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  • The annual Business Lawyer of the Year Award is presented to a lawyer who has made significant contributions to the practice of business law in New Mexico.

    To learn more about the selection criteria for the Business Lawyer of the Year Award, click on the link below:

    Selection Criteria



Business Law Section

Business Lawyer of the Year Award


Since 2002, the Business Law Section has presented the annual Business Lawyer of the Year Award to a lawyer who has made significant contributions to the practice of business law in New Mexico. The award is presented during the section’s annual meeting and reception.

2009 Business Lawyer of the Year Award Winner


Dean Kevin Washburn and Professor Alfred D. Mathewson Professor Alfred D. Mathewson and Susan McCormack

Professor Alfred D. Mathewson Receives the 2009 Business Lawyer of the Year Award.  He is congratulated by Dean Kevin Washburn and Business Law Section

chair, Susan McCormack.


2009 Business Law Section Board of Directors

The 2009 Business Law Section board members join in congratulating Professor Alfred D. Mathewson. From left: Susan McCormack, Robert Simon, Gordon Little, Professor Alfred D. Mathewson, Evan Hobbs, Robert Gorman, Dylan O'Reilly, James Bozarth

2009 – Alfred Mathewson

The board of directors of the Business Law Section awarded Alfred Mathewson its 2009 Business Lawyer of the Year Award for his pivotal role in developing the UNM Law School's Business and Tax Clinic and his related scholarship, teaching and service. The clinic provides legal assistance to many low to mid-level income entrepreneurs and other community members who are seeking to create new business opportunities, plan their estates, settle disputes with the IRS or obtain assistance during a financial crisis. Mathewson is a business law professor at UNM.

Past Award Recipients

2008 – Ruth M. Schifani

Ruth M. Schifani, a director at Modrall Sperling Roehl Harris & Sisk, P.A., was selected in recognition of her well respected business and real estate practice and for her contributions to the New Mexico legal community, including being a board member of Equal Access to Justice, Past President of the Albuquerque Bar Association, a member of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission, a regent of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and a member of the executive committee of the UNM Alumni Association.

2007 – Theodore Parnall

Ted Parnall, a faculty emeriti member of the UNM Law School who served 5 years as dean, was recognized for his work as a resident overseas legal advisor assisting in the institution and implementation of commercial and noncommercial law in more than 10 developing countries, his 27 years of teaching on business-related subjects in New Mexico, including corporate law and international business transactions, and the publications arising out of his overseas and New Mexico legal scholarship.

2006 – James J. Widland

James Widland, a director at Miller Stratvert, was recognized for publishing a variety of helpful articles for business lawyers, conducting his pragmatic and skillful commercial practice, and chairing the Business Law Section in 1990-91 and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section in 2004-5.

2005 - Charles L. Moore

Charles Moore was recognized for revitalizing the Business Law Section and for conducting his outstanding corporate commercial, securities law, natural resources and electric utility practice with Keleher & McLeod, P.A. for 30 years and currently as an associate counsel for PNM Resources, Inc.

2004 – John (Jack) P. Burton

Jack Burton, a director of the Rodey Law Firm, was recognized for successfully representing New Mexico since 196[9] in the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and for his well respected state-wide commercial practice involving transactions, litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

2003 – Graham Browne

Graham Browne was recognized posthumously for his 40 years of practicing business law with Sutin, Thayer & Browne where he founded his firm’s commercial and business practice group and shared his legal expertise with a variety of clients and generations of younger lawyers who all enjoyed his wit and benefited from his wise counsel delivered with his trademark gentle yet direct manner.

2002 – Robert J. Desiderio

Robert Desiderio, a faculty emeriti member of the UNM Law School who served two terms as dean, was recognized for his scholarship, publications and teaching on contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, community economic development and tax exempt organizations which have greatly enriched the business law community in New Mexico.



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