Jeff Keohane

Of Counsel

How I represent clients at Schwabe

I represent corporations, tribal governments, and individuals on environmental and natural resources issues, including water rights, redevelopment and energy matters, as well as all the major federal and California environmental statutes. I have also represented clients on matters of Native American law— from gaming and hospitality to recognition, jurisdictional, and land into trust. With 25 years of experience, I am considered one of the premiere environmental attorneys in the Indian country.

Prior to joining Schwabe, I had a thriving environmental and Native American law practice at several private practice law firms and most recently served as Principal at Keohane Law. Early in my career, I worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of General Counsel.

Throughout the years, I have served as an Adjunct Professor of federal Indian and Native American tribal law at UC Davis School of Law. I also frequently donate time as pro bono counsel to families facing eviction in the Bay Area.


  • Served as outside general counsel to several Indian tribes during construction and opening of their casino-hotels.
  • Negotiated gaming compacts and amendments.
  • Negotiated tribal water rights settlements.
  • Negotiated a deal and legislation to provide initial potable water service to an Indian reservation.
  • Performed environmental due diligence for land acquisition and M&A transactions.
  • Negotiated cleanup standards for contaminated properties on behalf of tribes, corporations, and private equity clients.
  • Negotiated completion of controversial fee-to-trust land acquisitions.
  • Drafted environmental and gaming regulatory and legislative language.
  • Successfully negotiated air quality permits and a path-breaking tribal air basin for a power plant in an extreme nonattainment area.
  • Developed a tribal water trading scheme and groundwater management plan.
  • Represented tribes in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) matters.
  • Drafted tribal environmental, gaming, and other legal codes.
  • Assisted tribes to develop EPA-approved environmental programs regulating nonmember activities.
  • Advised tribal gaming enterprises on COVID-19 and other disaster responses.
  • Advised corporations on committing to ESG principles.


  • Stanford Law School, Juris Doctor degree (1997)‎
  • Boston University, Bachelor of Arts degree (1992)‎


  • California State Courts
  • District of Columbia
  • Washington State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • California Lawyers Association, Environmental Law Section (1997-present)
  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (1997-present)
  • Federal Bar Association, Indian Law Section (1997-present)
  • California Indian Law Association (1997-present)
  • National Native American Bar Association (1997-present)
  • District of Columbia Bar, Arts, Entertainment, Media & Sports Law (1997-present)
  • District of Columbia Bar, Environment, Energy & Natural Resources (1997-present)
  • District of Columbia Bar, International Law (1997-present)

Additional Publications

  • Program Co-Chair, Tribal Water in California, Law Seminars International (October 19-20, 2020)

Community Activities

University of California Davis School of Law, Adjunct Professor of federal Indian and Native American law

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