Total Credits: 1 CLE, 1 Tax Law Specialization
Panelists will provide updates on the activities of the Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee, IRS guidance projects, and tax legislation efforts. Panelists will also address emerging tax incentive and credit planning opportunities for tribal economic development.
Telly Meier, Of Counsel, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, LLP
Wendy Pearson, Of Counsel, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, LLP
Jeff Harris, Tribal Attorney, Catawba Indian Nation
Doreen McPaul, Esq.; President, Tribal In-House Counsel Association
Virjinya Torrez, Assistant Attorney General, Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Secretary, Tribal In-House Counsel Association
|Report on Tribal Tax Developments for 2023 Manual (566.4 KB)
|Available after Purchase
is an Assistant Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, a federally recognized Indian tribe located in Arizona. Virjinya earned both her J.D. and her M.A. in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, and she earned her B.A. in Political Science (specializing in International Relations) and East Asian Studies at the University of Iowa, with certificates in International Business and American Indian and Native Studies. She is admitted to practice in both the federal and state courts of Arizona, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tohono O’odham Judicial Court, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court. She is also an accredited Veteran Affairs attorney. Virjinya started her legal career as an associate at Vingelli & Errico, a small general practice firm in Tucson, Arizona; was a solo practitioner for a brief period of time; and served five years as an Assistant Attorney General for the Tohono O’odham Nation. Virjinya is a 2016 graduate of the State Bar of Arizona's Bar Leadership Institute; is the Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Council for the State Bar of Arizona’s Indian Law Section; serves as the appointed State Bar of Arizona’s representative on the Arizona State, Tribal & Federal Court Forum; and is a member of NABA-AZ, the Arizona Minority Bar Association, and the Tribal In-House Counsel Association. She is also active in the community and serves on TUSD’s Native American Education Advisory Committee, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Community Investment Team, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Governance Committee, and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Board of Directors. Virjinya's work for the Tribe is varied, but she primarily represents the Tribe’s Public Safety, Human Resources, Education, and Facilities Management Departments and programs. Virjinya is Cherokee/Seminole/Muscogee Creek, and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. 10/18
Telly J. Meier is Of Counsel at Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, LLP. Originally from Fargo, ND, Telly Meier has practiced law for nearly 20 years. He moved to the DC area in 2006 after obtaining a Masters in Taxation from the University of Florida. Since then, Telly has had the honor of serving Indian Country in several capacities. He spent five years at a major law firm representing Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and nonprofits before the Internal Revenue Service, Congress, and the courts. In 2011, Telly joined the IRS’s Office of Indian Tribal Governments. Telly held various roles during his time at the IRS, culminating with his directing the Office of Indian Tribal Governments. Telly joined Hobbs Straus in 2023.
Telly’s legal practice focuses on federal and state tax matters, employee benefit issues, business structuring activities, and Bank Secrecy Act audits of Indian gaming facilities. He regularly represents tribes and their enterprises on a wide array of complex transactions and compliance matters aimed at optimizing tax outcomes. Telly advises nonprofit organizations on a variety of issues relating to obtaining and maintaining tax exempt status.
Telly serves on the Board of the National Intertribal Tax Alliance. He is also a member of both the pension and dual taxation subcommittees that advise the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee.
Telly lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife and three children.
University of Florida Levin College of Law, LL.M. in Taxation, 2003
University of North Dakota School of Law, J.D., 2002
North Dakota State University, B.S. (Economics and Business Administration), 1999
District of Columbia
Court Admissions: United States Tax Court
Wendy Pearson, Of Counsel with Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, LLP, has been practicing tax law for more than 30 years. After obtaining a Masters in Tax from the University of Florida in 1987, she began her career as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service in the Office of Chief Counsel, Seattle, Washington. At the IRS, she handled cases involving a multitude of complex tax issues, including natural resource and timber taxation, corporate and partnership tax, tax shelter litigation, and Alaska Native Corporation cases.
Since leaving the IRS in 1993, Wendy’s legal practice has focused primarily on resolution of federal tax controversies, such as defense of clients in IRS tax audits and litigation, as well as Bank Secrecy Act audits of Indian gaming facilities. Ms. Pearson has extensive background in IRS policy and practice involving Tribal Governments and nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. She regularly represents Tribal Governments and their enterprises on a wide range of complex transactional and compliance matters, including tax planning to optimize opportunities for providing tax-favored benefits to tribal members. Wendy has achieved positive outcomes for her clients on numerous federal tax audit matters, including obtaining favorable IRS rulings for the tax-exempt status of trust per capita payments, tax-deferred treatment of IGRA trusts for minors, and exclusion from income of tribal general welfare benefits. Ms. Pearson was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Taxation (ACT) for the Indian Tribal Governments division of the IRS in 2010 and was instrumental in developing the ACT recommendations which led to IRS changes to the General Welfare Exclusion as applied to Tribal government programs. She was recently chosen to serve on the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion subcommittee of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee.
Ms. Pearson is the immediate Past-Chair of the ABA Committee on Indian Tribal Tax and presently serves on the Board of the National Intertribal Tax Alliance. Wendy also works with tribal organizations such as NCAI and NAFOA to advance tribal tax policy issues.
In her spare time, Wendy volunteers regularly to charitable organizations in her local community. And, when not doing that, she loves to hike, golf, kayak and cook.
University of Florida School of Law, LL.M in Taxation, 1987
Gonzaga School of Law, J.D., 1986
University of Nevada Reno, B.S., 1982