Frances Sjoberg, Lewis Roca Photo

Frances R. Sjoberg

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Frances is known for her deliberative approach and ability to find creative solutions to difficult problems.    

Frances Sjoberg is a partner in the firm’s Tribal Affairs, Gaming and Business Transactions practices. Her work focuses ‎on economic development in Indian country, including real estate and commercial transactions, intergovernmental negotiations, and legislative and regulatory matters. ‎

Frances’s experience includes:

  • compact and contract negotiation
  • land acquisition and project development
  • land-into-trust applications and analyses
  • development of tribal business entities
  • legislative and regulatory drafting
  • jurisdictional challenges
  • leasing and rights-of-way in Indian country
  • self-determination contracts
  • loan workouts
  • settlement negotiations
  • outside general counsel work
  • complex project management

Personal Approach

Frances is driven by her work supporting Native American tribal governments, tribal businesses, and entities doing business on tribal land to support development projects in Indian country. She enjoys tough questions and finding opportunities in adversity. Frances is a trusted consultant and a steadfast advocate. Known for finding creative solutions to difficult problems, Frances can lead and facilitate complex negotiations and conclude challenging matters, both directly and in a supporting role.

Frances was raised in a reservation border town, where she observed firsthand the positive impacts of tribal gaming and its role in the community and economic development. She also developed a keen appreciation for indigenous language, art, and culture. In her free time, Frances hikes, gardens, and cooks. 

More About Frances R. Sjoberg

Education

  • J.D., with honors, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • M.F.A., Warren Wilson College
  • B.A., University of Arizona

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 2012

Court Admissions

  • Arizona Supreme Court

Community

  • California Indian Law Association, Member, 2019-present
  • University of Arizona Foundation, President's Club, 2014-present
  • University of Arizona Poetry Center, Development Committee Member, 2014-present
  • Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, Flinn-Brown Fellow, 2012-present
  • Federal Bar Association, Indian Law Section
  • State Bar of Arizona, Real Property Section, Indian Law Section
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Member
  • Native American Bar Association, Arizona
  • Woodlea Irrigation Water Delivery District No. 2, Board of Trustees, 2013-2015

Representative Matters

  • Advising tribal governments and tribal entities in matters relating to tribal public health state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including emergency election procedures, federal CARES Fund matters, and responsible reopening and operating procedures.
  • Negotiation of Tribal-State gaming compacts in Arizona and California.
  • Leasing and financing transactions related to leasehold interests on tribal lands.
  • Represented tribe in development and opening of a $400 million gaming facility after more than a decade of overcoming political obstacles and legal challenges, including drafting tribal law and policies, tribal authorizations, negotiation of contracts, and preparation of a fee-to-trust application involving Carcieri
  • Represented tribal entity in acquisition of assembled fee land for economic development.
  • Represented tribe in settlement agreement with the federal government relating to a law enforcement contract under the Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act.
  • Represented tribe in fee acquisition of real property and liquor licenses to eradicate nuisance businesses affecting tribal and neighboring communities.
  • Indian law counsel to lessee restaurateur in negotiating lease agreements with a tribal gaming authority for space lease in a new tribal casino.
  • Represented lender in acquisition of luxury resort, hotel, and related assets in lieu of ‎foreclosure.
  • Represented court-appointed receiver in reacquisition and divestment of various real property ‎interests and assets in New Mexico, Texas and Hawaii in conjunction with litigation and value-maximizing endeavors by joint defense parties.‎
  • Represented preferred equity lender in acquisition from special servicer of $142 million ‎multifamily portfolio with 14 properties across six states.
  • Represented limited liability company owner of assembled property in condemnation actions ‎involving a state entity and lone wolf member expelled from company owner.
  • Represented a small business in purchase and financing of its first commercial property.

Honors & Recognitions

  • AZ Business Leaders, Native American Law, 2021
  • Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star, Native American Law, 2016-2021
  • AZ Big Media, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, 2020
  • Pro Bono Service Award, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, 2015, 2016
  • Arizona Law Review, Editor-in-chief, 2010-2011
  • Tucson Business Edge, 40 Under 40 Award for Young Leaders, 2007
  • Frances Sjoberg Named AZBusiness Leader 2021 in Native American Law
    AZBusiness, 12/14/2020
  • Matt Sweger and Frances Sjoberg Named Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona 2020
    AZBusiness, 01/1/2020

Publications

Events

  • Presenter, "Ninth Circuit Recognition of Tribal Court Jurisdiction," Western Indian Gaming Conference, February 2020
  • Moderator, "The Expansion of Tribal Court Jurisdiction," Western Indian Gaming Conference, February 2020
  • Presenter, "Christie v. NCAA, Is Sports Betting on the Way?" 23rd Annual Western Indian Gaming Conference, Rincon Reservation, San Diego County, February 2018
  • Presenter, "Negotiating Contracts on Tribal Lands, Resolving Easements and Rights of Way Issues on Reservation Lands," NBI Seminars, Flagstaff and Phoenix, February 2017

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