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.
Business Lawyer of the Year: Honors an attorney who is accomplished in practice, achieves true client satisfaction, is a contributor to the state, and is a role model in the business law field.
View the selection criteria and information about past recipients. The deadline is Sept. 20. Submit nominations to D.D. Wolohan. Self-nominations are welcome.
2012 Business Lawyer of the Year Award Winner
Susan M. McCormack Named 2012 Business Lawyer of the Year
Susan McCormack and the 2012 Business Law Section Board of Directors
|Dylan O'Reilly, Business Law Section Chair, presents the Business Lawyer of the Year Award to Susan McCormack
Albuquerque, N.M.— The board of directors of the State Bar Business Law Section named Susan M. McCormack its Business Lawyer of the Year in recognition of her outstanding services to the citizens of New Mexico and the business law community. McCormack will be presented the award at 4:30 p.m., Nov. 2, during a reception at the State Bar Center following the 2012 Business Law Institute.
From the accolades of various clients, peer attorneys in New Mexico and nationally, McCormack exemplifies the model business attorney. In addition to first-class service to her clients and assisting fellow attorneys to resolve issues in complex business transactions, she has provided exemplary service to the State Bar of New Mexico and the Business Law Section as a member (2007-2010) and chair (2009). She received the CLE Ascent Award of Excellence in 2010 for her work on a significant CLE program sponsored by the Business Law Section, recognizing her outstanding contribution to continuing legal education.
In addition to her legal work, McCormack has contributed to the Albuquerque community through volunteering her time and service on the Christina Kent Day Nursery Board, the Water Quality Committee of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, and as a Loaned Executive with the United Way of Central New Mexico. She also participates in the Keleher Firm’s longstanding partnership with Jefferson Middle School.
Past Award Recipients
The board of directors of the Business Law Section awarded Robert D. Gorman its Business Lawyer of the Year award in recognition of his significant services to the citizens of New Mexico and the business law community. Gorman was presented the award at 4:30 p.m., Nov. 4, during a reception at the State Bar Center following the 2011 Business Law Institute.
Gorman is a well-respected and highly regarded business lawyer known for his substantive knowledge and competence. He has had an AV Martindale rating for ten years and is listed in Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. In addition to his legal background and education, he is a certified public accountant, which gives him additional business background and insight into the needs and requirements of his business clients. Gorman’s contributions to the practice of business law within the State Bar of New Mexico are extensive. He has presented CLE programs in business and tax law and has served as a board member of the Business Law Section of the State Bar for six years and chair and board member of the Tax Section for six years. He has mentored three lawyers as part of the State Bar Mentorship Program. His contributions outside the State Bar are equally remarkable. He has taught CPE courses for the New Mexico State Society of CPAs. He has also been a business law instructor at the University of Phoenix and an author and committee/task force member of various New Mexico PRC committees. He served on the Supervisory Committee of First Financial Credit Union (volunteer position) and has performed pro bono legal work and volunteer financial work for various Catholic organizations and entities. Gorman co-authored Limited Liability Companies: The Entity of Choice in New Mexico (NBI 1994).
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.
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.