PRACTICE AREAS: Wills & Probate; Insurance Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Real Estate Litigation. ADMITTED:United States Supreme Court, 1976; New Mexico Supreme Court, 1973; United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, 1973; United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1976; United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2003. EDUCATION: University of New Mexico, B.A., magna cum laude, 1969; University of New Mexico, J.D., magna cum laude, 1973. BACKGROUND: Born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, July 25, 1947. A New Mexico resident since 1953, I have practiced law in Albuquerque since 1973. I am a member of Order of the Coif, a legal honorary for top law school graduates. I served as a leader with the Boy Scouts of America and received the Silver Beaver Award, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest adult award. I was an author of "Jurors Judge Justice", published in the New Mexico Law Review. SIGNIFICANT APPELLATE CASES:
Blystra v. State Farm
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a victim of a drive by shooting could recover under his own uninsured motorist policy.
Hovet v. Allstate
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an insurance company has a duty to act in good faith in its dealings with the victim of its insured and that the victim could bring a direct lawsuit against the insurer if that duty was breached.
Dairyland v. Herman
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that when there is a substantial likelihood of recovery in excess of the policy limits, an insurer's unwarranted refusal to settle is a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This is because when damages are likely to exceed policy limits, the insurer risks exposing its insured to even greater liability by going to trial rather than settling. Should an insurer, in violation of its duty of good faith, refuse to accept a reasonable settlement offer within policy limits, it will be liable for the entire judgment against the insured, including the amount in excess of policy limits. The courts of this state will not permit insurers to profit by their own wrongs.
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