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Welcome Chase Velasquez - Tempe Attorney

Posted by Steven J.W. Heeley | Apr 17, 2024

We are pleased to announce that Chase Velasquez has joined our Indian law practice in Tempe. 

Chase Velasquez is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and was raised on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in northeastern Arizona. For the last seven years, Chase has worked as in-house counsel for tribes in Arizona, including the San Carlos Apache Tribe, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Navajo Nation. Chase advises on complex business transactions valued in the millions of dollars, including federal contracts under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 and financing of low-income projects through the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program. Chase's experience includes drafting tribal codes, revising policies and procedures, negotiating leases, land assignments, business permits and right of ways, and advising on matters arising under federal Indian law, tribal law, constitutional law, corporate law, and international human rights law.

Chase recently served as an Assistant Attorney General for the San Carlos Apache Tribe, where he represented the San Carlos Apache Tribe in tribal, state, and federal court on claims arising under the Federal Tort Claims Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedure Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, tribal sovereign immunity, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Chase worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, where he assisted with the federal investigation and prosecution of major crimes committed on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. 

Chase worked as a deputy prosecutor for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe where he prosecuted cases under the Tribe's Law and Order Code including prosecuting cases over non-Indians under the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. Chase began his career with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice where he advised the Navajo Nation Departments of Economic and Community Development on business transactions, leases, and procurement. Chase was a legal fellow for Professor S. James Anaya, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and helped with the legal representation of Maya indigenous peoples and villages in Belize to secure and protect land rights. 

Additionally, Chase served as a Visiting Clinical Law Professor and the Interim Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School. Chase has taught Tribal Nation Economics and Law at the University of Idaho College of Law and International Indigenous Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law as an adjunct. In 2023, the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council appointed Chase as a Judge for the White Mountain Apache Tribal Court of Appeals.

About the Author

Steven J.W. Heeley

Of Counsel - Tempe Office