Photo of R. Lance  Boldrey

R. Lance Boldrey Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1995

Court Admissions

  • 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).

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 negotiating agreements between consultants, developers, management companies and tribes, negotiating tribal-state gaming compacts, negotiating agreements between tribes and local governments, and negotiating and litigating gaming-related issues.
  • In addition to representing developers, management companies and tribes, Mr. Boldrey has assisted state and local governments in navigating complex tribal gaming matters.  For example, Mr. Boldrey currently advises the State of Wisconsin in analyzing the potential economic impacts and tribal compact implications of a proposed tribal casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • Indian gaming financing work includes representing banks and  investors on Indian law matters and interacting with the National Indian Gaming Commission to obtain de facto approval of financing agreements. Mr. Boldrey's most recent experience includes serving as Indian law counsel to the lead bank in a $385 million tribal casino refinancing. Mr. Boldrey also recently served as special Indian law counsel to bondholders in an exchange of $122 million in senior unsecured notes for $23 million in cash and $40 million in senior secured notes, and obtained a declination letter from the NIGC in a precedent-setting first financial restructuring of a troubled tribal gaming facility.
  • Commercial gaming regulatory work includes advising the sellers of a majority stake in Detroit's Greektown Casino Hotel, and interfacing with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to assist the seller in overcoming a poison pill and other defensive measures that could have frustrated the sale.  The transaction closed successfully in early 2013.
  • Gaming regulatory work includes serving as Indian law and regulatory counsel with regard to the 2012 acquisition of a gaming machine manufacturer and supplier to over fifty tribal casinos.  Mr. Boldrey was responsible for advising parties as to the validity and enforceability of supplier agreements and tribal licensure and approval requirements.
  • Indian gaming work also includes performing due diligence on tribal gaming projects and proposals for consultants, developers and gaming management companies.
  • Commercial gaming projects include involvement in legalization, legislative and privatization efforts in multiple states and foreign jurisdictions.
  • Work with tribes has included ordinance drafting, research and development of tribal land claims, performing due diligence concerning the feasibility of multi-state distribution businesses, and assistance in accessing funding for tribal services. A representative project is drafting ordinances and advising a tribe on compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), on an alternative fee basis utilizing federal grant funding.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Federalist Society
  • Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys
  • Federal Bar Association, Sarah T. Hughes Civil Rights Award Committee
  • Ingham County Bar Association
  • Transition Team of Governor-Elect Rick Snyder, R-Michigan, Volunteer Attorney, 2010
  • Lawyers for Rudy, State Chairman, 2007-2008
  • Former Republican precinct delegate and delegate to multiple state conventions

Community/Civic Activities

  • 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)

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, 2007-2015. Copyright 2014 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. Law Bulletin Publishing Company

Named a Rising Star by Law & Politics, 2009-2010