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NMDLA Awards

Outstanding Defense Lawyer of the Year

Outstanding Lawyer of the Year is awarded to attorneys who have, by their ethical, personal, and professional conduct exemplified for their fellow attorneys the epitome of professionalism and ability.

2021 Recipient - James H. Johansen

James H. Johansen is a shareholder with Butt Thornton & Baehr PC and former DRI New Mexico State Representative and past President of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association. Jim was a member of the Board of Directors of the NMDLA from 1994 to 2010. He also served as President of the firm from 2002 through 2006 and was selected as a Southwest Super Lawyer in 2015 and 2019 and rated AV®Preeminent™, the highest possible rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, Jim frequently lectures on insurance coverage issues.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2021 James H. Johansen, Esq.
  • 2020 Kathleen Wilson, Esq.
  • 2019 Meena H. Allen, Esq.
  • 2018 S. Carolyn Ramos, Esq.
  • 2017 Mark Mowery, Esq.
  • 2016 Lee M. Rogers, Jr., Esq.
  • 2015 Mark J. Riley, Esq.
  • 2014 Stephen G. French, Esq.
  • 2013 William P. Slattery , Esq.
  • 2012 Stephen M. Simone, Esq.
  • 2011 Emily Franke, Esq.
  • 2010 R. E. Thompson
  • 2008 Al Green
  • 2007 Thomas Sandenaw
  • 2006 William Gralow
  • 2005 Charles Pharris
  • 2004 Robert Sabin
  • 2003 Bruce Hall


Young Lawyer of the Year

Young Lawyer of the Year is awarded to attorneys who have not practiced more than five years or are under the age of 36 and have, by their ethical, personal, and professional conduct, shown exemplary achievement in the legal profession and/or who have contributed time and expertise to the NMDLA.

2021 Recipient - Brandon M. Meyers

Mr. Meyers is a Partner at McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC's Albuquerque office. His practice focuses on defense of product manufacturers, energy companies, and insurers in cases nationwide involving fires, explosions, and catastrophic personal injuries. He is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Defense News and the Vice Chair of the Scaffolding Cranes & Aerial Devices subcommittee of DRI's Product Liability Committee. He also serves as a member of the Governing Board for Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School.

Mr. Meyers received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from The University of New Mexico before attending law school at University of Alabama School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate in 2017. While in law school, he served as the Executive Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession, a member of the Campbell Moot Court Board, and the Vice President of the Student Bar Association

Past Award Recipients

  • 2021 James H. Johansen, Esq.
  • 2020 Christie Geter, Esq.
  • 2019 Brett C. Eaton, Esq.
  • 2018 David Gonzales, Esq.
  • 2017 Justin D. Goodman, Esq.
  • 2016 Corinne L. Holt, Esq.
  • 2015 Tomas J. Garcia, Esq.
  • 2014 Alicia Santos, Esq.
  • 2013 Erica R. Neff, Esq.
  • 2012 Tiffany Roach Martin
  • 2011 Cody R. Rogers, Esq.
  • 2010 Lorena Olmos
  • 2008 Jessica Hernandez
  • 2007 Raul P. Sedillo

New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1870, Chicago, IL 60606
Cheryl Palombizio, Executive Director
312.698.6207   312.252.1156 (fax)