Howard M. Cooper and Benjamin J. Wish persuaded a federal judge to allow the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to intervene in a U.S. District Court case involving a challenge by property owners to the construction of a $1 billion casino on property held in trust for the Tribe.
U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young granted the Tribe's motion to intervene following his earlier ruling that the federal government's acquisition of land in Taunton on behalf of the Tribe was improper under federal law.
The earlier ruling caused the Tribe to halt construction of its casino.
In allowing the Tribe to become a party to the case, Judge Young found that the Tribe's "undeniable and compelling interest in the outcome of this litigation" creates a "substantial" risk of prejudice should it not be allowed to participate in the matter.
In rejecting the property owners' objection to the intervention motion, the judge indicated that any prejudice to the property owners "is not especially concerning" as the Tribe's intervention would not delay trial, or trigger re-litigation of issues already considered and ruled on.
The intervention order permits the Tribe to appeal the earlier decision in favor of the property owners, and also participate in any remaining motions in the trial court.