Phyllis O. TouseyTitle: Partner
Phone: (651) 739-9615
Address: 3120 Woodbury Drive, Suite 200
Phyllis is a partner at Swanson, Drobnick & Tousey and practices in the areas of criminal defense, Federal Indian Law including the Indian Child Welfare Act, and family law. Phyllis is passionate about criminal defense work and it shows in her aggressive negotiation skills. She works tirelessly both in and out of the courtroom on her clients' behalf. Prior to founding the firm in 2003, Phyllis worked as a criminal defense attorney at the Neighborhood Justice Center representing low-income defendants and as staff attorney at the Indian Child Welfare Law Center, a non-profit public defense organization that represents American Indian parents in child protection cases governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act.
In her work at Swanson, Drobnick and Tousey, much of Phyllis' case load consists of criminal defense work and child protection cases governed by the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act. She represents individuals and tribal governments throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin on a variety of legal issues from criminal defense to employment investigations to private family issues. She has unique legal expertise gained from her cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional legal experience. Phyllis currently serves on the conflicts panel for the Federal Public Defender for the 8th Circuit, representing indigent defendants facing prosecution in the federal courts, and is the public defender for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.
Outside of the court room, Phyllis is committed to advancing equality and justice for all people, but particularly for Native and economically disadvantaged peoples. She has volunteered with The Partners in Human Rights Education Program at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. Prior to becoming an attorney she was a college-level educator and counselor in Women's and Indian Studies. She has also owned and operated several successful small businesses. Phyllis is a member of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association.
Phyllis Tousey is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indians. She holds a B.A. in Broad Area Art and a M.S. of Education in Guidance Counseling from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Phyllis is admitted to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, and the United States District Court -- District of Minnesota. She is also admitted to the following tribal courts: Bois Forte, Leech Lake, Prairie Island, Upper Sioux, Lower Sioux, Ho-Chunk Nation, Sisseton-Whapeton, White Earth, Mille Lacs, St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin, and Forest County Potawatomi.