James T. Meggesto advises clients regarding American Indian law and policy.
Practice & Background
Mr. Meggesto’s practice focuses on representation of Indian tribes, tribal governmental instrumentalities and tribally owned enterprises in complex litigation and transactional matters covering a wide variety of issues. From the platform of a full-service law firm, Mr. Meggesto is able to service the needs of tribal clients no matter the particular issue.
Throughout his career, Mr. Meggesto has represented Native American tribes and tribal entities in all regions of the country in areas such as Indian gaming law, land into trust matters, complex financial transactions, economic development initiatives and federal treaty rights litigation. Mr. Meggesto represents clients at all levels of federal, state and tribal courts, as well as before Congress and various federal agencies.
In recent years, Mr. Meggesto has collaborated with Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice and has developed the only full service law firm that offers its tribal clients both a nationally recognized Supreme Court practice and a nationally recognized Indian law practice.
Mr. Meggesto received his B.S. with honors in political science from the State University of New York at Brockport in 1993 and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from Albany Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Albany Law Review.
A member of the Onondaga Nation in New York, he is a former board member of the Native American Bar Association of Washington, D.C. Before entering law school, he was a staff professional at the National Congress of American Indians, focusing primarily on intergovernmental affairs.
Mr. Meggesto is currently a member of the Washington office’s diversity committee.
Mr. Meggesto is involved in numerous community, civic and charitable activities, including sitting on the Board of Directors for the Notah Begay III Foundation.
Awards & Accolades
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2011-2012) – Native American law
- The Best Lawyers in America (2007-2014) for Native American Law
- Top 40 Lobbyists Under 40 (2011) – Washingtonian magazine.
Mr. Meggesto is a frequent speaker on Native American topics. Some of his recent presentations include:
- Law Seminars International, Conference on Tribal Energy in the Southwest, “Energy Law 101 and Indian Law 101 and How the Two Interact”
- Native Nation Events, 2011 Economic Development Conference, “Legal Issues in Economic Development”
- Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA), 2011 Annual Conference, “Fostering Economic Development in Indian Country”
- National Indian Gaming Association, 2010 NIGA Tradeshow and Convention, “Land Into Trust and Carcieri”
- Federal Bar Association, 2009 Mid-Year Indian Law Conference, “Tribal Bankruptcy? Options During Difficult Economic Times”
- Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA), 2009 Annual Conference, “Winning Strategies for Economic Development”
- Native American Bar Association of Washington, DC, Roundtable Discussion of Carcieri v. Salazar, 2008
- Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA), 2008 Annual Conference, “A Forward Look at Gaming.”