Elk River Law Office P.L.L.P.

Sam S. Painter

Sam Painter


Mr. Sam S. Painter is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre Tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and a founding partner of the firm. Mr. Painter graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 1993. Since 1993, Mr. Painter has specialized in the practice of Federal Indian Law, exclusively representing Tribal governments in Montana, Wyoming and California either as General or Special Counsel. Further, Mr. Painter has school district experience having represented the Hays/Lodgepole School District, on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, and the Brockton School District, located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Mr. Painter has represented numerous Indian Housing Authorities, including Salish Kootenai Housing Authority, Fort Belknap Housing Authority, Crow Tribal Housing Authority and the United Native American Housing Association (UNAHA).

Currently, Mr. Painter represents the Fort Belknap College, Eastern Shoshone Housing Authority, City of Laurel, and the City of Red Lodge, specializing in contract negotiations, union arbitrations and collective bargaining. Mr. Painter’s current practice includes a great deal of land use planning and development and all issues related thereto. Mr. Painter has been a regular presenter at the annual National American Indian Housing Counsel’s (NAIHC) Indian Housing Legal Symposium in Las Vegas, speaking on areas such as evictions and collections, Tribal Foreclosure and Eviction Codes and Indian Housing Construction Contracts.

Prior to establishing the firm, Mr. Painter was an associate attorney for a law firm in Great Falls, where he represented numerous Indian Housing Authorities, School Districts and private individuals in discrimination and personal injury suits. In 1993, Mr. Painter began his practice of law as a Tribal Prosecutor for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, representing the Tribes in criminal prosecutions, evictions for the Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority and Child Welfare Cases for the Salish and Kootenai Social Services.