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From 1971 to 1980, the state of Maine grappled with one of the greatest legal challenges ever before it. That challenge had its origin in a suit brought by the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes against the U.S. Department of the Interior seeking the seemingly simple declaration that the department owed a fiduciary duty to the tribes based on a federal law adopted in 1790. That suit was eventually to lead to a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Maine, and potentially 350,000 residents in the eastern two-thirds of the state, seeking return of land taken from the tribes in the latter part of the eighteenth century and first part of the nineteenth century. The outcome was the passage of two laws, one enacted by the state of Maine and one enacted by Congress, the combined effect of which was to extinguish the claims, pay the tribes $81.5 million, redefine the legal relationship between the tribes and the state, and make available to the tribes for purchase 300,000 acres of land to reestablish a tribal land base. This article recounts the author’s personal involvement in those remarkable events. The author is a graduate of Bowdoin College and New York University Law School. He served in the Office of the Maine Attorney General from 1969-1981, initially as Chief of the Environmental Protection Division and then as Deputy Attorney General in Charge of Civil Litigation. From 1975-1980 he was the state’s lead attorney in charge of managing the state’s defense of the Maine Indian land claim case. He was a member of the state’s negotiating team that ultimately produced the settlement. At present he is an attorney with the firm of Bernstein Shur in Portland, Maine. His practice focuses on civil litigation, with particular emphasis on media, antitrust, securities, and complex corporate and commercial disputes.