James Nichols

James Nichols

Senior Attorney



James specializes in the areas of American Indian law, antitrust, and securities litigation. James’ antitrust work includes litigation and counseling, particularly in connection with mergers and acquisitions. He has represented companies before the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in merger investigations. He has also represented companies in connection with other state and federal antitrust investigations, and counsels on all aspects of compliance with antitrust laws—including Hart-Scott-Rodino reporting, integration issues in mergers, and pricing and distribution issues (including Robinson-Patman Act compliance).

James, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, represents Indian tribes, tribal agencies and officials, and tribal organizations in a variety of litigation matters in federal court, tribal court, and administrative proceedings. He specializes in healthcare matters and has also litigated issues arising from gaming regulation, state taxation, and contracts with the federal government.

James’ securities practice focuses on litigation related to corporate directors' fiduciary duties and shareholder claims against corporations. James has successfully represented corporations and their directors in lawsuits alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with mergers.

Education & Admissions

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 2007), magna cum laude

Carleton College (B.A., Political Science, 2002), magna cum laude


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit   


Representative Experience

  • Achieved a favorable settlement for a tribe in litigation against the Director of the Indian Health Service for failure to pay contract support costs owed under the tribe’s Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (P.L. 93-638) compact with the United States.
  • Representation of a healthcare provider in a dispute with the Indian Health Service over payment for Contract Health Services provided to tribal members.
  • Representation of a tribal gaming commission in a dispute with a state over the legality of tribal gaming operations.
  • Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and prevailed on motions to dismiss claims against corporations and directors for breach of fiduciary duty in In re: Medtronic, Inc. Stockholder Litigation and Frustaci v. Uroplasty, Inc., et al.
  • Represented a manufacturing company in a Department of Justice investigation of the company’s acquisition of competitor, resulting in no enforcement action by DOJ.

News & Resources


McGirt v. Oklahoma
Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to Receive Billions of Dollars in Coronavirus Assistance - Navigating the Tribal Government Assistance Provisions in the CARES Act
Increase in HSR Reportability Thresholds and Other HSR Developments
"Interlocking Directorates: What’s on the Horizon," The Antitrust Source, Vol. 19, Issue 1
Employers Beware: Recent Developments in Employee No-Poaching Agreements
Increase in HSR Reportability Thresholds and Other HSR Developments
HSR Reminder and Sporting News Update
Increase in HSR Reportability Thresholds and Other HSR Developments
The Trump Administration announced two key appointments to Indian Affairs posts in the Department of the Interior this week
Court Enforces CFPB Civil Investigative Demand Against Tribal Lending Entity; Rejects Argument that Tribal Sovereignty Precludes Such Demands
Is this Deal Reportable?: HSR Reportability Thresholds Increase
The Law on Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Non-Members Stands with Supreme Court’s Tied Vote in Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to the Use of Tribal-Court Convictions as Predicate Offenses in Federal Domestic Violence Prosecutions
Supreme Court Unanimously Holds that Omaha Tribe’s Reservation Not Diminished by 1882 Statute
Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase
The Demise of Disclosure-Only Settlements?
Supreme Court Rejects Tribe’s Equitable Tolling Argument in Contract Support Litigation
United States v. Bazaarvoice, Inc.: What In-House Counsel Need to Know, The Antitrust Counselor
U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity in Bay Mills Decision
2013 Annual Review of Antitrust Law Developments (Contributor)
Hart-Scott-Rodino Reporting Thresholds Raised
Delaware Chancery Court Upholds "Forum Selection Bylaws"
"Hart-Scott-Rodino Reporting Thresholds Raised"
"Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase"
"Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Reporting Thresholds Increase"

News & Press Mentions

Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on SCOTUS Upholding 1855 Yakama Treaty
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments Treaty Rights and State Fuel Tax
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on 2018 Native American Cases
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Remarks on Biggest 2017 Native American Law Rulings
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Pueblo of Pojoaque Ruling
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Discusses Tribal Casinos and IGRA
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Remarks on Repeal of ACA and Tribes
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Remarks on Lewis v. Clarke
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Tribal Jurisdiction over Non-Indians
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Native American Cases to Watch
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Tribal Jurisdiction in Dollar General Case
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Court Sixth Amendment Decision in U.S. v. Bryant
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Tribes Taking Over ISDEAA contracts
Dorsey Attorney James Nichols Discusses High Court's Ruling on 1882 Land Act
Dorsey Sr. Attorney Nichols Comments on Rancheria Health Care Suit
Dorsey Sr. Attorney James Nichols Comments on Tribal Contract Costs Case

Select Presentations

  • Maximize Health Care for Your Tribe – Asking the Right Questions, 36th Annual NAFOA Conference (April 23, 2018)
  • Contract Support Costs (CSC) Changes – What Your Tribe Needs to Know, 35th Annual NAFOA Conference (April 24, 2017)
  • Flying Into Trouble? (A Discussion of Antitrust Issues in Airline Mergers and Pricing Investigations) (Session Chair), Presentation to the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Spring Meeting (April 6, 2016)
  • Update on Supreme Court decisions impacting Tribes and Tribal Entities, Presentation to the Tribal Economic Development and Sovereignty Seminar (March 3, 2016)
  • Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter: Litigating Contract Support Costs Against the United States (Panelist), Presentation to the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association 2014 Indian Law Conference (May 2, 2014)
  • NIGC Revised Criteria for Self-Regulation of Class II Gaming, Presentation to the Conference of the National Tribal Gaming Commissioners / Regulators (September 13, 2012)
  • Words and Deeds: the 2010 Merger Guidelines and Their Use in Practice (Moderator), Minnesota State Bar Association Antitrust Section (February 9, 2012)

Industries & Practices

  • Antitrust & Competition Law
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare Litigation
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Adjunct Professor, University of St. Thomas Law School (Fall Term 2011 and 2013)
  • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association Antitrust Section Pricing Conduct Committee
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Member, Hennepin County Bar Association


  • Recipient of the 2011 Never Forgotten Award from the Innocence Project of Minnesota for his work on obtaining the release and exoneration of Michael Hansen, who was wrongly convicted of murder.

North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2012-2013 and 2016-2017
James Nichols