Modrall Sperling Law Firm

“Modrall Sperling is a hallmark firm for reliable, efficient Indian Law advice. With a team of established veterans and rising stars, Modrall is the go-to-firm in New Mexico (and beyond) for Indian Law matters. It would be a mistake not to have them on your side.”1

Due to the sometimes competing jurisdictional, regulatory and tax implications of federal statutes, public land laws, tribal laws and government regulations, effectively doing business in Indian country presents unique challenges. Even operations which are not on Indian lands may require consideration of the interests and concerns of Indian tribes and other Native American groups.

Structuring transactions, gaining permits, negotiating effectively, and crafting agreements that maximize predictability and enforceability can be elusive in these transactions.

Modrall Sperling’s Native American law practice is nationally recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. The firm engages lawyers with Indian law experience and strength in multiple practice areas to address complex challenges representing business interests in Indian country. That seasoned depth and strong relationships developed with Indian country communities has created an environment for sound and efficient client representation.

We invite you to learn more about this nationwide practice by clicking on the links below:

  1. 1. This comment appears on the U. S. News & Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” website at


Recent Biden Administration Orders Affecting the Energy Industry

Posted on February 2, 2021 By Earl E. DeBrine, Jr. and Stan N. Harris

Solenex, LLC v. Bernhardt, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior: Cancellation of 1982 Oil and Gas Lease Upheld – Significant Cultural and Religious Lands of the Badger-Two Medicine Area in Montana

Posted on June 26, 2020 By Walter E. Stern


Indian Law in the Next Supreme Court Term: Grants and Pending Applications

July 16, 2018
By Sarah M. Stevenson

Supreme Court Declines Review of Tenth Circuit Case Holding Tribal Acquisition of an Interest in an Allotment Defeats Eminent Domain Authority

July 3, 2018
By Deana M. Bennett and Lynn H. Slade

Supreme Court Ducks Addressing “Immovable Property” Exception to Tribal Sovereign Immunity

June 18, 2018
By Lynn H. Slade

Update on Dakota Access Pipeline Litigation

June 1, 2018
By Deana M. Bennett and Walter E. Stern

Potential Hurdle to Right-of-Way Acquisition and Renewals: The Tenth Circuit Holds Tribal Acquisition of an Undivided Interest in an Allotment Defeats Congressional Eminent Domain Authority

September 5, 2017
By Deana M. Bennett and Lynn H. Slade

A Historic Moment in Indian Water Rights in New Mexico: Entry of the Aamodt Final Decree

August 29, 2017
By Maria O’Brien and Sarah M. Stevenson

Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update—Corps’ NEPA Analysis Flawed-In Part

August 22, 2017
By Deana M. Bennett and Walter E. Stern

BIA Regulations on Appraisal/Valuation of Indian Property

August 1, 2017
By Lynn H. Slade

The Demise of Deference? Chevron’s and Auer’s Uncertain Future

May 5, 2017
By Christina C. Sheehan

ONRR’s Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform: A Call for Comments, Industry Here’s Your Shot

April 28, 2017
By Robin E. James

Wind River Reservation Held Diminished: EPA’s Contrary Determination Set Aside Despite EPA Reliance on Solicitor Opinion

April 26, 2017
By Deana M. Bennett

Dakota Access Pipeline Project Update

April 11, 2017
By Walter E. Stern

Tule Wind Farm Passes NEPA Test, Again

March 30, 2017
By Deana M. Bennett and Joan E. Drake

The Congressional Review Act: Regulations on the Chopping Block

March 20, 2017
By Sarah M. Stevenson

Appearing in Tribal Court

February 13, 2017
By Brian K. Nichols

Native American Trust Asset Reform Act Becomes Law: New Tribal Options, Questions Unanswered

September 6, 2016
By Deana M. Bennett

Recent Cases Confirm Sovereign Immunity

August 30, 2016
By Brian K. Nichols

Equally Divided United States Supreme Court Affirms Tribal Jurisdiction over Tort Claims Against Nonmembers

August 17, 2016
By Lynn H. Slade

Indian Law Cases Pending Before the Supreme Court Worth Following

March 18, 2016
By Brian K. Nichols, Lynn H. Slade and Sarah M. Stevenson

Dependent Indian Communities: Existential Determination Impacts State and Federal (and Tribal?) Jurisdiction

October 5, 2015
By Deana M. Bennett and Walter E. Stern

Pueblo of Jemez v. United States: Tenth Circuit Resurrects Land Claim – Unique Circumstance or Cloudy Title on the Horizon?

August 27, 2015
By Deana M. Bennett and Walter E. Stern

Enforceability of Arbitration Provisions in Agreements with Tribes or Tribal Entities

July 15, 2015
By Deana M. Bennett and Lynn H. Slade

Indian Reserved Water Rights: Groundwater Included

June 19, 2015
By Maria O’Brien and Sarah M. Stevenson

Balancing Opposing Cultural and Religious Beliefs on a Shared Reservation: Agency consideration of “Native American culture” not enough to demonstrate narrowly tailored compelling interest

May 28, 2015
By Lynn H. Slade and Sarah M. Stevenson

Tribal Employment Preference Laws

July 25, 2014
By Brian K. Nichols

Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Sacred Sites and Traditional Cultural Properties and the Role of Consultation and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

32 J. Energy & Nat. Resources L.,
No. 3, 297, July 22, 2014
By Stuart R. Butzier and Sarah M. Stevenson

Tribal Employment Laws: Legal and Cultural Considerations

March 28, 2013
By Brian K. Nichols

Sued in Tribal Court?

May 1, 2012
By Walter E. Stern

Cultural Resources Management: Tribal Rights, Roles, Consultation, and Other Interests (A Developer’s Perspective)

April 26, 2012
By Walter E. Stern

Tribal-Industry Partners in Resource Development

July 8, 2011
By Lynn H. Slade

Deciphering Title to ‘Native American’ Land: Turf Battle on a Checkerboard?

June 13, 2011
By Lynn H. Slade

Tribal Employment Preferences and Employee Protection Laws

April 22, 2011
By Brian K. Nichols