Nearly 400 UNM School of Law alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters attended the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Awards Dinner on Friday, October 25th at the UNM Student Union Building. The event was a huge success, raising more money than ever for student scholarships. The $73,000 raised at this year’s event will fund several UNM School of Law scholarships.
Each year, a committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors issues a call for nominations and undertakes a painstaking process to select honorees for the year. Following are this year’s honorees:
In the photo L-R: Norman Thayer; Meredith Johnstone (’09) daughter of Peter; Patricia Madrid; and Ted Occhialino
Class of 1974
Class of 1973
Class of 1960
Peter graduated from the UNM Law School in 1974 and went to work for Keleher and Mcleod until 1994 when he started his own firm where he worked until his passing in July 2013.
Over the years, Peter earned recognition as an outstanding trial lawyer, and received the Albuquerque Bar Association’s “Outstanding Lawyer Award” in 1991. Peter also served as the Association’s President in 1981. Outside of awards and titles, Peter was an attorney with great integrity, ethics, and honor.
Peter was simply an incredible advocate, person, friend, mentor, and father. He leaves behind a world in which his presence enriched the lives of many.
Ted Occhialino graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1967 and immediately began teaching law, first as a teaching fellow at Boston College Law School and then as a Professor at Syracuse University College of Law. After serving as a Visiting Professor at UNM in 1975, he went back to Syracuse for one more snowy winter and returned to UNM Law School permanently in 1977. For most of the ensuing 35 years, Ted taught both Civil Procedure and Torts, thus teaching almost every UNM Law student during that time—a total that surely exceeds two thousand five hundred UNM Law graduates. Ted retired from the Law School in 2010 but continues to teach in the Spring.
Patricia A. Madrid grew up in Las Cruces and attended UNM on an academic scholarship and graduated with a double major in English and Philosophy. At UNM Law School she was an editor of the Law Review. Patricia won her first political campaign just 5 years out of law school, becoming the first woman to be elected a District Court judge in New Mexico.
In 1998, she became the first woman elected as New Mexico Attorney General, and the first Hispanic woman to be elected a state Attorney General in the country. She has been the Chairman of the Board of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) the premier legal organization representing Latino rights in the country.
Norman S. Thayer graduated from UNM Law School in 1960, and has practiced with the firm of Sutin, Thayer & Browne in Albuquerque since 1964. He served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, 1954-57. He served 16 years on the Code of Judicial Conduct Committee, 6 years on the Disciplinary Board, and currently serves on the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission. In 2009, he was inducted into the Roehl Circle of Honor for New Mexico Trial Lawyers; in 2007 he was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Ethics Reform and received a Community Service Award from the American Board of Trial Advocates; in 2006 he received a Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar. He received the Award of Distinction from The Albuquerque Museum for 1996-97.
Since 1993, the School of Law Alumni/ae Association has sponsored 16 dinners with the following awardees:
1993 - Paul Robinson (`50)
1994 - Franklin Jones (`56)
1995 - Honorable Dan Sosa, Jr. (`51)
1996 - Professor Albert Utton
1997 - Honorable E. L. Mechem
1998 - Gene Gallegos (`60)
1999 - Honorable Howard Bratton
2000 – Sarah Bradley (`72)
2001 – John R. Cooney (`65)
2003 - Professor Robert J. Desiderio
2004 – Ranne D. Miller (`67)
2005 – Richard L. Gerding (`64)
2006 – Arthur O. Beach (`70)
2007 – Professor Michael B. Browde
2008 - William H. Carpenter (`66)
2009 – Professor William T. McPherson, Jr. (`66)
2011 - Catherine Goldberg ('75)
2012 - Professor Anne Bingaman, Richard Civerolo (`50), Professor and former Dean Ted Parnall (`67, January) and Wendy York (`82)