(505) 842-5864 staff@chestnutlaw.com

Chestnut Law Offices, P. A. attorneys and staff come from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds.  We work to provide personalized attention, cultural sensitivity and professional services to each client.

Attorneys

PETER C. CHESTNUT

 

Peter Chestnnut

pcc@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Peter C. Chestnut, owner-attorney, has been practicing law since 1975. Mr. Chestnut received his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He serves as general counsel for several Pueblos, starting over 25 years ago.

Noteworthy:

  • Tribal Courts in New Mexico; 2001 Co-Editor
  • Tribal Courts Handbook 1991 Edition
  • Indian Law Section, State Bar of N.M., Past Chair & Board Member

Education:

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1975
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 1967-1968
  • Harvard College, A.B., with honors, 1967

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships:

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Numerous Pueblo Courts
  • State Bar of New Mexico – Sections on Indian Law and Natural Resources
  • American Bar Association, Sections on Natural Resources and Law Practice Management
  • New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
  • Albuquerque Bar Association
  • Indian Bar Association of New Mexico
ANN BERKLEY RODGERS

abr@chestnutlaw.com Phone: 505-842-5864 Fax: 505-843-9249

abr@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Ann Berkley Rodgers, senior attorney, joined Chestnut Law Offices in 1989. Ms. Rodgers received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) in 1983. Prior to joining Chestnut Law Offices, Ms. Rodgers clerked for Chief Judge Santiago E. Campos, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico from November 1987 to August 1989. Prior to 1989, she was a Research Professor at UNMSOL working in water law, and Research Attorney for the Northern Pueblos Tributary Water Rights Association.

Ms. Rodgers has over thirty years of legal experience in Pueblo Indian water rights and has participated as an active attorney in several Pueblo water rights adjudications, including New Mexico ex rel. State Engineer v. Aamodt, State of New Mexico ex rel. State Engineer v. Abbott, and State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer v. Kerr McGee, et. al.  In land matters, Ms. Rodgers has supervised the movement of numerous tribal land acquisitions into trust status.

Another component of her practices is the protection and repatriation of cultural resources.  Together with Peter Chestnut, Ms. Rodgers litigated one of the first NAGPRA cases for the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.  Ms. Rodgers has been actively involved in the repatriation of cultural items from auctions houses and galleries in the United States and abroad.  She was the lead attorney for the five Tribes that secured the placement of Mt. Taylor Traditional Cultural Property on the New Mexico List of Cultural Properties, and was involved in the successful defense of Zuni Salt Lake from proposed mining activity.

Education:

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • University of New Mexico, B.U.S., University Studies, 1980

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships:

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Claims Court
  • Numerous Pueblo Courts

Noteworthy:

  • Former Co-Editor of Journal of Indian Law Section of the NM Bar
  • Equal Access to Justice Legal Services Funding Campaign Committee, 1993-1996
  • New Mexico Indian Pueblo Legal Services Board, Director 1991-1995
  • Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals Judge, 1990 – 2000

 

AARON M. SIMS

Aaron-Sims

ams@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505 842-5864
Fax: 505 843-9249

Aaron M. Sims (Pueblo of Acoma) joined the Chestnut Law Offices as an associate attorney in August 2014. Mr. Sims obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico – School of Law with an Indian Law Certificate in 2014. Mr. Sims holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. He is a member of the State Bar of New Mexico and the Federal District Court

Education

  • University of New Mexico – School of Law, J.D., Indian Law Certificate, 2014.
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., Government & Native American Studies 2009.

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • State Bar of New Mexico, Sections on Indian Law and Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law.

Noteworthy

  • Former Project Coordinator, The Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School, 2009-2011
  • Former Professional Articles Editor, Tribal Law Journal, University of New Mexico – School of Law
  • National NALSA 1L of the Year award
  • Arturo L. Jaramillo Summer Law Clerk Program finalist
DION KILLSBACK

Dion Killsback joined Chestnut Law Offices in January 2018, and has over 15 years of experience in Indian Law representing tribal governments on a variety of governmental issues.  Prior to CLO, Mr. Killsback was Senior Counsel at the Rosette LLP, Law Firm from 2015 to 2017, assisting their tribal clients on issues related to tribal enrollment, employment, election, and other tribal regulatory matters.  Mr. Killsback has worked on Indian gaming issues for numerous tribes, helping to negotiate financing, development, and management deals for tribal clients.  Mr. Killsback has worked extensively on behalf of his tribal clients with the National Indian Gaming Commission on compliance, enforcement and reopening of gaming facilities.  Mr. Killsback is an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Support Staff

WENDI WILLETTO

WendiWilettoWendi Willetto, Paralegal, has been working for Chestnut Law Offices since 2002. She earned her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Central New Mexico Community College in 2008 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Native American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2016. Wendi is a member of the Navajo Nation.

MELANIE GARCIA

MelanieGarciaMelanie Garcia, Paralegal, has worked at Chestnut Law Offices for over ten years. She has an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies. Melanie is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and lives with her family at San Felipe Pueblo.

 

 

 

TERESA KNUTSON

Teresa-KnutsonTeresa Knutson, Paralegal, began working at Chestnut Law Offices in 2014. In December 2015, she completed the Paralegal program at Central New Mexico College. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois State University (2012) in History.