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Of Counsel Attorneys


Rick West

 W. Richard West, Jr.

W. Richard West, Jr., (Southern Cheyenne) was a partner in Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C., before leaving to become the Emeritus founding director of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian. Educated at University of Redlands (magna cum laude), Harvard (M.A.), and Stanford University (J.D.), Rick has returned to Stetson Law Offices in our Washington, D.C. office as a lconsultant on cultural issues, from the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to sacred sites to tribal museum development. Rick is on the Board of Trustees for the Ford Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association, and Stanford University and is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and honorary degrees. He is licensed in California and Washington DC.




Jerry Herrera

Jerry Daniel Herrera

Jerry Daniel Herrera served as an Assistant District Attorney in Albuquerque in the adult felony trial team #1 division. He then served as an Assistant District Attorney/Special Prosecutor in Santa Fe for the New Mexico Penitentiary riot homicides. In the mid-1980s, he served as an Albuquerque Assistant City Attorney, trial division, defending civil lawsuits filed against the City of Albuquerque.

In private practice since 1985, Jerry has focused primarily on criminal defense. In 1991, he was among the very first attorneys in New Mexico to be recognized as a criminal trial specialist by the then-newly created Board of Legal Specialization. As an Assistant D.A., he tried by jury virtually every type of criminal offense from homicide to drugs including a death penalty homicide at the state level. As a criminal defense attorney, he has defended all types of criminal offenses ranging from homicides and complex RICO actions to drug and white collar offenses at the state and federal levels. He has successfully defended three federal death penalty homicides.

He has actively practiced trial litigation for over thirty-one years and has tried in excess of 150 jury trials. In addition to being a Board-certified criminal trial specialist continuously since 1991, he is the Chairman of the Criminal Trial Specialization Committee and is the Board Chairman for the Specialization Board that regulates all specialists for the New Mexico State Bar.

Jerry has been listed as a superlawyer by SW Superlawyers and is a member of numerous federal bars, including the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Though he continues to practice criminal defense law as a board-certified criminal defense trial specialist. Jerry handles our criminal litigation, from prosecuting criminal gaming violations in tribal court to defending individuals charged with crimes. He is licensed by the New Mexico Supreme Court to practice law in all courts of the State of New Mexico since 1978. .



Charlene D. Jackson

Charlene D. Jackson’s practice has been dedicated almost exclusively to Indian Law, the representation of tribes, and the resolution of tribal issues.  She has the unique experience of working internally in the legal offices of tribes as well as serving as a tribal court judge, tribal appellate court judge, and municipal court judge pro tem.  While serving as a chief judge of a tribal court, Charlene oversaw the growth and development of a nationally recognized Tribal Healing to Wellness Court program, commonly known as a Drug Court. In addition, Charlene serves on the faculty at the National Tribal Justice Center at the National Judicial College and is a member of the Arizona Family Support Council.

Raised on the Navajo reservation, Charlene is able to understand and appreciate the complexities of tribal governments and residing on the reservation.  As a result, she is able to effectively work with tribal elders while assisting with the development of modern tribal operations and contemporaneously working to protect tribal sovereignty.

Charlene’s family has long and continuous history of public service.  Charlene’s grandfather, Joseph McPherson, was a US Assistant Attorney General and attorney for the Navajo Nation.  Her father, the late Dr. Dean C. Jackson, and her mother Stephanie were visionaries in Indian education.  Her siblings each work for the advancement of Indian people, and her spouse, a combat veteran, continues his career in public service.  Charlene, a member of the Navajo Nation, is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law.  In her spare time, Charlene enjoys horseback riding and competing in barrel racing.


Zackaree Kelin

Zackeree Sean Kelin (Caddo)

Zackeree Sean Kelin (Caddo) was a managing attorney for DNA-Peoples Legal Services, Inc. ("DNA"), the oldest and largest poverty law program in Indian Country,for the last four years. His work at DNA focused on representing indigent clients before tribal, state, and federal courts and various administrative and legislative bodies in the areas of poverty law, Indian law, sacred sites protection, and environmental law. Before joining DNA, Zackeree was a law clerk for the Native American Rights Fund and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. He is also a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and a member of the Board of Directors for the New Mexico Bar Association’s Indian Law Section, and he has served as an advisor on the Native American Domestic Policy Committee for the Obama Campaign. Zackeree was recently awarded the National Center for American Indian Economic Development’s "Native American 40 under 40," an award given to emerging and existing Native American leaders for their contributions to Indian Country.


Joe C. DiazJoe Diaz


Joe C. Diaz, our newest Of Counsel attorney, is from Grants, NM, which defines him in every way.  He concentrates his practice in the areas of Indian law, contract law, real estate law, land use law, zoning law, personnel law, property law income tax law, condemnation law, bond law, public law, litigation, and lobbying.  He is a past Board Member of the State Bar of New Mexico and a member of the Albuquerque Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association, and Indian Bar Association.  Joe joined Stetson Law after an illustrious 20 years at the Modrall Sperling law firm in Albuquerque, NM and enjoyed many honors in his earlier career.

Joe is the past president of the New Mexico Hospital Association Trustee Affiliate, was a District Chairman for the Boy Scouts for 8 years, sat of the Board of Trustees for the University of New Mexico Hospital, and served as the Attorney for Bernalillo County for 17 years. He is well-known for his stories and his wide-reaching contacts.



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