Charles Vigil

Education

University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1989)

University of New Mexico (B.B.A., 1986)

Professional Experience

Mr. Vigil is the President and Managing Director of the firm. He is a past President of the State Bar of New Mexico. Mr. Vigil practices in the Litigation Department in the areas of labor and employment law, commercial litigation, products liability and professional liability.  He has jury and non-jury trial experience in both the state and federal courts.

In March of 2013, the University of Michigan Law School presented Mr. Vigil with the J.T. Canales Distinguished Alumni Award.  The J.T. Canales Award honors an University of Michigan Law School alum who has made a significant contribution to empowering the Latino community and who serves as a role model for the next generation of Latino lawyers and leaders.

In July of 2007, Mr. Vigil received the Distinguished Bar Service Award from the State Bar of New Mexico.  The award was presented to Mr. Vigil in recognition of his long and valuable service to the State Bar over a significant period of time and for his long-term commitment to State Bar services and his significant contributions to the legal profession.

Professional Memberships and Activities

Past President, Board of Bar Commissioners, State Bar of New Mexico (2005)

Member, New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners (1999-2006)

Co-Chair, New Mexico Commission on Professionalism (2005)

Chair and member of New Mexico Client Protection Fund Commission (2006, 2010)

Member, New Mexico Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Member, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association

Board of Directors, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association (2011-2013)

Member, Executive Council, National Conference of Bar Presidents (2005-2008) and Chair of Diversity Committee (2007-2008)

American Bar Association (Labor Law Section)

American Bar Association – Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability  (2005-2008 and 2011-2014)

State Bar of New Mexico Delegate to American Bar Association House of Delegates (2006-present)

Albuquerque Bar Association

H. Vearle Payne American Inn of Court (1999-2002)

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for his experience and expertise in commercial litigation, product liability litigation-defendants and professional malpractice law

Named Albuquerque Professional Malpractice Law-Defendants Lawyer of the Year-2015 by Best Lawyers in America

Listed in Chambers & Partners-America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his experience and expertise in labor and employment law

Listed in Southwest Super Lawyers for his expertise and experience in employment and labor law

New Mexico Business Weekly’s Best of the Bar – 2009

Has achieved highest Martindale-Hubbell rating

FIRM DESCRIPTION

Our History:

Nearly three decades before New Mexico achieved statehood, Bernard Shandon Rodey stepped off a train from Boston onto the hot and dusty streets of his destination: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Rodey established his law practice in 1883. Little did he know he was on his way to creating what would become one of New Mexico’s oldest, largest and most highly respected firms. The law practice Mr. Rodey began in 1883 has grown into a firm of more than 70 lawyers and over 70 support professionals, with offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The journey from that first day to the 21st century is filled with stories of leadership, technical excellence, and effective client advocacy.

Rodey Today: 

Being a good lawyer means different things to different people. Some would say it is being well educated, experienced, and tough in the courtroom. Others would describe a creative, client-oriented problem solver. At the Rodey Law Firm, we believe a good lawyer is all these things and more.

Good lawyers help their clients make wise choices. They cut through the complexities of a problem to find its core. They study that problem from different angles, turn it on its head, and ask “what if?” Then they focus their intellectual, legal and strategic skills on finding a solution efficiently and economically. Ultimately, good lawyers make a difference in the lives of their clients.

This approach is a long-established practice at the Rodey Law Firm. We think it is the essence of what makes us good at what we do.

Professional Recognition:

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Our excellence, expertise and experience are recognized by the organizations of which we are members.

Drawing its members from the best law firms throughout the world, Lex Mundi, an international consortium of independent law firms, invited Rodey to join in 1989. As a charter member and the only New Mexico member, we have enjoyed an uninterrupted association with this highly esteemed organization.

The Harmonie Group is a North American network of independent law firms offering expertise in serving insurance companies, risk retention groups, self insureds and insureds. The Rodey Law Firm, New Mexico’s member, has been a part of the Harmonie Group since 1995.

The outstanding quality of Rodey attorneys is recognized by professional organizations including the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Real Estate Attorneys, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Commercial Litigation 

“Respected by peers, clients and judges, the team has skills to match the national firms, but with good local contacts and knowledge.”      ~Chambers and Partners USA

National law firms, corporate general counsel, and local businesses look first to Rodey’s Complex and Commercial Litigation team when they need the most experienced counsel for the most difficult cases. We routinely manage large commercial and business-related cases, from inception to appeal, in state and federal courts across New Mexico. Our litigation and case management experience, along with our depth of resources, allows us to assemble skilled teams to address all of our clients’ changing needs.

New Mexico’s legal landscape is familiar territory to our complex and commercial litigation attorneys. Clients tell us that our broad knowledge of New Mexico law, judges, court procedures, and opposing counsel is invaluable to their ability to litigate in New Mexico.

We are nationally recognized as the preeminent New Mexico class action defense firm. We regularly defend clients in putative class actions involving antitrust, consumer fraud, defective drugs and medical devices, employment discrimination law, modal premium insurance, casualty insurance, automobile defects, unfair pricing practices, and Constitutional law.

When an appeal is called for, Rodey is ready with the best appellate team in New Mexico. Rodey lawyers have represented litigants in many leading cases decided by the New Mexico appellate courts as well as in the Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Our appellate practice group frequently joins our trial litigation teams to provide expertise in preparing for and handling proceedings at the appellate level.

Our attorneys handle all types of complex and commercial litigation including:

  • Antitrust
  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy
  • Bet-the-company
  • Class actions
  • Construction law
  • Consumer/high technology
  • Contract and UCC law
  • Creditors Rights
  • Corporation and partnership disputes
  • Cultural resources law
  • Environmental law
  • First Amendment law
  • Insurance law
  • Lender liability defense
  • Mass tort
  • Surety law
  • Title and other real estate disputes
  • Trust and estate litigation

When you need the strength of a powerful New Mexico firm, Rodey’s Complex and Commercial Litigation team assures you of maximum legal muscle.

John P. Salazar

Mr. Salazar’s professional experience and current practice are in real estate, land use and development law, as well as municipal and administrative law. He has substantial litigation experience, particularly in eminent domain, in which his litigation practice is currently focused.

His real estate experience includes transactional work (sale, purchase, and lease of vacant and developed properties) as well as real estate development work, including comprehensive plan, area plan and sector plan amendments, annexation, zoning, site plan approval, utility extension, storm drainage and access considerations, and traffic, air quality, and environmental studies.

He chaired the firm’s Business Department from 2000 to 2008 and served as the first Chairman of its Environment and Natural Resources Department.

The Real Estate Law Practice:

Real estate and commercial transactions in New Mexico include a wide range of projects, from small to large, both local and national. Our attorneys have first-chair experience assisting clients in the planning, acquisition, sale, development, construction, leasing and financing many such projects.

Representative projects include residential and commercial development and financing, hotel and destination resort properties, shopping centers and office buildings, manufacturing plans, and alternative energy plants, ranches, mixed use projects and commercial and residential development in Indian country in New Mexico and throughout the nation.

Because of the Rodey Law Firm’s extensive background in real estate matters, we can take a real estate project from conception to completion — from site selection to sale of the completed project. We also handle project financing and complex mortgage lending and we can handle litigation that may arise during project implementation or following project completion.

John P. Salazar

Mr. Salazar’s professional experience and current practice are in real estate, land use and development law, as well as municipal and administrative law. He has substantial litigation experience, particularly in eminent domain, in which his litigation practice is currently focused.

His real estate experience includes transactional work (sale, purchase, and lease of vacant and developed properties) as well as real estate development work, including comprehensive plan, area plan and sector plan amendments, annexation, zoning, site plan approval, utility extension, storm drainage and access considerations, and traffic, air quality, and environmental studies.

He chaired the firm’s Business Department from 2000 to 2008 and served as the first Chairman of its Environment and Natural Resources Department.

The Real Estate Law Practice:

Real estate and commercial transactions in New Mexico include a wide range of projects, from small to large, both local and national. Our attorneys have first-chair experience assisting clients in the planning, acquisition, sale, development, construction, leasing and financing many such projects.

Representative projects include residential and commercial development and financing, hotel and destination resort properties, shopping centers and office buildings, manufacturing plans, and alternative energy plants, ranches, mixed use projects and commercial and residential development in Indian country in New Mexico and throughout the nation.

Because of the Rodey Law Firm’s extensive background in real estate matters, we can take a real estate project from conception to completion — from site selection to sale of the completed project. We also handle project financing and complex mortgage lending and we can handle litigation that may arise during project implementation or following project completion.

Charlotte Lamont

Charlotte Lamont’s practice consists of civil litigation with an emphasis on labor and employment law, and she is certified by the New Mexico Board of Specialization in employment and labor law. She has more than 25 years of experience in representing employers in various employment issues, including claims of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful discharge, as well as other employment-related matters. Her clients span a number of different industries, including manufacturing, banking, retail, professional services, healthcare and gaming. Charlotte practices in all federal and state courts in New Mexico.

Charlotte is a graduate of Leadership Albuquerque, which identifies leaders in business, government and the community helping them to expand their leadership skills and promote civic engagement. For over 16 years, she volunteered with the Active 20/30 Club of Albuquerque, which supports community and charitable programs for the benefit of children in New Mexico. In this capacity, she coordinated the equestrian piece of the organization’s annual Equestrian Cup, which benefitted All Faith’s Receiving Home’s Children’s Safehouse.

The Employment Law Practice:

Labor and employment law issues have become as globalized as the world of business and commerce. With the pervasiveness of the Internet and social media, when a business employment practice is singled out and challenged in one location the repercussions can be felt around the globe. Through an integrated worldwide strategy, Littler brings together practitioners experienced in local and cross-border labor and employment matters to provide seamless client service across national boundaries.

Littler’s international employment and labor law practice can help multinational clients maneuver through the best of economic times, as well as during unstable periods. We help global clients adapt to the maze of employment laws, taking into account the varied economic circumstances and customs throughout the world.

We advise Fortune Global 500 companies on the full array of labor and employment issues, including managing independent contractors, litigating and arbitrating cross-border employment claims, drafting executive contracts, assisting with workforce reductions, and assessing and drafting global ethics and data privacy policies. We also advise medium- and smaller-sized companies making their first international ventures, as well as those that are expanding their overseas operations. We assist clients in developing the framework to operate internationally with employees in various countries, whether they are on temporary assignment or have longer-term expatriate arrangements.

Littler Mendelson P.C:

We realize that in-house counsel, HR professionals and corporate executives do not just manage legal work; they are expected to be business partners and contribute to the organization’s overall success. This means you need us to do more than just great legal work. You need us to be your strategic partners, as well as legal counselors who understand your industry and your business. Our lawyers need to help your organization make money, save money and present you with ideas to help you reduce cost, manage risk and succeed in your professional role.

That’s why we run our business the way you run your business, making important investments in our firm, client relationships and the future of the legal profession. We understand your need for high-quality, cost-effective legal services.

James P. Houghton

Jim Houghton has more than 40 years’ experience practicing law in New Mexico. He joined Modrall Sperling in 1973 and was elected shareholder in 1979. He serves as Chair of the Construction and Design Industry Service Group. His practice encompasses transactions, litigation and alternative dispute resolution in the areas of real estate, construction and design law, commercial leasing, and land use (including development, zoning, and subdivision). Best Lawyers in America® has recognized Jim twice as “Lawyer of the Year” in Albuquerque, in 2018 for Litigation-Construction, and in 2013 for Construction Law.

Jim has had mediator training through the Attorney-Mediators Institute and advanced arbitration training through the American Arbitration Association. He has handled arbitrations through the Second Judicial District Court-Appointed Arbitration program.

The Construction Law Practice:

New Mexico has extensive and complex statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to most aspects of construction and design work in the state. Construction and design professionals, including engineers, architects, other design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, and surveyors, are each covered by separate licensing requirements and regulations. New Mexico also has state-specific statutes and regulations establishing requirements for bonding, procurement bids and protests, indemnification restrictions, liens, collection against bonds on public works projects, and special lender considerations for construction loans, among other special laws. We are well-versed and experienced in assisting the full range of construction industry participants with these requirements, including specialized expertise for contracting in Indian Country.

Our lawyers have successfully represented private and public entities in various dispute resolution strategies, including partnering, mediation, arbitration, and litigation, particularly in the areas of bond claims and contract disputes.

Our attorneys are active members in industry and professional groups throughout New Mexico and across the United States, including Associated Builders and Contractors of New Mexico, the American Bar Association Construction Forum, and the USLAW Construction Law Practice Group. We have published numerous articles and written New Mexico chapters for national compendia on construction and design law. We also present at and sponsor construction law CLE programs.

Modrall Sperling:

Modrall Sperling is the counsel of choice for complex business, litigation and natural resources challenges anywhere in New Mexico. In many specialty areas of practice, we are retained to work on issues throughout the Southwest and across the nation.

To solve their key challenges, clients rely on our depth of experience of our legal teams, which are built across a wide range of practice areas. We offer well-developed legal niches involving schools, railroads, banks, mining, oil and gas development companies, Native American and public lands, energy and utilities companies, healthcare providers, and Native American law, among others.

Knowing our clients’ business – together with the regulatory and competitive environments in which they operate – enables us to spot developments that may affect them so that together we can take action.

Clients hire Modrall Sperling for our experience. They keep us for our counsel.

Mary Ann Romero

Mary Ann Romero was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Mary Ann’s experiences growing up in the border town of El Paso, Texas, neighboring Cd. Juarez, Mexico, helps her understand and empathize with the struggles faced by immigrants in the United States.  Her earliest memories helping immigrants comes from within her own family.  Mary Ann helped interpret, translate and fill out documents for Spanish-speaking relatives trying to navigate for services in the United States.  

She helped her family get services at schools, banks, hospitals and several government agencies by explaining what information and documents were needed to secure benefits.  Everyday tasks taken for granted by a majority of citizens in the United States is complicated for persons lacking knowledge of their rights.  

Mary Ann helped her family and other persons in need push the system responsible for granting benefits to persons despite of race, ethnicity or social class.  While in law school Mary Ann represented immigrant clients at the law school’s clinic.  Her experiences in law school reminded Mary Ann that her childhood dream to become a lawyer came from her desire to protect the rights of others.  

After a few months of handling immigration cases at school, Mary Ann knew she would be an immigration attorney because she felt right at home helping individuals that were like her and her family.

Mary Ann has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1992.  Mary Ann graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1999.  She has practiced immigration law exclusively since passing the bar exam.  Her career spans more than seventeen (17) years representing clients from several countries around the world desiring family unity, business opportunities and protection from injustice.  

Mary Ann has secured permanent status for thousands of immigrants seeking to live in the United States.  She handles all immigration related cases dealing with family and employment based sponsorship, fighting deportation, preparing waivers for immigration violations, seeking asylum for adults and minor children and securing protection for victims of trafficking, victims of violent crimes and children who have been abused, abandoned and/or neglected.  

Once permanent status has been granted, Mary Ann also works with immigrants wanting to be citizens of the United States.  Her first-hand knowledge of maneuvering the complexities of the United States immigration process has helped generations of immigrant clients secure homes in the United States for grandparents, parents, children and children of children.  

Mary Ann is a passionate immigration lawyer that believes in opportunity for all and has dedicated her career making opportunity a reality for immigrants wanting to live, work and thrive in the United States.  Mary Ann’s experience makes the difference in immigration rights in the United States.

Mary Ann is a member of several professional organizations.  

She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), National Hispanic Bar Association, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  In 2018 she was appointed as a commissioner to the New Mexico Access to Justice Commission.  The Commission is dedicated to expanding and improving accessibility to civil legal assistance by low income New Mexicans.  

She was also appointed to serve as one of the directors of the New Mexico State Bar Immigration Law Section.  Mary Ann was honored by the National Association of Professional Women as VIP Woman of the Year in 2014, The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers in the United States in 2015 and she has held membership in the Continental Professional Who’s Who and The Latino American Professional Who’s Who since 2015. Her firm is recognized by Lawyer Monthly as the 2018 Immigrant Rights Law Firm of the Year in the United States.

Mary Ann reaches out to the community by providing vital information on current immigration law developments via presentations at the State Bar of New Mexico, University of New Mexico and other local educational and professional agencies. As a native Spanish speaker, Mary Ann knows first-hand the impact of misunderstanding the steps in place to secure benefits and protect the rights of the immigrant community.  

She works zealously to provide accurate, up-to-date information to persons struggling with the legal complexities of securing lawful status in the United States.  Mary Ann thrives on the challenges of practicing immigration law with creative advocacy for clients.  Mary Ann’s ultimate goal is earning her clients’ trust by securing lawful status and opportunity for clients in the United States.