Robins Kaplan LLP Launches American Indian Law and Policy Practice

Former United States Attorneys Brendan Johnson and Timothy Purdon to Spearhead the National Practice

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—May 12, 2015—National law firm Robins Kaplan LLP announced today the launch of its American Indian Law and Policy Practice Group, which will focus on the high-stakes representation of Tribes, Tribal entities, and Tribal members. Brendan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, and Tim Purdon, former U.S. Attorney for the District of North Dakota, bring their recent experience helping lead the Department of Justice’s efforts in Indian Country to their new roles as co-chairs of this national practice group.

The American Indian Law and Policy Practice will assist Tribal clients with a variety of legal needs, including: commercial disputes and gaming rights; compliance; government investigations and agency disputes; personal injury in Indian Country; natural resources; trust and fiduciary litigation; tribal boundary disputes; and more. The practice will also address judicial systems and public safety issues, helping clients implement the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2014.

Robins Kaplan’s focus will be on representing Tribal governments, Tribal law enforcement agencies, and individual Tribal members.

"For far too long, American Indian Tribes across the United States have faced a competitive disadvantage when litigating against powerful forces," said Martin Lueck, Chairman of Robins Kaplan’s Executive Board. "We are excited to announce Robins Kaplan’s American Indian Law and Policy Practice, where Brendan and Tim—along with a talented team of Robins Kaplan professionals—will help bring justice to Tribal communities."

Before joining Robins Kaplan in March, Johnson was heavily involved in South Dakota’s Indian Country, developing a community prosecution strategy that helped increase prosecutions by more than 90 percent on South Dakota’s largest reservations. Purdon, who also joined the firm in March, similarly designed an anti-violence strategy for North Dakota Indian reservations, which markedly improved communications between the U.S. Attorney’s office and the tribes while increasing reservation prosecutions district-wide by more than 80 percent.

"Robins Kaplan's American Indian Law and Policy Practice will aim to make a long-term, positive impact in Tribal communities across the country," said Johnson. "Our commitment to tribal sovereignty and self-determination will drive our representations."

"As U.S. Attorneys, Brendan and I worked relentlessly to seek new ways to improve public safety in Indian Country. Now supported by our talented colleagues at Robins Kaplan, we will bring this same commitment and incisive strategic thinking to our private practice work for Tribes and the citizens of Indian Country," Purdon added.