Jenner & Block has deep experience across a broad range of Indian law issues, in both federal and state courts and in proceedings before the Department of the Interior (Offices of the Solicitor and of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (both national and regional offices) and the National Indian Gaming Commission. We have handled disputes involving gaming issues under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, including federal court litigation, and have represented clients in connection with internal leadership disputes (before the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals, the BIA, and both federal and state courts); state taxation and foreclosure actions (including both state taxation of sales of cigarettes and other products, and the application of state and local tax and zoning laws on non-trust, Indian-owned land); Indian land-into-trust issues; and a broad range of other Indian-law matters. In addition to extensive federal court litigation (with several actions currently pending), we have successfully represented clients in state court litigation, including before the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
While some of our partners have long-standing relationships with tribal clients for whom we have served as primary outside counsel, others have gained valuable experience and insights while serving in the US Department of Justice and other government organizations. Our team includes a former Deputy Associate Attorney General, former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and the former acting head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). Our lawyers also have experience supervising the Indian Resources Section, which handles all litigation in which the United States seeks to protect tribal lands, resources, jurisdiction and treaty rights. While in government, a member of our team helped lead the Tribal Trust Negotiating Team in settling complex litigation with, ultimately, 104 Indian tribes, thus providing more than $3.3 billion to tribes in exchange for the dismissal of their trust-mismanagement suits against the United States.