Professor David Stout
A.B. 1976, Harvard College
M.A. 1978, University of London
J.D. 1982, University of New Mexico
School of Law
Member New Mexico Bar
David Stout teaches in the Legal Analysis and Communication program and also teaches Legal Ethics. He was born and raised in Albuquerque and is a 1982 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. He has been a practicing lawyer for 28 years, following a two year clerkship with Judge Santiago E. Campos of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.
He has represented the victims of injuries from the fault of others as well as those individuals who have been wrongfully abused by insurance companies. His primary areas of practice have included products liability, governmental torts and insurance related matters. Stout is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in the peer reviewed "Best Lawyers" in the areas of products liability, personal injury and insurance law. Stout is a member of the American Law Institute and currently serves on the Member Consultative Groups for the Principles of Liability Insurance Project and the Restatement (Torts) Third: Intentional Tort to Persons.
Stout is a past president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association. He has been involved in the association's amicus curiae work for the past 20 years and has been directly involved in both the administration of the amicus committee and as a brief writer. He is the current chair of the amicus committee. He has also been the chair of numerous Supreme Court committees, including the Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee and recently the Committee on the Code of Judicial Conduct. He is currently the co-chair of the State Bar's Lawyer's Assistance Committee that seeks to help lawyers struggling with addiction, depression and other conditions that interfere with their professional and personal lives.
Stout has taught insurance law with Maureen Sanders ('79). He has been active in continuing legal education and has lectured extensively on practice-related topics, including expert testimony, professional conduct, insurance bad faith and many other subjects.
When he is not working Stout enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and baking cookies. He and his wife, Mary, have five adult daughters between them. Stout's daughter, Kelly Stout Sanchez, is a 2009 graduate of the UNM School of Law.
Advanced Legal Writing – Advocacy
Advanced Legal Writing will build on the skills and concepts introduced to students in ELA I and ELA II, specifically:
- Knowledge and Understanding of Substantive and Procedural Law
- Legal Analysis and Reasoning
- Legal Research
- Problem Solving
- Professional Skills Needed for Competent Participation as a Member of the Legal Profession
- Professionalism and Ethics
- Written and Oral Communication in the Legal Context
The course seeks to promote a deeper understanding of these essential characteristics of an effective lawyer and will develop through a series of exercises a strengthened ability to perform the core skills of writing and analysis. The course will add as an additional goal an enhanced understanding of and ability to create a persuasive legal document. The focus for ALW will be on written advocacy across a range of practitioner oriented assignments that will include motions, briefs, and correspondence.
Students will receive a case file derived from a real case actually litigated in state district court. Students will be required to learn a specific and limited area of law that, although it should not be wholly unfamiliar, will require additional study and research. The course is structured around three briefs. The class will be divided into plaintiffs and defendants. Each party will be required to file a motion and accompanying brief. Each party will then respond to the opposing counsel’s motion and brief. Finally, each movant will file a reply to opposing counsel’s response. In addition, students will be required to draft practice related correspondence.
Elements of Legal Argumentation I (ELA-I)
ELA-I is the foundational legal analysis and communication course. In the context of a problem solving approach to legal writing students learn how to do the information gathering, pre-thinking and argument development that are essential to good legal communication. Students learn to identify legal issues presented by specific fact situations. They are given an overview of collecting relevant information, including an introduction to legal research. Students learn how to connect this information as they analyze a legal problem in preparation for writing both predictive and persuasive documents. Students learn how to determine relevant legal rules and apply those rules to specific facts to arrive at a reasonable conclusion in a specific case. Students practice organizing the information and their analysis into a logical and coherent structured proof of their conclusion and then effectively presenting the proof in a specific written or oral format to a specific audience. Students also learn to perfect the mechanics of their documents as they learn techniques for effective revising and editing. Assignments include short in class and out of class information gathering, pre-writing, writing and oral communication exercises as well as lengthier writing assignments. In addition, students are introduced to client communications and legal drafting.
Elements of Legal Argumentation II (ELA II)
The second semester ELA-2 course continues the study and practice of legal reasoning and communication that was begun in ELA-1. Students will have the opportunity to use their basic understanding of the core concepts and tools learned in ELA-1 as they complete a variety of both oral and written presentations. Focus is on argumentation and rhetoric as the means to building strong and persuasive documents and presentations. Students continue to practice the process of legal writing as they research, analyze, organize, write and revise litigation and other practice related documents. The primary context for the work done in ELA-2 involves writing briefs to a specific court. In addition to writing complete briefs, students will complete several smaller assignments focusing on specific skills related to strong argumentation and development of legal proofs. Students will also give several oral arguments and presentations in class throughout the semester. Additionally, students will be introduced to the role of ADR in client representation and will begin to learn about court and ethical rules related to brief writing and client representation.
Representative Published Decisions
Kitts v. General Motors Corp., 875 F.2d 787 (10th Cir. 1989)
Trujillo v. City of Albuquerque, 1998-NMSC-031, 125 N.M. 721
Singhas v. N.M. State Highway Department, 1997-NMSC-054, 124 N.M. 42
Brooks v. Beech Aircraft Corporation, 120 N.M. 372 (1995)
Dunleavey v. Miller, 116 N.M. 353 (1994)
California First Bank v. State, 111 N.M. 64 (1990)
Perry v. Williams, 2003-NMCA-084, 133 N.M. 844
Powell v. New Mexico State Highway & Trans. Depart., 117 N.M. 415 (Ct. App. 1994)
“Subrogation in New Mexico,” Chapter in New Mexico Trial Lawyer’s Litigation Manual (forthcoming), co-author
“Judicial Evaluation of Expert Opinions: Recent Developments,” New Mexico Trial Lawyer Vol. XLI No. 1 (January/February 2011)
“Insurance Bad Faith and Punitive Damages After Sloan v. State Farm,” New Mexico Trial Lawyer Vol. XXXV No. 1 (January/February 2005)
"The Government Contractor Defense,” Product Liability Reporter April 1994.
"1993 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," New Mexico Trial Lawyer Vol. XXII No. 2 (February 1994)
"Cipollone v. Liggitt Group, Inc., Federal Preemption and the Preservation of State Common Law Claims," The New Mexico Trial Lawyer Vol. XXI, No. 6 (June 1993).
"The Government Contractor Defense," The New Mexico Trial Lawyer Vol. XXI, No. 5 (May 1993).
"Through the Looking Glass Darkly: Cleveland v. Piper Aircraft and Second Collision Liability," The New Mexico Trial Lawyer vol. XVIV No. 7 (July/August 1991) .
New Mexico Trial Lawyer Presentations
New Developments Daubert/Aberico, September 23, 2011
Reflections or Projections? Re-thinking Loss of Consortium Damages, January 28, 2011
When are the policy limits the policy limits?, February 13, 2009
Issues of Agency: Knowing When Liability is Vicarious, April 29, 2005
Punitive Damages – Here today, gone tomorrow?, April 25, 2003
Insurance Coverage: Bad Faith and Good Faith – Drawing the Lines, April 26, 2002
Breach of the Duty to Defend and the Refusal to Settle: Opportunities for a Full Recovery, January 14, 2000
Using Uniform Jury Instructions, December 12, 1997.
Litigation Strategies for Damage Caps, October 24, 1997
Federal Preemption and Responses to the Government Contractor's Defense, October 9, 1992.
The Needle in the Haystack -- The Effective Use of Computer Transcripts, with Dean A. Finch, Randy LaMar, May 1, 1992.
Vehicle Product Liability and the Crashworthiness Case, September 14, 1990.
Anatomy of a Toxic Tort, Judicial Conclave 2012, Panelist
The New Code of Judicial Conduct, Judicial Conclave 2012
Between a rock and a hard place: navigating the troubled waters of Alberico and Rule 702, Judicial Conclave 2011, Panelist
Civil Jury Instruction Workshop, New Mexico Judicial Conclave, June 7, 2001
Update on Daubert, New Mexico Black Lawyers Association Seminar, October 9, 2009
Computer-Facilitated Document Organization, Presentation to University of New Mexico law students, April 4, 2003
Meditations on Effective Brief Writing, Presentation to University of New Mexico law Students, November 12, 2002
An Introduction to the Federal Tort Claims Act, Albuquerque Bar Association, June 6, 2000
Equal Rights in New Mexico, State Bar Presentation, October 23, 1999.
An Introduction to the Federal Tort Claims Act, Albuquerque Bar Association Presentation, March 4, 1997
Meditations on Effective Briefs, Continuing Legal Education of the State Bar of New Mexico, June 3, 1994