Uniquely Experienced Tribal Attorney

Advocate for American Indian nations and Native-owned business

Our Team

Robert Odawi Porter is an innovative and results-driven attorney, scholar and political leader who has devoted his professional career to advancing the rights of sovereign American Indian nations and tribes [in the United States].  A citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Rob was raised in the Nation’s Allegany Territory and earned his education from Syracuse University and Harvard Law School.  He served two terms as Seneca chief legal counsel, as founding chairman of Seneca Holdings LLC, and, in 2010, was elected as the Seneca Nation’s 67th President.  He has served as a tenured law professor at the University of Kansas, the University of Iowa, and Syracuse University, and written numerous academic articles on tribal law and governance and a book, “Sovereignty, Colonialism, and the Indigenous Nations; A Reader.” 

A proven advocate, Rob has successfully defended and protected federal and state governments tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. He served a lead role in efforts to stop New York State from taxing Seneca commerce and was a key player in the ending IRS' practice of auditing Indians for benefits received from their tribal governments under the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014.

As I see it, ‘sovereignty’ as applied to Indigenous nations simply means freedom, the freedom of a people to choose what their future will be.

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians
Heron Clan / Allegany Territory

Academic Experience

  • Professor of Law, Syracuse University (2003-2010)
  • Founding Director, Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship
  • Professor of Law, University of Iowa (2002-2003)
  • Professor of Law, University of Kansas (1995-2002)
    Founding Director, Tribal Law and Government Center
  • Author of 20 scholarly articles on American Indian Law & Policy

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians

  • Heron Clan
  • Allegany Territory

Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School (1989)
  • A.B. Syracuse University in Political Science and Economics (1986)

Tribal Government Experience

  • President and Chief Executive Officer, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (2010-2012)
  • Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (2004-2010)
  • Attorney General, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (1991-1995)

Business Experience

  • Founding Chairman, Seneca Holdings LLC (2009-2013)

Legal Experience

  • Senior Counsel, Dentons US LLP (2013 – present)
  • Associate, Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin (1989-1991)

Strategic Partners

As client needs require, Odawi Law PLLC is able to draw upon a national network of distinguished individuals and firms with experience working in Indian Country.  Following the initial consultation, we will develop a services proposal for client consideration.  This business approach ensures that client needs and objectives are achieved in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Matthew Mattson has extensive experience representing Indian tribes on a wide variety of legal matters, including government relations, infrastructure, policy and code development, economic development, casino operations, gaming regulation, environmental matters, natural resources and general business, employment, finance and transactional matters that involve Tribal Governments and Tribal Enterprises.

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians
Heron Clan / Allegany Territory

Experience

Since obtaining his JD in 2000 from the University of Oregon, Matt Mattson has developed extensive experience as legal counsel and advocate for tribes, businesses, as well as individual clients. He has focused his skills in Indian Law, Environmental Law, Land Use Law, and Business & Employment Law.

Matthew Mattson

Mr. Mattson is a corporate and business attorney based in the Puget Sound Region

Education

  • J.D. University of Oregon (2000)
  • B.S. The George Washington University (1996)

Legal Experience

  • Principal, Mattson Law Firm, Spokane and Seattle, WA
  • Associate, Holland & Knight, LLP (2005-2010)
  • Associate, Nordhaus, Haltom, Taylor, Taradash & Bladh, LLP (2003-2005)

Richard J. Frias is an attorney in private practice where he focuses on Indian Law, Commercial Transactions, and Corporate Formation. He has extensive legal and policy experience in Washington working on behalf of tribes. Richard is Chiricahua Apache and enrolled in the Chihene Nde Nation. He is based in New Mexico.

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians
Heron Clan / Allegany Territory

Experience

Richard Frias is a former Legislative Director for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in Washington, D.C. At NIGA, he advocated before members of Congress, the National Indian Gaming Commission, and other executive branch agencies on behalf of tribal governments. After returning to New Mexico, Richard worked in-house for the Pueblo of Pojoaque, serving first as Special Counsel and later as Chief Counsel to the Governor. In 2017, Richard started his own practice, Frias Indian Law and Policy. Richard is licensed to practice law in New Mexico and the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Court.

Richard Frias

Education

  • J.D. University of New Mexico (2011), Certificate in Indian Law
  • B.A. University of California, Irvine (1990)

Legal and Policy Experience

  • Principal, Frias Indian Law and Policy, Sante Fe, New Mexico
  • Special Counsel and Chief Counsel, Pueblo of Pojoaque
  • Legislative Director, National Indian Gaming Association