Donald J. Simon joined the firm as an associate in 1982 and became a partner in 1984. Mr. Simon has worked on litigation and administrative law matters, and has represented tribal interests in water rights, fishing rights, self-determination issues, boundary disputes, jurisdictional matters, sovereignty issues, land claims, Indian gaming and general litigation. He has been co-counsel in administrative and court proceedings involving contract support cost issues under the Indian Self-Determination Act, including as co-class counsel in the breach of contract class action against the United States for underpayment of contract support costs, Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, 132 S. Ct. 2181 (2012). 

Mr. Simon is an expert on campaign finance and election law issues, and has for over thirty years been involved in numerous legislative initiatives and litigation matters on campaign finance and related issues.  He also has substantial expertise on issues relating to ethics in government, redistricting, disclosure, and regulation of lobbying.  Mr. Simon has testified numerous times before Congress and the Federal Election Commission on issues relating to the interpretation and constitutionality of the federal campaign finance laws.  He has also appeared in virtually all major media outlets as a knowledgeable expert on campaign finance and related matters. 

From 1995 through 2000, Mr. Simon served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Common Cause, where he directed legislative and legal programs for the organization. Currently, Mr. Simon is general counsel to Democracy 21, a leading campaign finance reform organization.  Mr. Simon also has participated in election monitoring on behalf of the National Democratic Institute (Peru, 2000), and has been sponsored by NDI on trips to Russia and Algeria to speak to parliamentarians and the media on issues relating to regulation of politics in the United States.

Mr. Simon graduated from Harvard College (magna cum laude) in 1975 and from Harvard Law School (cum laude) in 1978.  He is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia.

Reported Decisions

  • City of Duluth v. Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, 843 N.W.2d 577 (Minn. 2014) 
  • Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, 132 S.Ct. 2181 (2012)
  • Arctic Slope Native Ass'n, Ltd. v. Sebelius, 699 F.3d 1289 (Fed. Cir. 2012)
  • United States v. Confederated Tribes of Colville Indian Reservation, 606 F.3d 698 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • U.S. ex rel. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Cmty. v. Pan Am. Mgmt. Co., 616 F. Supp. 1200 (D. Minn. 1985) 


Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude

Harvard College, B.A., magna cum laude

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, 2013
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1987