Attorney Bio

Tribal Law. Tribal Solutions.


Michael Novotny

Omaha, NE
P: 402-333-4053
F: 402-333-4761

Mr. Novotny joined the firm in 2017.

Mr. Novotny joined the firm as an Associate, and worked at the firm as a Summer Associate in both 2016 and 2015. His practice centers on tribal self-governance with a focus in economic development, natural resource procurement and production, and religious freedom. Particularly, he is well-versed in contract formation and tribal code drafting. He also has experience assisting with litigation matters, primarily with discovery. He has also worked on matters concerning tribal housing, including evictions. Mr. Novotny has published four scholarly works focusing on tribal issues, and has either won or been a finalist in several national writing competitions. As a 2016 Squire Patton Boggs Fellow in Public Policy, Mr. Novotny worked in the Navajo Nation.

Mr. Novotny adds nearly a decade of experience working as an archaeologist in the American Southwest at private environmental compliance firms and the U.S. Forest Service. This work involved the inventory, documentation, and mitigation of archaeological resources in compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for major energy-development undertakings on federal and tribal lands. Mr. Novotny was directly involved in the tribal consultation process for many of these projects, and has authored over eighteen (18) NEPA and NHPA compliance reports.

Federal Indian Law; Tribal Law and Governance; Contract Law; Environmental Law; First Amendment and Religious Freedom.

Arizona, Nebraska

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2017) Executive Board Member and Senior Articles Editor SMU Science and Technology Law Review; Northern Arizona University (M.A., with distinction, Anthropological Archaeology 2007); Boise State University (B.A., magna cum laude, Anthropological Archaeology 2005).

Law Clerk at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (2017); Squire Patton Boggs Fellow in Public Policy at DNA Peoples Legal Services (2016); Summer Associate at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP (2015-16): Law Clerk at U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney′s Office for the Northern District of Texas (2014); Law Clerk at U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resource Division, Indian Resources Section (2014).

State Bar of Arizona; Native American Bar Association of Arizona; American Bar Association; Nebraska State Bar Association

LEGAL AUTHORSHIP: A Statutory Tangle: How the Clean Power Plan Violates Clean Air Act Section 301(d) and the Tribal Authority Rule, 46:1 Tex. Envt′l L. J. 67 (Mar. 2016); Could Pro-Football v. Blackhorse Be a Knock-Out Punch to Trademark Law?, Nat′l L. Rev., available at: (July 11, 2016); Excluding Non-Federally Recognized Tribal Members from Obtaining Eagle Parts Under 50 C.F.R. Section 22.22 Violates Post-Burwell RFRA, SSRN No. 2780493 (May 16, 2016), unpublished paper, available at; Co-authored with Francis Smiley, Motisinom: Ancient Peoples from Pleistocene to Pueblo, in Hisat′sinom: People in a Land without Water (Christian E. Downum ed., 2012).

2016 Squire Patton Boggs Fellowship; Winner of 2016 National Law Review Writing Competition; Finalist of 2016 American Constitution Law (ACS) Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition; Third Place Winner of 2016 American Indian Law Review Writing Competition; Best Brief Nominee of 2014 Jackson Walker Moot Court Competition; Recipient of SMU Dedman School of Law Dean′s Scholarship; Recipient of LexisNexis Law Preview Scholarship; Recipient of 2012 Southwest Book of the Year Award presented by Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records Agency.

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