Greenberg Traurig Boosts American Indian Law Practice with Addition of Loretta Tuell and Heather Dawn Thompson

WASHINGTON D.C. (June 24, 2014) – The international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP has added Loretta A. Tuell as shareholder and Heather Dawn Thompson as practice group attorney to its American Indian Law, Government Law & Policy and Gaming practices. These additions bring the team to approximately 30 attorneys across the United States. Both Tuell and Thompson come from high-level positions within Washington D.C. and the federal government and broaden our existing practices’ ability to serve a diverse range of clients.

Tuell most recently served as Majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and for more than 20 years has worked in the arena of federal Indian law and policy. During her tenure on the committee, Tuell advised on virtually all matters under the Committee’s jurisdiction dealing with Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. She has devised strategies, executed legislative advocacy, developed national policy and advocated before the U.S. Congress, the White House and federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior, the National Indian Gaming Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Tuell has developed legislation with a focus on trust lands, Indian gaming/Internet gaming, the environment, education, housing, energy, federal recognition, religious freedom and repatriation, fish and wildlife, trust lands, water, subsistence issues, climate change, emergence response/disaster relief, economic development, taxation and other related issues. Tuell previously owned her own firm and became a nationally-recognized leader in American Indian law and policy. She was the first American Indian woman to win the American Bar Association’s prestigious Margret Brent award, earning that honor in 2009. Tuell is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho.

Thompson splits her time between Greenberg Traurig’s Washington D.C. and Denver offices. Thompson carries out policy and advocacy work on behalf of clients, with a focus on Great Plains work. Thompson is formerly an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota's Indian Country Section. Prior to that, she was widely recognized for her work while serving as a partner in the Indian law practice of an international law firm and as the Director of Government Affairs for the National Congress of American Indians. She also served as a Policy Advisor for Judiciary and Indian Affairs to Senators Byron Dorgan (ND) and Tom Daschle (SD), covering all aspects of Native American Affairs for the U.S. Senate. Thompson is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. She is also a member of the faculty of United Tribes Technical College.

“Both of these women are respected leaders throughout Indian Country,” said Troy A. Eid, practice Co-Chair and shareholder in the firm’s Denver office. “People admire them and their work. Both have broad and deep experience that will help the firm bring wide-ranging strategy advice to Tribes, Tribal enterprises and companies investing in Indian country. In addition to their strong substantive skills, they have tremendous credibility and commitment to serving Tribal people. From an American Indian law and policy perspective, they are a dream team.” Eid is a former United States Attorney for Colorado who also chaired the National Indian Law and Order Commission.

Tuell earned her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1992 after completing her undergraduate work at Washington State University, where she earned a B.A. in 1988. Tuell has served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for United National Indian Tribal Youth, UNITY Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the development of leadership skills for Native youth through indigenous based programs, workshops, and conferences. She received the Native American Alumni Award from UCLA School of Law and the Leading Woman Award from The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law & Business, both in 2010. Tuell is admitted to practice in California and Washington, D.C.

Thompson graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 2000 and she earned her M.A. with honors from the University of Florida after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.A. Thompson volunteers for the Lakota Language Classroom Preschool Program, the South Dakota Indian Country Bar Association, and the Cheyenne River Youth Project. In addition, Thompson worked on the drafting and passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act, and help led the team who passed the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) and the tribal provisions in American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (commonly known as the “stimulus” bill). Thompson is admitted to practice in South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and numerous tribal courts.

American Indian Law Practice

Greenberg Traurig’s American Indian Law practice has approximately 30 attorneys across the United States.  The team provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary legal and governmental affairs representation to Native American and Alaska Native governments and associated enterprises and other entities, as well as to private and public institutions that do business with Indian Tribes and Nations or invest in Indian country. Greenberg Traurig’s practice encompasses litigation and dispute resolution, corporate/transactional structuring, advice and counsel, banking and finance, civil and criminal investigations and compliance, and governmental affairs representation at the Tribal, State and Federal level.

Government Law & Policy Practice

Greenberg Traurig’s Government Law & Policy Practice combines the capabilities of the firm’s Federal Practice in Washington D.C. with its state and local practices across the United States. The firm’s national team of government law and policy professionals spans major political and commercial capitals throughout the U.S., including: Albany, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, New York City, Sacramento, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. The bipartisan practice includes former elected officials, as well as former top aides and policy officials from the U.S. Congress, the Executive Branch and various state governments. These attorneys and professionals work together to provide clients with seamless representation in virtually any forum – before the U.S. Congress and Executive agencies, as well as state and local government entities.

Gaming Practice

Greenberg Traurig’s Global Gaming Practice Group focuses not only on casino operations, but also address lotteries, pari‐mutuel wagering, charitable gaming and Internet gaming, where permitted by law. Members of the group have varied backgrounds and are located in key gaming jurisdictions, state capitals and financial centers throughout the United States, as well as internationally, providing legal counsel to clients in the highly regulated gaming industry across multiple jurisdictions. The group’s focus includes the representation of manufacturers and suppliers, private equity firms and investment banks on gaming related matters.