Attorney Bio

Tribal Law. Tribal Solutions.

LEONIKA

LEONIKA R. CHARGING
Partner

Omaha, NE
P: 402.333.4053
F: 402.333.4761
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Ms. Charging joined the firm in 2007 and became a Partner in 2011.

Tribal Affiliation: 
Member, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

PRACTICE AREAS:
Tribal governance; tribal economic development; sovereignty and self-determination; business transactions; government contracting; administrative law; and Indian gaming.

ADMISSIONS:
State Courts of South Dakota; State Courts of Nebraska; Federal District Court for the District of Nebraska; Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

EDUCATION:
University of South Dakota School of Law (J.D., 2003); University of Kansas (B.A., Political Science and Crime & Delinquency Studies, 1997)

PRIOR LEGAL EXPERIENCE:
Previously, Ms. Charging was an Associate Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska with a law firm specializing in Indian law (2004-2007). She also served as a legal analyst to the Santee Sioux Tribal Court, assisting with the implementation of the Tribe′s court system (2003-2004). Ms. Charging also served as a Law Clerk for Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker in Washington, D.C., (2002) While in law school, she had the opportunity to serve as the research assistant to Professor Frank Pommersheim. She assisted with his work involving the revision of Cohen′s Handbook on Federal Indian Law, which was re-issued in 2007. Ms. Charging was also a Legal Intern, Three Affiliated Tribes Legal Department.

ASSOCIATIONS:
Native American Bar Association; Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section; Nebraska State Bar; South Dakota State Bar Indian Law Committee; Member of Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy (2011-2012); Nebraska Minority Corporate Counsel Program (2011); Association of Boxing Commissions Certified Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Judge (2009); Graduate of South Dakota State Bar Association Trial Lawyers Academy (2007).

LEGAL AUTHORSHIP: “Practicing in Tribal Courts: A Rewarding Opportunity,” The Nebraska Lawyer, July 2005; “Atkinson v. Shirley: A Taxing Decision on Tribal Sovereign Power,” Volume 47 South Dakota Law Review, 2002.

HONORS:
South Dakota Law Review; Symposium Editor; Best Brief Award, 2001 Sam Masten Moot Court Tournament; 3rd Place Brief Honors at 2003 National Native American Law Students Moot Court Competition; C.A.L.I. Awards for Highest Grades in Torts, Criminal Procedure, Indian Law, Administrative Law, Trial Techniques & Selected Topics in Indian Law. Recipient of three law school foundation scholarships, the EPA Tribal Lands Environmental Scholarship and the National Indian Education Association Alice Tonemah Scholarship.

BOARD MEMBERSHIPS:
Presenter, “Tribal Constitutional Reform”, Minnesota Indian Business Conference, October 2008; Presenter, “School to Prison Pipeline”, Sioux City Community Schools School Law Seminar, September 2006; Presenter, “Tribal Constitutional Revisions”, Bureau of Indian Affairs Economic Development Conference, April 2006; Presenter, “Legal Updates Concerning Indian Child Welfare Act”, North Dakota Tribal Foster Care Conference, October 2005; Presenter, “Tribal Sovereignty in the Era of Self Determination”, Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission Native American Symposium, September 2005.


In serving as general and special counsel to a number of tribes, Ms. Charging gained significant experience relating to reservation economic development and tribal governance. She has developed and drafted numerous tribal policies, and tribal codes. She has experience in the areas of election and enrollment issues, including the drafting of election ordinances and regulations, as well as the representation of tribal election boards. Her work has also focused on providing advice and counsel regarding Secretarial elections and tribal constitutional reform. She is experienced in negotiating and drafting agreements and memorandums of understanding between tribal governments and other governmental entities, such as cross-deputization agreements and cooperative agreements. Her experience also includes contract drafting and negotiation, in the areas of commercial and entertainment contracts, as well as PL-638 contract matters. She primarily works with tribal commercial enterprises concerning business transaction matters, entity formation, taxation issues, tribal corporate code development and contracting, including providing assistance regarding the Small Business Administration′s 8(a) Contracting Program.

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