WASHINGTON, DC, October 12, 2011
SNR Denton announced today that Heather Sibbison has joined the firm as a partner, Suzanne (Susi) Schaeffer and George Skibine have joined as counsel and Joshua Clause has joined as an associate, all in both the firm’s Indian Law and Tribal Representation and Public Policy and Regulations practices. They will reside in the firm’s Washington, DC, office.
"These lawyers are some of the most highly regarded professionals working in the tribal area," said Alan R. Fedman, head of SNR Denton’s Indian Law and Tribal Representation practice. "Their arrival underscores SNR Denton’s commitment to building its tribal practice with outstanding lawyers who are recognized advocates for tribal interests."
Sibbison concentrates her practice in matters related to fee-to-trust land acquisitions, Indian lands determinations, compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and federal recognition issues. Prior to entering private practice in 2001, Sibbison served for six years in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of the Interior and at the Department of Justice as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources, where her duties included management of settlement negotiations involving Indian land claims, treaty fishing rights, Indian gaming and Indian water rights.
Sibbison received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. from Tufts University.
Schaeffer’s practice focuses on Indian lands and environmental compliance matters and draws on her years of experience in both the federal government and private sector working to resolve issues pertaining to tribally owned natural resources and the federal environmental regulatory system. She is well versed in land claims, leasing and rights-of-way matters and Section 81 approval requirements. Schaeffer also has extensive expertise acquiring land in trust for gaming and non-gaming purposes. Prior to entering private practice, she served for more than four years as the Assistant Solicitor for Environment, Land & Minerals at the Department of the Interior (DOI).
Schaeffer received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her B.A. from the College of William & Mary.
Skibine is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma and his practice focuses on gaming and tribal land acquisitions including compliance with a broad range of National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and DOI regulations. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management (Indian Affairs) at the Department of the Interior, and also served as the Acting Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, Director of the Office of Indian Gaming, Deputy Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development and Acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.
Skibine received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, his B.A. from the University of Chicago and a baccalaureate degree from Lycee Francais de New York. He joins the firm from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.
Clause is a citizen of the Mohawk Nation and is enrolled at Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. He assists tribal governments with navigating the fee-to-trust process with an emphasis on Carcieri-related issues. He advises tribal clients on gaming matters including Indian Gaming Regulatory Act compliance, tribal-state gaming compact compliance, drafting tribal gaming ordinance provisions and preparing Indian lands opinion requests. Clause also defends and pursues tribal clients’ rights in federal and state court proceedings.
Clause received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Sibbison, Schaeffer and Clause join the firm from Patton Boggs LLP, where Sibbison was chair of the Native American Affairs practice.
With the addition of Sibbison, Schaeffer, Skibine and Clause, SNR Denton's Indian Law and Tribal Representation team has added 10 lawyers and professionals in the last 10 months. In July, Little Fawn Boland (Piro-Manso-Tiwa), joined as counsel in San Francisco; in February, Steve McSloy joined as a partner in New York; in December, Casey Sixkiller (Cherokee), joined as a senior advisor in the Washington, DC, office; and in November three associates joined the practice: Sara Dutschke Setshwaelo (Miwok) and Jessica Laughlin (Houma) in San Francisco, and Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk) in Kansas City.
Sibbison, Schaeffer, Skibine and Clause complement a group of more than 70 new partners, counsel, principals and senior advisors who have joined SNR Denton worldwide since the combination that created the firm a year ago.
SNR Denton is a client-focused international legal practice delivering quality and value. We serve clients in key business and financial centers from more than 60 locations in 43 countries, through offices, associate firms and special alliances across the US, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS, Asia Pacific and Africa, making us a top 25 legal services provider by lawyers and professionals worldwide. Joining the complementary top tier practices of its founding firms -- Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Denton Wilde Sapte LLP -- SNR Denton offers business, government and institutional clients premier service and a disciplined focus to meet evolving needs in eight key industry sectors: Energy, Transport and Infrastructure; Financial Institutions and Funds; Government; Health and Life Sciences; Insurance; Manufacturing; Real Estate, Retail and Hotels; and Technology, Media and Telecommunications. Please see snrdenton.com for more information and Legal Notices.