Attorney Bio

Tribal Law. Tribal Solutions.



Louisville, CO
P: 303.673.9600
F: 303.673.9155

Mr. Rasmussen joined the firm as a partner in 2011.

Tribal and federal court litigation and appeals; tribal sovereignty and self-determination; taxation, environmental and cultural preservation; general tribal representation.

Washington State; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits; District of North Dakota; and numerous tribal courts. (Not Licensed in the State of Colorado).

University of Washington (J.D., 1991); Grinnell College (B.A., 1983).

Mr. Rasmussen has practiced solely on behalf of tribes and tribal members since 1993. His current practice is primarily in appeals and complex or high-stakes litigation in support of tribal sovereign authority to legislate, adjudicate, regulate, and tax; and in complex business litigation. This includes hundreds of appellate and trial court matters, covering virtually all types of cases which impact tribes, including: jurisdictional disputes, diminishment and disestablishment, environmental regulations, federal/tribal consultation, tribal construction and finance, NAHASDA, NAGPRA, IGRA, ICWA, NHPA, NEPA, intellectual property, interpretation of tribal law; bankruptcy, criminal cases, and tort defense.

He has provided instruction on tribal jurisdiction and other issues at multiple continuing legal education classes and at the National Tribal Judicial College.

While his practice is now almost exclusively litigation, he has numerous years of experience providing general representation to tribes; tribal housing authorities; tribal school boards; and other tribal commissions, departments, and tribal businesses. This included work creating tribal courts, tribal gaming commissions and gaming organizations, tribal departments and corporations. It also includes gaming and other compacting with states, 638 contracting, and virtually all other areas of general tribal representation.

Ute Indian Tribe v. Myton, 835 F.3d 1255 (10th Cir. 2016) (agreeing with Tribe on all major issues in long-running jurisdictional dispute); Ute Indian Tribe v. Utah, 789 F.3d 1000 (10th Cir. 2015), cert denied 136 S.Ct. 1451 (same); Attorney′s Process and Investigation Services, Inc. v. Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, 609 F.3d 927 (8th Cir. 2010) (affirming tribal court jurisdiction under second Montana exception); In re N.V.,744 N.W. 2d 634 (Iowa 2008) (affirming transfer of off-Reservation ICWA matter to tribal court); Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa Election Bd. V. Bureau of Indian Affairs, 439 F.3d 832 (8th Cir. 2006) (representing Tribe, and prevailing in District Court and Court of Appeals on complex tribal election issue); Prescott v. Little Six, Inc., 387 F.3d 753 (8th Cir. 2004), cert denied, 544 U.S. 1032 (2005) (reversing District Court and reinstating tribal court decision, holding that tribal court had jurisdiction to determine existence of ERISA plan and that tribal court′s determination was dispositive); Confederated Tribes v. Wiley, 2 CCAR 60 (1995) (representing Wiley in criminal matter, and obtaining ruling barring the Tribes from delegating sovereign authority to the state); Wyoming v. United States, 136 F.Supp. 3d 1317 (D. Wyo. 2015) (granting tribe′s motion to enjoin federal regulations based upon failure to adequately consult with Tribe); Maney v. Ho-Chunk Nation Election Board, 11 Am Tribal Law 212 (Ho-Chunk, 2013)(representing Election Board, which prevailed on election appeal).

During law school, Mr. Rasmussen was a research assistant to a law school professor and a legal intern at two agencies which provided legal services to low-income people. Prior to attending law school, he was a community and tenant organizer, and worked in geology and an art library.

Mr. Rasmussen has presented Continuing Legal Education classes on jurisdiction in Indian Country, ICWA, and tribal court practice, including a full-day seminar on jurisdiction for tribal court judges at the National Judicial College.

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