Robert D. Gifford

Judge Robert D. Gifford, a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation who began his legal career under Chief Wilma Mankiller, is the Founder member of Gifford Law, P.L.L.C. in Oklahoma City.  He also serves as Chief Judge for the Kaw Nation District Court, an Associate Justice for the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, and is a former Editor on the American Indian Law Review. 

Judge Gifford previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oklahoma City and in Reno, Nevada for fifteen years where he served as Tribal Liaison, Human Trafficking Coordinator, Burning Man Prosecutor and as the Anti-Terrorism Coordinator.  In 2007, Judge Gifford was called back to active duty as an Army JAG to work on the cases at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he served as the Legal Spokesman, Deputy Director of Legal Operations, and a Deposition Hearing Judge.  In addition, Gifford is currently a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, an adjunct law professor at the law schools at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University, and has served as an Adjunct Law Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law and the U.S. Army JAG School in Charlottesville, VA.

Judge Gifford is the 2018 Chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section, and n 2013, Gifford was selected as the “Professional Advocate of the Year” by the Oklahoma Bar Association, an award in which he was nominated and selected by the criminal defense bar.  In 2016, he was awarded the Cardozo Award for his contributions in criminal law, and from 2013-2015 he was elected to serve on the 17,000 member Oklahoma Bar Association’s Board of Governors.  In addition, he has extensive experience practicing before the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco and Denver, having briefed and argued numerous cases on appeal.

Gifford also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Reno, Nevada, an Assistant District Attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as an active duty Army Officer as a Judge Advocate with duty stations around the world.  He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and holds a Masters Degree from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barrack, Pennsylvania and his Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.