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.
2010 Business Lawyer of the Year Award Winner
The Business Lawyer of the Year Award was presented to Bruce R. Kohl at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 at a reception following the 2010 Business Law Institute.
|Bruce Kohl addresses members of the Business Law Section.
Bruce Kohl receives the 2010 Business Lawyer of the Year Award from Robert Simon.
Bruce Kohl and the 2010 Business Law Section board
2010 – Bruce R. Kohl
The Board of Directors of the Business Law Section awarded Bruce R. Kohl its Business Lawyer of the Year award in recognition of his significant services to the citizens of New Mexico and the business law community in the field of securities law. Kohl served as director of the New Mexico Securities Division from 1981 to 1984, during 1987, and from 2003 to 2010. Among his many contributions was the enactment of the New Mexico Uniform Securities Act, which became effective in January of 2009. Nationally, Kohl was a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Securities Administrators, chairman of the Investor Education Section of that organization, and a member of the board of the Investor Protection Fund. Kohl began his legal career by representing the Securities Division as a member of the staff of the New Mexico Attorney General’s office from 1975 to 1981. He also served as general counsel to the New Mexico Securities Division from 1998 to 2003. His experience in the private sector, as a partner at White, Koch, Kelly and McCarthy, P.C. from 1984 to 1989 and as a founder and partner of Rose, Kohl, Davenport and Dodds, P.C. from 1989 to 1998, enabled him to appreciate and work effectively with the legal community while at the same time enhancing enforcement of the state’s securities laws by the Division.
Past Award Recipients
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.
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 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.