The vision of the Litigation Division of the Attorney General’s Office is to provide professional and effective legal representation to State Officials and State Agencies. It also seeks to protect the citizens of New Mexico and the State treasury by initiating lawsuits on behalf of the State. The Litigation Division also conducts administrative prosecutions that further the policy goals of the various state Boards and Commissions while protecting the due process of licensees.

The Litigation Division consists of 10 lawyers, 3 paralegals and 1 legal assistant.

As the State’s Lawyer the Litigation Division is charged with the following:

Civil Litigation in Federal and State Court and Appellate Courts

This division prosecutes civil matters on behalf of state entities, and defends state entities in civil matters in the U.S. District Courts and the State Courts.  This includes defending challenges to state statutes or constitutional provisions and representation of judges and state officers when they are sued in their official capacities in non tort-related claims and when authority of the court is challenged. The division also prosecutes and defends any appeals on cases in which the division is involved at all appellate levels.

In conjunction with its civil representation, the Division contributes significant staff resources to the representation of outside agencies.

Bankruptcy Section

As the Attorney General’s bankruptcy counsel, litigation counsel represents the State and has taken the lead in determining what claims the State and its various agencies may have in major national bankruptcy actions such as Asarco, K-Mart and Enron. On the local level, this division, by inter-agency agreement with the Taxation and Revenue Department, represents the Department in matters pending before the New Mexico Bankruptcy Court where yearly, more than 8,000 New Mexico taxpayers are expected to seek relief.

Antitrust Section 

Antitrust counsel is part of the Litigation Division. Counsel is involved in large antitrust matters including FTC v. Paul Foster, et al, litigation relating to the proposed merging of Western Refining, Inc. with Giant Industries, Inc.   Counsel has been appointed special counsel to the FTC for this matter. While New Mexico is not a party, we are lending assets to the FTC because of the impact this merger would have on the citizens of New Mexico. 

The DRAM antitrust litigation affects consumers and a class of local companies of which the class representative is the County of Sandoval and involves global price fixing of DRAM memory chips during the period 1998-2002. 

Also, Monsanto is proposing acquisition of Delta and Pine Land Company and this acquisition would concentrate Monsanto’s presence to what seems to be an unacceptable degree in the cotton states including New Mexico. This involves cotton seeds and genetic strains.

Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Enforcement

The Attorney General is charged with enforcement of the Master Settlement Agreement entered into by many of the tobacco manufacturers and 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and four territories in 1998. This division conducts enforcement by the filing of lawsuits against those manufacturers who illegally sell in the State of New Mexico; auditing escrow payments made by non-participating manufacturers for sales in the state; requiring compliance by the manufacturers to the statutory reporting requirements; and working closely with Taxation and Revenue Department to assure that sales are compliant and escrows are paid. Further, this division maintains and continually updates the statutorily required tobacco webpage directory so that all currently compliant manufacturers and brands are listed thereon. 

Administrative Prosecutions

This Division serves as administrative prosecutor to approximately 30 boards and commissions. A majority of these prosecutions are for violations of the Uniform Licensing Act. Sanctions range from fines to revocation of state-issued licenses. The Division also seeks injunctions in state court against individuals or organizations that refuse to become licensed by the appropriate state agencies.

Please note: complaints against individual licensees should be made to the Regulation and Licensing Division.

Service of Process

The division accepts summons and other legal documents declaring civil wrongdoing or injury against another and demanding restitution, penalty or other judgment in court when the action is against any state agency or official. Service must be made pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure to the Litigation Division, 408 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe, NM 87504. The main phone number is 505-827-6000.

We do not accept subpoenas of any kind, unless they are for the Litigation Division itself. We have no statutory authority to guarantee the appearance of witnesses, nor the provision of documents or other items customarily required by a subpoena. A writ against state officials must be served in the manner established above.