Areas of Practice
The Firm offers the advantages of a full-service firm to assist tribes, tribal entities, and companies doing business in Indian country. Lawyers of our firm are licensed to practice in the state courts of New Mexico and Colorado, the federal courts of the District of New Mexico and the Tenth Circuit, and the tribal courts of Acoma Pueblo, Hopi Tribe, Isleta Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Laguna Pueblo, Navajo Nation, Santa Clara Pueblo, Southern Ute Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Ysleta del Sur Tribe, and Zuni Pueblo.
The Firm and its lawyers are skilled in Indian law and have extensive experience in a number of areas. We work with our clients in various capacities, including serving as general counsel for tribes, advising on specific transactions involving tribes, and advocating our client's position in individual lawsuits. Our team of lawyers has experience in the areas of federal Indian law, tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction, governmental relations, administrative law, Indian gaming, civil litigation, commercial transactions, mortgage and commercial finance, real estate, land disputes, tribal probates, bond issues, taxation, statutory drafting, natural resource law, environmental law and water law.
The Firm has experience in advising tribes and litigating issues concerning the scope of tribal sovereignty, federal power and obligations relating to tribes, and the scope of federal and tribal preemption of state law in Indian country. The Firm also has experience handling matters involving the relationship between the State of New Mexico and Indian tribes, including specific experience handling both transactional and litigation matters in such areas as Indian gaming, water law, taxation and tribal/state ownership of land. Specific examples of our professional experience are listed below:
• We currently represent, and have represented, multiple Section 17 corporations in litigation to enforce their commercial contracts, including security agreements, open accounts and promissory notes. We have also advised these corporations about employment, tax, bankruptcy, general commercial contract preparation, and real estate transactions. Also, we have advised the Board of Directors of a Section 17 corporation about governance, operational and compliance matters.
• We represented an enterprise of a New Mexico pueblo in connection with the creation of a $65,000,000 credit facility to be used to finance the costs of construction for pueblo projects. We negotiated documents, advised on the structure of the transaction and drafted ordinances for adoption by the Tribal Council.
• We represented a tribal non profit corporation in connection with the construction of a multi million dollar facility, including advising our client on the enforcement of a performance bond.
• We represented a branch of tribal government in an appeal of a tribal district court decision involving the balance of powers among branches of the tribal government.
• We have represented tribal candidates in tribal election disputes.
• We represented an enterprise of a New Mexico Indian tribe in connection with the negotiation and preparation of hardware and equipment leasing agreements and software licensing and maintenance agreements for video-poker machines, slot machines and the casino operating system.
• We currently represent several Indian-owned businesses. Our work for these businesses includes providing advice regarding the structure of the joint venture, qualification for Indian preference and minority-owned business programs, and the federal acquisition regulations applicable to Bureau of Indian Affairs contracts with Indian-owned businesses.
• We represented a New Mexico pueblo for many years in a long-running federal court lawsuit seeking to adjudicate the rights to surface water and groundwater of approximately 2,000 water users in the vicinity of the Pojoaque and Tesuque Rivers located north of Santa Fe.
• We have represented clients in connection with issues regarding historic and prehistoric preservation, including the requirements of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act.
• We currently represent a New Mexico pueblo's Department of Education in connection with its administrative and employment matters.
• We currently represent and have represented a non profit organization serving numerous southwestern tribes. We are assisting the non-profit in employment matters, creating a separate business entity to sell Indian merchandise, and protecting the non-profit's federally registered trademarks against unfair uses. We have represented the non-profit in its appeal to the United States Office of Personnel Management for consideration of federal funding, which included an in-depth analysis of tribal sovereignty and Congressional intent.
Related Practice Areas
Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
Corporate and Securities
Environmental and Water
Oil, Gas and Energy
State and Local Government
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