Back to Happenings

Conference on Constitutional Rights

Northwest Landowners Association is providing an opportunity for members and the general public to learn more about landowner issues related to our constitutional rights.

Great lineup of nationally recognized speakers with a wide range of topics!
  • Tara Righetti – Professor of Law University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources – Carbon sequestration; regulations and property law
  • Derrick Braaten – Braaten Law Firm, Bismarck, ND, NWLA General Counsel – North Dakota takings and pore space litigation
  • Karen Budd-Falen – Budd-Falen Law Office – Formerly served the Trump Administration, Department of the Interior, as the Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks
  • Mark Miller – Mark is former Chief of Staff to SD Governor Kristi Noem, attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation – 4th Amendment search and seizure issues for landowners
  • Paul Henry – Denlow & Henry Eminent Domain Law Firm – Constitutional considerations: Market value multipliers for just compensation in eminent domain litigation
  • Kady Valois – Attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation- Background of 5th Amendment and Taking Claims
    additional special guest speakers to come!!
Registration opens at 8 am
Speakers: 8:50 am-5:00 pm January 17th 2024
8:50 am – 11:00 am January 18th
Lunch will be served.
This event is $25 for all current 2024 NWLA members and $150 for Non-Members. Seating may be limited we encourage you to pre-register today!
CLE Credits Available Upon Request
Bismarck, North Dakota
800 S 3rd St, Bismarck, ND 58504

Speaker Bio
  • Mark Miller: (Mark is former Chief of Staff to SD Governor Kristi Noem, attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation)

    • Topic 4th Amendment search and seizure issues for landowners

    • For Mark Miller, liberty centers on the right to be secure in your property. Like America’s Founding Fathers, Mark is influenced by Scottish philosopher David Hume, who observed that stable property ownership is a predicate for a stable society. The Founding Fathers were so sure of this, they built into the Constitution and Bill of Rights foundational protections for the right to own and be secure in one’s property. Mark believes we are responsible for protecting all of our constitutional rights, especially property rights, because—as President Ronald Reagan observed—our children do not inherit these rights in the bloodstream. We must fight for them and pass them on. That’s what Mark has done throughout his career.

    • Mark joined PLF in 2014, and in the years since he has concentrated on property rights litigation and policy. A board-certified specialist in appellate litigation, Mark most notably served as lead counsel for the landowners in the Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service case, a unanimous win for property rights at the Supreme Court of the United States. He also served as second chair in PLF’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. case, another unanimous win at SCOTUS for property owners against federal government overreach.

    • Mark attended college and law school at the University of Florida, earning both degrees with honors. He elbow-clerked for U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr. and Florida state appellate court Judge Emerson R. Thompson, Jr. Mark credits both judges with instilling in him a love for the Bill of Rights, especially the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. In 2020, Mark left PLF to take on a new role as general counsel and then chief of staff for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. As Governor Noem’s longest-serving chief of staff, Mark worked behind the scenes to promote smaller government, cut red tape, defend individual rights, protect liberty, and advance free-market principles. In 2023, he returned home to PLF.

    • Mark frequently writes and appears in print, on radio and TV, before state legislative committees, and in other public settings. He has been published in The Wall Street Journal, and his PLF work has been featured on CBS News, ABC’s The View, CBN, and Fox News. He regularly appears on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel as a Supreme Court commentator.

    • Mark and his wife Mindy, a Catholic school principal, have four children. Two of them are University of Florida alums like their dad, and two of them are University of Notre Dame grads (or a grad-to-be) like their mom. If you are looking for Mark on fall weekends, you’ll most likely find him rooting for either the Gators in the Swamp or his beloved Fightin’ Irish in the House that Knute Rockne and Lou Holtz Built.

  • Kady Valois: (attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation)

    • Topic Background of 5th Amendment and Takings claims

    • Kady Valois joined Pacific Legal Foundation in the summer of 2020 after finishing a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Jonathan D. Gerber on Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. Kady practices primarily in PLF’s property rights group, where she defends individuals’ rights to use their private property free from burdensome regulations.

    • Kady obtained her undergraduate degree, in social work, from Baylor University. At Baylor she developed a strong love for college football, Texas barbeque, and, of course, the rule of law. After graduation, Kady returned to her native Florida to attend the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

    • In law school, Kady participated in environmental moot court, served as the executive symposium editor for UF’s Journal of International Law, and worked in the conservation clinic. Kady was also a teaching assistant for classes such as property law, legal writing, and appellate advocacy. Ultimately, however, her favorite parts of law school included discussing obscure historical events and their effect on American jurisprudence, as well as helping her favorite professor teach an undergraduate class on Henry VIII and the development of modern common law.

    • Kady credits her love of legal history to her family members and the generations of personal artifacts they have retained. Reviewing her ancestors’ documents and possessions inspired her to learn more about history and to study the lives of King Henry VIII, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and anyone else with an interesting life story. These great thinkers shaped her personal philosophy. She is beyond thrilled to now put that philosophy into practice working for PLF and advancing private property interests.

    Paul G Henry:

Topic: Constitutional considerations: Market value multipliers for just compensation in eminent domain litigation

Mr. Henry is a member of Owners Counsel of America, a national organization of attorneys representing property owners in Eminent Domain matters.  He has twice served as the Chair of the Missouri Bar Eminent Domain Committee as well as serving as a member of the Board of Governors and as chair of several other committees. He was awarded the Distinctive Service Award by the Solo and Small Firm Committee of the Missouri Bar.

Mr. Henry received his J.D. from Washington University Law School, St. Louis, where he was an Associate Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly.  He is the author and co-author of numerous publications on eminent domain law, including: Trial of Exceptions in Missouri Condemnation Cases, St. Louis Bar Journal (Spring 2007); Inverse Condemnation: Airplane Noise and Damages," The Southwestern Legal Foundation, 1995; and two chapters in the Missouri Condemnation Practice Handbook (Third Edition, 2002 Supp.), co-authoring chapters on Inverse Condemnation and Taxation. He is a former Editor of the American Bar Association Committee on Condemnation Newsletter. Mr. Henry is a frequent speaker on issues pertaining to eminent domain law. 

  • Tara Righetti:

    • Topic: Carbon sequestration; regulations and property law

    • Tara Righetti is the Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Policy at the School of Energy Resources and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and a Professor in the College of Law. She is the co-director of the Nuclear Energy Research Center. Professor Righetti served as a Fulbright Research Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year at the Université de Lille in Lille, France. She previously directed the Professional Land Management concentration from January 2016 to August 2020. Prior to joining the University of Wyoming in the fall of 2014, she served in legal and executive roles in a privately owned upstream oil and gas company. 

    • Professor Righetti is a member of the state bars of Texas and California and is a Certified Professional Landman and member of AAPL. Professor Righetti has served as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO TC-265- Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transportation, and Geologic Storage since July of 2022 and has chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law since 2023.

    • Professor Righetti's research focuses on subsurface property law and administrative regulation of energy development and industrial decarbonization technologies including nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage. She teaches classes related to oil and gas law, climate law, and the governance and regulation of geoengineering and advanced energy technologies. She has also led students on a summer natural resource field practicum in Wyoming and to Peru.

  • Karen Budd-Falen:

    • Topic: Federal regulation, landowners, and local governments.

    • Karen Budd-Falen has returned to the Budd-Falen Law Offices after her two-year appointment in the Trump Administration, Department of the Interior, as the Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks. As Deputy Solicitor, Karen was the lead attorney in revising the regulations implementing Endangered Species Act (ESA), including the regulations recognizing the rights of local governments to protect the economic stability and customs and cultures of their constituents. She was also heavily involved in drafting regulations giving landowners the rights of appeal of wetland maps on the National Wildlife Refuge System lands. Karen also served as Interior’s representative on the task force that revised the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Karen's first stint in Washington D.C. was for three years in the Reagan Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. She later served as a law clerk to the Assistant Solicitor for Water and Power.

    • As an owner of Budd-Falen Law Offices, Karen has assisted local governments in asserting their rights of consistent review, cooperation and coordination in federal agency decisions; private property owners in protecting their Constitutionally guaranteed property rights, other multiple users in supporting grazing and multiple-use on federal/public lands; and exposing radical environmental groups’ abuse of the legal system and the attorney fee-shifting statutes.

    • Karen was featured in Newsweek Magazine’s “Who’s Who: 20 for the Future” for her work on property rights issues (September 30, 1991). Karen was awarded Wyoming’s Outstanding Ag Citizen in 2001; the “Always There Helping” award from the New Mexico Stock Growers Association in 2003; the “Bud’s Contract” award from the New Mexico Public Lands Council in 2006 and the Individual of the Year award from the Arizona/New Mexico Counties for Stable Economic Growth in 2011.

    • Karen has testified over a dozen times before numerous committees and subcommittees of the U.S. House of Representatives on issues related to attorneys’ fees payments, the ESA, NEPA and livestock grazing. Karen has also testified before committees of the Wyoming Legislature.

    • Karen has served the state of Wyoming as a Commissioner on the Wyoming Water Development Commission. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Wyoming Natural Resources Foundation.

  • Karen is an active volunteer and coach for Future Farmers of America (“FFA”).  Karen grew up as a fifth generation rancher on a family-owned ranch in Big Piney, Wyoming.  She received her undergraduate degrees and her law degree from the University of Wyoming. Karen and Frank have two children, Isaac) and Sarah and grandson, Wesley.

  • Derrick Braaten:

    • Topic: NWLA litigation overview

    • Bio:  Derrick Braaten serves as general counsel to Northwest Landowners Association, and has a private practice devoted to farmers and ranchers, with an emphasis on property rights and natural resources law.  Derrick handled the prior litigation on behalf of NWLA versus the State of North Dakota surrounding SB 2344, and is currently representing NWLA against the State of ND in litigation related to the constitutionality of laws related to amalgamation of pore space and pre-condemnation surveys in eminent domain. Derrick has won awards for as an advocate for soil health form the national and North Dakota chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, and is the sole North Dakota member for the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national organization of leading eminent domain attorneys. His practice is dedicated to supporting the land and its stewards. Derrick lives in Mandan, ND with his wife Renae Mosbrucker and their two boys Leif and Ivar.\