Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, January 8, 2004


Page 3


Governor Names Former Justice Kolkey Tribal Gaming Negotiator


By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday named former Third District Court of Appeal Justice Daniel Kolkey to serve as his lead negotiator for tribal gaming compacts.

Kolkey left the appellate bench Nov. 17 to rejoin Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where he worked from 1978 to 1994, becoming a partner in 1985. From 1995 to 1998 Kolkey was legal affairs secretary and counsel to then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

Wilson appointed him to the Third District in 1998.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger noted that Kolkey negotiated gaming compacts for Wilson.

“Dan’s extensive experience negotiating complex gaming compacts will be an invaluable asset to my administration’s work on this issue,” the statement said. “I am confident he and the tribes will be able to come to agreements of mutual benefit that are fair to all Californians.”

Kolkey is based in Gibson Dunn’s San Francisco office, where he is a member of the Litigation Department and the Appellate and Constitutional Practice Group. The governor’s statement said that during the Wilson administration Kolkey “negotiated the most comprehensive tribal-state compacts in the nation under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” adding that the agreements were approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior but ultimately superceded by the compacts entered during the Davis administration.

Kolkey, 51, is a past member and former chairman of the California Law Revision Commission and the co-editor of a handbook on international arbitration and mediation.

In a statement, the former justice said he was honored by the governor’s selection.

“It is time for the tribes to consider the long term stability of their relationship with the State and to enter into compacts that are truly fair to both sides,” his statement said.

The position does not require Senate confirmation.

Kolkey earned his undergraduate degree at Stanford and his law degree at Harvard. He joined Gibson Dunn soon after being admitted to the California bar.

On Dec. 19, the Third District cited Kolkey’s work for business groups mounting a referendum challenge to a law requiring many employers to help pay for their workers’ health insurance in declining to rule on a legal challenge to the sufficiency of the referendum petitions.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled the petitions did not give potential signers enough information about what the law would do and issued an order blocking the referendum.

Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland asked the Supreme Court to transfer the case to a different district to review the propriety of Connelly’s ruling.

The First District overturned Connelly’s ruling Dec. 23.


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