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Prior to the founding of the firm, Charles Hobbs successfully litigated early court rulings that led to a Supreme Court decision that the Tribe retained its treaty hunting and fishing rights after Congress terminated the Tribe. Menominee Tribe v. United States, 391 U.S. 404 (1968).

In The News


Passing of Hobbs Straus Founding Partner - S. Bobo Dean

With heavy hearts we announce that S. Bobo Dean passed away yesterday at the age of 84 after a lengthy illness. Bobo was a wonderful colleague, a mentor and friend, and a tireless advocate for Indian tribes around the country.

Bobo received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1954, after which he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1961, Bobo received his law degree from Yale University.

After practicing for four years with the New York firm of Debevoise Plimpton, in 1965, Bobo moved to Washington, DC. He joined Strasser, Spiegelberg, Fried, Frank and Kampelman, the law firm founded by Felix Cohen, whose work in the Indian field is nationally known. In 1982 Bobo joined Charlie Hobbs, who passed away earlier this week, and Jerry Straus to found Hobbs Straus, a law firm focused solely on advancing the interests of Indian Country.

Over the decades Bobo worked with many tribes around the country on a wide variety of issues. Among his many accomplishments in the field of Indian law, Bobo assisted the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida negotiate the first contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under which an entire BIA agency was taken over and administered by a tribal government.

Bobo was particularly proud of the close to 50 years he spent advising the Metlakatla Indian Community in Southeast Alaska, including the advocacy he provided that ensured that the Tribe retained its full sovereign authority when the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was enacted.

Bobo was also deeply involved in the enactment and implementation of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, and the 1988 and 1994 amendments to that act. He participated in many efforts to implement the Act, including actively representing tribes with the Negotiated Rulemaking Committees that developed regulations under Titles I and V of the Act.

In the early 1990’s, Bobo was a key advisor to a number of tribes and tribal
organizations in Alaska as they negotiated the Alaska Tribal Health Compact, an agreement that transferred virtually all Indian Health Service programs in the state to tribal control. Bobo also assisted the National Indian Steering Committee in its efforts to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Bobo served as past chair of the Native American Concerns Committee of the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities of the American Bar Association.

Funeral services for Bobo will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd at 2pm at the Church of Ascension and St. Agnes, 1217 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005, followed by a reception at the family home located at 4708 Reno Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.

Available Documents for Download
Announcement of Mr. Dean's Passing.pdf