Serving New Mexico's
Civil Defense Lawyers for 30 Years.



Letter From The President

Dear Members:

Happy New Year. I am looking forward to serving as the President of NMDLA in 2017 and hope to have a positive influence on the direction of our organization. I am optimistic about the prospects of 2017 and am glad to have 2016 in the rear view mirror. So many of you have expressed that 2016 was a difficult year, if for no other reason than the loss of David Bowie, Prince, Glen Frey, John Glenn, Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, and Justice Antonin Scalia (in no particular order).

Sean Garrett deserves our thanks for his service as President of NMDLA for both 2015 and 2016. In 2016, Sean graciously agreed to serve a second term, which gave me the opportunity to progress through the ranks. Sean kept hold of the wheel and led us well. Thank you, Sean.

The DRI Leadership Conference was held in Chicago in early January, which included a series of excellent presentations by that organization’s top leaders. The trend to nationalize insurance defense practices was a dominant theme of the conference. Here in New Mexico, we saw that trend materialize with the adoption of reciprocity. The perception that increased use of staff counsel has decreased the number of referrals to outside counsel was another topic of discussion. It seems the all-important “metric” by which we are measured is how productive (and efficient) we are, not how good of a lawyer we are. Some attorneys perceive these changes in the insurance defense industry as a threat to our business, while others believe a failure to innovate is a bigger threat. My take-away from the conference is the belief that we cannot cling to our “old school” thinking and must adapt to flourish in the current culture. Change is upon us. Adaptability is key.

Another theme of the conference was the importance of communication among defense attorneys. My focus this year is to enhance communication among our members. Please take advantage of the link on the NMDLA website to submit requests to the member network for expert witness referrals. Consider using this link more broadly to report a favorable outcome on an issue of common interest or circulate general requests for information. NMDLA will also offer an opportunity to connect without adding to your electronic overload. Instead, we will facilitate our talking directly to one another through telephonic “Brownbag Roundtables.” Details to follow. You will be invited to dial in and join a discussion on hot topics of current interest. These calls will be an opportunity for you to reconnect, tell us how adaptable you are, or lament the loss of Prince.

I am looking forward to talking to you. 

Courtenay L. Keller, Esq.
Riley, Shane & Keller, P.A.
2017 NMDLA President

Christopher J. DeLar

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DVDs for self-study continuing education are now available from NMDLA.



DRI Honors NMDLA with Diversity Award  

The New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association has been selected by DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar, to receive the 2016 SLDO Diversity Award. The award will be presented at the DRI Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon, October 20th in Boston.

Congratulations to our 2016 NMDLA Lawyer of the Year Award Winners 

Winner of the Outstanding Civil Defense Lawyer of the Year Award is Lee M. Rogers, Jr., Esq. of Atwood Malone Turner & Sabin, PA. This year’s Young Lawyer of the Year Award goes to Corinne L. Holt, Esq. of Allen Shepherd Lewis & Syra, PA. Awards will be presented on October 14, 2016 in Downtown Albuquerque at the Hotel Andaluz.

Read the Amicus Brief filed on May 11th  

Racheal Vasquez, Personal Representative v. American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pennsylvania
No. S-1-SC-35681, New Mexico Supreme Court, May 11, 2016

WINTER 2016/2017 ISSUE

Defense News is NMDLA's quarterly newsletter containing important articles on the latest developments in the law that is circulated to all members of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association as well as all New Mexico judges, libraries and major newspapers. 

Winter 2016/2017 ISSUE


The most recent trial decision was submitted by Ada B. Priest, Esq. of Chapman and Charlebois, P.C.

As a member you are welcome to take advantage of NMDLA's member network by sharing your trial verdicts.


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Jean Gibson, Executive Director
PO Box 94116 | Albuquerque, NM 87199-4116
Email: nmdefense@nmdla.org | Phone: 505.797.6021 | Fax: 877.245.5021


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