Stephen Anstey is a litigator and member of Kilpatrick Townsend’s Native American Affairs team. His practice focuses on energy, environmental matters and sustainability, complex property disputes, rights-of-way trespass, class actions, oil and gas, treaty rights, Tribal governance and statutory drafting, and Tribal economic development. In addition, Mr. Anstey has worked extensively on pro bono civil rights matters.
Mr. Anstey earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He practices in Kilpatrick Townsend’s Washington D.C. office.
While receiving his LL.M. from Harvard Law School, Mr. Anstey researched and wrote extensively on complex litigation, property law, banking, and federal Indian law. Mr. Anstey also served as the Graduate Student Representative of the Harvard Law School chapter of the Native American Law Students Association.
Prior to receiving his LL.M., Mr. Anstey was one of approximately 20 law school graduates from around the world accepted into the Harvard Law School Graduate Program as a Visiting Researcher. While serving as a Visiting Researcher, Mr. Anstey wrote on federal Indian law, property law, contract law, and comparative international law under the sponsorship of Professor Joseph Singer. During this time, Mr. Anstey also served as the Executive Director of the Native Amicus Briefing Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of federal Indian law in the federal courts as well as in the legal community at large.
While attending the University of Michigan Law School, Mr. Anstey served as the Chairman of the University of Michigan chapter of the Native American Law Students Association. He also interned for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Court where he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Allie Greenleaf Maldonado.
Mr. Anstey was recognized as a 2019 Washington D.C. “Rising Star” for Native American Law by Super Lawyers magazine.
Kilpatrick Townsend currently represents enrolled members of the Comanche, Caddo, Apache, Cherokee, and Kiowa Tribes of Oklahoma, who own an allotment outside of Anadarko, Oklahoma, on which a natural gas pipeline was first constructed in 1980. The easement expired in 2000, yet the pipeline company continued to operate the pipeline for more than 16 years. After being turned away by several other firms, the landowners contacted Kilpatrick Townsend, which agreed to take on their case. After filing an action for trespass, the firm secured a succession of rulings in their favor – including Orders dismissing the natural gas company’s condemnation claims and rejecting arguments to limit the landowners’ damages. The firm’s legal team then filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and for a Permanent Injunction, asking that the Court find that the natural gas company was in trespass and order it to remove the pipeline from the landowners’ property. Granting that motion, the Court found that “plaintiffs have objected to the renewal of the easement and defendants’ continued use of the pipeline from the time defendants first sought the renewal of the easement,” and that the natural gas company and its predecessor had failed to comply with any of the federal statutes under which they could have secured a valid easement. Therefore, the Court found that “defendants’ continuing trespass on plaintiffs’ property is clearly not unintentional,” granted summary judgment on liability in Plaintiffs’ favor, and entered the following permanent injunction: Defendants are hereby permanently enjoined from using the pipeline under the tract at issue in this case and are hereby required to remove said pipeline within six months of the date of this Order. Damages for the natural gas company’s trespass remain to be determined. Marcia W. Davilla, et al. v. Enable Midstream Partners, L.P., et al., No. 5:2015cv01262 (W.D. Okla. 2016).
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Harvard Law School, LL.M. (2016)
University of Michigan Law School, J.D. (2013)
University of Connecticut, B.A., Political Science (2010)
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Federal Claims (2018)
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (2017)
U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota (2019)
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas (2018)
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Court - Honorable Allie Greenleaf Maldonado (May-Aug 2012)
University of Michigan Native American Law Students Association, Chair (2011-2012)
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