Judge Miller has extensive experience hearing and resolving disputes as a tribal judge. I appeared before Judge Miller hundreds of times while he was on the bench. Judge Miller’s instincts were always to explore the conflict more deeply, beyond the superficial presentation in Court. He wanted to reach a better answer and not just deliver a legal ruling. His patience and experience got people talking about solutions. Being a judge in an adversarial setting probably limited him; now he is able to bring his skills and heart to talking circles and peacemaking. I believe he will be successful.
Attorney Paul Stenzel
Stenzel Law Office, LLC
To Whom It May Concern:
I worked as Tribal Attorney for the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe for many years and during that time, once the Tribal Court was established around 1995 or 1996, I first met the Honorable Judge Robert Miller, Jr. He was among the first three tribal court judges that the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Court swore in. Since the court was brand new when he started, I guess you could say he was a pioneer in its development. The court as a whole tried to emphasize peace-making as a tool to resolve disputes rather than litigation and peace-making always seemed to be a passion for Judge Miller, even when advocates and attorneys in a particular court proceeding pressed for what they viewed as the quicker litigation process.
Even then, in the early years of the court, I think Judge Miller saw something than many others involved in the court process did not. He saw that peace-making often brought lasting resolutions to problems, resolutions that both sides could live with, while litigation often intensified conflict and bad feelings. His passion for peace-making is consistent with the philosophies in many Native communities and more culturally appropriate than litigation for resolving problems.
Judge Miller ultimately became the Chief Judge of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Court, prior to embarking on his personal journey to share his peace-making skills on a broader level through Four Winds Restorative Justice. He has years of experience and training in mediation and peace-making and that experience and training can contribute value to any community, group or individual seeking a peaceful resolution to difficult issues.
Attorney at Law
To Whom It May Concern:
I have worked exclusively in a variety of tribal courts for the past 25 years in several capacities, including tribal court practitioner, tribal court administrator, and tribal court judge. As a judge, I became acquainted with my colleague, the Hon. Robert Miller, Jr., in the late 1990’s. We maintained contact over the years and in 2002, Judge Miller asked me to serve as curriculum developer and as faculty for a Tribal Prosecutor’s Certification Course sponsored by the National Association of Tribal Court Personnel. The training was a success, and Judge Miller and I have collaborated on issues surrounding tribal justice systems since that time.
Over the years, Judge Miller and I have had many discussions regarding the inadequacies of the often-tribally-adopted Western (i.e., American) justice system for resolving tribal disputes. An adversarial resolution system is foreign to most tribal cultures and, therefore, inadequate to achieve true justice for tribal people. While a disposition may be reached using Western methods and concepts, the restoration of personal and social and cultural harmony can be left unaddressed, so a true and complete and meaningful resolution is never achieved. Judge Miller has advocated for a more restorative process for decades, and has dedicated himself to learning and practicing these more traditionally-based processes, honing his skills so that all issues between parties appearing before him, not just the “legal” issues defined by an adopted tribal code, are holistically addressed. The goal of true restoration is traditional Native peacemaking in its purest form, a goal that Four Winds Restorative Justice can facilitate.
These skills that Bob Miller now shares through Four Winds Restorative Justice can be adapted to many Native communities, groups, organizations and individuals to address myriad intra-tribal disputes, from criminal and civil court matters to tribal housing and Human Resources (personnel) issues, to name just a few applications. I am confident in Bob’s skills, abilities and dedication, and my confidence extends to Four Winds Restorative Justice.
Jan W. Morris
Judge Pro Tempore