Maranda Compton

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Maranda focuses her practice on all aspects of Native American law and policy.  She is experienced in representing both tribal and non-tribal clients in a wide range of federal regulatory, environmental, energy, and natural resources issues.

For her clients, Maranda provides a deep understanding of the diverse and complex factors involved in disputes, transactions and regulations involving American Indian tribes.  Applying her personal knowledge of Indian Country, she often serves as a valuable liaison between tribal and non-tribal parties, helping clients find favorable outcomes in commercial transactions; project permitting; issues of federal, state and tribal regulation; and environmental regulation. 

Maranda’s Indian law and tribal expertise is valuable across a wide range of industries.  Specifically, Maranda counsels energy clients and project proponents in negotiations and consultation with tribes, where she brings a wealth of knowledge of the federal leasing and right-of-way regulations, tribal versus state jurisdiction, environmental permitting, and tribal employment rights. In the corporate context, Maranda represents tribal and non-tribal businesses and banks in commercial and lending transactions and related areas of federal, state, and tribal regulation.  Maranda also represents tribal governmental and economic development entities on various matters relating to tribal regulatory development and code drafting, cultural preservation issues, compliance management and internal investigations, and commercial enterprise operation and financing.  And when impassible issues arise, Maranda represents tribal and non-tribal clients in litigation in state, federal and tribal courts, as well as alternative dispute resolution.

Prior to joining Van Ness Feldman, Maranda worked for a large international law firm in their Denver, Colorado office.  Maranda also served as a law clerk to Justice Allison H. Eid of the Supreme Court of Colorado (now of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit) and clerked for the Native American Rights Fund while in law school.

Maranda is an enrolled member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians.

  • Experience
    • Assisted energy industry group in development and hosting of unique, one-of-a-kind program bringing together tribal leaders and industry professionals in a dialogue to improve tribal/industry relationships.
    • Advises project proponent clients – including hydroelectric, pipeline, renewables, and tourism/surface lease developments – on strategies for Tribal engagement.
    • Advises FERC licensee of hydroelectric project regarding treaty and ceremonial and subsistence fishing claims.
    • Aids corporate clients in development of tribal engagement and environmental justice protocols.
    • Assists tribal governments in the development and implementation of tribal codes, including regulations pertaining to water, consumer finance, e-commerce, privacy, and commercial activities and business entity formation.
    • Advises municipality on development issues involving tribal property and treaty interests.
    • Develops comprehensive tribal employment preference compliance programs for non-tribal companies operating on tribal lands.
    • Negotiates joint ventures, service provider relationships, and commercial financing between non-tribal and tribal entities, including extensive restructuring of existing relationships.
    • Represents tribes and tribal enterprises in federal agency investigations and state enforcement actions.
    • Represents tribal and non-tribal clients in a wide-range of federal appeals, drafting briefs for cases before U.S. District Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court regarding tribal jurisdiction, federal and state taxation, applicability of federal laws, and sovereign immunity.
  • Professional Affiliations

    Center for Legal Inclusiveness

    Member, Board of Directors

    Colorado Indian Bar Association

    Treasurer, 2015-2016

    Colorado Public Television

    Member, Board of Directors

    Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

    Member, Board of Trustees

    National Native American Bar Association

    University of Denver Sturm College of Law Alumni Council

  • Awards & Honors

    Super Lawyers
    Colorado Super Lawyers "Rising Star" 2013-2018

    Top Women in Energy 2017, Denver Business Journal

    Winner, National American Indian Law Review Writing Competition, 2009

  • Government Service
  • News & Presentations
  • Thought Leadership


University of Denver, Sturm College of Law J.D., 2009

College of the Holy Cross B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 2004