Bradley Downes PictureMr. Bledsoe Downes is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation and has years of experience in Indian affairs with over three years as an on-reservation tribal attorney. Mr.Bledsoe Downes has assisted tribes with negotiation of tribal-state gaming compacts under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”) and was a member of the executive steering committee for California’s Proposition 5 (1998). Mr. Bledsoe Downes’ tribal background and reservation-based experience have resulted in a unique understanding of the political and legal landscapes regarding Indian affairs, Indian gaming issues, and the day-to-day impacts of state and federal policies on Indian tribes and individual Indians. Mr. Bledsoe Downes has a practical understanding of the corporate and business transactional practice and has assisted tribes in complex business ventures. Mr. Bledsoe Downes has negotiated and implemented complex business transactions for the development, financing and management of casinos and ancillary development for several tribal governments, including related real property transactions, fee to trust applications, leases, and loans for tribal governments.

Mr. Bledsoe Downes also has extensive experience in drafting tribal constitutions, codes, ordinances and policies, including tribal court codes and procedures, election and enrollment ordinances, Class II and Class III gaming ordinances, human resource policies and procedures. In addition to his extensive experience in Indian gaming, Mr. Bledsoe Downes has dealt as a tribal attorney with all facets of tribal government and jurisdictional issues, including law enforcement, timber management and sales, land acquisition, regulatory authority and taxation, Indian child welfare, energy development, tribal business and financial development, water rights, self-governance, housing, education, health care, taxation, environmental, employment and labor, tribal tort claim defense, and issues relating to tribal enrollment and tribal sovereign immunity.

Tribal Affiliation

  • Chickasaw Nation

Mr. Bledsoe Downes has extensive litigation experience. The following cases highlight Mr. Bledsoe Downes’ litigation practice.

  • Chemehuevi Indian Tribe v. Wilson, 987 F.Supp. 804 (N.D. Cal 1997)
  • Bugenig v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, Case No. C-98-3409 CW (N.D. Cal 1999)
  • Bugenig v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, 25 I.L.R. 6139 (Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals)
  • Kelsey v. TERO Commission, 25 I.L.R. 6222 (Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals)
  • Moore v. Hoopa Valley Tribe, 26 I.L.R. 6013 (Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals)
  • Orozco v. Risling, 25 I.L.R. 6223 (Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals)
  • Pratt v. Hoopa Valley Police Department, 25 I.L.R. 6250 (Hoopa Valley Tribal Court of Appeals)

Mr. Bledsoe Downes is admitted to practice in the following jurisdictions:

Federal Courts:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the District of Nebraska

State Courts:

  • California
  • Arizona

Tribal Courts:

  • Hoopa Valley Tribal Court
  • Hopi Tribal Court
  • Quechan Tribal Court
  • Yurok Tribal Court

Mr. Bledsoe Downes has received the following honors during his career:

  • Best Lawyers in America – Gaming Law (2005-2013)
  • Rising Star (2004)

Mr. Bledsoe Downes received the following degrees from the following academic


  • Arizona State University College of Law, J.D., 1994
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1991

Mr. Bledsoe Downes has given the following presentations and lectures:

  • Indian Law 101 – Tribal Courts – ASU March 2012
  • Labor and Employment Laws in Indian Country – State Bar of Arizona March 2012 & November 2012
  • “Resort & Casino Development on Tribal Lands” – CLE International March 2009
  • “Inter-Tribal Ventures: Exploring New Opportunities” – Global Gaming Exposition 2007
  • “Navajo Nation Department of Justice: 25 Years of In-House Legal Counsel, Reflections from within and without” – Navajo Nation Department of Justice 25th Anniversary Seminar
  • “Economic Development in Indian Country” – American Bar Association
  • “Tribal Gaming Law – Update” – State Bar of Nevada
  • “Civilizing Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country” – Arizona State Bar Association – Indian Law Section
  • “Tribal Gaming Law” – State Bar of Nevada
  • “Tribal Labor Law” – Arizona State University, Indian Law 101
  • “Worker Protections and Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances” – Washington State Bar Association
  • “Ethics Roundtable” – Washington State Bar Association
  • “Federal Indian Policy – Federal/Indian Relationship (past, present, future)” – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • “Cabazon to Seminole: Legal Milestones in Indian Gaming” – Global Gaming Exposition 2001
  • “Proposition 1A – Insurance Compliance” – Tribal First Seminar
  • “Workers’ Compensation in Indian Country” – Dorsey & Whitney LLP Employment Seminar
  • “Handling TERO Rules and Responsibilities” – Dorsey & Whitney LLP Employment Seminar
  • “Unions and Tribes: How Odd Bedfellows Can Work Together” – Global Gaming Exposition 2002