Scale Up Your Practice

Legal Services

I typically work in conjunction with other lawyers and law firms that want to scale up their practice to meet the demands of a particular case.  I can serve as lead counsel for an appeal, co-counsel for a trial, or simply an in-house consultant.  Where permitted by applicable court rules, I can enter a limited appearance for a specific project within a larger course of proceedings.

This flexibility allows clients to tailor my services to match their current need for an experienced attorney, without the burden of hiring a full-time salaried employee or the risk of over-delegating to an entry-level associate who lacks the expertise required for the situation at hand.  As an independent contractor who teams up with other law firms for a specific case or project, I can help to lower their overhead, control costs, and pass the savings on to their clients–without sacrificing the quality of the services provided.

Appeals

There are often strict deadlines and procedures for invoking appellate jurisdiction and preserving issues for appeal.  It is therefore advisable to consult an appellate attorney well before a notice of appeal is filed.

When litigation is in its early stages, I can offer in-house consultations to assist in determining the applicable deadlines for an appeal and identifying appellate issues so they can be adequately developed in the lower court.  Once a notice of appeal is filed, I can step in to handle all stages of appellate practice.  When another attorney wants to focus on a particular aspect of the appeal, such as oral argument, I can also tailor my services to act as co-counsel for purposes of writing the briefs and completing other tasks required by court rules.

Trial Preparation and Support

Trials are often accompanied by loads of paperwork, including pretrial orders, witness lists, exhibit lists, written objections, motions in limine, trial briefs, voir dire questions, jury instructions, verdict forms, and post-trial motions.  Before pretrial deadlines kick in, I can assist lead trial counsel with trial preparation to avoid the kinds of costly errors in jury instructions or evidentiary rulings that may result in reversal on appeal.  I can also team up with other lawyers who want an experienced co-counsel to help cover the multitude of tasks that arise during the trial itself.  My trial preparation and support services can free up valuable time for lead trial counsel to focus on the tasks they do best, like picking a jury, examining witnesses, and delivering closing arguments.

Complex Litigation

Some cases may generate a deluge of pretrial motions that can result in dismissal of a party or cause of action before the case ever gets to trial.  Briefing and arguing these pretrial motions can take more time and effort than an appeal.

When extra resources are needed, I can help other lawyers to scale up for heavy pretrial motion practice in the trial court.  I can also bring my many years of experience to bear on the tasks of identifying the applicable law or drafting the necessary pleadings before the litigation starts.  Such pre-litigation research may be especially advisable for complex cases when the facts are unique or they involve emerging issues of law.

Discovery

Often the outcome of pretrial motions depends on the strength of the evidence developed earlier in the case.  Failure to gather crucial evidence during discovery may result in summary judgment before the case ever gets to trial.  Scheduling issues may require compressing several depositions or discovery matters into a short period of time to avoid losing a trial date.

I can help to scale up your discovery practice in all of these situations.  Whether you are faced with written discovery, depositions, working with an expert witness, or formulating an entire discovery plan, I can team up with your firm when extra resources are needed to get the job done in a timely manner.

Public Records Requests

Requests for public records may provide the best or only means of gaining access to basic facts needed to identify proper parties and causes of action before filing a lawsuit.  When public records requests fall outside of the normal routine, or the agency charged with responding to them is not cooperative, I can step in to help formulate and pursue such requests on another’s behalf.  I can also bring enforcement action in court when responses to public records requests are unreasonably delayed or access to the records is wrongfully denied.

Federal Practice

State and federal courts in New Mexico each have their own unique procedures and standards.  Choosing the best forum for your case can mean the difference between winning and losing. 

Using my background as a former law clerk to a federal judge and a practicing attorney in federal court for over ten years, I can assist other attorneys with the initial choice of whether to proceed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, as well as determining available options for removing a case to federal court or remanding it back to state court.  I can also step in when you want to scale up your practice in order to survive in federal court once you are there.

Professional Ethics

When faced with a difficult ethical question in your practice, it can be helpful to get a second opinion from outside counsel before being exposed to the risk of a disciplinary complaint or a motion for sanctions.  As a former disciplinary counsel who has practiced in New Mexico’s state and federal courts for many years, I offer confidential consultations with other attorneys about their ethical obligations and options for addressing a specific problem.  I can also assist in shoring up your position regarding an issue of professional conduct in preparation for motion practice in court.

Special Projects

This webpage is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the legal services I can provide.  If you have another special project in mind for which you need the services of an attorney with my credentials who is licensed to practice in New Mexico, I encourage you to request an appointment so we can discuss it.  It is also possible to combine several of the services listed on this page in a single representation.