Our Work

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Successes

Here are some of the successes that I have had over the years in helping tribal governments protect treaty rights, promote better tribal government operations, and pursue greater sovereignty and self-determination

Drafted amendments to tribal casino corporation charters to improve effectiveness and legitimacy in board operations, as well as accountability to tribal government and citizens

Developed and led the effort to establish a tribal holding company, Seneca Holdings LLC, to diversify the tribal economy and expand tribal government revenue stream

Developed and implemented legal strategy to protect treaty rights by securing EPA recognition of tribal government issued wastewater discharge permit for new wastewater treatment plant

Developed and implemented legal strategy to protect treaty rights by preventing EPA regulatory interference with tribal casino construction

Developed and implemented legal strategy to protect treaty rights by preventing union organizing campaign and NLRB regulatory interference

Developed legal strategy for tribal government to cancel state thruway rights-of-way over tribal lands entered into in violation of federal non-intercourse act

Advised tribal officials during state police invasion of tribal lands in connection with state government effort to violate treaty rights and impose state taxes on tribal commerce

Developed legal strategy that led to $230 million settlement of tribal-state gaming exclusivity dispute

Initiated effort to complete $130 million new-territory casino project in Buffalo, New York with significant support from local business, political, and civic community

Led effort to enforce tribal employment rights ordinance that allowed completion of $28 million highway improvements being denied by state government

Initiated tribal effort to pursue FERC hydropower license that led to a $100 million settlement with power company and enhanced tribal rights over hydroelectric facility

Initiated efforts to incorporate the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into tribal legislation and petitions for redressing grievances to the U.S. President

Advised on comprehensive political and media strategy to elevate tribal government profile and influence regionally, statewide, and nationally

Served as primary tribal liaison on intergovernmental relations with federal, state, and local governments

Prepared expert witness report for a federal district court on the historical and legal dimensions of tribal land claim

Prepared expert witness report for a federal district court on the authority of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to oversee tribal electoral process

Developed and implemented legal strategy to allow tribal government to assume contract responsibility for certain educational services previously provided by state government

Administered tribal law enforcement departments, including police, fire, conservation, and land leasing

Administered a $130 million annual tribal government budget, saving a total of $7 million over a two year period

Advised tribal general council constitutional reform committee in development and implementation of amendments to define legislative powers, to stabilize electoral process, to create an ethics commission, and to remove approval requirements of the Secretary of the Interior, including management of the BIA amendment approval process

Developed amendments and led tribal constitutional reform effort to create tribal court of appeals, improve judicial election process, and remove state law restrictions on tribal government actions

Designed tribal tobacco regulatory system, including provisions to require tribal stamping, ensure minimum retail pricing, regulatory agency enforcement, and consistency with federal tobacco regulatory laws

Developed independent tribal government agencies to regulate delivery of tribal health care, to implement tribal housing programs, to administer tribal tobacco laws, and to pursue a FERC hydropower license

Drafted tribal ethics legislation, including establishment of tribal ethics commissions

Drafted numerous tribal codes, including education law, judicial appellate procedure rules, natural resources laws, and child welfare laws