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Professor George Bach

George Bach

Associate Professor of Law
B.A. 1992, Centre College of Kentucky
J.D. 2002, University of New Mexico School of Law
Member of the New Mexico Bar

  Curriculum Vitae  SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1094
 Office: 3116
  bach@law.unm.edu

Profile

George Bach has taught constitutional law, evidence, federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, trial practice, employment and labor law, and clinic.

During and after law school, Bach worked for K. Lee Peifer ('77), litigating in civil rights, union-side labor law and employee-side employment law. In 2005, Bach became the first staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, where he litigated a wide variety of civil rights cases in state and federal courts. In 2009, he teamed up with Matthew L. Garcia ('05) and formed the firm of Bach & Garcia. He also worked as an attorney at Garcia Ives Nowara.

A former president of the New Mexico Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association, Bach was honored with a Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance "Treasure" Award in 2007 for his work in the LGBT community. In 2009, U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich nominated him to the New Mexico State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Bach serves as a volunteer member of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico's legal panel and on the board of directors for Enlace Comunitario.

Bach was presented with the "Mr. Holland's Dopest" professor award by the Class of 2012. He was named "Professor of the Year" by the Class of 2014 and “Best Overall Professor” by the Class of 2017.

Courses

Advanced Constitutional Rights

This two-semester, six-hour course focuses on three major areas of rights established by the U.S. Constitution: equal protection and due process (first semester) and First Amendment rights (second semester), including the right to freedom of speech and of the press, the prohibition on laws respecting an establishment of religion, and the right to free exercise. The six-hour course provides time for deeper analysis and broader exploration of these issues. Throughout the course, there will be discussion of litigation strategy, judicial decision-making with a focus on U.S. Supreme Court processes, and the role of constitutional rights in modern contexts. Successful completion of both semesters will satisfy the Constitution Rights requirement for graduation.

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure I is an introduction to procedures employed by state and federal courts for resolution of civil disputes. The course investigates the process of forum selection, the rules implementing the requirement of notice and an opportunity to be heard, the pleadings stage of litigation, the discovery process, and the summary judgment mechanism as a device for terminating litigation prior to trial. The advanced course, Civil Procedure II, is offered to 2L and 3L students and continues the chronological study of civil litigation through the appellate process.

Child and Family Justice Clinic

Please see professor for course description.

Constitutional Rights

This course involves an in-depth inquiry into the building blocks of civil rights law; freedom of expression (speech and press), equal protection, due process, and religious freedom. There will be discussion of litigation strategy and the decision-making processes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Evidence

The course will consider the principles of law and rules governing the admissibility of testimonial and documentary proof in civil and criminal trials, including the concept of relevancy, the use of demonstrative evidence, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, impeachment of credibility, expert testimony, and hearsay. Traditional case materials, the federal rules of evidence, problems, and simulations will be employed to illustrate evidentiary concepts.

Evidence and Trial Practice

This course will focus on trial procedure, evidence, and trial skills utilizing:

  1. lectures and class discussions on the principles of evidence and trial skills;
  2. demonstrations of trial skills;
  3. practice sessions in which each student performs various exercises to learn trial skills;
  4. individual review with me of videotapes of the trial practice performances; and
  5. a mock jury trial.

Each student is also required to complete a trial notebook that is used during the mock trial.

The entire class meets during the week for lectures and/or demonstrations in the scheduled Monday through Thursday morning time slots. The class will also be divided into eight groups containing no more than eight students each. Each of these groups will meet one day from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for the trial practice exercises. Approximately sixteen adjunct faculty, consisting of judges and attorneys, will work with the individual groups of students in these trial practice sessions.

The trial practice sessions are scheduled from Monday through Thursday. Each student will be assigned to attend a session on only one of those days. I try to accommodate, if possible, students’ requests to be assigned to a particular day of the week for their small group trial practice session. That means, for example, if a student has other classes on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7, I will try to assign her/him to a trial practice group that meets on Tuesday or Thursday.

Students taking this class must also be available for the mock trials on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Introduction to Constitutional Law

This course is an introduction to the study of Constitutional Law. The focus will be on the structural framework established by the Constitution, including principles of federalism and the role of the Supreme Court in policing the constitutional order. Among other things, we will study the doctrine of judicial review, the reach of federal legislative power, limits on the reach of state power, the workings of the Supreme Court, and separation of powers and limits on the exercise of federal judicial power.

Civil Procedure II

This course continues the analysis (begun in Civil Procedure I) of the procedural stages of a simple lawsuit, considers special problems raised by complex litigation, and explores alternatives to traditional litigation as a means of resolving disputes.

Course topics include: pre-trial conference; judge and jury selection; judgment as a matter of law; jury instructions and form of verdict; findings of fact and conclusions of law; post-trial motions for new trial and renewed requests for judgment as a matter of law; appeal; motions for relief from judgment; collateral estoppel, res judicata and law of the case; joinder, impleader, intervention, interpleader, declaratory actions and class actions; and arbitration. The focus is on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but New Mexico procedural law is also considered throughout the course.

Publications

Articles

The Effect of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Court, with Brady P. Horn, Ph.D. (in progress).

More on Dignity in Eighth Amendment Conditions of Confinement Claims, 42 New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement 1 (Winter 2016).

Answering the “Serious Constitutional Question”: Ensuring Meaningful Review of All Constitutional Claims , 117 West Virginia L. Rev. 177 (2014).
Available at: SSRN

Defining "Sufficiently Serious" in Claims of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, 62 Drake L. Rev. 1 (Fall 2013)
Available at: SSRN

State Law to the Contrary? Examining Potential Limits on the Authority of State and Local Law Enforcement to Enforce Federal Immigration Law, 22 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 67 (Fall 2012).
Available at: SSRN

Iqbal Is Not a Game-changer for Discovery in Civil Rights Cases, with Matthew L. Garcia, 42 N.M. L. Rev. 329 (Summer 2012).
Available at: SSRN

Essays

Federalism and the State Police Power – Why Immigration and Customs Enforcement Must Stay Away from State Courthouses, Willamette Law Review (forthcoming Spring 2018)
Available at: SSRN

Out and About Because I Can Be, in Out and About – The LGBT Experience in the Legal Profession (American Bar Association 2015)

News