Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Larry Ausherman concentrates his practice primarily in environmental, natural resources, and energy law. Larry’s experience of over 30 years includes permitting practice before administrative agencies, negotiation and drafting of agreements related to mineral development and handling a wide range of energy, litigation, and environmental matters.

Larry Ausherman is extremely experienced in both litigation and transactional cases and is highly recommended for his knowledge of clients’ businesses. He is esteemed in the market for his broad expertise stretching from mining and potash cases to hazardous waste issues,” recently reported Chambers USA Directories of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Sources single him out as a “very calm, very resourceful and very thoughtful attorney.”

Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® since 1989, Larry has been named Lawyer of the Year in Albuquerque four separate times – in Mining Law in 2014, Natural Resources Law in 2011 and 2013, and Energy Law in 2012, He has achieved an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, based on a peer review. Additionally, Larry is among those listed by Southwest Super Lawyers®.

In addition to his role in firm leadership, Larry has been actively involved in professional and community organizations. He served as Chair of the American Bar Association Hard Minerals Committee and Chair of the New Mexico State Bar Section on Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law. In addition, Larry served as Board Chair of the Nature Conservancy of New Mexico and Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. He is a fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers.

Larry joined Modrall Sperling in 1979.


University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1979, Order of the Coif

University of Michigan, M.S. in Natural Resources, 1978

University of Kansas, B.G.S, 1974, with honors

Bar Admissions

New Mexico

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

  • Defense of San Juan Coal Company against claims by environmental group that disposal of coal combustion byproducts at San Juan Mine caused water contamination; Sierra Club v. San Juan Coal Company, et al., U.S.D.C. Case No. 10-CV-00332.
  • Representation of San Juan Coal Company in administrative proceedings and litigation concerning conflicts with oil and gas operators whose oil and gas properties were in the path of coal mining activities; San Juan Coal Company v. Redwolf Production, San Juan County Case No. CV-2008-1253; Application of Richardson Operating Company, New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission Case No. 12734; Dugan Production Corp. v. San Juan Coal Company, U.S.D.C. Case No. CIV-02-1141.
  • Representation of San Juan Coal Company in defending against efforts by the Navajo Nation and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to place federal lands held by coal leases in trust as part of the Navajo Reservation.
  • Representation of Rio Grande Resources in permit proceedings and environmental matters involving the plans to reopen the largest uranium mine in New Mexico.
  • Representation of Rio Grande Resources in administrative and judicial proceedings arising from the designation of the Mount Taylor Traditional Cultural Property.
  • Representation of Alta Gold Co. in permitting proceedings for a copper mine. The proceedings were before the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division.
  • Representation of Pegasus Gold Corp. in a dispute concerning environmental liabilities arising out of mining operations conducted pursuant to a joint venture agreement; Lac v. Pegasus Gold Corp., U.S.D.C. Cause No. CV 93-135 MV/WWD.
  • Representation of Pegasus Gold Corp. in a suit brought by an environmental organization concerning alleged contamination and related representation in administrative proceedings concerning a state discharge plan for the mine site; Friends of Santa Fe County v. Lac Minerals (USA) Inc., Pegasus Gold, et al., 892 F. Supp. 1333 (D.N.M. 1995).
  • Representation of a major railroad in various aspects of CERCLA proceedings including the negotiation and preparation of consent decrees; United States of America, New Mexico Environment Department v. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company, U.S. District Court, Cause No. CIV-04-1102 RB/WDS, D.N.M. (2005).
  • American College of Environmental Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Bar Association, Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Hard Minerals Committee, Past Chair
  • State Bar of New Mexico, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Past Chair
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, former Trustee
  • The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, Past Chair
  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year in Mining Law – Albuquerque, 2014
  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year in Natural Resources Law – Albuquerque, 2011, 2013
  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year in Energy Law – Albuquerque, 2012
  • Best Lawyers in America® in Energy Law, Mining Law and Natural Resources Law, 1989-present
  • Chambers USA Directories of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Environment, Natural Resources and Regulated Industries, 2004-present
  • International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® (derived from a lawyer survey) 2007-present
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