Areas of Practice
- Michigan, 1995
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1995
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1996
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2004
Duke University, J.D.
James Madison College and the Honors College at Michigan State University, B.A.
- with honors
R. Lance Boldrey's practice focuses on tribal and commercial gaming, and on Indian law (with an emphasis on economic development and state-tribal relations). He represents tribes, developers, banks and other non-tribal businesses, as well as state and local governments, and is a frequent speaker on Indian law topics. Mr. Boldrey is also a leader of the Firm's emerging Cannabis Law practice.
Prior to joining Dykema, Mr. Boldrey served as Deputy Legal Counsel to former Michigan Governor John Engler and was responsible for all aspects of the State of Michigan's relations with tribal governments.
- Indian gaming experience includes transactional work concluding business agreements between consultants, developers, management companies and tribes; negotiating tribal-state gaming compacts; and negotiating intergovernmental agreements involving tribes. In the litigation arena, Mr. Boldrey has been involved in federal and state court tribal gaming matters at the trial and appellate levels, as well as arbitrations.
- Mr. Boldrey has also assisted state and local governments in navigating complex tribal gaming matters. For example, Mr. Boldrey was retained by Governor Scott Walker to advise the state of Wisconsin regarding economic impacts and tribal compact implications of a proposed tribal casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
- Administrative law experience includes work on tribal fee-to-trust applications, the application of all of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act's exceptions that permit gaming on "after-acquired lands," and approvals of tribal-state gaming compacts.
- Indian gaming financing work includes representing tribes, banks and investors and interacting with the National Indian Gaming Commission to obtain de facto approval of financing agreements. Mr. Boldrey has led or assisted on deals totaling over $850 million in financing for pre-development costs, construction and renovation loans and refinancings, including a precedent-setting first financial restructuring of a troubled tribal gaming facility.
- Tribal economic development work also includes assisting tribes, consultants, developers and outside management companies in evaluating and implementing a wide range of business projects. Mr. Boldrey leads the Firm's team that serves as outside counsel to a Michigan Tribe's economic development arm. Mr. Boldrey was also hired by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to write guidebooks on joint ventures with tribes and on tribal business entity formation.
- Other work with tribes has included ordinance drafting, research and development of tribal land claims and assistance in accessing funding for tribal services, often on an alternative fee basis.
- Experienced in representing utilities, general contractors, hospitals and other businesses in doing business with Indian tribes.
- Experience in negotiating solutions to complex tribal issues includes serving as lead staff for the state executive office in negotiations culminating in the nation’s first truly comprehensive state-tribal tax agreements and in the formulation of a consent decree governing state and tribal fishing activities in much of the Great Lakes.
- Experience in state-tribal relations includes drafting an Executive Policy Statement on State-Tribal Relations, negotiating a state-tribal accord between the state of Michigan and federally-recognized tribes, organizing the first two Michigan state-tribal summits between tribal and state leaders, and managing the passage of legislation providing for tribal participation in intergovernmental agreements.
- Drawing on the Firm's expertise as lead counsel for the 2008 initiative that authorized the use of medical marijuana in Michigan, Mr. Boldrey has assisted in the exploration of potential tribal cannabis business ventures.
- Cannabis work also includes legislative and ordinance drafting, formation of cannabis-related entities, and due diligence of cannabis investments.
- Commercial gaming regulatory work includes advising the sellers of a majority stake in a Michigan casino, and interfacing with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to quickly and successfully close a challenging transaction. Gaming regulatory work has also included serving as Indian law and regulatory counsel with regard to the acquisition of a gaming machine manufacturer and supplier to over 50 tribal casinos, advising parties as to the validity and enforceability of supplier agreements and tribal licensure and approval requirements.
- Commercial gaming projects have included involvement in legalization, legislative and privatization efforts in multiple states and foreign jurisdictions.
- Taxpayers of Michigan Against Casinos v. State of Michigan, 478 Mich. 99; 732 N.W.2d 487 (2007). Upholding validity of amendment process in tribal-state gaming compacts.
- Taxpayers of Michigan Against Casinos v State of Michigan, 471 Mich. 306; 685 N.W.2d 221 (2004), cert. denied, 543 U.S. 1146 (2005). Upholding validity of Michigan tribal-state gaming compacts and process of enactment.
- LeRoux v Miller, 465 Mich 594 (2002). Upholding validity of Michigan redistricting plans.
Seminars & Speeches
- The Shifting Boundary Between Tribes and States in Indian Gaming: Compact Issues from the State Perspective, Federal Bar Association, 41st Annual Indian Law Conference, Scottsdale, ArizonaApril 7, 2016
- Careers in Indian Law, National Native American Law Students Association Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, ArizonaApril 6, 2016
- Dealing with Offshore Sites, The Third Annual Conference on Legal Issues for Tribal Online Gambling, Scottsdale/Fountain Hills, ArizonaMay 4-5, 2015
- Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Implications for Sovereign Immunity, Tribal Gaming and State-Tribal Relations, Law Seminars International TelebriefingJune 17, 2014
- The Bay Mills Ruling, Native American Finance Officers Association, WebinarMay 29, 2014
- The Bay Mills Case: The Dispute Over Tribal Sovereignty, Native American Finance Officers Association 32nd Annual Conference, New Orleans, LouisianaApril 14, 2014
- Electoral Politics and Governance, Moderator, James Madison College 2013 Senior Research Conference, East Lansing, MichiganApril 19, 2013
- The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act at 25, University of Michigan School of Law, Native American Law Students Association Law Day, Ann Arbor, MichiganApril 5, 2013
- Paths to Casino Gaming, Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys Fall Meeting, Orlando, FLNovember 2, 2012
- Incentives for Equity Investments in Tribal Member Businesses, Emerging Tribal Economies, Milwaukee, WISeptember 20, 2012
- Performing Due Diligence on Business Proposals, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Tribal Economic Development Forum, Lansing, MIMay 17, 2012
- Indian Gaming 101: Establishing A Tribal Casino, Michigan State University School of Law American Inn of Court, East Lansing, MIApril 4, 2012
- Structuring Tribal Businesses, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Tribal Economic Development Forum, Lansing, MIMay 16, 2011
- Federal Indian Law & Environmental Policy, 2010 Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholar Orientation, Tucson, AZAugust 2010
- An Overview of Federal Indian Law & Policy, 2009 Morris K. Udall Foundation Scholar Orientation, Tucson, AZAugust 2009
- Tribal Gaming: Beyond the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), Las Vegas, NVNovember 2007
- Future of Indian Gaming: Will D.C. Stop the Growth?, Moderator, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), Las Vegas, NVNovember 2006
- Tribal/State Relations and Negotiations, Moderator, Governors Interstate Indian Council Annual Meeting, Traverse City, MIAugust 2004
- Legal Issues on Homeland Security, National Governors Association Legal Counsel Seminar, Seattle, WAAugust 2002
- Michigan Tribal Issues: What Every Municipal Attorney Should Know, Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, Lansing, MIMarch 2002
- Native American Tribal Issues, National Governors Association Legal Counsel Seminar, Kiawah Island, SCSeptember 2001
- Cigarette Taxation and State-Tribal Environmental Issues, National Governors Association Tribal Issues Briefing, Washington, D.C.April 2001
- The Future of Indian Gaming, North American Gaming Summit, Detroit, MINovember 2000
- The Judicial Appointments Process, State Bar of Michigan New Presidents Meeting, Harbor Springs, MIJune 1999
- Native American Fishing Rights, James Madison College 30th Anniversary, East Lansing, MIJanuary 1997
- August, 2016Michigan Bar Journal
- "Incentives For Joint Ventures Between Michigan's Tribes and Non-Indian Businesses"September 2011Michigan Economic Development Corporation (available at www.michiganadvantage.org/tribal-resources)
- "Tribal Business Structures: A Guidebook On Different Structures for Tribal Business Entities"September 2011Michigan Economic Development Corporation (available at www.michiganadvantage.org/tribal-resources)
- "The True Test of Tribal-State Cooperation: Resolving Issues of Taxation"2010Emerging Issues in Tribal-State Relations, Aspatore Books
- "Proceed with Prudence: Advising Clients Doing Business in Indian Country" (with Jason Hanselman)February 2010Michigan Bar Journal
- "After Change in Control, Michigan Supreme Court Reverses Itself in Major Insurance Decision"Fall 2009State Court Docket Watch
- "Banking Indian Casinos: What Investors Need To Understand At The Outset"September 2008Global Gaming Business Magazine Vol.7 No.9
- December 26, 2016
- R. Lance Boldrey Quoted in ConstructionDive Article about the Impact of Legal Marijuana on Building IndustryOctober 27, 2016
- August 2, 2016
- February 15, 2016
- R. Lance Boldrey to Present at The Third Annual Conference on Legal Issues for Tribal Online GamblingApril 17, 2015
- Discusses Significance of U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian CommunityMay 30, 2014
- Only One Lawyer in Practice Area, Designated Metropolitan Area Earns HonorSeptember 12, 2013
- Will Discuss Tribal Lending Programs, Use of Tax Credits, Trust LandsSeptember 12, 2012
- April 2, 2014
- September 6, 2012
- 14 Attorneys Receive “Lawyer of the Year” HonorsAugust 15, 2016
- May 27, 2016
- May 11, 2016
- 12 Attorneys Receive “Lawyer of the Year” HonorsAugust 18, 2015
- Firm Receives 10 “Lawyer of the Year” HonorsAugust 18, 2014
- Nearly One in Four Dykema Practitioners Earn Distinction; Seven Merit “Lawyer of the Year” HonorsAugust 16, 2013
- More Than One in Four Dykema Practitioners Earn DistinctionAugust 23, 2012
- Rankings Put Firm’s Attorneys on Top of the Pack in 25 PracticesOctober 27, 2011
- September 9, 2010
- No Marijuana Measure on November Ballot—Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Halt Michigan Election Process
- MI Legalize Petition Signers Head to Federal Court, but Are Unlikely to Find Early Relief
- State Board of Canvassers Unanimously Rejects “MI Legalize” Initiative Petitions to Legalize Adult Use of Marijuana
- Michigan Elections Staff Recommends Rejection of “MI Legalize” Initiative Petitions to Legalize Adult Use of Marijuana
- “MI Legalize” Files 2016 Initiative Petitions to Legalize Adult Use of Marijuana in Michigan, Legal Hurdles Remain
- Adverse Decision in Menominee Hemp Case Still Leaves Path for Tribal Hemp Activities
- Key Takeaways from the Spring 2016 Marijuana Business Conference & Expo
Memberships & Involvement
- State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section, Chair of Business Law Committee
- National Cannabis Bar Association
- National Cannabis Industry Association
- Federalist Society
- Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys
- Federal Bar Association, Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award Committee
- Ingham County Bar Association
- Trustee of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, presidential appointee, 2003-2014
- Member, Board of Directors James Madison College Alumni Association (Past President)
Awards & Recognition
Named a Leading Lawyer in Native American Law by Chambers USA, 2016
Fellow, Michigan State Bar Foundation, 2015-Present
Distinguished Brief Award for Best Brief to Michigan Supreme Court, Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, for brief on behalf of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Taxpayers of Michigan Against Casinos v. State of Michigan, 478 Mich. 99; 732 N.W.2d 487, 2007
Named Lansing's "Lawyer of the Year" for Gaming Law by Best Lawyers®, 2014
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Gaming Law and Native American Law, 2007-Present. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC
Named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the areas of Election, Political & Campaign, Gaming & Casino and Native American Law by the Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2016. Law Bulletin Publishing Company
Named a Rising Star by Law & Politics, 2009-2010