Government Investigations and Agency Disputes

Whether reaching out to a specific agency or responding to an agency’s inquiry or possible investigation, dealing with the federal bureaucracy and Washington DC can be overwhelming and confusing. The founders of Robins Kaplan LLP's American Indian Law and Policy Practice Group Brendan Johnson and Tim Purdon, can help guide Tribes as they navigate that challenging environment.  As Former United States Attorneys, their years of federal government service on Indian Country issues equip them to understand the internal policies and personalities that drive decisions in Washington.

Our agency experience runs deep and we can help Indian Country clients with issues or concerns involving agencies like the:

  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Interior
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Indian Health Service
  • Corps of Engineers
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Environmental Protection Agency

In addition, we can help when Tribes find themselves in situations where they may be facing an investigation by a government agency into allegations of financial, public or grant corruption.  Using the resources and experience of Robins Kaplan's government and internal investigation practice we can assist Tribes by conducting a preemptive independent internal investigation to root out the truth before federal agency involvement begins. When agency involvement or a federal investigation has already begun, we can also help coordinate an effective response that minimizes exposures and retains Tribal dignity.

Selected Case Results*
  • Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin: The Robins Kaplan American Indian Law and Policy Group represented the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in its declaratory judgment lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice over the DEA’s raid of the Tribe’s 2015 industrial hemp crop. The lawsuit sought a judicial determination of the Tribe’s right to grow industrial hemp under the 2014 Farm Bill.

  • Defense of Tribal Chairman Facing Impeachment Proceedings:  Defended a Tribal Chairman in impeachment hearings following his decision to drug test tribal government employees. The Chairman was reinstated to his position following a successful tribal council hearing.

* Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.


Brendan V. Johnson


Chair, National Business Litigation Group
Co-Chair, Government and Internal Investigations Group

Timothy Q. Purdon


Chair, American Indian Law and Policy Group;
Co-Chair, Government and Internal Investigations Group

Back to Top