James T. Meggesto is an attorney based in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office and leader of the Native American Law Team. He focuses his practice on legal matters involving Native American tribes, including issues involving policy and regulation, public law, tribal sovereignty, gaming and compact negotiation, sports betting, project development, energy and natural resources, cannabis, finance and litigation.
Mr. Meggesto began his career in Native American affairs in Washington, D.C., nearly 30 years ago as a staff professional at the National Congress of American Indians, focusing on intergovernmental affairs, including the first-ever White House meeting between the president and tribal leaders from all federally recognized Indian tribes. He has spent his entire legal career in Washington, D.C., practicing federal Indian law and representing Indian tribes and entities in innovative and groundbreaking matters. In his role as the leader of the Native American practice at Holland & Knight, he ensures that clients are provided with the full range of legal services needed in Indian Country from the platform of a full-service international law firm.
Throughout his career, Mr. Meggesto has been devoted to the exclusive representation of Indian tribes, tribal governmental entities and economic ventures that do business with Indian tribes. Mr. Meggesto represents Indian tribes and tribal interests nationwide and in federal, state and tribal courts as well as before Congress and federal agencies. He has argued cases in several federal district courts, multiple circuit courts of appeals and has second-chaired two Indian law cases before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Meggesto has also argued cases in several tribal courts. Typical tribal representations involve complex litigation and transactional matters, such as gaming laws, land-into-trust matters, economic development initiatives and federal treaty rights litigation.
In addition, Mr. Meggesto is a frequent speaker on Native American topics and is often quoted in print and digital media on emerging issues involving Indian tribes or tribal law.
Mr. Meggesto was provided a high honor by the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska by being made an honorary member of the tribe as of November 2018.
- Onondaga Nation
- Ponca Tribe of Nebraska (Honorary)
- State University of New York, The College at Brockport, B.S., Political Science, cum laude
- Albany Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
- District of Columbia
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- Law360 Native American Editorial Advisory Board
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Native American Law, 2007-2023
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide, Native American Law, 2011, 2012, 2016-2022
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
- Top 40 Lobbyists Under 40, Washingtonian magazine, 2011