Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Ruth Schifani is an experienced practitioner in Banking and Real Estate law. She brings more than thirty years’ experience to numerous financial institutions in public finance, real estate and asset based secured transactions throughout the State of New Mexico and has represented both bank and retail establishments in regulatory and consumer compliance matters. In real estate matters, Ruth assists clients to negotiate, structure and document transactions involving the purchase, sale, exchange, development, leasing and financing of commercial real estate. She also handles general business and contract matters.

Chambers USA reports, “Schifani is particularly adept at financing deals with bond transactions in tax exempt matters.” Commentators regard Ruth as “a genius,” and clients note that “she is very knowledgeable and always there to provide advice – she can really help solve a problem.” Ruth was selected by Best Lawyers in America® as Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Albuquerque in 2018 for the second time, she also received this honor in 2009.   She has been listed by Best Lawyers continuously since 2003, Chambers USA since 2004,  and Southwest Super Lawyers® since 2007.  A Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Ruth has also been recognized by her peers as “Business Lawyer of the Year in 2008,” by the Business Law Section of the New Mexico Bar and “Best of the Bar 2009 in Business and Real Estate,” by the New Mexico Business Weekly.

In addition to her practice, Ruth is active in community and professional non-profit organizations. She currently serves as a member of the Judicial Standards Commission. She has previously served as a member of the CNM Foundation Board; President of the University of New Mexico Alumni Association; Chair of the UNM Honors College Advisory Board; President of the Y.W.C.A. of the Middle Rio Grande; and Treasurer of New Mexico Appleseed Board. Ruth has also served as Past President of the Albuquerque Bar Association and was a member of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission for 12 years.

Ruth began as an attorney with Modrall Sperling upon graduating from law school. From 1994 to 1997 she was Associate General Counsel for Boatmen’s Sunwest, Inc., a thirteen bank holding company with banks throughout New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas. She has previously served as the firm’s Secretary/Treasurer, member of the Executive Committee, Head of Transactions Department, Chair of the Corporate, Banking and Real Estate group, and Chair of the Client Relations Committee.


University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D. cum laude, 1976, Order of the Coif

University of New Mexico, B.A. in English Literature cum laude, 1970

Bar Admissions

New Mexico 1976

  • Represented Albuquerque Public Schools in major land acquisitions including large tracts of vacant land and efforts to acquire a landmark building in downtown Albuquerque to remodel for a performing arts school and performance space. Representation involves providing real estate advice, drafting the necessary documents, addressing issues with the City of Albuquerque and providing analysis and resolution of issues. This representation is on-going.
  • Represented the Santa Fe Public Schools in the sale of a school site. The representation involved the negotiation and drafting of a purchase agreement and seller financing terms and addressing issues raised by neighborhood associations, school board members and the New Mexico Board of Finance.
  • Represented Next Era Energy in connection with the issuance of $15,000,000 Industrial Revenue Bonds by the Village of Hatch, New Mexico for a photovoltaic solar electric generation facility and $215,000,000 Industrial Revenue Bonds by Cibola County, New Mexico for a wind electric generation project. Representation included the negotiation and preparation of leases, indentures, purchase agreements, ordinances and other related documents and obtaining the necessary governmental approvals.
  • Advise and assist renewable energy developers on the industrial revenue bond process and third party financing.
  • Represent Sandia Foundation, a local non-profit organization, on real estate and other matters including leasing and subleasing of commercial buildings, construction and build to suit agreements and financing arrangements.
  • Represent local and national banks in construction, development, real estate, and asset based lending, as well as work outs and forbearance agreements, including a $7,000,000 dairy loan, a $2,800,000 development loan and a $22,000,000 operating line.
  • Advise local bank client on acquisition, sale and regulatory matters, including directors’ obligations.
  • Advise local bank on consumer compliance issues, including the review of consumer loan documentation for compliance.
  • Assisted K Road Solar Power, LLC in the acquisition of leasehold rights for utility scale solar development on tribal land.

Professional Activities

  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fellow
  • Judicial Standards Commission, member
  • Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, member, 1999-2011
  • Albuquerque Bar Association, past President

Community Activities

  • New Mexico Appleseed, past Treasurer and member, Board of Directors
  • University of New Mexico Alumni Association, past President
  • YWCA of the Middle Rio Grande, past President
  • Central New Mexico Community College Foundation Board of Directors, 2014
  • UNM Honors College Advisory Board, 2011-2014
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys, Fellow
  • Best Lawyers of America® in Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Finance Law, Commercial Transactions / UCC Law, Equipment Finance Law, Financial Services Regulation Law, and Real Estate Law, 2013 – present
  • Best Lawyers 2018 Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Best Lawyers 2009 Banking and Finance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Chambers USA Directories of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in Real Estate Law, 2004-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent; Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
  • New Mexico Business Weekly, Best of the Bar in Business and Real Estate, 2009
  • New Mexico Business Weekly Woman of Influence, 2009
  • New Mexico State Bar Association Business Lawyer of the Year, 2008
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® (derived from a lawyer survey), 2007-present
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