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Brenna Gaytan Receives Don G. McCormick Writing Prize

Brenna Gaytan

Brenna Gaytan received the Don G. McCormick Writing Prize for her ELA II Brief. The $2,000 prize recognizes the student whose writing best exemplifies the qualities of clarity, conciseness, ethical advocacy and rigorous adherence to proper legal citation, and is awarded following an annual student writing competition each year.

The case concerned the issue of states sovereign immunity from liability under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act in a wrongful death action.

“As soon as I finished reading Brenna’s final brief, I knew it demonstrated the qualities that the McCormick prize rewards. I was very happy, but not surprised, that Brenna’s brief was selected,” says Professor Steven Homer, UNM Law School Director of the Legal Analysis & Communication Program.

Don G. McCormick was born in Oklahoma in 1907. He attended the University of Oklahoma, obtaining his L.L.B in 1933. He practiced law in New Mexico, mainly in Carlsbad, from 1933 until his death in 1986. He was instrumental in the drafting of the New Mexico Uniform Jury Instructions – Civil, served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Mr. McCormick believed that lawyers had a duty to communicate effectively, with precision and honesty, and that an attorney's character, as well his or her ability and intellect, was on display in every written communication the attorney produced. The UNM School of Law is fortunate to have both this named prize and the guidance and support of Mr. McCormick’s daughter, Margo McCormick (C’77). Ms. McCormick and her husband Ranne Miller (C’67) are both graduates of the UNM School of Law.