Brian Lewis

Attorney

Brian Lewis

Attorney

Phone: 207.771.9211 Fax: 207.772.3627 Email: blewis@dwmlaw.com

114 N. San Francisco Street, Suite 104 Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Assistant: Jennifer Leonard Email: jleonard@dwmlaw.com

About

Brian Lewis is an experienced attorney whose practice is devoted to tribal economic development, and he represents tribes, tribal enterprises, tribal member owned businesses, and non-tribal private corporations doing business in Indian Country.  In his dynamic and interdisciplinary practice, Brian advises and represents clients in a wide range of matters, including, renewable and conventional energy, finance, commercial, corporate, land acquisitions and leasing, regulatory, and appellate litigation matters.  Much of his practice concerns resolving complex jurisdictional issues.  Brian has extensive experience in performing virtually all aspects of sensitive, high-level commercial and financial agreements, securing political authorizations, and obtaining regulatory approvals from tribal, state, and federal bodies necessary for rights to land use and control, developing projects, and performing commercial operations in and around Indian Country.   As an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Brian is committed to enhancing economic development in Indian Country, and he brings a focused, analytical approach to the challenges and opportunities unique to tribal nations.

Brian began his career as an attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, where he handled special matters for the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the Navajo Nation.  While with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, he was lead counsel representing the Navajo Nation in numerous tribal and federal trial and appellate cases, including, Ctr. for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Pizarchik et al., Diné C.A.R.E., et al. v. Salazar, et al., and Navajo Nation v. Urban Outfitters.  He also served as the lead attorney in the Navajo Nation’s creation of a new commercial instrumentality, Navajo Transitional Energy Company, LLC, the acquisition of mining operations through purchases and mergers of all assets and interests of an international mining company, and the negotiation of eight and nine-figure transactions for the company’s operations.  He served as a member of several teams, commissions, and task forces, including, the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council’s Energy Task Force, the President of the Navajo Nation’s project negotiation and transaction teams for large-scale economic development projects, and the New Mexico Governor-elect’s Transition Team’s Indian Affairs Department Review Committee.  His wife and two daughters are enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, and he has deep and extensive ties to the Navajo Nation and continues to represent Navajo commercial instrumentalities and those doing business with the Navajo Nation.  Prior to joining Drummond Woodsum, Brian worked as a corporate law firm attorney and a successful solo practitioner. Brian advised and represented tribes, tribal enterprises, public utilities, and private corporations in large transactions and projects, worked on the resolution of complex jurisdictional and commercial disputes and served as outside general counsel to several tribal enterprises and private entities, for which he handled and oversaw all litigation and transactional matters impacting their operations.  He also directed and managed securing energy leases and rights-of-way on federal, state, private, tribal trust, and allotted lands.  Brian has deep transactional, regulatory, and litigation experience in complex matters involving tribes, states, and the federal government that allows him to effectively promote the interests of tribes, tribal enterprises, and private corporations in a wide range of governmental, financial, and commercial matters.

Brian obtained his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. with an emphasis in Political Economy from Washington State University.  Prior to law school, he attended the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians at the University of New Mexico College of Law’s American Indian Law Center.  Brian obtained his J.D. with an Indian Law Certificate from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he was a member of the Indian Legal Program and graduated Order of Barristers.  He regularly presents and teaches in the fields of business organizations, Navajo Nation property and commercial law, energy, and contracts.

Education

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, J.D., Indian Law Certificate

Washington State University,  M.A., Political Science with Political Economy and Political Psychology Emphases

Washington State University, B.A., Political Science

Publications

Tribal Energy in New Mexico and the Southwest: How a Lethal Trinity is Stymying Tribal Energy and Economic Development, State Bar of New Mexico Indian Law Section (Fall/Winter 2011)

Off Reservation Gaming: Judicial and Administrative Interpretations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s Section 2719, and Why the Differences Matter, State Bar of New Mexico Indian Law Section (Spring 2011)

So Close, Yet So Far Away: A Comparative Analysis of Indian Status in Canada and the United States, 18 Willamette J. Int’l L. & Disp. Resol. 38 (2011)

Do You Know What You Are? You Are What You Is; You Is What You Am: Indian Status for the Purpose of Federal Criminal Jurisdiction and the Current Split in the Courts of Appeals, 26 Harvard J. on Racial & Ethnic Just. 241 (2010)

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: Section 2719 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Interpretation of Its Exceptions and the Part 292 Regulations, 12 M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clinical L. 147 (2010)

Recognition

Order of Barristers

Willard H. Pedrick Scholar – Dean’s List

Academic Scholarship – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Graduate Fellowship – Arizona State University

Yates Scholarship – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Academic Scholarship

President’s List Honor Roll

Memberships

New Mexico State Bar Indian Law and Natural Resources/Energy/Environmental Law Sections

New Mexico Indian Bar Association

Admissions