Indian Law

Burch & Cracchiolo has close relationships and a long-standing history of representing Native American tribes, tribal corporations and business enterprises, as well as government officials and individual tribal members in various jurisdictions throughout the western United States.  Our understanding and commitment to tribal sovereignty, the promotion and advancement of self-determination and respect for traditional values and natural law has enabled us to effectively represent our clients in cases ranging from peacemaking mediations and trials in tribal court to successfully defending key principles of tribal court jurisdiction and sovereignty before the United States Supreme Court. 

The Firm’s team of experienced litigators and appellate advocates appreciate the unique attributes of sovereign nations and also work closely with tribally-owned insurance carriers, risk retention trusts and third-party administrators to protect their respective interests with the highest degree of efficiency and professionalism.   

Our attorneys are available to advise tribal governments and related entities in matters of economic development, labor and employment law, real estate and finance, as well as litigation of general liability claims on or off-reservation.

Burch & Cracchiolo does not practice family law in Native American jurisdictions or in tribal courts.


Todd Julian

Todd Julian is a senior partner with more than 22 years of litigation experience at all levels of state, federal and tribal courts.  Todd is an Arizona native and received his undergraduate and juris doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona.  He has been with Burch & Cracchiolo since 1989 and is a Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation.  In addition, Todd has been recognized by Southwest Super Lawyers (2012) and ranked among Arizona’s Finest Lawyers (2011), in addition to receiving an AV preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. 

For many years, Todd worked closely with insureds of Native American Insurance Company, a wholly owned enterprise of the Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, and Indian Nations Insurance Company, a Chitimacha tribal enterprise, defending general liability claims, including auto/trucking accidents, premises liability and general negligence claims, dram shop cases, workers’ comp/industrial claims, as well as civil rights and claims against government entities or officials based on tribal law or as federal tort claims based on Section 638 Self-Determination Contracts. 

Todd has experience with motion practice and jury trials in various tribal courts, and a record of successfully advocating and advancing Native American rights, including published decisions in state court, such as Beltran v. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 220 Ariz. 29, 202 P.3d 494 (App. 2008) (affirming tribal sovereign immunity and tribal court jurisdiction, which is binding in state court actions) and in federal court with Cook v. Avi Casino Enterprises, 548 F.3d 719 (9th Cir. 2008), cert. denied 129 S.Ct. 2159 (2009) (upholding sovereign immunity for wholly-owned tribal corporations and individual employees). 

Todd has been admitted to the Arizona Supreme Court (1989), the U.S. District Court (1990), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1995), the Ft. Mohave Tribal Court (1995), the Wind River Tribal Court (1997), the Quileute Tribal Court (2000), the Colorado River Tribal Court (2002), the Haulapai Tribal Court (2005), the Ak-Chin Community Tribal Court (2007), the White Mountain Apache Tribal Court (2010), and has appeared pro hac vice in other tribal courts, including the Navajo Nation and the San Carlos Apache Tribal Court.  

Jake Curtis

Jake Curtis has had an interest in Native American law since attending the University of Iowa College of Law where he studied with Professor Robert Clinton, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Native American law and who is currently Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. While in law school, Jake won first prize in a student writing competition for a paper on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.  As a practicing attorney Jake furthered his interest and experience in Native American law and gaming regulation and has since been retained as outside counsel for the Arizona Department of Gaming on gaming compact compliance issues.

Jake’s diverse experience includes preparing a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a Native American tribe seeking the right to conduct gaming on its reservation and being hired by Arizona State University to investigate allegations of misuse of blood samples taken from members of Havasupai Tribe.  In another matter, Jake was called upon to provide an Opinion of Compliance with tribal law on a $200,000,000 loan refinance for gaming facilities.  Jake has litigated general liability, contract and construction defect cases in the Ak-Chin Community Court, the Gila River Community Court and in the Navajo Nation, and currently represents a class of residents of the Navajo Nation in a consumer class action that is pending in the Navajo Nation tribal court.  Jake also has experience in complex civil litigation commercial and business disputes, employment and civil rights matters, receivership actions, patent claims and securities litigation.

Jake is a shareholder with Burch & Cracchiolo, who received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley.    Jake is admitted to the Arizona Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.  He is admitted to both the Navajo Nation and Ak-Chin Indian Community Bar Associations and serves on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Indian Center.

Melissa Iyer Julian

Melissa Iyer Julian has been practicing with Burch & Cracchiolo since 2006 and is a shareholder with the firm.  Melissa has represented various governmental institutions and elected officers including the Maricopa County Attorneys’ Office, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State of Arizona in a number of high profile cases with claims including negligence, Section 1983 liability, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act.  She has been a key player in the representation of the State of Arizona in two cases before the United States Supreme Court.

Melissa’s appellate advocacy skills were also instrumental to victories on behalf of Native American tribes, including her work on the reported decisions of Beltran v. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 220 Ariz. 29, 202 P.3d 494 (App. 2008) and Cook v. Avi Casino Enterprises, 548 F.3d 719 (9th Cir. 2008), cert. denied 129 S.Ct. 2159 (2009), as well as Rosenberg v. Hual ‘Bay Enterprises and other cases. 

Melissa also has considerable experience representing businesses in commercial matters including securities litigation, business and partnership disputes, and real estate disputes. She is an honors graduate of Southern University Dedman School of Law and received a BA in English from Southwestern University. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of Arizona, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ken Januszewski

Ken Januszewski has over 30 years of experience handling a broad array of litigation on behalf of insured parties, both as staff counsel with insurance carriers and as outside counsel.  While staff counsel at a major insurance carrier, Ken served on its nationwide Public Sector Center for Excellence, a group of select lawyers representing public entities such as water districts and Native American tribal governments and continues to represent public entities and tribal governments in Arizona and New Mexico in private practice.   Ken, who is admitted to practice in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Michigan, has lectured to national audiences on Native American law issues.

Ken practices in all areas of General Liability and Construction-related litigation and serves as the Practice Group Chair for the Firm’s Construction Defect and General Liability Practice involving Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico claims.  He has served as lead counsel for construction industry clients in multi-million dollar residential and commercial litigation matters for clients including numerous developers, general contractors and subcontractors in complex litigation matters.  

Ken has represented governmental entities in Section 1983 civil rights claims, and his depth of experience in general liability and construction defect claims includes successfully handling many appeals and interlocutory appeals before the Arizona Court of Appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ken received his law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law and his undergraduate degree in History from Wayne State University.  He joined Burch & Cracchiolo in 2011 as Of Counsel to the Firm. 

 

Indian Tribal Government Relations

Trust and long-standing relationships with the state and sovereign nations have been the driving force behind our Tribal government relations practice. Our firm collectively brings expertise in government relations and ancillary areas, which enable us to provide extremely seasoned attorneys to help our clients.

Gaming law is a particular area of focus of our Tribal government relations attorneys. Burch & Cracchiolo represents the State of Arizona and has represented gaming vendors and Tribal governments in five Western States as well as Tribal gaming offices. We have extensive experience in Indian gaming and gaming regulation, and have played an integral part in negotiating tribal-state gaming compacts and intergovernmental agreements. The firm has also drafted and applied gaming regulations and ordinances, and assisted gaming regulators. Several of our attorneys are admitted to practice before Tribal courts and are members of Tribal bar organizations.

Burch & Cracchiolo has represented Tribes in litigation on a wide range of subjects, including gaming, sovereignty issues, and compact legislation and proposition challenges. With respect to the internal workings of Tribal governments, the firm has assisted Tribes in forming and applying internal policies and procedures, addressing employment issues and drafting ordinances. Burch & Cracchiolo’s attorneys collectively provide a great deal of expertise in government relations and ancillary areas. This enables the firm to provide extremely seasoned attorneys who can help a client directly or through its existing counsel.

Business Litigation

Business litigation attorneys provide services for our clients in regard to disputes in a full array of disputes related to contracts, business torts, partnerships, professional malpractice, trademarks, franchise, AZRAC and federal RICO, health care, securities litigation, trade secrets, collections, covenants not to compete, Uniform Commercial Code, and various other business related matters.

Administrative Law

Administrative law necessitates that the firm you choose be extremely knowledgeable regarding the governmental decision-making process. Burch & Cracchiolo attorneys are particularly well suited to perform this work. Historically, our firm has handled a broad range of matters at the local, county, state and federal levels.

We are skilled in representing clients in a variety of administrative proceedings before various state boards and agencies. These agencies include the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Racing Commission, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the State Land Department, the Arizona Department of Insurance, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Department of Revenue.

In addition to this work, attorneys at Burch & Cracchiolo have an extensive collection of knowledge in assisting clients in processing administrative applications and requests such as liquor licenses, contractors’ licenses, environmental permits, and land use/right-of-way matters. The firm also has experience in gaming law and represents Tribes in five western states, gaming vendors, and the State of Arizona with respect to Tribal gaming.

At the county and city level, attorneys at Burch & Cracchiolo are accomplished in representing clients in connection with matters involving approvals required for real property development efforts and commercial business operations. Finally, attorneys at Burch & Cracchiolo often deal with matters such as appealing real property tax assessments and seeking development entitlements.