Native American Law Practice

EVW provides representation to Native American clients dealing with unique issues arising from the conflict between principles of Native American sovereignty and the disputed applicability of governmental laws, taxes and regulations. Our practice combines in depth knowledge, experience, and respect for tribal law and customs. EVW has a broad understanding of federal and state legislation and judicial decisions which influence and continue to impact Native American communities and business.

Our representation of Native American interests has included opposing Philip Morris’ efforts to block Native American online tobacco sales; successfully negotiating with the federal government to release proceeds seized from Native American clients pursuant to civil forfeiture statutes; and representing Native American businesses in challenges to the imposition of excise tax by the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Bureau of the U.S. Treasury (the “TTB”). Our attorneys have appeared before the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Council to discuss policy issues and strategies in connection with litigation involving Native American tobacco sales, taxation and Jenkins Act filing requirements.

We have also acted as special counsel in Gordon v. Holder, 826 F. Supp. 2d 279 (D.D.C. 2011), aff’d, Gordon v. Holder, 721 F.3d 638 (D.C. Cir. 2013), a case which resulted in a preliminary injunction enjoining the U.S. Government from enforcing tax provisions of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (“PACT Act”). In that action, we coordinated with the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Seneca Free Trade Association in order to develop factual arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Act and to achieve a successful challenge to the Government’s enforcement of the PACT Act.


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