William R. Perry joined the firm in 1978 and became a partner in 1984.  Mr. Perry has represented Indian tribes on a broad range of matters for over thirty years. While he has represented many tribes during this time, he takes particular satisfaction in having had the opportunity to serve the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continuously throughout his legal career.

Mr. Perry has handled significant federal and state court litigation, as well as federal administrative appeals, regarding a variety of federal Indian law matters, including jurisdictional disputes, reservation boundary matters, state efforts to tax transactions in Indian country, Public Law 280 disputes, claims for damages for wrongs committed by the federal government, cases arising under the Indian Child Welfare Act, the American Indian Probate Reform Act and many others.  Many of the cases he has handled have involved the intersection between Tribal history and Federal Indian law, an area of special emphasis in his practice.  

Mr. Perry has broad experience regarding tribal gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), including litigation to protect tribal authority to continue gaming in the face of a legal challenge based on a state constitutional amendment that broadly prohibited gaming under state law.  He has negotiated compacts and management agreements, developed tribal gaming ordinances, assisted tribes win connection with various gaming investigations and personnel disputes, and advised tribal gaming commissions regarding their regulatory duties.  He has addressed matters before the NIGC, including obtaining favorable Indian lands decisions for tribes under section 20 of IGRA. 

He has worked extensively on Tribal environmental matters, including successfully assisting tribes in securing Treatment as a State status, which enables Tribes to develop and implement their own environmental standards to protect their reservations.  He also has substantial expertise on the trust land acquisition process – including both the nuts and bolts of the process and the legal issues associated with the frequent challenges to trust land acquisitions. 

 He has also represented tribes before Congress.  For example, he represented the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in securing enactment of the Equitable Compensation Act, which provides a perpetual fund of $90.6 million, for losses connected with the flooding of Indian lands by a federal water project along the Missouri River.


  • Member of the Georgetown University Law Journal (1978)

Reported Decisions

  • Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, 133 S. Ct. 2552 (2013)
  • Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Fort Peck Indian Reservation v. Norton, 527 F. Supp. 2d 130 (D.D.C. 2007)
  • Dairyland Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Doyle, 719 N.W.2d 408 (Wis.2006) 
  • Samish Indian Nation v. United States, 419 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2005)  
  • Taxpayers of Michigan Against Casinos v. State, 685 N.W.2d 221 (Mich. 2004)   
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. Janklow, 103 F. Supp.2d 1146 (D.S.D. 2000)
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. South Dakota, 900 F.2d 1164 (8th Cir. 1990), reh'g denied, cert. denied, 500 U.S. 915 (1990)
  • American Indian Agric. Credit Consortium, Inc. v. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, 780 F.2d 1374 (8th Cir. 1985)
  • Knight v. Shoshone & Arapahoe Indian Tribes of Wind River Reservation, Wyo., 670 F.2d 900 (10th Cir. 1982)


Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, 1978

Brown University,  A.B., 1975

Bar & Court Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1978
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1996
  • U.S. District Court  for the District of North Dakota, 2001
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Court