New Mexico Foundation for Open Government 


Thursday May 16, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM MDT

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Albuquerque Publishing Company 
7777 Jefferson St. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

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May 16, 2013 Continuing Legal Education Seminar

Public Access to Government:

Understanding and Implementing New Mexico's Public Records and Open Meetings Laws


Register Now! Cost: $199 for FOG members

$249 for non-members (includes individual membership!)

Course earns 6 MCLE credits (including 1 ethics/professionalism)

Last year, participants said of our sold-out seminar: 

"Very beneficial for my practice."

"Worth the time and money!"

"The ‘Hot Topics’ sections in both IPRA and OMA were particularly useful."

"It delivered as promised."


8:30 AM: Registration

9 – 10:30 AM: Recent Developments and Selected Hot Topics Under the New Mexico Inspection Of Public Records Act. Presented by Charles R. Peifer and Kent Walz.

Changes to exceptions in IPRA

Countervailing Public Policy

Restriction of executive privilege

Draft documents

IPRA v. The Public Records Act

Outsourcing public functions to private contractors

Toomey v. City of Truth or Consequences

Police and other personnel records

Citizen complaints, records of discipline, police reports: What’s public?

10:30 – 10:45 AM: Break

10:45 – 11:45 AM: Continued: Recent Developments and Selected Hot Topics Under the New Mexico Inspection Of Public Records Act. Presented by Charles R. Peifer and Kent Walz.

Electronic public recordso Recent updates to the Act, lawsuits regarding county property records

Issuing denials: Albuquerque Journal v. DOT

Sins of omission and other violations

Requests through an agent: the “Water Haulers” case

Who has standing to sue for enforcement?

Records custodians: How has compliance with IPRA changed recently

11:45 – 12:45 Lunch12:45-1:45 PM: Emails, Texts and Legislative Update (Marty Esquivel and Dan Yohalem)

Emails as public records

Public accounts vs. private accounts; Who is the records custodian?

Electronic transmissions

Text messages, instant messaging, Facebook and LinkedIn

Changes to open government law during the 2013 legislative session

1:45—2:00 PM Break

2:00 – 3:-00 PM: Case Studies and Hot-Button Issues Involving the Open Meetings Act. Presented by Greg Williams.

Invalid actions: Palenick v. City of Rio Rancho

Can corrective action re-write history?

Meeting via phone, email or social media: Farmington & Las Vegas Rolling quorums and how to avoid them

Recent updates to the Act

3:00—3:15 PM Break

3:15—3:45 PM: The First Amendment and Open Meetings. Presented by Marty Esquivel and Bob White.

Restricting speech in limited public forums

How to maintain order without infringing on constituents’ constitutional rights

Checklist for compliance

4 PM -- 5 PM: Open Government, Ethics and Professionalism. Presented by the panel.

Working for the government in the real world: balancing politics with professionalism

Navigating ethical issues for attorneys advising public bodies



Charles R. Peifer is a partner at Peifer, Hanson & Mullins, P.A. As a the Chief Assistant Attorney General of New Mexico he supervised the work of the 30 lawyers in the Attorney General's four civil law divisions and represented executive agencies and members of the judiciary in the State Supreme Court. Before joining the Attorney General's Office, he practiced at Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, P.A. Chuck is an honors graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and a magna cum laude graduate of Cornell Law School. He served as a member of the Supreme Court of New Mexico's Committee on Uniform Jury Instructions for Civil Cases from 1995-2003 and chaired that Committee from 2004 - 2007. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for the University of New Mexico’s Law School Evidence and Trial Practice Program. He is a member of the board of directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

Charles “Kip” Purcell is a director at the Rodey Law Firm with extensive experience in media law, legal malpractice, appellate litigation, and general litigation. Before joining the firm, Mr. Purcell was law clerk to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was also a member of the Harvard Law Review from 1982 to 1984, and was executive editor of that journal from 1983 to 1984. He has achieved the highest Martindale-Hubbell rating, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for his expertise in appellate practice law, Bet-the-Company litigation, commercial litigation, legal malpractice law-defendants, litigation-First Amendment and medical malpractice law-defendants. He is the immediate past president of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

Kent Walz is the editor of the Albuquerque Journal who has been in the news business for more than 40 years. A graduate of Western New Mexico University and the University of New Mexico School of Law, he began his newspaper career at the Silver City Daily Press and was editor of the Lordsburg Liberal before going to work with the Associated Press. He joined the Albuquerque Journal in 1985 and became editor in 1995. Walz is a member of the executive committee of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and the Bench-Bar-Media Committee, and is a past president of the New Mexico Press Association. He has taught many judicial and media seminars.

Robert M. White joined Robles, Rael & Anaya, P.C. after a 16-year tenure as the city attorney for the City of Albuquerque, where he managed one of the state's largest litigation. White received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the (MRCOG) Mid Region Council of Governments in 2010. He also was named Outstanding Attorney by the Albuquerque Bar Association in 2009, is the 2008 recipient of the William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award (Government) awarded by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, and received the 2004 Public Lawyer of the Year Award by the New Mexico State Bar. He serves on the board of directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. He has taught many Continuing Legal Education courses.

Gregory P. Williams has more than 16 years of litigation experience, with a special focus on media law and governmental entity defense. He is a member and former President of the board of directors of the Alumni Association of the University of New Mexico School of Law and a member of the executive committee of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. Before joining Peifer, Hanson & Mullins, P.A., he practiced at Dines & Gross, P.C. He has degrees from Princeton University (B.A. 1991) and the University of New Mexico (J.D. 1995). While at the University of New Mexico, he was the Editor- in-Chief of the New Mexico Law Review.

Daniel Yohalem has been engaged in the practice of public interest law for the past 35 years, first in Washington, D.C. and then in New Mexico. He is currently in private practice, representing plaintiffs in First Amendment, civil rights, open government and other areas. Yohalem, who received his B.A. from Yale (1970) and J.D. from Columbia University Law School (1973), has litigated and supervised complex cases at every level of the Federal and State court systems. He has served as Chief Legal Counsel for the NM Taxation and Revenue Department, Chief of the Civil Division of the NM AG's Office, member of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Board since 1998 (President from 2002-2003), and co- founder and Vice President of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Law Center Board of Directors.