Brian’s Indian law practice began over 30 years ago with his representation of Chippewa Indians in a successful federal court lawsuit to enjoin interference with treaty-reserved off-reservation fishing rights. As leader of the firm's Indian Nations team, Brian's primary objective is to draw on the knowledge and experience of Godfrey & Kahn's attorneys to assist tribes in formulating and implementing strategies that strengthen tribal sovereignty, with a particular focus on business development, environmental protection, renewable energy and housing development. Brian also frequently advises tribes on tribal constitutional, ordinance and governance matters. He has extensive experience representing developers, lenders and others who partner with tribes to pursue Indian country business opportunities.
Brian has worked on Indian land title records reform with the National Congress of American Indians and leasing reform with the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC). A frequent conference speaker and author on Indian law issues, Brian's recent articles on Indian country housing development and the Indian Nonintercourse Act were published in the American Bar Association's Affordable Housing Journal and the Federal Lawyer Magazine, respectively. He is the author of the NAIHC's Indian Country Housing Development Handbook.
Admitted To Practice
Wisconsin - 1983
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Various tribal courts
Chair of Wisconsin State Bar Indian Law Section
Board Member, Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Board Member, Spotted Eagle, Inc.
Former Adjunct Professor, Marquette Law School
Listed in Best Lawyers (Native American Law, 2013 - present)
Recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer (2005 - 2017)
Wisconsin's Civil Libertarian of the Year award - American Civil Liberties Union
Service to Indian Country award - American Indian Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin
AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
The National Law Review Go-To Thought Leader Award (2019, 2021)
Juris Doctor, University of Wisconsin Law School, 1983, cum laude