present your case without making you appear irresponsible.
Wisdom starts with the ability to recognize it outside ones self. As tribal court attorneys in the Muscogee Nation, we probably don’t embody the same wisdom one finds in elders. We know it. We recognize the better wisdom of those who set up systems of law, and the wisdom of traditions that predate legal institutions.
What this means when we appear in tribal court is that we approach the court with an open mind. We discover your desires and best interests then we represent those interests in the context of a community capable of solving difficult problems. We prepare and advocate for your position knowing the court’s wisdom can craft an outcome suitable for all involved.
Most of us aspire to be honest and moral people, some more so than others. Yet even the most upstanding person sometimes falls short of their aspirations. In court, integrity means being honest with the court, doing what you say you will do and working toward your best aspirations in the matter.
By appearing in court with an attorney you demonstrate your concern for the integrity of the process. Attorneys are trained to be honest with the court. We are screened for personal integrity before we are admitted to practice law and must maintain that integrity throughout our careers to maintain our practice. Your tribal court attorney can help you resolve situations that could put your integrity in question before the court.
Who wouldn’t want to stride into court with their legal dream team swaggering along behind? And what attorney doesn’t want to be that attorney?
We take a different approach. Through preparation, we may know your goals and what the court requires, but we simply don’t know it all. We know law and we strive to keep up with emerging Muscogee Nation law. Yet we also understand there’s usually more to a story than we know. A humble attitude toward the court, toward other parties in court, with our clients and with regard to our own knowledge, skill and experience leaves us upon for ideas and solutions we might not have discovered on our own.
Free Consultation with an Attorney for Muscogee Nation Courts
No matter what brings you to tribal court in the Muscogee Nation, it’s important that you have skilled representation. For a free consultation with defense attorney and family lawyer for Muscogee Nation Courts, call (918) 947-6552. You can also fill out the consult form in this page by clicking ‘request a consultation.’