James T. Meggesto, Esq. is a partner and deputy practice leader of the Native American Law Practice Group based in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office. He focuses his practice on legal matters involving Native American tribes, including issues involving policy and regulation, public law, tribal sovereignty, gaming and compact negotiation, project development, finance and litigation.
Mr. Meggesto began his career in Native American affairs in Washington, D.C., nearly 25 years ago as a staff professional at the National Congress of American Indians, focusing on intergovernmental affairs, including the first-ever White House meeting between the president and tribal leaders from all federally recognized Indian tribes. His legal career in federal Indian law started at a nationally renowned boutique firm. In his role at Holland & Knight, he provides clients with the full range of legal services needed in Indian Country with the resources of a full-service international law firm.
Throughout his career, Mr. Meggesto has been devoted to the exclusive representation of Indian tribes, tribal governmental entities and economic ventures that do business with Indian tribes. Mr. Meggesto represents Indian tribes and tribal interests nationwide and in federal, state and tribal courts as well as before Congress and federal agencies. He has argued cases in several federal district courts, multiple circuit courts of appeals and has second-chaired two Indian law cases before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Meggesto has also argued cases in several tribal courts.
Typical tribal representations involve complex litigation and transactional matters, such as gaming laws, land-into-trust matters, economic development initiatives and federal treaty rights litigation. In addition, Mr. Meggesto is a frequent speaker on Native American topics and is the author of a chapter in the book Emerging Issues in Tribal-State Relations, 2014 edition.