Michael D. Oeser
Associate Professor of Law, Senior Fellow of Native American Law & Policy Institute
Professor Michael D. Oeser has spoken, published, taught, and practiced extensively in the areas of federal Indian law, tribal law, legal writing, litigation, advocacy, and business/commercial law. He has published articles on political participation by tribes and tribal citizenship. He has advised businesses and tribal governments on a variety of high stakes matters including commercial contracts, business structures, construction law, constitutional law, employment law, gaming, taxation, code drafting, U.S. Supreme Court appeals, and collection of tribal court judgments.
Professor Oeser received his B.A. from the University of Houston in journalism with a minor in political science. He received his J.D. and LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin, where he was both a LEO Fellow and a William H. Hastie Fellow. He has previously taught at Stetson University College of Law, University of Arkansas--Little Rock, Valparaiso University Law School, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, Florida A&M University College of Law, and the American Indian Law Center's Pre-Law Summer Institute. He has taught courses in basic civil procedure, constitutional law, legal writing, legal research, oral advocacy, contract law, contract drafting, and business structures. He began teaching at SULC in August 2019.
Prof. Oeser has practiced in a variety of roles. He recently served as senior tribal counsel to the Ho-Chunk Nation, a tribe with more than 7,700 citizens and 3,300 employees. Prof. Oeser's primary area of responsibility was advising the Nation's Department of Business, a part of the tribe's executive branch that oversees the Nation's five casinos and five convenience stores. In that capacity, Prof. Oeser provided advice on contract review and enforcement, construction law, employment law, RFPs/RFIs, and taxation. Two of Prof. Oeser's largest assignments were to provide legal support to the Nation's multimillion dollar casino renovation project and guidance on a multimillion dollar dispute with an information technology services vendor. Other projects Prof. Oeser worked on include diversification of the tribe's revenue sources, switching tribal facilities to renewable energy, and assisting in the development of the next generation of casino gaming. Prof. Oeser has also served as a Staff Attorney for the Ho-Chunk Judiciary, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin, an Indian Law associate with Von Briesen & Roper, and a business litigator at Adair & Myers, PLLC. During his tenure with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Prof. Oeser presented oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court (State of Wisconsin ex. rel. Hensley v. Endicott, 245 Wis.2d 607, 629 N.W.2d 686 (Wis. 2001)). He now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Shanna and son Samuel.
TRIBAL AFFILIATIONS: Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Cooweejam?n?k (Ho-Chunk for "Sits In Front").
EDUCATION: University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D. 1998, LL.M. 2010); University of Houston (B.A. Journalism 1993).
HONORS: William H. Hastie Fellow 2008-2010; Legal Education Opportunity Fellow 1995-1998; University League Award 1997 (outstanding commitment to the school and community); Feingold Award 1998 (outstanding commitment to the school and community); 1998 Indian Law Student of the Year Award (for overall service during law school).
ADMISSIONS: Ho-Chunk Nation, Texas, Wisconsin, 7th Circuit, 5th Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court.
ASSOCIATIONS: Tribal In-House Counsel Association, Board of Directors, March 2017 to October 2019; Legal Writing Institute, Member, August 2006 to June 2016; Journal of Legal Communication & Rhetoric, Article Reviewer, Sept. 2014 to June 2016; Association of Legal Writing Directors, Survey Committee, Nov. 2013 to March 2016; ACLU of Texas, Board of Directors, Nov. 2002 to Nov. 2007.
PUBLICATIONS: Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? 36 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 793 (2010) (Cited by or in the Minnesota Supreme Court, Yale Law Journal, and American Indian Law Deskbook); Avoiding Extinction, Preserving Culture: Sustainable, Sovereignty-Centered Tribal Citizenship Requirements, 91 N.D. L. Rev. 1 (2015) (Chosen by the Native American Rights Fund to be part of its online law library of selected works on tribal citizenship); Reservations, Voting Rights Legislation, and Tribal Sovereignty: A Complicated Relationship (forthcoming).
- Left Out: A Brief History of Native American History, Houston Community College, Nov. 26, 2018.
- Historical Legacies of Blood Quantum in Indian Law, State Bar of Arizona, May 4, 2018.
- Taxation of Construction Projects in Indian Country, State Bar of Arizona, Oct. 18, 2017.
- Tribal Equal Access to Voting Act, Stetson University College of Law, Eleventh Circuit Legal Scholarship Forum, Nov. 13, 2015.
- Integrating Google Docs Into Your Curriculum, University of Kansas School of Law, Central States Legal Writing Conference, Sept. 28, 2013.
- Student Emotion, Performance, and Evaluations, University of Oregon School of Law, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, Aug. 11, 2012.
- Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? Southern University Law Center Speaker Series, Feb. 25, 2011.
- Tribal Citizen Participation in State and National Politics: Welcome Wagon or Trojan Horse? Texas State Bar, Indian Law Section Meeting, Jan. 14, 2011.
- Citizenship, Race, and Symbiosis: A Critique of Tribal Citizenship Practices, University of Wisconsin Indian Law Conference, March 27, 2009.
- Legal Writers Workshop, Legal Writing Institute, July 2008. Invited participant.
- Mitigating Emotional Barriers to Student Performance: Strategies for New Legal Writing Professors, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, March 22, 2008
PRIOR JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE: Associate Justice, Southwestern Intertribal Court of Appeals—June 2010 to 2011. Special Supreme Court Justice, Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma—Nov. 2009 to 2011.