Photo: George Bach

George Bach

Professor of Law

  • Lee & Leon Karelitz Professor in Evidence and Procedure


  • B.A. 1992, Centre College of Kentucky
  • J.D. 2002, University of New Mexico School of Law
  • Member of the New Mexico Bar

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1094
 Office: 3116


George Bach teaches Evidence, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Federal Jurisdiction, and Trial Practice. He has also taught employment and labor law and has served as a supervising attorney in the law school’s Child & Family Justice Clinic. His scholarship focuses on evidence and civil rights issues. His most recent article addresses problems with trial practice pedagogy, DON’T BE AFRAID OF TRIAL: Making the Teaching of Trial Practice Accessible and, Yes, Less Aspirational, 22.1 Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal 29 (2022).

During and after law school, Bach worked for K. Lee Peifer (`77), litigating in civil rights, union-side labor law and employee-side employment law. In 2005, Bach became the first staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, where he litigated a wide variety of civil rights cases in state and federal courts. In 2009, he teamed up with Matthew L. Garcia ('05) and formed the firm of Bach & Garcia.

A former president of the New Mexico Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association, Bach was honored with a Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance "Treasure" Award for his work in the LGBT community. In 2020, he received the UNM Alumni Association Faculty Teaching Award.

Bach serves as a volunteer member of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico's legal panel. In his off time, he walks dogs for Animal Humane New Mexico.


Advanced Constitutional Rights

This two-semester, six-hour course focuses on three major areas of rights established by the U.S. Constitution: equal protection and due process (first semester) and First Amendment rights (second semester), including the right to freedom of speech and of the press, the prohibition on laws respecting an establishment of religion, and the right to free exercise. The six-hour course provides time for deeper analysis and broader exploration of these issues. Throughout the course, there will be discussion of litigation strategy, judicial decision-making with a focus on U.S. Supreme Court processes, and the role of constitutional rights in modern contexts. Successful completion of both semesters will satisfy the Constitution Rights requirement for graduation.

Civil Procedure

Civil Procedure I is an introduction to procedures employed by state and federal courts for resolution of civil disputes. The course investigates the process of forum selection, the rules implementing the requirement of notice and an opportunity to be heard, the pleadings stage of litigation, the discovery process, and the summary judgment mechanism as a device for terminating litigation prior to trial. The advanced course, Civil Procedure II, is offered to 2L and 3L students and continues the chronological study of civil litigation through the appellate process.

Child and Family Justice Clinic

Please see professor for course description.

Constitutional Rights

This course involves an in-depth inquiry into the building blocks of civil rights law; freedom of expression (speech and press), equal protection, due process, and religious freedom. There will be discussion of litigation strategy and the decision-making processes of the U.S. Supreme Court.


The course will consider the principles of law and rules governing the admissibility of testimonial and documentary proof in civil and criminal trials, including the concept of relevancy, the use of demonstrative evidence, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, impeachment of credibility, expert testimony, and hearsay. Traditional case materials, the federal rules of evidence, problems, and simulations will be employed to illustrate evidentiary concepts.

Evidence and Trial Practice

This course will focus on trial procedure, evidence, and trial skills utilizing:

  1. lectures and class discussions on the principles of evidence and trial skills;
  2. demonstrations of trial skills;
  3. practice sessions in which each student performs various exercises to learn trial skills;
  4. individual review with me of videotapes of the trial practice performances; and
  5. a mock jury trial.

Each student is also required to complete a trial notebook that is used during the mock trial.

The entire class meets during the week for lectures and/or demonstrations in the scheduled Monday through Thursday morning time slots. The class will also be divided into eight groups containing no more than eight students each. Each of these groups will meet one day from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. for the trial practice exercises. Approximately sixteen adjunct faculty, consisting of judges and attorneys, will work with the individual groups of students in these trial practice sessions.

The trial practice sessions are scheduled from Monday through Thursday. Each student will be assigned to attend a session on only one of those days. I try to accommodate, if possible, students’ requests to be assigned to a particular day of the week for their small group trial practice session. That means, for example, if a student has other classes on Monday and Wednesday from 5 to 7, I will try to assign her/him to a trial practice group that meets on Tuesday or Thursday.

Students taking this class must also be available for the mock trials on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Federal Jurisdiction

This course explores the role of the federal courts, the nature of federal judicial power, its clashes with Congress, and its relationship with state and tribal systems. The course includes coverage of federal civil rights law and immunities, federal court abstention doctrines, the deference given to tribal courts, and the writ of habeas corpus.

Introduction to Constitutional Law

This course is an introduction to the study of Constitutional Law. The focus will be on the structural framework established by the Constitution, including principles of federalism and the role of the Supreme Court in policing the constitutional order. Among other things, we will study the doctrine of judicial review, the reach of federal legislative power, limits on the reach of state power, the workings of the Supreme Court, and separation of powers and limits on the exercise of federal judicial power.

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.



DON’T BE AFRAID OF TRIAL: Making the Teaching of Trial Practice Accessible and, Yes, Less Aspirational, 22.1 CONNECTICUT PUBLIC INTEREST LAW JOURNAL 29 (2022) available here

Moderating the Use of Lay Opinion Identification Testimony related to Surveillance Video, 47 Florida State University Law Review 445 (2020).
Available at: SSRN

More on Dignity in Eighth Amendment Conditions of Confinement Claims, 42 NEW ENG. J. CRIM. & CIV. CONFINEMENT 1 (2016).

Answering the “Serious Constitutional Question”: Ensuring Meaningful Review of All Constitutional Claims , 117 W. VA. L. REV. 177 (2014).
Available at: UNM-DR

Defining "Sufficiently Serious" in Claims of Cruel and Unusual Punishment, 62 DRAKE L. REV. 1 (2013).
Available at: DLR

State Law to the Contrary? Examining Potential Limits on the Authority of State and Local Law Enforcement to Enforce Federal Immigration Law, 22 TEMP. POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 67 (2012).
Available at: SSRN

Iqbal Is Not a Game-changer for Discovery in Civil Rights Cases, 42 N.M. L. REV. 329 (2012) (co-authored with Matthew L. Garcia).
Available at: NMLR


Federalism and the State Police Power–Why Immigration and Customs Enforcement Must Stay Away from State Courthouses, 54 WILLAMETTE L. REV. 323 (Spring 2018).
Available at: SSRN

Out and About Because I Can Be, Out and About – The LGBT Experience in the Legal Profession (ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity ed. 2015)
Available at: Law Library

Popular Press

'Off with their heads' won't make ABQ safer, ALBUQUERQUE J. (June 10, 2019)
Available at: UNM-DR

Lawmakers wrong to call for judge to quit, ALBUQUERQUE J. (February 1, 2019)
Available at: Albuquerque Journal


Brief of Amicus Curiae New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Castro v. Jones Contractors, Inc., New Mexico Court of Appeals No. A-1-CA-39686 (April 2022).

Brief for the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Associations as Amicus Curiae, Montaño v. Frezza, 2015-NMSC-069 (2015) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO. 35,214).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico as Amicus Curiae, Ramirez v. State of N.M. Children Youth and Families Department, 2014-NMSC-057 (2014) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO. 34,613).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for the Professors at UNM School of Law as Amicus Curiae, Fry v. Lopez, (2014) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO.34,372)  and Allen v. LeMaster, (2014) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO. 34,386).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for the Professors at UNM School of Law as Amicus Curiae, Griego v. Oliver, 2014-NMSC-003 (2013) (N.M. SUP. CT. NO.34,306).
Available at: UNM-DR


Civil Procedure Update 2020, New Mexico Annual Judicial Conclave (June 16, 2020)
Available at: UNM-DR

Hot Topics under the First Amendment, Albuquerque Bar Association CLE (January 2014)
Available at: UNM-DR

Impeachment and Rehabilitation, Judicial Conclave (June 2013)
Available at: UNM-DR

[Some of] Your Evidence Questions Answered, Judicial Conclave (June 2013)
Available at: UNM-DR


2022-2025 Leon Karelitz Professorship in Evidence and Procedure
2022 Professor You’d Most Want to Drink With after Law School (awarded by the graduating class)
2020 UNM Alumni Association Faculty Teaching Award
2019-2021 Karelitz Professorship for Evidence and Procedure
2018 Most Inspiring Professor
2017 Best Overall Professor
2017-2018 Karelitz Professorship for Evidence and Procedure
2015 Student Appreciation Award for Outstanding Service
2015 Recognition by the New Mexico State Senate for work at the UNM School of Law
2014 Professor of the Year Award
2013 “Dopest” Professor Award
2007 Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance Treasure Award, awarded for activism in the LGBT community
2004 ACLU-NM Cooperating Attorney of the Year (with Kari Morrissey and K. Lee Peifer)