Sacks Tierney P.A.

Member of Meritas: 173 full-service law firms serving more than 200 markets worldwide

Scottsdale-Phoenix | 480.425.2600

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Judith M. Dworkin
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Chambers and Partners - Native American Law, Band 1
The Best Lawyers in America



Judith M. Dworkin

Judy Dworkin leads the firm’s Indian Law and Tribal Relations practice group. She offers broad experience in Indian law, with a major emphasis on assisting Indian tribes in achieving their economic development objectives.

Judy is listed by Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America®, and her leadership of the firm's Indian Law practice has earned "Band 1" status in "Native American Law - Arizona" by London-based Chambers and Partners.

Judy is admitted to the Navajo Nation Bar and has practiced before the Courts of the Tohono O’odham Nation, Gila River Indian Community, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribe and Navajo Nation.

Judy frequently lectures and writes articles on issues in Indian law and business development. She is the Presiding Appellate Justice of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Court and has served as a judge pro tem for the Tohono O’odham Nation and a special judge to the Fallon-Paiute Shoshone Tribe in Nevada as well as a Solicitor to the Hualapai Tribe.

In addition to her Indian Law practice, she has spent a great deal of her career focused on water rights and has taught Water Law and Natural Resources Law at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Judy was one of four private-sector finalists for the 2017 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award, presented by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

The ATHENA Awards honor women at the pinnacle of their careers who invest consistently in their profession and community and in other women.

Practice Areas

Indian Law and Tribal Relations

Water, Environmental, and Natural Resources

Business and Corporate Law

Marijuana Business Law

Honors and Awards

Foundation for Justice Award, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, 2019

Chambers and Partners: Native American Law - Arizona (Band 1), Chambers USA, 2018-2021

The Best Lawyers in America® (Native American Law, Water Law), 2009-present

Super Lawyers: Native American Law, 2014-present

AV-Preeminent® Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

"AzBusiness Leaders" (Environmental Law, 2015, 2020; Native American Law, 2019, 2021), AzBusiness Magazine

"Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona," AzBusiness Magazine, 2013-2015

"50 Most Influential Women in Business," AzBusiness Magazine, 2013

Arizona State University College of Law Award for Outstanding Alumna for Class of 1986, September 2011

Recipient, President’s Medal for Social Embeddedness, Arizona State University, 2009, in recognition of the Arizona Native Vote – Election Protection Project

Professional Activities

American Bar Association

State Bar of Arizona

Presiding Appellate Justice, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Court, 2019-present (Appellate Justice, 2015-2019)

Solicitor, Hualapai Judiciary, Hualapai Indian Tribe

Judge Pro Tem, Tribal Court of the Tohono O’odham Nation, 1995-1999

Law Clerk to Judge William C. Canby, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1986-1987

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court, 2009

Bar of the Navajo Nation, 1995

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1986

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1986

Arizona, 1986

Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals

Courts of the Hualapai and Hopi Tribes and the Tohono O’odham Nation


Cannabis Guide for the USA & Canada,American Indian & Alaska Native Tribes” and “Arizona, USA,” Meritas, January 2021

Paycheck Protection Program Loans Extended to Small Gaming Operations” (co-author), Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, April 2020

Paycheck Protection Program Loans Under the SBA Interim Final Rule” (co-
author), Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, April 2020

COVID-19: Tribal Resources Made Available Through the CARES Act” (co-author), Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, April 2020

“Construction on Indian Reservations” (chapter co-author), Construction Law Practice Manual, 3rd Ed. 2016, State Bar of Arizona

Tribes and Cannabis,” Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, July 2015

“Examination of the Phoenix Regional Water Supply for Sustainable Yield and Carrying Capacity” (with Jan C. Bush, Subhrajit Guhathakurta and John L. Keane), Natural Resources Journal, Fall 2006

Waivers of Sovereign Immunity Key to Contracting with Indian Tribes,” Southwest Contractor, 2005

Doing Business With Our Neighbor: The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

“Treatment of Indian Tribes Under Federal Environmental Statutes,” Indian Law in Arizona, 1995

“Tribal Economic Developments: Some Legal Ramifications of Organizational Form” (with C. Peter Delgado, Jr.), The Arrow, June 1995

“Plaintiffs’ Expanding Concepts of Compensation and the Courts’ Responses” (with Janet E. Kornblatt), Gonzaga Law Review, 1994/95

“Tribal Claims to Arizona’s Appropriable Waters,” Forum, Fall 1988

“Comment: Private Parties’ Rights to Recover Losses from Groundwater Contamination in Arizona,” Arizona State Law Journal, 1985


“Redistricting 101” (panelist); “Mapping and Redistricting: Drawing Minority Majority Voting Districts” (panel moderator). First Nations Voting Rights: Planting for the Future, Salt Lake City, September 2019

Establishing the Framework of Native American Land Ownership,” National Business Institute, Phoenix and Flagstaff, February 2017

State Law in Indian Country: Zoning, Taxation and Other Considerations,” National Business Institute, Phoenix and Flagstaff, February 2017

“California Tribes and Marijuana,” The Seminar Group, Santa Monica, California, October 2016

“The Challenges in Indian Country in the 21st Century: Planning, Law, Community” (co-presenter), The Graduate School of Geography and The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University, October 2016

“Arbitration Myths and Realities: Effective Meeting Management” (panelist), State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, June 2016

“Tribes and Cannabis,” The Seminar Group, Seattle, July 2015 | Related Article

“Getting Deals Done: Case Study of Common Issues in a Construction Contract,” Tribal Economic Development in the Southwest, April 2015

“Indian Tribes Within the Federal System of Government,” U.S. Consulate, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, May 2014

“The Legal Complexity of Management of Water Resources in the United States,” Sichuan University, May 2014

“The Colorado River: Converting a Natural Menace into a National Resource and Learning to Manage the Resource,” Sichuan University, May 2014

“Government Ethics in Funding & Procurement,” Navajo Law Seminar, March 2013

“Doing Business in Indian Country,” NALS of Phoenix, March 2013

“Indian Law 101,” National Business Institute Teleconference, January 2012

Indian Water Rights: Relevant Case Law,” Indian Water Law Conference, Arizona State University, October 2011

”Groundwater Management in Arizona,” presented at the Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers, April 1988


Arizona State University, J.D., cum laude, 1986: Articles Editor, Arizona State Law Journal, 1985-1986

Clark University, Ph.D., 1978

Clark University, A.M., 1975

Community Leadership

Finalist, 2017 ATHENA Businesswoman of the Year Award, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce | Award Video

Heard Museum: Board of Trustees, 2017-present

DNA People's Legal Services: Member, Board of Directors, June 2011-present

Arizona State University: Adjunct Professor, 1986-present

Arizona State University Advisory Committee, Indian Legal Program, 2006-present

Arizona Native American Economic Coalition: Board Member, 1995-1997; Conference Chair, Annual Tribal Economic Summit, 1996

University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources: Assistant Professor, 1978-1983

Language Fluency