Gene E. Franchini’s Life and Legal Career

Prepared by Eileen B. Cohen, Associate Librarian, UNM School of Law

            Attached are documents pertaining to Gene E. Franchini’s life and legal career.
Included are:


Westlaw Biography, which includes a list of significant cases he decided as a New Mexico Supreme Court Justice ( Doc. 1)
New Mexico Bar Oral History Project, which includes more information about his activities within the New Mexico legal community ( 2)

As a practicing attorney, he tried a case before the U.S. Supreme Court:
Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974). ( The syllabus of this case states:
Appellees, non-Indian employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), brought this class action claiming that the employment preference for qualified Indians in the BIA provided by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 contravened the anti-discrimination provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act of 1972, and deprived them of property rights without due process of law in violation of the Fifth Amendment. A three-judge District Court held that the Indian preference was implicitly repealed by § 11 of the 1972 Act proscribing racial discrimination in most federal employment, and enjoined appellant federal officials from implementing any Indian employment preference policy in the BIA. (Doc 3)

As a member of the New Mexico Supreme Court, he is listed as being the principal author of 146 cases.

The Westlaw profile identified the following cases as significant. Included here is the number of citing references from Westlaw’s KeyCite.

Select Significant Cases (only the 1999 case is available free online):

Sunwest Bank of Roswell, N.A. v. Miller's Performance Warehouse, Inc., 816 P.2d 1114 (N.M. 1991) (cited 20 times)

City of Santa Fe v. Komis, 845 P.2d 753  (N.M. 1992) (cited 101 times)

Gardner Zemke Co. v. Dunham Bush, Inc., 850 P.2d 319 (N.M. 1993) (cited 73 times)

Spruyt v. Spruyt, 851 P.2d 1072 (N.M. 1993)  (cited 6 times)

Romero v. Byers, 872 P.2d 840 (N.M.1994) (cited 194 times)

FDIC v. Moore, 1994, 879 P.2d 78 (N.M. 1994) (cited 17 times)

Virgil v. Haber, 888 P.2d 455 (1994) (cited 35 times)

Marchman v. NCNB Texas Nat. Bank, 898 P.2d 709 (N.M. 1995) (cited 162 times)

State v. Gordon House, 978 P.2d 967 (N.M. 1999) (cited 56 times) (



Franchini, Gene E. "Conscience, Judging, and Conscientious Judging. " Journal of Appellate Practice and Process 2.1 (Wntr 2000): 19-25.  (Doc 4)

Franchini, Gene E. "New Mexico Independent Adjudication. " Albany Law Review 61.n5 (Mid-Summer 1998): 1495-1505 (Doc 5)

Rogoff, Bruce “An Interview with Justice Gene E. Franchini” Journal of Appellate Practice and Process Volume VX – (Wntr 2003): 1-6, 8. (


Turner W. Branch, and Gene E. Franchini, Trial Advocacy In New Mexico, Nat. Business Inst., 1989. (Note : This is a 43 page manual prepared to accompany a CLE) (Call Number:  KFN4138.A2B83 1989 Location: Law New Mex) (Doc 6)