Sacks Tierney is an internationally recognized resource for tribal governments, tribal enterprises and Native Americans in complex legal matters, and we assist non-Indian businesses in establishing enterprises on tribal land.
Our Indian Law practice has earned recognition from Best Law Firms (published by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers) and from London-based Chambers and Partners, which researches and ranks law firms worldwide, in over 185 jurisdictions.
In its commentary, Chambers acknowledges Sacks Tierney’s Native American Law practice as “highly regarded for its broad coverage representing tribes, tribal agencies and tribal enterprises. Covers a range of Indian law matters in front of tribal, state and federal courts. Enjoys an excellent reputation for its expertise in tribal finance, sovereignty and governance, as well as voting and water rights.”
Private Sector Representation
Our strong relationships with tribal governments and knowledge of pertinent federal laws allow us to represent private-sector developers and other types of businesses in economic development efforts on tribal lands.
We have been involved in the gaming industry and the development of recreational and commercial enterprises on Arizona reservations.
Sacks Tierney’s Indian and tribal relations attorneys regularly represent tribes, tribal corporations and tribal enterprises, as well as individual Native Americans, in all aspects of Indian law.
Our tribal clients benefit from our significant expertise in such areas as:
- sovereignty and limited waivers of sovereign immunity,
- the application of federal and state tax laws to tribal activities, and
- economic development and advancement efforts being undertaken by tribes.
We also offer to tribal governments broad experience in real estate, finance, labor and employment, water and environmental, tax, bankruptcy, domestic relations, criminal and dispute resolution. In addition, we recently represented Havasupai students in a legal action over the federal government’s failure to provide basic education to Native American children.
Our attorneys serve as general counsel for tribal clients, providing advice on business and governmental issues. We interpret applicable law; attend and counsel at tribal council, board meetings and meetings of tribal membership; and maintain tribal enterprise books and records.
We have extensive involvement with and expertise in a variety of issues relating to economic development undertaken by tribes and tribal enterprises, either alone or in joint venture with an outside entity.
Our attorneys counsel tribes and tribal corporations on the intricacies of taxation in forming and operating tribal entities, allowing them to maximize the unique benefits afforded them under federal and state law. We have represented existing tribal entities in resolving disputes with federal and state agencies relating to payment and collection of sales taxes, withholding taxes and income taxes.
Presentations By Judy Dworkin
- “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
- “Tribes and Cannabis,” The Seminar Group, Seattle, July 2015 | Related Article
- “Indian Tribes Within the Federal System of Government,” U.S. Consulate, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 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
Articles & Presentations
- 2 Attorneys Listed Among “Top 10 Influential Native American Law Lawyers in Arizona 2023”
- 3 Indian Law Attorneys Recognized by Chambers & Partners
- Where Native Culture and American Jurisprudence Meet
- Courts Have Much to Resolve in Determining Indian Water Rights
- Little Colorado River General Stream Adjudication
- Cannabis Guide for the USA & Canada, “American Indian & Alaska Native Tribes”
- Tribe Wins U.S. Supreme Court Decision
- Tribes and Cannabis
- The Impacts of Coastal Erosion on Tribal Cultural Heritage
- Unique Legal Issues Affect Employers on Arizona Indian Reservations
- Indian Water Rights: Relevant Case Law
- Ninth Circuit Issues Decision on Tribal Court Jurisdiction Over Non-Members
- Waivers of Sovereign Immunity Key to Contracting with Indian Tribes
- Doing Business With Our Neighbor: the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community