Press Release
March 17, 2014

Holland & Knight Announces Another Major Addition to Indian Law and Policy Practice Group

WASHINGTON (March 17, 2014) - James Meggesto, a leading Indian law practitioner and litigator, has joined Holland & Knight as partner and deputy leader of the firm's national Indian Law Practice Group. This follows the recent addition of Robert Tompkins, who handles government contracts matters, particularly those involving Indian tribes. Mr. Meggesto moves from Akin Gump, where he practiced for the past seven years, and is located in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office.

"Holland & Knight is continuing to build the strong national Indian law and policy platform it has maintained for many years. James Meggesto will enhance our efforts to help tribal clients succeed despite the complex legal and political challenges faced by Indian Country. We continue to grow our ability to provide tribal governments with the same high quality of legal representation and expertise demanded by other governments and international corporations, and this addition will greatly further those goals," said Indian Law Practice Group leader Jerry Levine. "The exceptional talents, experience and leadership these partners add to our Indian law team will be a valuable resource for our clients and reinforces the firm's dedication to this important field."

"I am excited to be able to contribute to the first-rate tribal legal services for which Holland & Knight is so well known, and to add my experience and leadership to the firm's dedication to Indian Country and to its ongoing growth in this area of the law," said Mr. Meggesto.

Mr. Meggesto is an enrolled tribal member of the Onondaga Nation in upstate New York. He earned a B.S. degree cum laude from SUNY Brockport and a J.D. degree magna cum laude from Albany Law School. Prior to joining Akin Gump, Mr. Meggesto practiced Indian law at the Sonosky Chambers law firm in Washington, D.C. He is a former board member of the Native American Bar Association of Washington, D.C. and, before attending law school, was a staff professional at the National Congress of American Indians.  Mr. Meggesto currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Notah Begay III Foundation, which is dedicated to preventing type 2 diabetes in Indian Country. 

Both Mr. Meggesto and Mr. Tompkins are also experienced in representing Alaskan Native corporations and Indian tribes engaged in federal 8a contracting.  Mr. Tompkins chaired the government contracts group at Patton Boggs until moving to Holland & Knight in late January.

With a deep understanding and respect for the traditional values that set tribes apart, Holland & Knight's national Indian Law Practice Group includes lawyers from its offices throughout the country, many of whom also work in related fields of law that are of importance to tribal governments.  Those include bond and other forms of complex financing; environmental law; on- and off-reservation real estate development and construction; business and corporate law; casino law (and particularly Indian and internet gaming and regulation); hospitality and resort development; employment law; healthcare law; trust and estates law; tax and intellectual property law impacting tribes and tribal businesses; oil, gas and renewable energy law; and litigation in tribal, state and federal agencies and courts. 

The Indian Law Practice Group also provides expertise in tribal governmental issues, including protecting and promoting tribal sovereignty, preparing and amending tribal constitutions, ordinances and legal codes, the creation of governmental companies and other tribal business entities, tribal governmental reorganizations, the creation of tribal court systems and internal governance issues. 

The group is part of Holland & Knight's government and public policy section, which also includes one of the largest and most successful federal representation and advocacy groups in Washington and works closely with the Indian Law Practice Group in representing the firm's tribal governmental clients on federal legislative, agency and regulatory matters, including those before Congress, the Secretary of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other federal agencies whose actions are of importance to tribes. The firm thus is able to provide full-service, “one-stop” legal and strategic advice and counsel on all issues of critical importance to tribes.

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