Rodney B. Lewis is a consultant to Akin Gump. He advises American Indian tribes on various federal and state public policy issues.

Practice & Background

Most recently, Mr. Lewis served as general counsel of the Gila River Indian Community, in which capacity he led the community’s negotiations with the federal government, the state of Arizona, and more than 30 non-Indian parties for settlement of the Community’s water rights and claims. As a result of those negotiations, the Arizona Water Rights Settlements Act of 2004, Public Law 108-451, was introduced.

Mr. Lewis was the first member of an Arizona Indian tribe to become a member of the State Bar of Arizona and the first member of an Indian tribe to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court, having successfully argued Central Machinery v. Arizona State Tax Commission in 1980.

Mr. Lewis is admitted in Arizona only and is the founding chair of that State Bar’s Indian Law Section. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Indian Lawyers Association and the Pinal County (Arizona) Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

Mr. Lewis is a Pima-enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community.