Sacks Tierney P.A.

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Joe Keene, Indian Law Attorney




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Joe Keene

Joe Keene’s Indian law practice encompasses tribal sovereignty, tribal governance, civil litigation and administrative hearings, Indian gaming, natural resources, economic development, employment law, and cannabis/hemp law.

Joe is admitted to practice in Arizona and Oklahoma and the courts of the Gila River Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation, and he is a judge on the Hualapai Court of Appeals.

Before joining Sacks Tierney, he clerked for the Native American Rights Fund in Washington, D.C., where he participated in federal appellate briefings on tribal issues. He also interned at the Osage Nation Attorney General’s Office, where he helped draft tribal codes, prepared court documents for state and tribal courts, and reviewed proposed legislation.

Joe works with employers on a variety of employment matters, including federal and state compliance , employee and worker classification analysis, and representation before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. Joe has advised employers on compliance obligations with respect to a broad range of applicable employment statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII, National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), ERISA, FLSA compliance issues, federal and state employee classification analysis, and wrongful termination. He also has experience working with Indian Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances (TERO), including different tribal business entities’ compliance with the applicable TEROs governing tribal preference in employment and contracting.

Joe is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation and the Cherokee Nation and grew up in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, in the Osage Nation reservation.

Practice Areas

Indian Law

Natural Resources Law

Employment Law

Marijuana Business Law

Professional Memberships

State Bar of Arizona

Oklahoma Bar Association

Navajo Nation Bar Association

Osage Nation Bar Association

Arizona Cannabis Bar Association

Professional Activities

Judge, Hualapai Court of Appeals, 2019-2021

Court Admissions

Arizona, 2015

Oklahoma, 2017

U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2017

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 2018

Gila River Indian Community, 2019

Tohono O’odham Nation, 2019


Judicial Clerk, Gila River Indian Community Courts

Law Clerk, Native American Rights Fund

Legal Intern, Osage Nation Attorney General’s Office


Minimum Wage, Overtime Exemption: Labor Department Proposes Salary Threshold Hike” (co-author), Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, September 2019

Federal Court Rules that Walmart Firing Violated the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act” (co-author), Sacks Tierney Client Newsletter, May 2019


J.D., Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, 2012: Indian Legal Program Certificate; Pedrick Scholar; CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Indian Legal Clinic; Chair, ASU Indian Legal Program Pro Bono Committee; Student Representative, Native American Bar Association of Arizona

B.S., cum laude, Business Administration & Management, Haskell Indian Nations University, 2008


Bartlesville, Oklahoma