Rob Roy Edward Stuart Smith
Partner

1420 Fifth Avenue Suite 3700, Seattle, WA USA 98101

Overview

Rob Roy Smith exclusively practices federal Indian law. He advises Indian tribal clients on all aspects of federal, state and tribal law, including tribal sovereignty, economic development, natural and cultural resource protection, taxation, and gaming.

Mr. Smith is dedicated to helping Indian tribal governments achieve their goals. Whether as general counsel or special litigation counsel, Mr. Smith consistently finds the best legal and business solutions to benefit tribal communities. 

Mr. Smith has successfully represented Indian tribal governments, individual Indians and tribal businesses in high-stakes litigation before tribal, state and federal courts, including numerous appellate courts, and the Washington and Idaho Supreme Courts, on issues ranging from protecting tribal sovereign immunity to securing treaty rights.  He has filed briefs before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Federal Claims on a variety of issues, including tribal jurisdiction, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and fiduciary duty.  Mr. Smith also has extensive experience litigating tribal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) cases to protect Tribal decision makers and in obtaining valuable taxable and tax-free financing for tribal economic development.

Mr. Smith was named a 2016 “Rising Star” by Law360 for Native American Law. He was listed by The Best Lawyers in America® for Native American Law in 2018 and the four years immediately preceding. He was recognized as a Washington “Super Lawyer” for Native American Law in 2017 and the three years immediately preceding by Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Smith was listed in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Native American Law and he was also ranked Nationally as “Up and Coming” for Native American Law in 2016 and 2017 by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

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Experience

Representation of a federally-recognized tribal government and gaming authority in the successful negotiation and closing of new secured credit facilities provided by a syndicate of bank lenders consisting of more than $300 million in aggregate principal amount of revolving loan (including letter of credit and swing line loan subfacilities) and term loan credit facilities (including an option to reallocate of a portion of term loans to tax exempt loans), together with an additional $50 million in optional incremental facilities, secured by assets of the gaming authority, for use in refinancing existing gaming and resort related indebtedness of the tribe and anticipated future casino and resort expansion projects. The transaction was named the NAFOA 2014 "Deal of the Year".

Represent an Indian tribe in California in $28M tax preemption litigation against County of Riverside.

Represent Indian tribes, tribal officials and tribal judges in Federal RICO actions and related tort litigation challenging Tribal decision making.

Represent Indian tribes with all aspects of Federal, State and Tribal taxation, including defending Indian tribes and Indian Casinos against IRS examinations, and assisting tribes with the development of taxation codes and general welfare policies.

Represent Indian tribe in Washington State tribe in ongoing treaty fishing rights litigation (U.S. v. Washington)

Represent Indian tribe in Washington State tribe in $50M contract dispute with State of Washington.

Representation the Quinault Indian Nation against four school districts, and their superintendents and athletic directors, alleging racial discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Washington State law.

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Insights
Services
Education

Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, J.D. (2000) Certificate in Natural Resources and Environment Law, cum laude
Animal Law Review, Editor in Chief (1999-2000)

College of the Holy Cross, B.A. (1997)

Admissions

Washington (2003)

Idaho (2001)

Oregon (2000)

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

U.S. Tax Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

Various Tribal Courts

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Professional & Community Activities

Executive Council, Seattle University School of Law's Center for Indian Law and Policy (March 2016-Present)

Adjunct Professor, Federal Indian Law, Seattle University School of Law (2008-Present)

Visiting Professor, The University of Montana School of Law,  Taxation and Finance in Indian Country (Aug. 2017)

Washington State BarBri, Federal Indian Law, Instructor (2009 to 2012)

Animal Legal Defense Fund, Volunteer Attorney (2007 to Present)

Idaho State Bar, Indian Law Section, Co-Founder and Past Chair

Washington State Bar, Indian Law Section, Member

Oregon State Bar, Indian Law Section, Member

Lewis and Clark Law School, Alumni Board of Directors, Member (2007 to 2012)

Marathon Maniac, Member

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