Our Dallas Office

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 224626
Dallas, Texas 75222

Physical address:
2223 W Jefferson Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75208

214.946.8000 phone
214.946.8433 fax

Our Santa Fe Office

505 Cerrillos Road, Suite A209
Santa Fe, NM 87501

505.986.0600 phone
505.986.0632 fax

Our Houston Office

2000 West Loop South, Suite 2200
Houston, Texas 77027

713.401.9901 phone
214.946.8433 fax


Roz, Justin, and Caren appointed to NM Supreme Court committees on state rules and jury charges!

DP&S is proud to announce that Santa Fe partners Roz Bienvenu, Justin Kaufman, and Caren Friedman will be serving on three important New Mexico rules committees in 2023.  Roz was recently appointed to the Uniform Jury Instructions Civil Committee, where she will serve a one-year term with eligibility to serve for an additional six years.  Roz has extensive experience assisting DP&S’s trial lawyer clients with jury instructions, and her appointment will give her the opportunity to help improve the uniform instructions and committee commentary to clarify New Mexico law.  Justin has been serving on the Rules of Civil Procedure for State Courts Committee since his appointment by the New Mexico Supreme Court in 2021.  This committee reviews, revises, and drafts new rules applicable to civil cases across the state.  Caren has been serving on the Appellate Rules Committee since her re-appointment by the Supreme Court in 2020.  The Court had previously appointed her to this committee in 2005 and to serve as chair from 2007 to 2010.  The Appellate Rules Committee drafts and amends the rules governing proceedings in the New Mexico Court of Appeals and the New Mexico Supreme Court. 

Caren Friedman argues in the New Mexico Court of Appeals!

Congratulations to Santa Fe partner, Caren Friedman, who presented argument on behalf of the Plaintiff in the New Mexico Court of Appeals on January 12, 2023.  Plaintiff was catastrophically injured when the grossly overloaded and untethered scaffold on which he was working collapsed.  In New Mexico, a negligence claim against an employer is barred by the exclusivity provision of the Workers Compensation Act.  Caren argued that the employer’s intentional acts and omissions and utter disregard for the consequences allow Plaintiff’s claim to proceed.  The Court will determine whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of the employer.  You can listen to Caren’s argument in Camarena v. Superior Contracting Corp. d/b/a American Nat’l Insulation and Sealants, N.M. App., A-1-CA-39598; A-1-CA-39269 here.

Caren Friedman and Rosalind Bienvenu win medical malpractice appeal!

Congratulations to Santa Fe partners, Caren Friedman and Rosalind Bienvenu, who, along with trial counsel Joseph Zebas of Hobbs, New Mexico, successfully convinced the New Mexico Court of Appeals to reverse summary judgment in a medical malpractice case.  The defendant hospital mixed up two patients with the same name and then administered incorrect blood pressure medications to the plaintiff, causing a life-threatening drop in blood pressure. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant based on causation.  The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings, agreeing that plaintiff’s medical expert testimony permitted a reasonable inference of causation, making summary judgment improper. You can read the opinion in Walker v. Carlsbad Medical Center here.

Caren, Roz, and Justin win environmental appeal in New Mexico!

Congratulations to Santa Fe partners Caren Friedman, Rosalind Bienvenu, and Justin Kaufman, who successfully convinced the New Mexico Court of Appeals to affirm the judgment in a complex water law appeal.  DP&S, along with Paul Hultin and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, represented a consortium of individuals and entities (“Protestants”) who opposed Aquifer Science’s water application, which sought to appropriate groundwater for a speculative, luxury, resort-style development with two golf courses in the East Mountains near Albuquerque.  In a formal published opinion, the Court of Appeals agreed that the New Mexico State Engineer’s denial of Aquifer Science’s application was proper because granting the application would result in the impairment of existing wells and would be contrary to the conservation of water.  On the conservation prong of the governing statute, Protestants argued that the State Engineer should take into consideration climate change when addressing water applications, prompting the Court of Appeals to call on the State Engineer and the New Mexico Legislature to “provide guidance regarding climate change and conservation before it is judicially imposed.”  Finally, the Court of Appeals affirmed a cost award of nearly $400,000 to Protestants as the prevailing parties, and, as a matter of first impression, held that Protestants are entitled to post-judgment interest on that award.  You can read the opinion in Aquifer Science, LLC v. Verhines, et al. here.

Kirk Pittard featured in Docket Call!

Congratulations to Kirk Pittard who was featured in the Summer 2022 edition of Baylor Law School’s Docket Call. You can read the article here.

Shelby White wins another qualified immunity appeal!

Congratulations to DP&S attorney, Shelby White, who won another qualified immunity appeal to the Fifth Circuit. The appeal was by two police officers who used excessive force to remove and arrest a student at a high school basketball game. The trial court denied the officers’ claim of qualified immunity because of material fact disputes between the officers’ and student’s version of events. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling, finding that video of the incident did not conclusively establish that the officers’ use of force was reasonable, and that the law clearly prohibited use of the level of force against a teenager who was “not committing a crime, not a threat to others, and not resisting or attempting to flee the police.” You can read the opinion here.

Roz Bienvenu hosts NM Appellate Judges Candidate Forum

Congratulations to Santa Fe partner and Chair of the New Mexico State Bar Appellate Practice Section, Rosalind Bienvenu, who moderated the Appellate Judges Candidate Forum on October 18. 

The Forum featured nine candidates for seats on the New Mexico Supreme Court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals, including Justice Julie J. Vargas, Justice Briana H. Zamora, Judge Katherine A. Wray, and Judge Gerald E. Baca.  The Forum, which was open to the public, provided an opportunity for the judicial candidates to answer questions designed to familiarize voters with their backgrounds and philosophies. The Forum can be viewed on the New Mexico State Bar’s YouTube page.

Shelby White wins qualified immunity appeal!

Congratulations to DP&S attorney, Shelby White, who–along with Thad Spalding, and trial attorney, Daryl Washington–successfully reversed a summary judgment order granting qualified immunity to a police officer. The case involved the fatal shooting of Tavis Crane by Arlington police officer Craig Roper after Crane was stopped when his toddler threw a candy wrapper out of the car window. The trial court granted summary judgment to Officer Roper on the basis of qualified immunity, finding that case law precedent built qualified immunity “into a nearly insurmountable obstacle.” On appeal, the Fifth Circuit found that there were fact issues that needed to be decided by a jury as to whether Roper acted used reasonable force, considering–among many other facts–the speed that Roper resorted to using deadly force. As such, the Court reversed summary judgment and remanded the claims against Officer Roper and the City of Arlington to the district court for trial. You can read the opinion here, and a Dallas Morning News article about the case here.

Congratulations to our 2022 Texas Super Lawyers!

Congratulations to DP&S Dallas partners Leighton Durham, Kirk Pittard, Thad Spalding, and Rick Thompson who were, once again, named “Super Lawyers” in the Appellate category by by Super Lawyers Magazine, a Thomson Reuters publication, for 2022.

Roz Bienvenu moderates NM Appellate Practice Institute!

On September 9, 2022, Santa Fe Partner Rosalind Bienvenu, current Chair of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section, moderated the Section’s 33rd Annual Appellate Practice Institute, a daylong webinar featuring distinguished panel members from the appellate bench and bar.  The Institute addressed topics such as United States Supreme Court jurisprudence, recent developments in New Mexico appellate practice, best practices for appellate briefing and oral argument, and working with trial counsel to prepare for appeal.

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