Native American Law

Our Native American Law Practice Group is comprised of attorneys experienced in representing and counseling Tribal governments, Tribal corporations, Inter-Tribal organizations and Tribal-affiliated clients in a wide range of legal matters and protect tribal interests in state, federal and tribal courts.

Our Services

We understand and are sensitive to the unique qualities of Native American Tribal Governments and their legal status, including principles of tribal sovereignty and immunity, self-governance and government contracts. We recognize the uniqueness of each tribal population and their culture, and match our services to your tribal needs. Within this legal and cultural framework, we offer Tribal Governments and businesses assistance with the following:

  • Self-governance compacts and administration
  • Cultural resources and sacred site protection
  • Intergovernmental negotiations and agreements
  • Indian healthcare clinic contracts and operations
  • Real estate acquisition and development
  • Indian Country Leasing, licenses of use agreements
  • Financing and construction of hotel, gaming and governmental facilities
  • Online gaming
  • Reservation land use plans
  • Tribal natural resource protection and use
  • Creation and implementation of tribal regulatory programs
  • Endangered Species Act, Section 404 and Clean Water Act permitting for tribes
  • Fee-to-trust transfers
  • Cultural Resource Protection litigation
  • Reservation boundary defense
  • Tribal employment matters
  • Indian water rights and water district agreements
  • Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act Treatment as a State
  • Tribal environmental impact reports
  • Tribal access and Indian Reservation roads
  • Tribal ordinance and policy development
  • Business, construction and program contracts
  • Hospitality


Procopio's Native American Law attorneys are keenly aware that managing litigation for tribal governments and businesses is quite distinct from representing standard corporate clients. This is particularly true where a tribal government has a well-developed legal infrastructure that helps drive, regulate and coordinate its business activities. The complexity increases when dealing with non-tribal business partners and contractors.

Our Native American Litigation practice comprises trial and appellate litigation attorneys with particular experience in representing Tribal governments, Tribal corporations, Inter-Tribal organizations and Tribal-affiliated clients in a wide range of litigation matters. Our litigators have represented clients in numerous tribal, state and federal courts, including in a landmark victory before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Our litigation services include, but are not limited to:

  • Gaming
  • Environmental, land use and construction
  • Vendor disputes
  • Intellectual property
  • Injury, employment and other disputes

What Others are Saying

Procopio is an indispensable part of our growing success, guiding us through numerous legal challenges, including regulatory obstacles and daunting litigation. As a result the business opportunities and financial security of our tribe has grown significantly. It’s inspiring to be represented by a firm with such a deep understanding of the unique legal challenges faced by federally recognized tribes. I look forward to continuing to work with Procopio in the years to come.

-- Erica Pinto, Chair, Jamul Indian Village (a Kumeyaay Nation band)

We work as part of the Native American Community

Procopio’s Native American Law practice is committed to serving the community it represents. We give generously of our time and pro bono hours by offering our services to support many programs in tribal communities. We also sponsor, support and participate in a wide range of Native American community activities including partnerships with tribal health and wellness events, Inter Tribal Sports, American Indian Recruitment (AIR) program. 

Procopio Native American Law group supports the following organizations:

  • American Indian Recruitment Program – Board Member, Active Volunteers
  • American Bar Association Section on Civil Rights & Social Justice
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservancy (pro bono counsel)
  • Kumeyaay Community College – Pro Bono Counsel
  • California American Indian & Indigenous Film Festival
  • San Diego Native American Lawyers Association – Firm Member
  • California Indian Lawyer Association - Member
  • Studio Earth Alliance (SEA) – Founding Member
  • American Bar Association – Native American Resources Committee

Native American Internship Program

Procopio’s Native American Law Internship is another example of our long-standing tradition of giving back to the community, and continues the firm’s investment in the future legal leaders of Indian Country. The Native American Law Internship provides an opportunity for a Native American law students, or law students emphasizing Native American Law, to gain hands-on experience dealing with everyday legal issues facing Native American communities.

The interns are involved in matters that deal with specific Indian law-related legal practice matters and other legal problems. Procopio interns reach out to local Native American youth to provide guidance and inspiration regarding educational direction and opportunities. Interns connect with Alumni of the Procopio Internship Program to establish a nationwide network of the next generation of Native American attorneys. To learn more about the internship program and submission process, please contact Procopio Partner Kerry Patterson at


DISCLAIMER: Testimonials and endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.