Nevada Indian Commission Chair, Kostan Lathouris
Kostan R. Lathouris, an enrolled member and former elected Tribal Council Member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, is the current Chair of the Nevada Indian Commission, a state agency that effectively serves as a liaison between the State of Nevada and the federally recognized Tribes in the State.
He is the managing member of Lathouris Law PLLC, a law practice dedicated to asserting and defending tribal sovereignty. He received his Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (“UNLV”) in 2015 and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, as a University Honors Scholar, from UNLV in 2009. He is a member of both the State Bars of Nevada and California, and is admitted to practice in multiple federal, tribal, and state courts.
In association with Rapport & Marston, Kostan served on the legal team for the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe in Chemehuevi Indian Tribe, et al. v. McMahon, et al., 934 F.3d 1076 (9th Cir. 2019), cert denied, 140 S. Ct. 1295 (2020), whereupon the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe was able to successfully obtain a federal court decision that the land in question was within the boundaries of the Tribe’s reservation and was therefore Indian country, and that the county law enforcement committed civil rights violations for enforcing state regulatory law against tribal members on that land.
In association with Rapport & Marston and Dehnert Law, PC, Kostan helped represent several federally recognized tribes as part of tribal-state gaming compact negotiations with the State of California. He also served on the tribes’ legal team in the both the subsequent district court litigation (Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians v. Newsom, No. 1:19-CV-0024 AWI SKO (E.D. Cal. Mar. 31, 2021)) and the appeal before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. 21-15751 (9th Cir. July 28, 2022)). The Tribes prevailed on their motion for summary judgment against the State of California—which was affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals—by successfully showing that the State committed bad faith negotiations, in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, when the State insisted that the Tribes negotiate topics unrelated to gaming.
In association with Rapport & Marston, Kostan served on the legal team for the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe in Chemehuevi Indian Tribe v. Havasu Water Company, et al., No. 20-471-GW-KKx (C.D. Cal. July 28, 2022), whereupon the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe was able to successfully obtain a federal court decision granting its motion for partial summary judgment against a for profit corporation, holding that the corporation was in trespass on the Tribe’s reservation trust lands.
In addition, he is an adjunct instructor and the Senior Law and Governance Analyst for Falmouth Institute, Inc.