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Cherokee courts ‘underserve’ the EBCI’s members

Cherokee courts ‘underserve’ the EBCI’s members

My name is Raymond D. Large III, Esq., known to most as Rady [Ray-Dee]. I am an Appalachian-American, an attorney in good standing with the North Carolina State Bar, a former assistant district attorney for the 43rd Prosecutorial District of North Carolina, a participating adjunct professor of business law at Western Carolina University concentrating in individual rights and liberties, and most importantly, an ardent and sworn defender of the Constitution of the United States and the North Carolina State Constitution. 

I manage my own law practice — Raymond Large Law, PLLC — in my native home of Sylva in Jackson County. In 2018 I was admitted to the Tribal Court Bar and have practiced in that court to the best of my abilities to this date. I no longer have any pending cases or clients in the Tribal Courts of the EBCI.

First and foremost, my words in this letter do not in any way represent my clients or my employer of Western Carolina University.

In my experience with the Tribal Court system, I have come to a conclusion that the current governmental system woefully underserves the citizens of the EBCI. There is no separation of the powers in the current charter and government of the EBCI that allows the courts, the judiciary, to function independently from the executive (chief and vice chief) and the legislative (the Tribal Council) branches.  As long as the EBCI Court is held to the whims of the Tribal Council and chief/vice chief, there cannot be a functioning court that imparts true justice to the EBCI.

Tribal prosecutors, judges and court staff cannot make truly independent decisions while under the fear or threat of reprisal, sanction or termination of employment by the influence or direction of the legislative or executive branch.

It is my opinion that the people of the EBCI must demand a constitution that separates the branches of government in the interest of justice for the people of the EBCI.

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I am just a white lawyer from Sylva and I claim no Cherokee ancestry. This change must come from the resiliency and the steadfast determination of the EBCI citizenry.

For my part, in protest of this continued injustice that I have witnessed and lived through: I pledge unto these good people of the EBCI that I will not practice in the EBCI court system nor intentionally of my own volition set foot upon the Qualla Boundary or other EBCI lands until the people of the EBCI demand and exact this change upon the tribal government as is their natural right.

I would be burdened and remiss if I did not take this opportunity to apologize on behalf of my ancestors that participated in and benefited from the forcible removal of the Cherokee from Appalachia. On behalf of myself and my line that stretches back to the beginning … we are truly ashamed and sorry for the genocidal struggle that we forced upon the Cherokee.

In continuing unity and peaceful co-existence: may justice and prosperity come upon all people of America and Appalachia like wildfire.

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