Legal and Professional Services

As sovereign governments surrounded by federal, state, and local governments, American Indian nations and tribes must continuously engage in government-to-government dialogue and advocacy to survive and thrive. Under the best circumstances, positive working relationships with outside governments can produce mutually beneficial “win-win” scenarios for tribal governments and their neighbors. In the worst-case circumstances, tribal governments that face perpetual hostility and opposition have limited growth opportunities and may incur considerable legal and political expense.

Odawi Law PLLC can assist clients in the following areas:

Legal Services

Robert Odawi Porter has represented Indian nations and tribes for nearly his entire 30 year legal career. He is admitted to practice law in the (United States of America, states of Connecticut and New York, and the District of Columbia), and the Seneca Nation of Indians. Rob provides legal services directly, but also partners with other lawyers and law firms to design the best legal team to address client needs.


Tribal Constitutional Reform 

Tribal governments cannot effectively function unless they have a solid governing foundation that is supported by their citizens.  A strong tribal constitution is essential to harnessing the democratic spirit of the people and channeling it to productive uses. Similarly, to function effectively and establish stable political and business relationships, tribal governments must have written and codified laws, reliable procedures and regulations, and stable business entities and administrative units. Odawi Law PLLC can help you assess the effectiveness of your constitutional system and, if necessary, advise you on developing a constitutional reform process.  We can also assist you in developing the infrastructure and management policies necessary to achieve your desired governing or business objectives. 

Tribal Court Development

One of the most important areas of tribal government engagement is the dispute resolution process. Whether a dispute arises between private individuals, or as complaints against tribal officials, tribal governments must have courts and alternative dispute resolution procedures in place to ensure that naturally occurring human conflict gets addressed in a respectful manner. A well-functioning court system promotes sovereignty as citizens resolve disputes within their own nations, rather than relying on the laws and procedures tailored to federal and state governments rather than tribal communities. Failing to provide a well functioning court system can produce unnecessary misery for not just the individuals involved, but for entire tribal communities.
Odawi Law PLLC partners with experts in tribal court development to assist tribal governments in improving their dispute resolution process.


Tribal Law Reform and Code Drafting

Modern tribal governance is increasingly dependent upon written laws, regulations, and procedures to ensure fairness and stability. Perhaps the worst approach to developing tribal laws is to simply borrow laws and codes from state and local governments. Every tribal government is unique and the best approach to code development is focused on ensuring that the development rests on a solid political and cultural foundation within the tribal society. Odawi Law PLLC has years of experience building legal infrastructure within tribal government, including comprehensive code drafting.

Media Advocacy

Traditional advocacy for Indian nations and tribes relies heavily upon legal and political strategies. However, enhanced advocacy strategies draw upon all available resources that aid in achieving the desired objective.  This includes reliance upon media, social networking, and public relations management to assist in achieving desired legal and political outcomes. Odawi Law PLLC partners with such firms as Steve Bell Communications to prepare custom-designed media management strategies to further legal and political advocacy and crisis management. 


Crisis Management

Indian nations and tribes, like all governments, periodically face crises originating from internal or external circumstances. In such times, it can be important to have strategic advice on how to minimize potential consequences and ensure restoration of normal operating conditions as soon as possible.
Odawi Law PLLC has experience handling the types of crises faced by tribal governments. Such engagements are typically short-term and we can respond quickly to any situation as circumstances dictate.

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