Civil Rights, Electronic Discovery, Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure, Law Office Management, Nursing Home and Long Term Care Facilities, Whistleblower Protection Act
I enjoy helping my clients find creative, effective solutions to difficult and complex civil disputes. I work with my clients to identify the key strengths and weakness of their cases and develop strategies for achieving their best possible outcomes. This requires thoroughly investigating the facts, analyzing the applicable law as well as developing and executing a litigation plan – all while ensuring the representation is cost effective and furthers my clients’ interests.
I have practiced law for over 25 years. I currently focus on representing parties in high stakes lawsuits involving civil rights claims, constitutional law, personal injury and appeals. These cases involve issues such as alleged brutality and excessive force by police officers, incidents in jails and prisons, discrimination in employment on the basis of gender, race, national origin as well as medical and psychological conditions. I represent clients in lawsuits involving retaliation for protected speech under the New Mexico Whistleblower Act, the First Amendment and similar laws. I am one of the most experienced attorneys on the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act.
My civil rights practice overlaps with my experience in handling cases for wrong death and catastrophic personal injuries, malpractice involving doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and long term care facilities and commercial litigation involving insurance carriers and contractual disputes. I also represent clients in regulatory disputes.
I regularly try cases to judges and juries in Federal and New Mexico District Courts throughout the region. When taking on a new case, I plan that the case will go to a trial and perhaps beyond into an appeal. This perspective ensures that my client and I identify key issues and interests and that we are are committed to trying the case to win.
This approach also facilitates settlement. Most civil cases settle and for good reason. The parties control the outcome of the case, obtain results that litigation cannot provide, save on litigation costs and resolve disputes faster. I have worked with most of the mediators in New Mexico and am thoroughly familiar with guiding my clients in the art of compromise.
Not all cases end with settlement or a jury verdict. It is important that trial counsel understand and preserve the appellate issues in the lower court. My appellate experience includes appearances before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the New Mexico Supreme Court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals. Several of my published appellate cases established new lawt.
Service & Professional Contributions
In addition to serving my clients, I work to enhance my profession and my community. In 2006, The New Mexico Supreme Court appointed me as chair of the Rules of Civil Procedure Committee. The Committee has the responsibility of drafting and revising the rules applicable to all civil cases in New Mexico District Courts, including all trial, discovery and motion practice. I had the pleasure of serving on that committee for a total of six years.
Maintaining a work-life balance is important to me. I served on the New Mexico State Bar Task Force and Quality of Life Committee. I have also given presentations on this topic to various organizations, including the American Bar Association.
I’ve also given presentations to my peers on a wide range of legal topics including the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act, Federal and State Rules of Civil Procedure, electronic discovery, nursing home and long term care facilities, law office management as well as other topics.
In addition to my law practice, I’m also a performing musician. I’ve had the pleasure of playing with many nationally prominent musicians since I began performing semi-professionally in 1979. My wife Lynn as well as my daughters Lauren and Haley, enjoy all that New Mexico has to offer including skiing, golfing, sailing, hiking and of course red and green chile.
Biography & Education
- Graduated Norfolk Academy 1981
- Ithaca College, B.A. in Political Science 1985
- University of Virginia Law School, Juris Doctor 1988
- First Place 1988 Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition for “Copyrighting Jazz: Improvising Protection for Improvised Compositions”.
- Virginia State Bar 1988, New Mexico Bar 1989
- United States District Court, Federal District of New Mexico 1989
- United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit 1989
- United States Claims Court 1989
- Supreme Court of the United States 2000.
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
- Panelist, the New Mexico Medical Review Commission
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Former Barrister, Oliver Seth American Inn of Court