Kaighn Smith, Jr.

Kaighn Smith Jr. represents private and public sector clients, including Indian nations and their enterprises, in the federal, state and tribal courts. He has a national Indian law practice.  His cases focus on labor and employment relations, complex transactional disputes, jurisdiction and  sovereignty issues, environmental matters, and fishing and water rights.  Kaighn is an established national speaker on Indian affairs and is widely published in the field.  He is a member of the American Law Institute and listed in Best Lawyers in America for the category of Native American Law.  He chairs Drummond Woodsum’s Indian Nations Labor and Employment Group, which works with Indian nations to enhance their governance of labor relations within Indian lands.

Kaighn is the author of  Labor and Employment Law in Indian Country (2011), jointly published by Drummond Woodsum and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).

Kaighn clerked for Judge Frank M. Coffin at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Justice Louis Scolnik at the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. He serves as Adjunct Professor of American Indian Law at the University of Maine School of Law.


  • J.D., University of Maine School of Law (1986)
  • M.Phil, University of Sussex (1983)
  • B.S., University of California, Berkeley (1979)(Phi Beta Kappa)

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted in Maine
  • Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the Penobscot Nation Tribal Court, the Passamaquoddy Tribal Court, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Court, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Court, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Court, and the Mohegan Tribe Gaming Disputes Court

Contact Kaighn Smith, Jr.

Contact Kaighn Smith, Jr.

Drummond Woodsum
84 Marginal Way
Suite 600
Portland, Maine  04101
Phone: 207-772-1941 ext. 559
Fax: 207-772-3627


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Maine