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Professor Max Minzner

Max Minzner

Professor of Law
2013-2015 Presidential Teaching Fellow
Sc.B. 1996, Brown University
J.D. 1999, Yale Law School
Member, New Mexico Bar

 Curriculum Vitae SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-5665
 Office: 2526


Professor Max Minzner teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, criminal and civil procedure, and administrative agency enforcement. His scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Texas Law Review, and the William & Mary Law Review, among other journals. He is the recipient of the 2013-2015 University of New Mexico Presidential Teaching Fellowship, a lifetime achievement award given annually to a single professor University-wide to recognize excellence in teaching.

Professor Minzner brings extensive practical experience to the classroom. From 2002 until 2006, he worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he prosecuted a wide range of federal criminal cases. From 2009 to 2010, Minzner was on leave, serving as Special Counsel to the Director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. In this role, he helped lead the enforcement arm of FERC, investigating violations in the energy sector relating to anti-competitive activities, market manipulation, and conduct that threatened the reliability of the electric grid.

Prior to joining UNM School of Law, Minzner was a member of the faculty at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He was born and raised in Albuquerque and is a member of the New Mexico Bar.

Civil Procedure I

Civil Procedure I is an introduction to procedures employed by state and federal courts for resolution of civil disputes. The course will investigate the process of forum selection, the pleadings stage of litigation, the discovery process, and the summary judgment mechanism as a device for terminating litigation prior to trial. In addition, the course will investigate alternatives to traditional civil litigation such as arbitration and mediation.

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.

Criminal Law I

This course considers the general principles of substantive criminal law and evaluates them in terms of the various purposes that justify a system of criminal punishment. It will include an analysis of the doctrines of mens rea attempt, complicity, and conspiracy as well as certain crimes such as homicide and certain defenses such as self-defense.

Criminal Procedure I (4th, 5th, 6th Amendments)

This course will cover the pretrial stages of a criminal case and the Constitution's impact on criminal procedure. Classes will focus upon criminal/constitutional issues with emphasis on the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. Subjects covered will include searches and seizures, statements/confessions, due process, and line-ups.

Conflicts of Law

Course Description

Laws and legal systems clash, and when they do, there must be a method for determining which of the competing legal systems is controlling. Conflicts of Law considers the rules used to determine the applicable law when conflicts of law arise. This course considers:

  1. Geographic Conflicts (Choice of Law): e.g., Does the law of Arizona or the law of New Mexico apply when a New Mexican tavern keeper serves an intoxicated person who then injures someone while driving in Arizona?
  2. Vertical Conflicts (Pre-emption): e.g., Does compliance with federal law mandating warnings on cigarette packages pre-empt a product liability action under state law based on inadequate warnings?
  3. Time Conflicts (Retroactivity): e.g., Does a 2011 amendment to the Dram Shop Act apply to a 2010 incident that triggers a lawsuit instituted in 2012?
  4. Judgment Conflicts (Full Faith and Credit): e.g., Must New Mexico enforce a judgment of California's courts if New Mexico concludes that the California court lacked jurisdiction when it rendered the judgment?

This is a practical course.  Students learn to anticipate potential choice of law problems, to draft documents to avoid those problems, and to plan litigation strategy that will maximize the likelihood that the court will apply law favorable to the client to resolve disputes.

Recent Articles

Should Agencies Enforce?, 99 Minn. L. Rev.__ (2015) (forthcoming).

For-Profit Public Enforcement, 127 Harv. L. Rev.857 (2014) (with Margaret Lemos).

Why Agencies Punish, 53 Wm. & Mary  L. Rev. 853 (2012).

Putting Probability Back Into Probable Cause, 87 Tex. L. Rev. 913 (2009).

Detecting Lies Using Demeanor, Bias, and Context, 29 Cardozo L. Rev. 2557 (2008).

Shorter and Solicited Works

A Sentencing Commission for the Administrative State?,104 Geo. L. Rev. Online 87 (2015).

Breaking Bad in the Classroom, 45 N.M. L. Rev. 301 (2015).

Do Warrants Matter?, 9 REV. L. & ECON 169 (2013) (with Christopher M. Anderson).

The Criminal Rules Enabling Act, 46 U. Rich.  L. Rev. 1047 (2012).

Saving Stare Decisis: Preclusion, Precedent, and Procedural Due Process, 2010 B.Y.U.  L. Rev. 597 (2010).

Revisiting Hooper, 39 N.M. L. Rev. 47 (2009) (solicited work).

Treating Tribes Differently: Civil Jurisdiction Inside and Outside Indian Country, 6 Nev. L.J. 89 (2005).

Gagged but not Bound: The Ineffectiveness of the Rules Governing Judicial Campaign Speech, 68 UMKC L. Rev. 209 (1999).

Entrenching Interests: State Supermajority Requirements to Raise Taxes, 14 Akron Tax J. 43 (1999).

Travis Lee, Max Minzner, et al., Excursions of a Random Walk Related to the Strong Law of Large Numbers, 28 Rocky Mtn. J. of Mathematics 595 (1998).

Travis Lee, Max Minzner, et al., The Length of an Excursion Above a Linear Boundary by a Random Walk, 34 Statistics & Prob. Letters 397 (1997).

Case Note, Construction Work: The Canons of Indian Law, 107 Yale L.J. 863 (1997) (student-published work).


  • Karelitz Chair in Evidence & Procedure

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