Timothy Billion



Tim practices in Robins Kaplan’s Business Litigation Group and has represented clients in a wide variety of cases, including trust and fiduciary litigation, contract and fraud claims, constitutional and election litigation, civil rights litigation, personal injury claims, internal investigations, and criminal proceedings. Tim also regularly advises tribes across the country. 

Tim has garnered numerous recognitions for his practice. In 2023, the National Civil Justice Institute awarded Tim the national Appellate Advocacy Award for a victory on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in a tribal rights case: Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States, 9 F.4th 1018 (8th Cir. 2021). Chambers USA named Tim as one of two nationwide “Leading Lawyer in Native American Law: Associate to Watch” in 2021. Super Lawyers named Tim a “Rising Star” in 2019, 2020, and 2021, a distinction given to the top 2.5% of lawyers. The Best Lawyers in America included Tim on its “Ones to Watch” list in 2021 and 2022 for Commercial Litigation and Trusts and Estates Litigation. Tim has also been named a North Star Lawyer in recognition of his commitment to providing pro bono legal services.  

Tim has led trial and appellate teams in both state and federal courts. Regardless of the size or type of case, Tim uses the litigation process to maximize strategic advantage while staying focused on reaching the client’s goals. Tim also has experience in alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration. 

Tim is actively involved in bar associations and activities. Tim is a past President of the Second Circuit Bar Association and served as past Editor of the South Dakota Trial Lawyer’s newsletter, the Barrister. Tim also co-chairs the South Dakota State Bar’s Indian Law Committee and serves on the State Bar’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. In addition, Tim is the South Dakota state chair for the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers.

Outside of the office, Tim does his best to keep up with his two young kids, enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelsey, and tries to occasionally play a round of golf. 

Tim attended law school at the University of Minnesota School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. During law school, Tim also served as a managing editor for the Minnesota Law Review. Prior to joining Robins Kaplan, Tim clerked for a federal district court judge in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and practiced general litigation for two years with a large law firm in Minneapolis.

Represented tribal court officials in a federal lawsuit regarding tribal jurisdiction over an energy company doing business on a reservation. After the federal district court entered an injunction prohibiting the tribal court from exercising jurisdiction, the tribal court officials prevailed at the Eighth Circuit, which ruled that the energy company was required to exhaust its tribal court remedies before filing suit in federal court. WPX Energy Williston, LLC v. Jones, 72 F.4th 834 (8th Cir. 2023).

Represented a tribe in a lawsuit seeking a declaration that the federal government owed a treaty and trust duty to provide healthcare to the tribe. After prevailing in federal district court, Tim briefed and argued the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which affirmed the decision in favor of the tribe. Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States, 450 F. Supp. 3d 986 (D.S.D. 2020), affirmed, 9 F.4th 1018 (8th Cir. 2021). 

Represented an insurer in a declaratory judgment action regarding a coverage issue of first impression. After prevailing on summary judgment, the defendants took an appeal to the Eighth Circuit, which was later dropped. Employers Mutual Casualty Company v. Brant Lake Sanitary District, 446 F. Supp. 3d 557 (D.S.D. 2020).

Represented plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of “riot boosting” acts. After the plaintiffs successfully obtained a preliminary injunction, the state agreed not to enforce the challenged laws. Dakota Rural Action v. Noem, 416 F. Supp. 3d 874 (D.S.D. 2019). 
Represented plaintiffs challenging South Dakota statutes relating to ballot access requirements for third political parties. Following a court trial, the district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Libertarian Party of South Dakota v. Krebs, 290 F. Supp. 3d 902 (D.S.D. 2018).
Represented a wife pro bono in an appeal related to a divorce decree. After the wife left her husband, the husband chased her down, ran her off the road, shot her, and left her for dead. Following the conclusion of the divorce, the husband appealed numerous issues. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the wife. Vogt v. Vogt, No. A17-0917, 2018 WL 1902443 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2018).
Represented a student pro bono who was expelled for accidentally and unknowingly bringing a pocket knife to school. In a groundbreaking decision interpreting the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the student, finding that because she did not “willfully” endanger students, the school district did not have the authority to expel her. Prior to joining Robins Kaplan. In re A.D., 883 N.W.2d 251 (Minn. 2016).

Chambers USA
Super Lawyers Rising Star Tim Billion
Northstar Lawyer
  • Recipient of the "Appellate Advocacy Award," National Civil Justice Institute (2023)
  • Named an "Up and Coming Attorney" in Native American Law, Chambers USA (2023-2024)
  • Named an "Up and Coming Attorney" in General Commercial Litigation, Chambers USA (2024)
  • Named a “Leading Lawyer in Native American Law: Associate to Watch,” Chambers USA (2021-2022)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (2021-2022 editions)
  • Named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers (2019-2020)
  • Named a “North Star Lawyer” by the Minnesota State Bar Association for providing at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services (2015-2019, 2022-2023)
  • Innocence Project
  • Sioux Empire United Way
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif (2013); Minnesota Law Review, Managing Editor and Social Chair (2012-2013), Staff Member (2011-2012)
  • Grinnell College, B.A. in History, with honors (2008)
Professional Associations
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Council of Appellate Lawyers, South Dakota state chair
  • South Dakota State Bar Association, Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
  • South Dakota State Bar Indian Law Committee, Co-Chair
  • South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association
  • Second Circuit Bar Association, President (2021)
  • Fiduciary Circumstances That You Never Imagined, But Maybe Should
    Moderator, Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Annual CLE, Minneapolis, Minnesota (November 2, 2023)
  • Pro Bono and Indigenous People
    Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcast, PBI Signatory Showcase Featuring Robins Kaplan, Pro Bono Institute (March 29, 2023)
  • Motives and Opportunities: What Drives Fiduciary Disputes?
    Moderator, Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Annual CLE, Webinar (October 13, 2022)
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. United States: Litigating the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868
    University of South Dakota Knudson School of Law, Vermillion, South Dakota (March 2, 2022)
  • Two of a Kind: Strengthening Your Hand by Pairing a SD Trust with a SD LLC
    Minnesota CLE and Minnesota State Bar Association 2020 Probate & Trust Law Section Conference, Webinar (October 16, 2020)
  • The Influence of News and Other Media on Client Expectations
    Moderator, Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Group CLE, Webinar (October 1, 2020) 
  • Indian Law Update: Tribal Immunity and the Arm of the Tribe Test
    South Dakota State Bar Association Law for Lunch CLE Series (January 2020)
  • Fiduciary Litigation in the Age of AI and FinTech
    Moderator, Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Annual CLE: The Future of the Fiduciary, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 12, 2019)
  • Minimizing Fiduciary Risk and Litigation
    Panelist, South Dakota Trust Association Fall Forum, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (October 17, 2018)
  • Siblings Behaving Badly
    Moderator, Robins Kaplan LLP Wealth Planning, Administration, and Disputes Annual CLE, Minneapolis, Minnesota (September 13, 2018)
November 2, 2023
Tim Billion, Gabe Berg, Denise Rahne, Tom Berndt - Wealth Disputes Annual CLE
Minneapolis, MN
October 16-17, 2020


Links to full publications and news releases.
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