Indian Law

Indian Law

Drummond Woodsum’s nationally recognized Indian law group provides the highest quality services to Indian nations and their enterprises and to companies that do business with tribes across the country.  Our Indian law practice brings top tier legal, business, and transactional experience to its work with some of the country’s most successful Indian nations and enterprises.

We work with our clients to address their immediate concerns in ways that are consistent with their long-term economic and governmental objectives.  

Our Indian Law Group is part of a full service law firm.  Four of our Indian law attorneys are recognized by their peers as among the Best Lawyers in America in Native American law, and others in the Group are similarly recognized in other practice areas important to tribal clients. We draw upon a wide range of expertise in custom interdisciplinary teams as needed to best serve our clients. For example, we combine our Indian lawyers with:

  • business and commercial lawyers for gaming and other economic development work;
  • trial and appellate practitioners for litigation in federal, tribal, or state courts;
  • labor specialists for personnel and employment matters;
  • school lawyers for education-related matters; and
  • tax and affordable housing specialists to address tribal housing needs.

With this flexibility, we provide tailored legal services to meet the particular needs of our clients.

Representative clients include:

  • Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Foxwoods Development Company (CT)
  • Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut (CT)
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida (FL)
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds Casino Resort (MI)
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and Little River Casino Resort (MI)
  • Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (MI)
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (MI)
  • Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (WA)
  • Suquamish Tribe (WA)
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe (WA)
  • Squaxin Island Tribe (WA)
  • Snoqualmie Casino (WA)
  • Pueblo of Laguna Department of Education (NM)
  • Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (CA)
  • Penobscot Nation and Penobscot Indian Nation Enterprises (ME)
  • Passamaquoddy Tribe (ME)
  • Turtle Mountain Chippewa Housing Authorities (ND)
  • Tribal First
  • Amerind Risk

Business, Finance and Economic Development

  • Complex gaming and other tribal business transactions
  • Loan and other financing transactions; we have closed over $2.5 billion in tribal financings
  • Loan restructurings and workout transactions
  • National Indian Gaming Commission and tribal gaming regulatory work
  • Leasing transactions on tribal lands
  • Tribal enterprise and economic development, including New Markets Tax Credits, 8(a) and federal contracting, joint ventures, and strategies and consultation
  • Construction agreements and disputes

Litigation in Federal, State and Tribal Courts

  • Transactional and business disputes
  • Sovereignty and jurisdiction disputes; we work regularly with the NCAI/NARF Supreme Court Project
  • Employment and labor relations, including proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, the Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board
  • Alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation
  • Civil rights
  • Land, water, fishing, and waterhunting rights
  • Reservation boundary disputes

Labor and Employment Relations

  • Protection of tribal authority over labor and employment relations
  • Drafting and implement tribal labor and employment laws
  • Union solicitations, elections, and collective bargaining
  • Human resources training and advice
  • Development of fair employment practice laws
  • Personnel policies and procedures
  • I-9 Audits and other Immigration law matters

Governmental Functions

  • Gaming and non-gaming land in trust applications
  • Tribal, state and federal tax issues
  • Environmental assessments and regulatory work
  • Development of tribal codes, constitutions, and court systems

Indian Education

  • General representation of tribal school departments
  • Employment, accounting, student discipline and other policies and procedures

Tribal Housing

  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits
  • USDA Rural Housing programs
  • Leveraging NAHASDA funds


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