Attorney Bio

Tribal Law. Tribal Solutions.


Michael D. Oeser

Louisville, CO
P: 303-673-9600
F: 303-673-9155

Mr. Oeser joined the firm in February 2018.

Attorney Michael D. Oeser joins FPM after serving as senior tribal counsel to the Ho-Chunk Nation, a tribe with more than 7,700 citizens and 3,300 employees. Mr. Oeser′s primary client was the Nation′s Department of Business, the Ho-Chunk office that oversees the Nation′s $1.5B gaming, retail, and smoke shop enterprises. In that capacity, he provided advice on employment law, tribal bidding/contracting, and taxation. Two of Mr. Oeser′s largest assignments were to provide legal support to the Nation′s multimillion dollar casino renovation project and guidance on a multimillion dollar dispute with an information technology services vendor. Other projects Mr. Oeser worked on included exploring ways to diversify the tribe′s revenue sources, switch tribal facilities to renewable energy, and assist in developing the next generation of casino gaming.

Mr. Oeser taught law school for nine years prior to working for Ho-Chunk, including a summer at the American Indian Law Center′s Pre-Law Summer Institute. His courses included legal writing, legal research, oral advocacy, contract drafting, and business structures.

Before his time as a law professor, Mr. Oeser practiced trial and appellate law for 9 years, including time as the Ho-Chunk Judiciary′s Staff Attorney, a Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General, an Indian Law associate with Von Briesen & Roper, and a business litigator at Adair & Myers, PLLC. During his tenure with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Mr. Oeser presented oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court (State of Wisconsin ex. rel. Hensley v. Endicott, 245 Wis.2d 607, 629 N.W.2d 686 (Wis. 2001)). He now lives in Lafayette, Colorado, with his wife Shanna and son Samuel.

Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Cooweejamįnąk (Ho-Chunk for "Sits In Front")


Trial and Appellate Practice: Breach of Trust Claims, Reservation Diminishment Defense, Tribal Court Practice, Employment Law Defense, Contract Claims, Judgment Enforcement/Collection;

Tribal Law: Tribal Governance/Structure/Procedure, Constitutional Design, Legislative Drafting, Sovereign/Civil Rights and Duties, Citizenship Criteria.

Business Law/Counseling: Contract Negotiation/Drafting & Enforcement, Tribal Construction Law & Contracting, RFI/RFP Drafting, Gaming Law, Tribal Taxation, Employment Law, Complex Litigation and Business Negotiation, Economic Development and Diversification.

Texas, Wisconsin; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Seventh Circuit; Ho-Chunk Nation

University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D. 1998, LL.M. 2010); University of Houston (B.A. 1993).

Adair & Myers, P.L.L.C., April 2005 to Aug. 2007 (business, real estate, civil rights, and employment discrimination practice). The Oeser Law Office, Sept. 2002 to April 2005 (business, real estate, civil rights, and employment discrimination). Von Briesen & Roper, S.C., Dec. 2001 to Aug. 2002 (Associate, Litigation and Indian Law Practice Groups). Wisconsin Department of Justice, July 1999 to Nov. 2001 (Assistant Attorney General, Civil Litigation Unit). Ho-Chunk Nation Judiciary, June 1998 to June 1999 (Staff Attorney).

PRIOR JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Associate Justice, Southwestern Intertribal Court of Appeals–June 2010 to 2011. Special Supreme Court Justice, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma–Nov. 2009 to 2011.

Tribal In-House Counsel Association, Board of Directors, March 2017 to Present; Legal Writing Institute, Member, August 2006 to June 2016; Journal of Legal Communication & Rhetoric, Article Reviewer, Sept. 2014 to June 2016; Association of Legal Writing Directors, Survey Committee, Nov. 2013 to March 2016; ACLU of Texas, Board of Directors, Nov. 2002 to Nov. 2007.

Mr. Oeser has taught and made presentations on Indian Law, Tribal Governance, Tribal Citizenship, Tribal Voting and Political Participation, Legal Writing, Legal Research, Contracts, Contract Drafting, and Business Associations at several law schools, including Stetson University College of Law, Valparaiso University Law School, Southern University Law Center, Atlanta′s John Marshall Law School, and the American Indian Law Center′s Pre-Law Summer Institute.

Taxation of Construction Projects in Indian Country, State Bar of Arizona, Oct. 18, 2017. Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act, Stetson University College of Law, Eleventh Circuit Legal Scholarship Forum, Nov. 13, 2015. Integrating Google Docs Into Your Curriculum, University of Kansas School of Law, Central States Legal Writing Conference, Sept. 28, 2013. Student Emotion, Performance, and Evaluations, University of Oregon School of Law, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, Aug. 11, 2012. Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? Southern University Law Center Speaker Series, Feb. 25, 2011. Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? Texas State Bar, Indian Law Section Meeting, Jan. 14, 2011. Citizenship, Race, and Symbiosis: A Critique of Tribal Citizenship Practices, University of Wisconsin Indian Law Conference, March 27, 2009. Legal Writers Workshop, Legal Writing Institute, July 2008. Invited participant. Mitigating Emotional Barriers to Student Performance: Strategies for New Legal Writing Professors, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, March 22, 2008.

LEGAL AUTHORSHIP: Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? 36 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 793 (2010). Avoiding Extinction, Preserving Culture: Sustainable, Sovereignty-Centered Tribal Citizenship Requirements, 91 N.D. L. REV. 1 (2015).

William Hastie Fellow 2008-10, LEO Fellow 1995-98, University League Award 1997 (outstanding commitment to the school and community), Feingold Award 1998 (outstanding commitment to the school and community), and 1998 Indian Law Student of the Year Award (for overall service during law school).

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