DerrilB.Jordan Partner

Mr. Jordan has dedicated his career to the representation of Indian tribes and tribal organizations and the promotion of tribal sovereignty. He has served tribes from a variety of perspectives, including serving as in-house counsel to several tribes, serving as Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the United States Department of the Interior and as a private practitioner. As a result of his long and diverse service in Indian Country, Mr. Jordan is an experienced and effective advocate on behalf of Indian tribes and tribal organizations. Mr. Jordan is a member of the Mattaponi Tribe of Virginia.

PRACTICE AREAS:

Mr. Jordan has extensive experience in representing tribal clients before executive agencies of the Federal government, including the Departments of Interior and Justice, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, and others. Mr. Jordan has represented tribes with regard to class III gaming compact approval and related issues, trust land acquisitions, including off-reservation trust land acquisitions for gaming and other purposes, and leasing and rights-of-way issues. He has also represented tribal clients before the National Indian Gaming Commission on ordinance approvals, management and development contract issues, and Indian land determinations under Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Mr. Jordan has also advised tribes about tribal jurisdiction over Indian country, land claims, historic and cultural preservation, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) matters, and in many other areas. He also has extensive experience in jurisdictional matters, including criminal and regulatory jurisdiction, National Environmental Protection Act matters, economic development activities, federal recognition, tribal enrollment, constitutional law development and code drafting. Mr. Jordan also has experience in representing tribes before Congress. During his service as the Associate Solicitor, he provided written and oral testimony before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on sovereign immunity and gaming legislation, and prepared congressional testimony for other Departmental witnesses. He also testified before the Native American Affairs Subcommittee of the House of Representatives on gaming issues and proposed federal recognition legislation.

ADMISSIONS:

Member: State Bars of Michigan (1988), New Mexico (1994), New York (1996), Washington, D.C (2001) and the State of Washington (2019); U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 1989; U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Michigan, 1989; U.S. District Court for the District of Western New York, 1996; U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2002; the United States Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Jordan has also appeared before the Courts of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the Peacemakers Courts of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

EDUCATION:

Cornell Law School (1987) (Lawyers Cooperative Publisher’s Award for Academic Achievement in American Indian Law); Temple University (M.S.W. 1980); Temple University (B.S.W. Cum laude 1979).

PRIOR LEGAL EXPERIENCE:

Mr. Jordan has served as in-house counsel for three tribes during his over thirty-three years of practicing law. He served as the Tribal Attorney for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe immediately after graduation, and then served as the Attorney General for the Seneca Nation of Indians before serving for over three years as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the United States Department of the Interior. Most recently, he served as the Attorney General of the Quinault Indian Nation. He has also worked in private practice for nearly twenty years, representing tribes in New Mexico, Michigan, Louisiana, California, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES:

Mr. Jordan successfully sued the United States for an illegal taking of tribal land in Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indian v. United States, 121 Fed. Cl. 183 (2015), and, in his capacity as Attorney General, represented the Quinault Indian Nation Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Indian Reservation v. Mnuchin, the case that challenged the eligibility of Alaska Native Corporations (“ANCs”) created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, to receive tribal coronavirus relief funds under the CARES Act. During his service as the Associate Solicitor, Mr. Jordan also consulted with various divisions within the Department of Justice, including the Office of the Solicitor General, on litigation strategy in Indian law cases pending in the federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

TEACHING POSITIONS:

Cornell Law School (Adjunct Professor of Law – Federal Indian Law, Fall 2007. 2008, 2010 and 2012); State University of New York at Buffalo (Adjunct Professor of Law – Federal Indian Law, Fall 1995).

DerrilB.Jordan Partner

Contact Information

Washington, DC djordan@ndnlaw.com (202) 450-4887 (202) 450-5106