- Winning a major victory in the Second Circuit on behalf of the Seneca Nation in long-term litigation brought by anti-sovereignty groups against the Buffalo Creek casino.
- Negotiating the placement of two Indian children into tribal foster care, and the transfer of their case from Illinois to tribal court, in a heart rendering case under the Indian Child Welfare Act.
- Successfully arbitrating a gaming compact dispute with the state of New York, saving multi-millions of dollars for our client.
- Filing amicus briefs in state and federal courts to assert our clients’ interests in areas involving state taxation, sovereignty and economic development.
- Representing an Oklahoma tribal council regarding IGRA, land claim litigation and other governmental matters.
- Defending tribal subsidiaries in lawsuits implicating tribal sovereign immunity.
- Advising an Indian tribe within the state of New York regarding the acquisition of trust land, which survived judicial scrutiny.
Given this breadth and depth of skill sets, we believe that our team is uniquely positioned to provide superior service and expertise to our clients. Our team includes:
- A former United States magistrate judge, who has authored significant opinions in the areas of sovereign immunity and land claims.
- A former counselor to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, who was involved in major policy decisions made by the Secretary; a former New York State Attorney General.
- Two Native American attorneys who concentrate their practices in federal Indian law.
- An attorney with more than 15 years of experience counseling Indian tribes on environmental, energy, and cultural resources issues.
Our team also includes a former deputy chief of staff to a senior member of the House of Representatives who has expertise in matters before various committees of jurisdiction relevant to Indian country, including the House Resources Committee.
Representing Tribal Parties in Economic Development Transactions
- Negotiating a $90 million loan transaction on behalf of an Indian nation to provide funding for a casino and resort expansion project.
- Providing the legal basis supporting the creation of a tribally-owned health care system.
- Obtaining declination letters from the National Indian Gaming Commission on behalf of Tribal clients and parties involved in refinancing for multiple projects.
- Securing trust land decisions for economic development and self-determination.
- Gaining Secretarial approval of HEARTH Act regulations for multiple tribes.
- Advising a tribal client on innovative health care initiatives.
Representing Tribes before Federal Agencies and Congress
Representing and Advising Tribes on Environment and Energy Issues
- Advising on the environmental aspects of land-to-trust conveyances;
- Leasing of Indian lands under the HEARTH Act, including drafting and securing Department of Interior approvals of tribal HEARTH Act regulations;
- Development of gaming, energy, infrastructure, transportation, flood control, and other economic development projects on Indian lands;
- Completing federal and tribal environmental review requirements; and
- Securing necessary federal environmental permits and approvals.
In addition, we have significant experience working with federal agencies, including the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, state historic preservation officers and tribal historic preservation officers to ensure that projects undertaken on or off tribal lands protect our clients’ historic and cultural resources to the maximum extent possible under federal and state laws.
- Representing and Advising Tribes on Environment and Energy Issues
- Representing Tribal Interests in the Courts
- Representing Tribal Parties in Economic Development Transactions
||Carol E. Heckman||Partner | Team Co-Leader - Indian Lawfirstname.lastname@example.org||716.853.5100 x1268|
||William L. Niebling||Senior Associateemail@example.com||202.888.7610 x1604|
||Lee M. Redeye||Associatefirstname.lastname@example.org||716.853.5100 x1382|
||Michael G. Rossetti||Office Partner-in-Charge, Washington, D.C. | Team Co-Leader - Indian Lawemail@example.com||202.888.7610 x1601|
||Ian A. Shavitz||Partner | Team Leader - Environment & Energyfirstname.lastname@example.org||202.888.5963 x1602|
||Dennis C. Vacco||Partner | Team Leader - Government Investigations & Enforcement Actionsemail@example.com||716.853.5100 x1255|