Nationwide - Native American Law Lawyers & Law Firms - USA | Chambers and Partners
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USA Guide

Native American Law — Nationwide


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP - Native American Law

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A deep bench of distinguished practitioners, providing expert litigation skills in treaty rights, gaming compact negotiations, water rights and tribal sovereignty. Highly regarded for its experience in public policy and legislation, finance and tribal energy policies. Also assists tribes with healthcare, natural resources and employment matters.

Strengths Clients say: "I have been nothing but fully pleased with the service that we get from Akin Gump," and others single out the team's "preparation and intellect" as key strengths in this practice area.

Work highlights Assisted the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians with the acquisition of access to an increased water supply to support the development of tribally owned land.

Represented the Gila River Indian Community in protecting the Arizona gaming compact for all tribes from an effort by a tribe to violate the compact by creating an off-reservation gaming project in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Significant clients Bay Mills Community College, Oneida Indian Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Notable practitioners

Clients highlight Donald Pongrace as "really exceptional on tribal business agreements." He heads the firm's American Indian law and policy practice and handles gaming compacts, land and water rights, and advice to tribal governments, appearing before the federal, state and tribal courts.

Peers say Allison Binney is "very sharp" and "a really great policy advocate." She advises tribes on political strategy in governmental negotiations, the development of internal codes and laws, and land, tax, gaming and education matters.

Michael Rossetti advises clients on land use and acquisition, among a variety of Indian law matters. Clients characterize him as "a brilliant strategist and a no-nonsense problem solver."

Department profile by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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Dentons - Native American Law

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include DC, New York and San Francisco.

What the team is known for An illustrious and well-established Native American practice working exclusively for tribes. Enjoys an excellent reputation for gaming work, environmental regulations and fee-to-trust land acquisitions, among other matters. Team members have experience working at the DOI, National Indian Gaming Commission and DOJ.

Strengths Clients praise the team for being "very responsible and responsive to us."

Work highlights Represented Tohono O'odham Nation in implementing and defending its land claim settlement against challenges in the courts and Congress.

Helped the Cowlitz Tribe obtain reservation land and defend challenges to the status of its reservation, as well as helping to facilitate the construction of a tribal casino.

Significant clients Ft. Sill Apache Tribe, Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the tribal government of the Redding Rancheria, Estom Yumeka Maidu Indians of the Enterprise Rancheria.

Notable practitioners

Heather Sibbison is head of the firm's Native American law and policy group, earning praise for her work concerning land and water rights for tribal clients. Sources say she is "among the very best," praising her particularly for her client relationship management skills.

George Skibine is a "general expert on Indian land and Indian gaming issues," according to interviewees. In addition to his gaming work, his practice encompasses fee-to-trust transactions and tribal recognition and self-determination contracts.

Department profile by Dentons

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Kanji & Katzen PLLC - Native American Law

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Ann Arbor and Seattle.

What the team is known for A distinguished and highly experienced group, noted for its representation of tribes in sovereignty and governance matters, treaty rights, environmental protection and jurisdictional issues, among other matters. It has a strong reputation among peers for appellate litigation at all levels, including up to the Supreme Court.

Strengths Peers praise the team for giving "a really high-quality service to their clients." Others note: "They've got some very bright litigators."

Notable practitioners

Riyaz Kanji is regarded as a "very skilled litigator" in his advocacy on behalf of tribal clients. One source calls him "one of the preeminent minds in Indian country litigation."

Cory Albright is a respected litigator with trial experience in cases involving matters of tribal sovereignty, tax and natural resource rights.

Phillip Katzen handles federal litigation involving issues such as the protection of natural resources, tribal treaties and taxation.

Department profile by Kanji & Katzen PLLC

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Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP - Native American Law

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC, Albuquerque, San Diego and Anchorage.

What the team is known for A longstanding and respected Native American law boutique, well known for acting exclusively on behalf of tribal clients in litigation, tribal counseling and water, fishing and hunting rights cases. Represents clients at all levels of state, tribal and federal courts and tribunals.

Strengths The team is praised for being "extremely good lawyers" and "specialists" in Native American matters. Interviewees add: "They've got some really top-notch lawyers there."

Notable practitioners

Reid Chambers is "really tremendous," according to sources. His long-established practice spans all tribal law matters, from water rights and trust acquisitions to Alaskan tribal rights.

Peers say "amazing litigator" Lloyd Miller is "appropriately recognized as a great leader in Alaskan law and policy."

Harry Sachse is a tribal litigation expert with an enduring reputation for excellence.

Mary Pavel handles appropriation matters and tribal settlements for clients. Peers describe her as "a very strong tribal advocate." Further interviewees note: "She does an admirable job in a tough legislative environment."

Douglas Endreson enjoys a reputation as a "great advocate" among his peers. His practice includes matters relating to environmental law, water rights, taxation and gaming.

Department profile by Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

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Faegre Baker Daniels - Native American Law

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Minneapolis.

What the team is known for Provides high-quality advice to tribal and nontribal clients in a range of matters. Noted for its expertise in areas such as tax-exempt financing, Indian gaming law, real estate and environmental law. Facilitated financing deals for over 120 tribes across the country.

Strengths Clients commend the "experienced" team at Faegre Baker Daniels for being "attentive, thorough and prompt while providing outstanding service."

Work highlights Represented Prairie Island Indian Community in developing and financing a large water park, spa and fitness center, as well as other renovations.

Advised Citizens Bank on Indian and tribal law in connection with a nationally syndicated loan to fund a casino for Jamul Indian Village of California.

Significant clients Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.

Notable practitioners

Aaron Harkins is widely respected for his Native American finance practice and also handles litigation matters for tribal clients. One client characterizes him as "very strong at adopting a client mindset and very strong on the particular context of the Native American tribes."

Kent Richey is a distinguished finance attorney with a reputation among tribal clients for being a "guru for commercial and finance legal issues in Indian country." He handles bond offerings, bank loans and other transactions and is described by one source as the "best Indian gaming lawyer in the land."

Mariko Hernandez acts for tribes and lenders on a wide array of tribal finance transactions. Clients describe her as "very easy to work with and very agreeable," adding: "She's very intelligent and provides efficient effective legal counsel on issues relating to finance and financial transactions."

Department profile by Faegre Baker Daniels

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Greenberg Traurig, PA - Native American Law

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Denver.

What the team is known for Offers an interdisciplinary practice encompassing tribal economic development, financial transactions, energy and natural resources law, and federal policy matters. Has experience at all levels of tribal, state and federal courts.

Strengths Sources say: "The team has been very responsive and professional. The level of service is excellent and the breadth of knowledge is impressive."

Work highlights Acts as outside general counsel for Ute Mountain Ute Tribe on a wide range of matters spanning child welfare, law enforcement, energy and regulatory issues.

Successfully represented North American Coal Corporation in its bid to be the contract miner for the Navajo Mine, the sole source of coal for the Four Corners Power Plant in northeastern New Mexico.

Significant clients Fresenius Medical Care North America, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Crow Tribe, Bill Barrett Corporation, Upland Desert Popcorn.

Notable practitioners

Troy Eid is chair of the Indian Law & Order Commission and a respected litigator at the tribal, state and federal level. Sources describe him as "an astute legal writer" with "an excellent work ethic."

Jennifer Weddle is an expert in tribal economic development, natural resource matters and tribal finance. She enjoys a reputation for being "a real leader in work representing tribes in short-term commercial lending."

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Holland & Knight LLP - Native American Law

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Anchorage.

What the team is known for A flourishing Indian law outfit covering a broad range of matters including gaming, government relations, environmental law and public policy issues. Also handles oil and gas regulatory and transactional work for tribes. Clients include tribal governments and Alaska Native Corporations.

Strengths Clients describe the team as a "pleasure to work with," elaborating that the attorneys "solve the issues" and have "gone above and beyond" to provide excellent client service.

Work highlights Represented the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in a variety of transactional, legislative and contentious matters.

Representing St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in securing federal legislation to settle a longstanding land claim litigation.

Significant clients National Congress of American Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Tejon Indian Tribe, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Notable practitioners

Interviewees describe Philip Baker-Shenk as "a good, careful practitioner" and "a consummate professional." He is an astute counselor to Indian tribal governments on gaming, alternative energy development and fee-to-trust land recovery, among other matters.

Jerome Levine heads the firm's national Indian law group from Los Angeles, where he is recognized for his long-established and highly reputed tribal gaming practice.

Kathleen Nilles is a well-regarded tribal tax attorney who commands respect for her considerable knowledge in the space. Sources call her a "leading light" in the sector. A large part of her practice consists of structuring tribal business entities and economic development projects.

Walter Featherly is extremely well regarded for his "expert" knowledge of Alaskan tribal law issues and work with Alaska Native groups. He is the executive partner of the firm's Anchorage office.

James Meggesto advises in connection with a wide range of Indian law matters including finance, gaming and litigation. He is also a member of the Onondaga Nation.

Department profile by Holland & Knight LLP

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Modrall Sperling - Native American Law

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices are Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

What the team is known for Recognized expertise in a range of contentious and noncontentious areas, including energy, environment, real property rights and finance. Also has considerable experience negotiating agreements for the protection of cultural resources, and advising on ethical issues and legal malpractice related to tribal law and enterprises.

Strengths Sources praise the team for its "excellent knowledge of the law, great negotiating skills and strong sensitivity to tribal culture."

Work highlights Acting as lead counsel for Enel Green Power with respect to cultural resources, tribal mineral estate and other Indian law issues pertaining to the development of the Osage Wind Project in Oklahoma.

Representing Pueblo of Pojoaque in ongoing adjudication to determine all water rights in the Nambe-Tesuque-Pojoaque Basin.

Significant clients BHP Billiton, Enterprise Products Partners, Encana Oil & Gas, Western Refining, Union Pacific.

Notable practitioners

One source describes Lynn Slade as "the godfather of New Mexico Indian law." Peers note: "He is really a stoic litigator who is never afraid of tackling the tough issues. He is viewed as somebody who's really capable and wants to get the best result." His practice encompasses environmental law, energy work and project development.

Walter Stern represents companies across the USA in their dealings with Native American tribes. Clients describe him as "outstanding," and peers view him as a "great litigator."

Brian Nichols is a litigator with broad experience in Native American matters, including those involving natural resources and employment law. Interviewees note Nichols's burgeoning reputation in this space. One client calls him "a lawyer's lawyer," emphasizing his detailed knowledge of relevant case law.

Deana Bennett was recently made partner. Her practice is centered on natural resource development on public and tribal land. One impressed client describes her as "terrific."

Department profile by Modrall Sperling

Since 1978, Modrall Sperling’s Native American Law practice has represented clients in Indian country involving more than 40 tribal nations in over 20 states, including Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, and across the Southwest.  Our work includes: 

  • Advising clients in the energy and transportation sectors about structuring transactions and business practices to reduce the unique risks of doing business with tribal nations and on tribal lands on issues including sovereign immunity, treaty rights, and jurisdiction.
  • Representing clients in all sectors when disputes arise, often involving enforceability, jurisdiction, taxation, employment, cultural resources, and personal injury. 
  • Negotiating directly with tribal nations and structuring transactions to ensure documents support stable transactions, such as leases, development agreements, and sale of assets.
  • Drafting public comments on rule changes, including recent rights-of-way rules.
  • Drafting amicus briefs for key cases, including the Dollar General case in the Supreme Court.
  • Representing clients in tribal courts and agencies in litigation defining scope of tribal jurisdiction, personal injury and employment.  
  • Advising on business practices, for instance, compliance with tribal employment and tax laws.
  • Advising non-tribal governments in disputes with tribal nations, particularly regarding land status and taxation.


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Van Ness Feldman LLP - Native American Law

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A comprehensive Native American law practice, noted for its strength in areas such as tribal energy development, natural resources and environmental law. Well known for its work advising tribal, local and federal governments on environmental preservation and protection of endangered species on Indian land. Helps maintain Indian and Alaska Native ownership of lands, advising on the preservation of aboriginal hunting and fishing rights.

Strengths The team draws praise for its "deep expertise in the Native Claims Settlement Act." Another source notes appreciatively that they are "very knowledgeable and have increased their number of tribal attorneys."

Work highlights Represented Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes in their recent acquisition of the Se'liš Ksanka Ql'ispe' Hydroelectric Project and ongoing regulatory, transactional and litigation matters relating to it.

Advised the Guidiville Indian Rancheria in efforts to draft new regulations and supervisory examination guidelines for its licensed business in addition to representing the tribe in a variety of litigation and transactional matters.

Significant clients Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Doyon, Senate Roundtable on the Causes and Effects of Traumatic Stress in Native American Communities, North Slope Borough, Alaska Federation of Natives.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Edward Gehres continues to enjoy a strong reputation among clients and peers alike. Sources call him "super-knowledgeable" and "really good on tribal sovereignty issues."

Department profile by Van Ness Feldman LLP

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Dorsey & Whitney LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Minneapolis.

What the team is known for A versatile, full-service firm offering breadth and depth of expertise encompassing finance, employment law, litigation, economic development, taxation and governmental relations, for both tribal and nontribal clients. Advises Alaska Native Corporations on matters including M&A and natural resource management.

Strengths Clients say the attorneys "are very accessible and very responsive; they always want to be very helpful and the work is typically very good."

Work highlights Representing the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in a suit against Michigan state officials for violating federal law in the enforcement of the Michigan Sales Tax Act and Michigan Use Tax Act against the Community and its members.

Defended Miami Tribe of Oklahoma in several pieces of litigation concerning the legality of the tribe's payday lending business.

Significant clients Gila River Indian Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Afognak Native Corporation, Cook Inlet Region, Capital One.

Notable practitioners

Skip Durocher is known for his Indian gaming and commercial litigation practice, having spent over 20 years working in the sector. Clients describe him as "a proactive thinker" and "a top-notch litigator."

One client praises Mary Streitz as "the best Indian tax attorney in the United States," and she is elsewhere commended for her client care skills and responsiveness.

Department profile by Dorsey & Whitney LLP

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Drummond Woodsum - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Portland, Maine.

What the team is known for Recognized for the excellence of its Indian finance and economic development practice. Frequently acts for tribes in developing, financing and subsequent operation of Indian tribal enterprises, as well as demonstrating great expertise in labor and employment cases. Also represents tribes in sovereignty issues and jurisdictional disputes.

Work highlights Representing Paskenta Band as general counsel in a variety of matters concerning tribal business development.

Launched the nationwide Tribal Human Resources Certification Training Program in collaboration with the National Native American Human Resources Association.

Significant clients Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, Penobscot Nation and Penobscot Nation Enterprises, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.

Notable practitioners

Robert Gips advises tribes on local and national government issues and corporate matters. Peers regard him as "an incredible deal lawyer - one of the founders of Indian gaming in the USA."

Kaighn Smith's practice encompasses sovereignty issues, environmental law, and fishing and water rights, among other issues. He is, according to one source, an "outstanding litigator, particularly on labor and employment regulatory cases."

Department profile by Drummond Woodsum

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Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A boutique firm committed to Native American issues. Provides legal counsel and representation in tribal affairs, sovereignty issues, natural resources, healthcare and advice on economic development. Has represented tribal clients before tribal and federal courts, including several appearances before the US Supreme Court.

Strengths Peers describe Hobbs Straus as "a fine firm providing good service to Indian country."

Notable practitioners

Jerry Straus continues to enjoy an outstanding reputation for his knowledge and experience, with one source calling him "absolutely the dean of Indian law."

Joseph Webster is an up-and-coming star of the Native American legal space. He assists tribes with gaming, economic development and self-determination issues, among other matters.

Department profile by Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP

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Hogen Adams - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is St. Paul, Minnesota.

What the team is known for A specialist firm advising tribes and their partners in the Upper Midwest and nationwide on a variety of matters, including financial transactions, hunting rights and gaming litigation. It also assists tribes with drafting, reviewing and revising tribal governance and policy documentation.

Strengths One impressed client says that the firm "understands tribal culture and attitudes and is sensitive to political implications. Our legal matters are handled with integrity and concern for achieving our goals."

Notable practitioners

Vanya Hogen is an experienced litigator at all levels and active advising tribes on transactional matters. Clients say her "diplomatic, practical approach is very effective in enabling our tribe to achieve its goals."

Andrew Adams is chair of the Indian Bar Association. Sources describe him as "a wonderful lawyer."

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Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Atlanta and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A burgeoning litigation, finance and government affairs practice, providing representation and counsel to tribal governments, organizations and businesses. The team also represents tribal clients in matters concerning tribal sovereignty and the protection of natural resources.

Strengths Members of the team are described as "knowledgeable and creative when it comes to problem solving" by satisfied clients.

Work highlights Representing the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in a federal lawsuit seeking to enjoin the tax assessor of Escambia County, Alabama from assessing taxes on the tribe's trust lands.

Representing Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana and its online lending enterprises in a range of issues, including government relations, code development, transactions and employment.

Significant clients Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians.

Notable practitioners

Rob Roy Smith is a tribal litigation and financing specialist with a strong reputation among clients and peers alike. One client comments that he has an "excellent understanding of Indian and environmental law" and is "responsive and effective in providing legal and government relations services" to the tribe.

One source calls Charles Galbraith an "outstanding litigator." He is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and was previously appointed by the White House to manage the government's relationship with 566 tribal governments and Native American people.

Venus Prince served as Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs in Washington, DC prior to joining the firm. Peers regard her as "a great addition" to the department, noting her strong reputation in Indian country.

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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

What the team is known for A Native American law group well regarded for its skill in financial transactions to fund health clinics, cultural centers and tribal infrastructure development as well as litigation and energy development. Served as bond counsel on the first government bonds publicly offered to tribes.

Notable practitioners

Townsend Hyatt heads the team and garners praise for his handling of Native American financing matters. Sources say he is "knowledgeable and easy to work with."

Ramon Galvan acts as lender's counsel on Native American financings, including casino construction and expansion projects.

Department profile by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

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Perkins Coie LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Anchorage and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Fields a strong team with significant expertise advising and acting for clients in matters such as treaty and subsistence rights, tribal acknowledgment, Indian gaming, trust acquisition and intergovernmental agreements. Attorneys offer assistance with high-stakes litigation, strategic counseling and business negotiations.

Strengths Clients report: "They've been fantastic. They have done everything that we've asked of them and made recommendations that kept us ahead of the game."

Another says that their attorneys "are extremely professional, candid, ethical and exceptionally skilled in their areas of specialty."

Work highlights Represented Arctic Slope Regional Corporation as an intervening defendant in litigation in federal court concerning an oil and gas development located on native land on the North Slope of Alaska.

Defending Klickitat Public Utility District against claims relating to damages to the Yakama Tribe's reservation allegedly caused by KPUD utility lines.

Significant clients Navajo Nation, Viejas Band of Jumeyaay Indians, Kent School (Connecticut), Pacific International Terminals, Cook Inlet Region.

Notable practitioners

Charles Curtis is a respected litigator with a strong reputation for his work with tribal entities, individuals and tribal governments in public policy matters, IP claims and environmental disputes. Sources call him "an excellent Indian law lawyer," adding: "He is a great researcher and has strong analytical and writing skills."

Co-head of the team Jena MacLean advises tribal and nontribal clients on matters including tribal treaties rights, trust acquisition and development issues. One source says she is "one of the brightest attorneys I've ever worked with: extremely dedicated and sensitive to clients."

Donald Baur co-leads the firm's Native American practice. His work includes matters relating to Alaska Native Corporations and subsistence rights, natural resource development, Indian gaming and business transactions. Sources describe him as "extremely knowledgeable in fee-to-trust administrative and litigation processes" and "one of the consummate experts in this field."

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Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC

What the team is known for Continues to impress in the Native American law space, representing tribes and entities doing business with tribes on a broad range of issues including lobbying work and matters pertaining to energy development, federal recognition and gaming development. Advises tribal clients on healthcare, housing and environmental law.

Notable practitioners

Paul Moorehead's practice is focused on federal Native American law and policy, having previously served as chief counsel and staff director to the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He advises tribal governments in all areas of law. Sources call him "a very good lawyer."

Kevin Wadzinski assists tribes with a broad range of matters including economic development, state tax issues and gaming regulatory matters. He earns praise for his ability to put his clients' interests first, while maintaining a positive and productive relationship with the other side.

Brian Gunn is held "in high regard" for his work representing tribes in the US Congress and before federal agencies. His areas of specific focus include natural resources and public lands, energy development and the federal budget.

Department profile by Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Recognized for its strength in representing tribes, tribal agencies and entities conducting business with tribes in a range of matters, including financings for casinos and construction projects. Also acts extensively on disputes arising from the Labor Relations Act and land-to-trust acquisitions, as well as issues relating to tribal and cultural objects, centers and museums.

Work highlights Represented the Viejas Tribe of Kumeyaay Indians in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement between a tribe and a union in California.

Represented Bank of America, as lead bank in connection with a $93 million syndicated term and revolving credit facilities to a tribe in Arizona.

Significant clients Wells Fargo, Regions Bank, Prudential Insurance, Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, California Valley Miwok Tribe.

Notable practitioners

Christine Swanick advises tribes on Indian land status, energy and financing projects on tribal lands. Clients regard her "base of experience" and "willingness to go the extra mile to make sure the clients are happy" as key distinguishing factors.

Sources describe Wilda Wahpepah as "terrific, a real technician on tribal finance deals" and "very diligent, very thorough." Her practice includes advice relating to tribal jurisdiction and governmental matters as well as financial transactions.

Charbel Lahoud handles financing transactions for Native American tribes. Clients describe him as "unbelievably dedicated and hard-working."

Department profile by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

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WilmerHale - Native American Law

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers USA guide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Denver and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A prominent firm renowned for counseling tribal governments on complex federal law questions and litigation on federal matters. Also represents tribes in litigation at both the trial and appellate level in matters such as gaming, breach-of-trust actions and land claims.

Strengths Clients report: "They've been excellent in every respect in all the work they've done."

Work highlights Representing Jicarilla Apache Nation in claims against the US government involving federal mismanagement of the nation's investment assets and timber, oil and gas resources.

Representing the Catawba Tribe of North and South Carolina in connection with its land-to-trust application pending with the Secretary of the Interior.

Significant clients Tohono O'odham Nation, Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria, National Congress of American Indians, North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, San Luis Rey Indian Water Authority.

Notable practitioners

Experienced litigator Danielle Spinelli is regarded by market sources as "an incredibly talented lawyer with a great deal of poise, confidence and ability." She represents Indian tribes in litigation and appeals involving gaming, jurisdiction and breach of trust issues.

Seth Waxman enjoys a national reputation as one of the nation's best appellate litigators. Sources describe him as a "talented appellant litigator" who is "very impressive in court."

Department profile by WilmerHale

Providing sophisticated counsel on complex regulatory issues and high-stakes litigation while leveraging the experience of some of the nation’s best strategic counselors and advocates focused on tribal issues.

Led by a former Secretary of the Interior and a former Solicitor General, WilmerHale’s Native American practice is uniquely positioned to counsel tribal governments on difficult or unsettled legal questions, and to advocate for the rights of tribes (and their partners) in complex litigation and before federal agencies. The marriage of our Washington DC experience—a core element of the firm’s brand—and our presence in the Rocky Mountain region enables us to understand the unique challenges the Native American community faces and reflects our commitment to helping our clients assert their rights, protect their sovereignty, and preserve their resources.

We focus on high-stakes, sophisticated litigation and complex, high-profile regulatory matters on behalf of our clients, representing tribes on a variety of issues, including energy and natural resource development, land acquisition, water rights, gaming matters, and issues of tribal sovereignty.

To learn more, visit us at: https://www.wilmerhale.com/native-american-law/

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Senior Statesmen

Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jerry Straus continues to enjoy an outstanding reputation for his knowledge and experience, with one source calling him "absolutely the dean of Indian law."

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Band 1

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Reid Chambers is "really tremendous," according to sources. His long-established practice spans all tribal law matters, from water rights and trust acquisitions to Alaskan tribal rights.

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Band 1

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Troy Eid is chair of the Indian Law & Order Commission and a respected litigator at the tribal, state and federal level. Sources describe him as "an astute legal writer" with "an excellent work ethic."

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Band 1

Dickinson Wright

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources describe Glenn Feldman of Dickinson Wright as "a phenomenal lawyer" and "the father of Indian gaming," saying: "People speak of him with reverence."

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Drummond Woodsum

From the Chambers USA guide

Robert Gips advises tribes on local and national government issues and corporate matters. Peers regard him as "an incredible deal lawyer - one of the founders of Indian gaming in the USA."

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Band 1

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Townsend Hyatt heads the team and garners praise for his handling of Native American financing matters. Sources say he is "knowledgeable and easy to work with."

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Band 1

Kanji & Katzen PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Riyaz Kanji is regarded as a "very skilled litigator" in his advocacy on behalf of tribal clients. One source calls him "one of the preeminent minds in Indian country litigation."

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Band 1

Law Office of Arlinda Locklear

From the Chambers USA guide

Arlinda Locklear of Law Office of Arlinda Locklear has an outstanding reputation for securing tribal recognition for Native Americans. Peers regard her as one of the "greatest Indian land attorneys in the country."

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Band 1

Steven Paul McSloy

Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Steven McSloy of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP is a highly regarded tribal finance lawyer handling high-value financings for the Navajo Nation, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and others. A client describes him as "a wealth of information" and "one of the most influential and knowledgeable attorneys in the practice of Indian law."

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Band 1

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers say "amazing litigator" Lloyd Miller is "appropriately recognized as a great leader in Alaskan law and policy."

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Band 1

Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Paul Moorehead's practice is focused on federal Native American law and policy, having previously served as chief counsel and staff director to the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He advises tribal governments in all areas of law. Sources call him "a very good lawyer."

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Band 1

Donald R Pongrace

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients highlight Donald Pongrace as "really exceptional on tribal business agreements." He heads the firm's American Indian law and policy practice and handles gaming compacts, land and water rights, and advice to tribal governments, appearing before the federal, state and tribal courts.

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Band 1

Faegre Baker Daniels

From the Chambers USA guide

Kent Richey is a distinguished finance attorney with a reputation among tribal clients for being a "guru for commercial and finance legal issues in Indian country." He handles bond offerings, bank loans and other transactions and is described by one source as the "best Indian gaming lawyer in the land."

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Band 1

Dentons LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Heather Sibbison is head of the firm's Native American law and policy group, earning praise for her work concerning land and water rights for tribal clients. Sources say she is "among the very best," praising her particularly for her client relationship management skills.

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Band 1

Modrall Sperling

From the Chambers USA guide

One source describes Lynn Slade as "the godfather of New Mexico Indian law." Peers note: "He is really a stoic litigator who is never afraid of tackling the tough issues. He is viewed as somebody who's really capable and wants to get the best result." His practice encompasses environmental law, energy work and project development.

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Band 1

Christine L Swanick

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Christine Swanick advises tribes on Indian land status, energy and financing projects on tribal lands. Clients regard her "base of experience" and "willingness to go the extra mile to make sure the clients are happy" as key distinguishing factors.

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Band 1

Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Kevin Wadzinski assists tribes with a broad range of matters including economic development, state tax issues and gaming regulatory matters. He earns praise for his ability to put his clients' interests first, while maintaining a positive and productive relationship with the other side.

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Band 2

Philip M. Baker-Shenk

Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Interviewees describe Philip Baker-Shenk as "a good, careful practitioner" and "a consummate professional." He is an astute counselor to Indian tribal governments on gaming, alternative energy development and fee-to-trust land recovery, among other matters.

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Band 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Peers say Allison Binney is "very sharp" and "a really great policy advocate." She advises tribes on political strategy in governmental negotiations, the development of internal codes and laws, and land, tax, gaming and education matters.

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Band 2

Charles G Curtis Jr

Perkins Coie LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Charles Curtis is a respected litigator with a strong reputation for his work with tribal entities, individuals and tribal governments in public policy matters, IP claims and environmental disputes. Sources call him "an excellent Indian law lawyer," adding: "He is a great researcher and has strong analytical and writing skills."

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Band 2

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Skip Durocher is known for his Indian gaming and commercial litigation practice, having spent over 20 years working in the sector. Clients describe him as "a proactive thinker" and "a top-notch litigator."

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Band 2

Forman & Associates

From the Chambers USA guide

California-based George Forman of Forman & Associates is regarded as a "strong tribal advocate" in the sector. He acts for tribal and nontribal entities serving Indian communities.

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Band 2

Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

From the Chambers USA guide

Brian Gunn is held "in high regard" for his work representing tribes in the US Congress and before federal agencies. His areas of specific focus include natural resources and public lands, energy development and the federal budget.

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Band 2

Faegre Baker Daniels

From the Chambers USA guide

Aaron Harkins is widely respected for his Native American finance practice and also handles litigation matters for tribal clients. One client characterizes him as "very strong at adopting a client mindset and very strong on the particular context of the Native American tribes."

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Band 2

Hogen Adams

From the Chambers USA guide

Vanya Hogen is an experienced litigator at all levels and active advising tribes on transactional matters. Clients say her "diplomatic, practical approach is very effective in enabling our tribe to achieve its goals."

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Band 2

Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jerome Levine heads the firm's national Indian law group from Los Angeles, where he is recognized for his long-established and highly reputed tribal gaming practice.

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Band 2

Perkins Coie LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Co-head of the team Jena MacLean advises tribal and nontribal clients on matters including tribal treaties rights, trust acquisition and development issues. One source says she is "one of the brightest attorneys I've ever worked with: extremely dedicated and sensitive to clients."

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Band 2

Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Padraic McCoy represents Indian tribes, developers and investors in a broad array of matters, particularly transactional and regulatory issues and tribal finance. Sources respect the "broad spectrum" of Indian law he practices, and regard him as "a fine lawyer."

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Band 2

Kathleen M Nilles

Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Kathleen Nilles is a well-regarded tribal tax attorney who commands respect for her considerable knowledge in the space. Sources call her a "leading light" in the sector. A large part of her practice consists of structuring tribal business entities and economic development projects.

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Band 2

Rey-Bear McLaughlin LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Dan Rey-Bear of Rey-Bear McLaughlin LLP is a "terrific, top-notch lawyer," according to interviewees. He handles litigation, gaming and transactional work for tribal and nontribal entities.

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Band 2

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Michael Rossetti advises clients on land use and acquisition, among a variety of Indian law matters. Clients characterize him as "a brilliant strategist and a no-nonsense problem solver."

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Band 2

Thomas L Sansonetti

Holland & Hart LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Clients say Thomas Sansonetti of Holland & Hart LLP is "very practical and excellent at understanding what the issue is and how it will impact on us." He recently advised the Oneida Indian Nation of New York on several property development projects on tribal land.

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Band 2

Dentons LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

George Skibine is a "general expert on Indian land and Indian gaming issues," according to interviewees. In addition to his gaming work, his practice encompasses fee-to-trust transactions and tribal recognition and self-determination contracts.

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Band 2

Heidi M Staudenmaier

Snell & Wilmer LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Heidi Staudenmaier of Snell & Wilmer LLP is highly respected for her gaming and finance work for Native American tribes and their associates.

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Band 2

Walter E Stern III

Modrall Sperling

From the Chambers USA guide

Walter Stern represents companies across the USA in their dealings with Native American tribes. Clients describe him as "outstanding," and peers view him as a "great litigator." 

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Band 2

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

One client praises Mary Streitz as "the best Indian tax attorney in the United States," and she is elsewhere commended for her client care skills and responsiveness.

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Band 2

Jennifer H Weddle

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Jennifer Weddle is an expert in tribal economic development, natural resource matters and tribal finance. She enjoys a reputation for being "a real leader in work representing tribes in short-term commercial lending."

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Band 3

Kanji & Katzen PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Cory Albright is a respected litigator with trial experience in cases involving matters of tribal sovereignty, tax and natural resource rights.

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Band 3

Appleby Law PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Nancy Appleby of Appleby Law PLLC handles real estate and project development on tribal land, including Indian country financing, leasing and title insurance.

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Band 3

Perkins Coie LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Donald Baur co-leads the firm's Native American practice. His work includes matters relating to Alaska Native Corporations and subsistence rights, natural resource development, Indian gaming and business transactions. Sources describe him as "extremely knowledgeable in fee-to-trust administrative and litigation processes" and "one of the consummate experts in this field."

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Band 3

Dykema Gossett PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Lance Boldrey of Dykema Gossett PLLC handles tribal and commercial gaming matters as well as economic development for tribal and nontribal entities. One impressed client says: "His subject matter expertise was second to none," and praises his organizational and client relationship management skills.

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Band 3

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Douglas Endreson enjoys a reputation as a "great advocate" among his peers. His practice includes matters relating to environmental law, water rights, taxation and gaming.

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Band 3

Walter T Featherly

Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Walter Featherly is extremely well regarded for his "expert" knowledge of Alaskan tribal law issues and work with Alaska Native groups. He is the executive partner of the firm's Anchorage office.

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Band 3

Gabriel S Galanda

Galanda Broadman

From the Chambers USA guide

Gabriel Galanda of Galanda Broadman handles litigation and crisis management for Native American tribes in the Northwest region. Market sources regard him as "very accomplished," praising his willingness to take on challenging and risky cases and noting: "He really is sincere in his love of Indian law and work in Indian country."

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Band 3

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Ramon Galvan acts as lender's counsel on Native American financings, including casino construction and expansion projects.

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Edward D. Gehres III

Van Ness Feldman LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Practice head Edward Gehres continues to enjoy a strong reputation among clients and peers alike. Sources call him "super-knowledgeable" and "really good on tribal sovereignty issues."

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Band 3

Mariko E. Hernandez

Faegre Baker Daniels

From the Chambers USA guide

Mariko Hernandez acts for tribes and lenders on a wide array of tribal finance transactions. Clients describe her as "very easy to work with and very agreeable," adding: "She's very intelligent and provides efficient effective legal counsel on issues relating to finance and financial transactions."

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Band 3

Phillip E. Katzen

Kanji & Katzen PLLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Phillip Katzen handles federal litigation involving issues such as the protection of natural resources, tribal treaties and taxation.

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Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Charbel Lahoud handles financing transactions for Native American tribes. Clients describe him as "unbelievably dedicated and hard-working." 

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Holland & Knight LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

James Meggesto advises in connection with a wide range of Indian law matters including finance, gaming and litigation. He is also a member of the Onondaga Nation.

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Modrall Sperling

From the Chambers USA guide

Brian Nichols is a litigator with broad experience in Native American matters, including those involving natural resources and employment law. Interviewees note Nichols's burgeoning reputation in this space. One client calls him "a lawyer's lawyer," emphasizing his detailed knowledge of relevant case law.

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Band 3

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Mary Pavel handles appropriation matters and tribal settlements for clients. Peers describe her as "a very strong tribal advocate." Further interviewees note: "She does an admirable job in a tough legislative environment."

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Band 3

Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Harry Sachse is a tribal litigation expert with an enduring reputation for excellence.

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Thomas P. Schlosser

Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville

From the Chambers USA guide

Thomas Schlosser of Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & Somerville is an experienced and respected litigator who is noted for his representation of tribes in a broad range of disputes.

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Band 3

Drummond Woodsum

From the Chambers USA guide

Kaighn Smith's practice encompasses sovereignty issues, environmental law, and fishing and water rights, among other issues. He is, according to one source, an "outstanding litigator, particularly on labor and employment regulatory cases."

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Band 3

Danielle Spinelli

WilmerHale

From the Chambers USA guide

Experienced litigator Danielle Spinelli is regarded by market sources as "an incredibly talented lawyer with a great deal of poise, confidence and ability."  She represents Indian tribes in litigation and appeals involving gaming, jurisdiction and breach of trust issues.

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Band 3

Tilden Toelupe LLC

From the Chambers USA guide

Mark Tilden represents tribal governments in general counsel matters, administrative law, gaming and Indian child welfare matters.

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Band 3

WilmerHale

From the Chambers USA guide

Seth Waxman enjoys a national reputation as one of the nation's best appellate litigators. Sources describe him as a "talented appellant litigator" who is "very impressive in court."

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Up and Coming

Hogen Adams

From the Chambers USA guide

Andrew Adams is chair of the Indian Bar Association. Sources describe him as "a wonderful lawyer."

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Up and Coming

Modrall Sperling

From the Chambers USA guide

Deana Bennett was recently made partner. Her practice is centered on natural resource development on public and tribal land. One impressed client describes her as "terrific."

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Up and Coming

Charles Galbraith

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

One source calls Charles Galbraith an "outstanding litigator." He is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and was previously appointed by the White House to manage the government's relationship with 566 tribal governments and Native American people.

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Up and Coming

Robins Kaplan LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Before joining Robins Kaplan LLP, Brendan Johnson served as US Attorney for the District of South Dakota, where he cultivated a "phenomenal reputation in Indian country." He represents tribal interests in a range of law and policy matters including voting rights and cannabis legislation.

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Up and Coming

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Venus Prince served as Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs in Washington, DC prior to joining the firm. Peers regard her as "a great addition" to the department, noting her strong reputation in Indian country.

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Up and Coming

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Rob Roy Smith is a tribal litigation and financing specialist with a strong reputation among clients and peers alike. One client comments that he has an "excellent understanding of Indian and environmental law" and is "responsive and effective in providing legal and government relations services" to the tribe.

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Up and Coming

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Sources describe Wilda Wahpepah as "terrific, a real technician on tribal finance deals" and "very diligent, very thorough." Her practice includes advice relating to tribal jurisdiction and governmental matters as well as financial transactions.

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Up and Coming

Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP

From the Chambers USA guide

Joseph Webster is an up-and-coming star of the Native American legal space. He assists tribes with gaming, economic development and self-determination issues, among other matters.

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