Native American and Tribal Law
In 2020, partner Ryan Leonard was hired by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt to serve as his Special Counsel for Native American Affairs. In this capacity, Ryan Leonard assisted the Governor and his administration on issues arising from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, which substantially expanded the recognition of “Indian country” within Oklahoma.
In January 2021, as authorized by Oklahoma law, Governor Stitt designated Ryan Leonard as the lead negotiator for Oklahoma in discussions with Oklahoma's Native American tribes to address the foundational jurisdictional issues raised by the McGirt decision.
In 2022, alongside Oklahoma’s Attorney General and national counsel, Ryan Leonard served as co-counsel representing the State of Oklahoma before the United States Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Castro Huerta. On June 29, 2022, the United States Supreme Court decided Castro-Huerta in favor of Oklahoma, restoring substantial portions of the state’s sovereignty that had been threatened by McGirt.
Ryan Leonard remains one of the state’s foremost authorities on the unprecedented legal and jurisdictional issues raised by the McGirt decision.