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The Honorable Lorenzo F. Garcia (’73) | June 2021

Judge Lorenzo F. Garcia (’73), was honored by UNM with its “Distinguished Achievement Award” and by being included in the law school’s “Sixty for Sixty” selection of graduates, who, in the last sixty years, demonstrated outstanding achievement to the development of the law, service to the law school, community, state and nation. 

Garcia started his judicial career in l978 as a state trial judge in the First Judicial district court in Santa Fe, served on the New Mexico State court of Appeals, and had significant service on the New Mexico Supreme Court as a Designated Justice of the high court.  In l992 he was appointed to the United States District Court, where he served as a Magistrate Judge, Chief Magistrate Judge, and finally, Chief Magistrate Judge Emeritus. 

Since stepping down as an active judge, Garcia joined The American Conference Institute’s national speaking circuit as a CLE presenter.  He is a nationally known and respected speaker and judicial panelist, travelling throughout the United States to speak at attorney and Judicial CLEs and conferences.

He also served on the visiting faculty of the National Advocacy Center at the University of South Carolina, the ABA’s National Judicial College at the University of Nevada at Reno, and on Georgetown Law’s Electronic Discovery Institute. 

While he is no longer an active judge on the US District Court, he remains on the National Recall Panel, assisting judicial districts throughout the nation on an as-needed basis. 

He is an avid fly fisherman and a long-time member of the Fly Fishing Judges’ Group, and daily swimmer and studio cyclist. 

Stephen Bass (’80) | June 2021

What a great time I had over the years.   I first worked at the Supreme Court as a clerk for Justice Sosa.   Really great first four months.  I then went to work for Charlie Barnhart who gave me the best advice any new lawyer could receive.   He said you will do quite well in your practice but you will do so much better getting to know the clients you will come into contact with.  Not four months later an elderly lady walked in and was complaining to Charlie about how her tenant on Central had filed bankruptcy and how she was not getting rent.   I listened in and found that her property was right across the University and was a liquor establishment.   I called a college friend and six months later we opened the Fat Chance Bar and Grill, which turned out to be an incredible business.   We had the bar for 15 years and closed it in December of 1997.  During this time I had established my commercial/consumer litigation practice and joined the Commercial Law League of America.   Best kept secret for the collection industry in New Mexico.  When the bar closed my wife and I partnered with Terry and Pat Keene of the Artichoke Café and opened a wonderful northern Italian restaurant in Fashion Square.   The restaurant was called Portobello and we had that business for three years.   Shortly after closing in 2000, my wife and I moved to Placitas and undertook the restoration of the Hacienda de Placitas.   We had the Hacienda for ten years and during that time we hosted three episodes of Breaking Bad.   Anyone familiar with the series might recognize the Hacienda as the home of Don Eladio in Mexico.   Wonderful memories.   Meanwhile, my solo practice was one of the largest collection mills in New Mexico.   For forty years I collected debt and retired in December of 2019.   Absolutely no regrets about the practice of law.   My mother, Rose Marie Alderete, was instrumental in getting me interested in changing my college courses of Biology/Chemistry to the law.   Best Supreme Court Clerk ever and best mother ever.   I now live in Placitas with my wife of 48 years and could not be happier.