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Uninitiated clients and even some practitioners tend to conceive of trial and appellate court proceedings as a series of stand-alone steps en route to a final determination of issues.  We do not.  Instead, we recognize that each step builds upon, and takes shape from, the ground up.  Thus, for example, from the earliest stages of judicial trials or administrative adjudications, our experienced lawyers are mindful of what may follow, win or lose.  How claims are asserted and defended, what evidence is presented, when and how motions or objections should be made, and other matters occurring throughout litigation, are necessarily driven to a significant degree by appellate considerations.  Moreover, given the range of appellate review standards that may apply in particular cases, significant tactical and strategic factors ideally help to shape the form and presentation of issues on appeal.  Our experienced litigators and regulatory and appellate practitioners understand these basic truths and bring to bear considerable insights on behalf of companies and individuals across a broad spectrum of industries and walks of life.



Our lawyers regularly handle appeals in all appellate courts of the state of New Mexico, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court, and we handle or assist on appeals in selected areas in the state and federal appellate courts across the nation.  In addition, we handle administrative appeals in a broad spectrum of federal, state and local agencies, boards and commissions.  We also handle appeals in tribal courts.  A good number of our lawyers clerked for appellate judges after law school, and bring to bear significant insights on behalf of clients.

Our lawyers are adept at both prosecuting and defending all varieties of appeals, without regard to whether we handled the trial or adjudication in the first instance.  Often we are called on for the first time to consult or assume responsibility for matters at the time they reach the appellate stage.  We handle traditional appeals in matters we have handled through judgment, as well as Rule 1-075 appeals, interlocutory appeals, and applications for extraordinary writs.  We often file, or coordinate with others on the filing of, amicus briefs on behalf of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, various industry associations, and other non-governmental organizations.

Representative Cases

  • Atkinson Trading Co. Inc. v. Shirley, 520 U.S. 438 (1997)
  • Baker v. BP America Production Co., 137 N.M. 3334, 110 P.3d 1071 (2005)
  • Bank of America v. Apache Corp., 144 N.M. 123, 184 P.3d 435 (Ct. App.), cert. denied, 144 N.M. 123 (2008)
  • Carver v. Plyer, 115 Fed. Appx. 532 (3rd Cir. 2004)
  • Lisa Corn v. N.M. Educator's Fed. Credit Union, 119 N.M. 199 (Ct. App. 1994)
  • Couture v. Albuquerque Public Schools, 535 F.3d 1243 (10th Cir. 2008)
  • Duke City Lumber Co. v. N.M. Env. Improv. Bd., 95 N.M. 401, 622 P.2d 709 (Ct. App. 1980)
  • El Paso Natural Gas v. Neztsosie, 526 U.S. 473 (1999)
  • Gutierrez v. City of Albuquerque, 121 N.M. 172, 909 P.2d 732 (1998)
  • Henderson v. Amtrak, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 207 (10th Cir. Jan. 5, 2011)
  • Kee v. Ahlm, 219 Fed. Appx. 727 (10th Cir. 2007)
  • Keith v. ManorCare, Inc., 147 N.M. 452, 224 P.3d 1257 (2009)
  • La Vida Llena v. Montoya, 2013-NMCA-048, ___ P.3d ___ (2013)
  • Madrid v. Phelps Dodge, 211 Fed. Appx. 676 (10th Cir. 2006)
  • Merrion v. Jicarilla Tribe, 455 U.S. 130
  • Mewbourne Oil Co. v. Blackburn, 793 S.W.2d 736 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 1990)
  • Meyer Engineering v. Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, 992 So.2d 446 (La. Sup. Ct. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S.Ct. 1988 (2009)
  • Mitchell v. Lovato, 97 N.M. 425, 640 P.2d 925 (1982)
  • Osage Nation v. Irby, 597 F.3d 1117 (10th Cir. 2010), cert. denied (2011)
  • Phelps Dodge Tyrone Inc. v. N.M. Water Quality Control Comm'n, 2006 NMCA-115, 140 N.M. 164, 143 P.3d 502
  • Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., 554 U.S. 316 (2008)
  • Rael v. Page, 147 N.M. 306, 222 P.3d 678
  • Rayellen Resources, et al. v. N.M. Cultural Properties Review Committee, et al., NM Ct. of Appeals, No. 31,064
  • Rio Grande Silvery Minnow v. Keys, 333 F. 3d 1109 (10th Cir. 2003)
  • Saavedra Wilde v. Westland Dev. Co., Inc., 148 N.M. 627, 241 P.3d 628
  • San Juan 1990-A, et al. v. Amoco Production Co., 2002-NMCA-041, 132 N.M. 73, 43 P.2d 1083
  • San Juan Coal Co., 155 IBLA 389 (2001)
  • Sanders v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 188 P.3d 1200 (N.M. 2008)
  • Santa Fe Techs v. Angus Networks, 131 N.M. 882, 42 P.3d 1221 (Ct. App. 2001)
  • Fred R. Skaggs, et al. v. Conoco Inc., et al., 125 N.M. 97
  • State ex rel. Southwest Community Health Services v. Monroe, 99 N.M. 429, 659 P.2d 315 (1983)
  • State of N.M. ex rel State Engineer and United States, et al. v. N.M. Commissioner of Public Lands 2009-NMCA-004 (2008)
  • Transwestern Pipeline Co. v. Blackburn, 831 S.W.2d 735 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 1992)
  • Trujillo v. Bd of Education, 295 Fed. Appx. 885 (10th Cir. 2008)
  • United States/Pueblos of Laguna and Acoma v. Bluewater Toltec Irrigation Dist., et al., 941 F.2d 1041 (10th Cir. 1991)
  • Wright v. First National Bank of Albuquerque, 112 N.M. 34, 919 P.2d 1099 (Ct. App. 1996)