Prolific legal scholar and former U.S. District Court Clerk Ryan Dreveskracht was recently hired as an associate by Galanda Broadman, the Seattle-based law firm dedicated to representing American Indian interests.
Dreveskracht who completed his clerkship with Judge Kathleen Kay in the Western District of Louisiana has plenty of knowledge to offer the majority Indian-owned firm. His accolades include:
- L.L.M in Sustainable International Development from the University of Washington School of Law
- J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law – certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy
- B.A. in Philosophy and Law, Society, and Justice from the University of Washington
- A.A. from Lower Columbia College
- Published works in energy development, taxation, jurisdiction and tribal-federal relations
- Managing Editor of the National Lawyer’s Guild Review
With the knowledge that he brings to the firm, when asked what he may focus on Dreveskracht said, “A lot of the firm’s practice focuses on representing tribal governments in complex, critical litigation – ‘bet the tribe’ disputes if you will, where the stakes are infinite given some threat to the tribe’s sovereignty and very existence. Due to my experience behind the U.S. District Court bench as a judicial clerk, a lot of my efforts so far have focused on federal civil procedure – issues that ultimately make or break most cases brought by or against tribal parties. Other than that, I have particular expertise in issues of Indian economic development, renewable and solar energy, and taxation.”
“Ryan just finished a U.S. District Court clerkship, so he has a perspective from the federal bench that is invaluable to our firm and our tribal government and business clients. He knows what goes on behind the scenes in federal court, and has an almost innate ability to navigate the procedural hoops necessary to get the results we need for our clients,” Gabe Galanda said. “Ryan also writes very well and has an uncanny ability when it comes to legal research – his ability to identify and interpret legal authority can be the difference between winning and losing.”
Dreveskracht started with the firm on August 15, but is familiar working with Gabe Galanda and Anthony Broadman from when he was a Summer Associate of theirs previously.
Dreveskracht, much like the firm of Galanda and Broadman, have been around Indian issues for years. As tribes continue to grow in multiple areas so do legal battles. According to Dreveskracht, the larger issue right now is this sense of invading the sovereignty of tribal governments.
“State governments are currently issuing bonds on money that they don’t have – money that is contingent on, for reasons too complex to get into here, invading the sovereignty of tribal governments,” he said. “In short, state governments are bankrupt and they are now more than ever looking to tribes to fill their coffers. So, tribes are now facing widespread state and local government attacks on their sovereignty, through civil regulatory and tax encroachment. And until state economies rebound, those attacks on Indian sovereignty are only going to become more frequent and more severe.”
Whether Indian country is up to the challenge or not isn’t an issue as Dreveskracht sees it. He feels tribes have a handle on its overall issues.
“Tough times do call for tough measures, and I think that Indian country is up to the challenge. Diversifying business; actively asserting sovereignty; reinvesting in local economies; protecting areas of cultural significance; investing in clean energy; generally reevaluating the playing field – this is what’s going on in Indian country today. In other words, unlike state governments who have no qualms invading the sovereignty of tribal nations, tribal governments are on their own, looking inward for solutions – and finding them. Personally, I am honored to be a part of it,” Dreveskracht said.
Another move for Galanda and Broadman came in the recent announcement of Broadman being elected as Chair of the WSBA Administrative Law Section at its meeting on September 15. The Administrative Law Section serves the interests of public and private sector attorneys working with state, local and tribal government agencies, as well as administrative law judges, hearing officers, review officers and other judicial personnel.