Robert R. Yoder received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, summa cum laude, and his juris doctor from the University of Southern California, where he served as an editor on the USC Major Tax Planning Law Journal, and was an American Jurisprudence Award recipient. The majority of Mr. Yoder’s practice is devoted to representing Tribal employers in connection with pension, tax, benefits, and IGRA trust matters. Mr. Yoder represents Tribal employers throughout the country, and is a frequent speaker on issues of Tribal sovereignty.
Mr. Yoder designs Tribal pension programs, 401(k) programs, health plan & welfare programs and trusts, and advises Tribal employers on tax compliance and IRS audits. Mr. Yoder also litigates benefits and fiduciary claims, and has considerable experience in benefits related controversy work and compliance resolution with both the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor.
Mr. Yoder has worked to secure guidance on the use of tribal corporations, enterprises and LLCs, on developing better guidance on minor’s and adult per capita trust options, and to secure federal legislation and regulations that preserve tribal sovereignty and government status under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code and other federal statutes. Most recently, he has worked with the Native American Finance Officers Association and the National Congress of American Indians on comments for the Department of Treasury’s tribal consultation project. Mr. Yoder also works on tribal health care matters and tribal health care reform.
The firm was founded in 1997 to service tribal governments with regard to benefits law and taxation issues. The founder, Robert R. Yoder, began working with tribal governments almost 24 years ago, at a time when very few tax practitioners were focusing on tribal government issues. At that time, he realized that tribal sovereignty was being waived in many cases because tax practitioners were not familiar with sovereignty principals, the unique laws and doctrines that apply to tribal entities, and the government to government relationship between the federal and tribal governments.
Yoder & Langford now represents approximately 40 tribal governments and entities throughout the country from California to New York.
The firm's mission is to advise governments on employee benefits, taxation law, trust, and health care issues in a manner that will coordinate federal regulation with governmental sovereignty.
Yoder & Langford also represents municipal governments with regard to the tax compliance aspects of their public pension plans.
Stephen Sandberg received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona.
Catherine L. Langford received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, with highest honors, and juris doctor from the Syracuse University College of Law, cum laude, where she was inducted into the Justinian Honorary Law Society. Ms. Langford joined the firm in 2001, after practicing for many years with Arizona’s largest law firm, Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. Ms. Langford practices exclusively in the area of employee benefits and related tax matters. Working with a diverse group of clients, Ms. Langford focuses on compliance and correction matters involving tax-qualified retirement plans. In addition to drafting and maintaining tax-qualified retirement plan documents, Ms. Langford has successfully negotiated several plan correction applications with the Internal Revenue Service, including one of the most complicated plan correction applications ever submitted to the IRS.
Ms. Langford also advises and assists clients on the design, implementation and administration of governmental excess benefit arrangements, non-qualified deferred compensation plans and welfare benefit programs. Ms. Langford’s clients include tribal governments, tribal enterprises, and municipalities. Ms. Langford also serves as legal counsel to two of Arizona’s largest city pension systems.
Ms. Langford is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference - Phoenix Chapter. She is a frequent lecturer on employee benefit issues.