Brian Nichols' practice is primarily in litigation, with focuses on energy, natural resources and Indian Law. His experience includes labor law, federal compliance including Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), contracts, employment law, personal injury, premises liability and royalty claims. Brian has advised clients including BHP Navajo Coal Company, San Juan Coal Company, Sempra Energy, BNSF Railway Company, Peabody Energy, Central Consolidated School District, Chevron USA, El Paso Natural Gas, Nacogdoches Oil & Gas, Siemens IT and Four Corners Giant (Western).
As a member of the Navajo Nation Bar, Brian consults with businesses doing or considering commerce on the Navajo Nation. He regularly advises clients regarding employment (the Navajo Preference in Employment Act), property (the Navajo Nation Civil Trespass Act), vendor preferences and procurement (the Navajo Business Opportunity Act), and worker health and safety (the Navajo Occupational Safety and Health Act).
As reported in Chambers USA Directories of America's Leading Lawyers for Business, he is well known for his Native American employment law expertise. Brian received national recognition from Chambers USA as "a litigator with strong experience in Native American matters, including those involving natural resources matters and employment law." Sources describe him as a "very bright young lawyer" who brings a "smart and diligent" approach to matters. He handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has appeared before the Navajo Labor Commission and Navajo Supreme Court. Brian has an AV® rating in Martindale-Hubbell, he is listed in Best Lawyers in America® in Native American Law and named a Southwest Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers®.
Before joining Modrall Sperling, Brian clerked for the Honorable Pamela B. Minzner of the New Mexico Supreme Court and the Honorable Fredrick J. Martone of the U. S. District Court for the District of Arizona. He serves as Co-Chair of the Native American Law practice group and as a member of the firm's Executive Committee.
Georgia State University, J.D., 2003, summa cum laude Editorial Board, Georgia State University Law Review
- Earlham College, B.A. in Economics, 1993, College and Departmental Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Charles Stinneford Award for Excellence in Economics
- New Mexico
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Navajo Nation