Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Stan Harris practices primarily in the area of public lands, natural resources, and commercial litigation. For more than 15 years, he has advised clients at the judicial, administrative, and legislative levels on federal, state, and local issues. Stan has extensive experience in the representation of parties in their disputes involving cultural property, public lands, Indian lands, oil and gas industry, environmental infrastructure matters, and mining transactions. Stan also represents clients in the area of general commercial litigation, including breaches of commercial contracts, construction disputes, foreclosure, personal injury defense, and premises liability.

Prior to joining Modrall Sperling, Stan served as Environmental Counsel to United States Senator Pete V. Domenici in Washington, D.C. and as Law Clerk to the Honorable Lynn Pickard, New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Stan is a member of the Natural Resources and Environment practice group and he serves as Chair of the Public Lands group and the firm’s Recruiting Committee. Stan has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America® in  Litigation-Land Use and Zoning and by Southwest Super Lawyers® in Energy and Natural Resources.


University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1993, Editor-in-Chief, New Mexico Law Review, 1992-1993; Editor-in-Chief, United States-Mexico Law Journal, 1992-1993

University of Texas at Austin, B.A. in History, 1990

Bar Admissions

New Mexico

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

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

  • Representation of railroads, pipeline companies, and electric transmission facilities in establishing rights-of-way across federal and tribal land
  • Representation of railroads, pipeline companies, and electric transmission companies regarding taxation issues on tribal lands
  • Representation of property owners in premises liability litigation
  • Representation of contractors and insurers in defective housing litigation
  • Representation of mining company in a challenge to state agency’s designation of over 700 square miles of the State of New Mexico as a traditional cultural property
  • Tribal v. state court jurisdiction, Meyer Engineering v. Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, 996 So 2d 445 (La. S. Ct. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 1988 (2009).
  • Indispensability of county in action to declare a public road, Percha Creek Mining, LLC v. Fust, 2008-NMCA-100, 144 N.M. 569, 189 P.3d 702
  • Represented a special use permit holder on national forest lands in lengthy alternative dispute resolution proceedings that resulted in an Indian land claim settlement ratified by federal legislation. Pueblo of Sandia land claim, T’uf Shur Bien Preservation Trust Act Legislation (2003)
  • Tribal vs. federal court jurisdiction, Chiwewe v. Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Ry. Co., 239 F. Supp. 2d 1213 (D.N.M. 2002)

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Public Land and Resources Committee, Vice-Chair

Public Service

  • Environmental Counsel to U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici, Washington, D.C.



  • Taxation Issues in Indian Country, Conference of National Association of Property Tax Representatives, Savannah, Georgia, October 28, 2015
  • Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Issues, Tribal Energy in the Southwest, Law Seminars International, Sandia Resort and Casino, December 9-10, 2013


  • Cultural Property Law: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Management, Protection and Preservation of Heritage Resources, American Bar Association, 2004


  • ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Year in Review, Public Land and Resources Annual Report, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • State and Federal Traditional Cultural Properties: The Designation Process and Consequences for Resource Development, 57 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 4-1, 2011
  • Best Lawyers in America® in Litigation-Land Use and Zoning, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished Peer Review Rated
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® (derived from a lawyer survey), 2013-present
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Employment Law
Native American Law
Natural Resources and Energy Law
Water Law