Law Seminars International Presents:

An Intensive, Practical One-Day Seminar On

Using Hydrology as Proof in Water Cases

Current developments in the science, the law and administrative policy for litigation

July 17, 2017

Santa Fe, NM
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

Download PDF Brochure
Santa Fe - NM


Who Should Attend

Attorneys, consultants, agency and Tribal representatives, property owners, and anyone else involved with water issues in New Mexico

Why You Should Attend

This intensive one-day seminar is designed for legal and technical water practitioners. This year's focus is on how law and hydrology became and remain intertwined in the administration of New Mexico's water.

The first panel will look at the pivotal case of the City of Albuquerque v. Reynolds, now a half-century old. This case established the then-revolutionary principle that ground and surface water must be conjunctively managed, a principle that put New Mexico at the forefront of national water law. With this concept of conjunctive management in mind, other panels will address groundwater modeling, the ways in which New Mexico's Active Water Resouces Management regulations might affect groundwater regulation, and, finally, the evidence that is presented in a trial de novo from a State Engineer decision on technical issues.

Join us for this informative nuts and bolts approach.

~ Martha C. Franks, Esq. of Abramowitz Franks & Olsen and Jay F. Stein, Esq. of Stein & Brockmann PA, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~Lessons from fifty years of Albuquerque v. Reynolds
  • ~Constructing and deconstructing hydrologic models
  • ~Implementing active water resource management strategies
  • ~De Novo appeals from the Office of the State Engineer

What Attendees Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "This seminar has given me quite a lot of follow work, and food for thought. Enjoyed it very much."
  • "Great seminar, a lot of information for one day."
  • "Great venue!"


Monday, July 17, 2017

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Martha C. Franks, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Abramowitz, Franks & Olsen LLC / Fort Collins, CO

Jay F. Stein, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Stein & Brockmann PA / Santa Fe, NM

8:45 am

Real Life Lessons from Fifty Years of Albuquerque v. Reynolds: Establishing the Connection between Hydrology and the Law in New Mexico

Perspectives on the evolution of the science, law, and administrative policy relating to conjunctive use and management of surface and groundwater; current friction points and upcoming issues

Martha C. Franks, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Abramowitz, Franks & Olsen LLC / Fort Collins, CO

Christopher J. Vigil, Esq. , Staff Attorney, Water Rights Adjudications
Administrative Office of the Courts / Santa Fe, NM

Rolf Schmidt-Peterson , Rio Grande Basin Manager
New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission / , NM

John M. Stomp, III, P.E. , Chief Operating Officer
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority / Albuquerque, NM

10:15 am


10:30 am

Constructing - and Deconstructing Hydrologic Models

Perspectives on strategies and tactics from case development through administrative hearing to appeal

James C. Brockmann, Esq. , Moderator
Stein & Brockmann PA / Santa Fe, NM

Greg B. Gates , Senior Technologist Resource Systems Management
CH2M HILL / Albuquerque, NM

David Romero , President and Hydrologist
Balleau Groundwater Inc / Albuquerque, NM

Ghassan Musharrafieh, Ph.D., P.E. , Bureau Chief, Hydrology
Office of the State Engineer / Santa Fe, NM

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Implementing Active Water Resource Management Strategies (AWRM)

Hydrology as a key element for forming Groundwater Management Districts in New Mexico

Martha C. Franks, Esq. , Moderator, Program Co-Chair
Abramowitz, Franks & Olsen LLC / Fort Collins, CO

Hydrology as a key element for Groundwater Management Districts in New Mexico

Samantha R. Barncastle, Esq.
Barncastle Law Firm / Las Cruces, NM

Brett J. Olsen, Esq.
Abramowitz, Franks & Olsen LLC / Fort Collins, CO

Mike A. Hamman, P.E. , Chief Executive Officer/Chief Engineer
Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District / Albuquerque, NM

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

De Novo Appeals from the Office of the State Engineer: How New is New?

How to make sense of the seeming contradiction between a de novo district court action and an appeal from the State Engineer

Jay F. Stein, Esq. , Moderator, Program Co-Chair
Stein & Brockmann PA / Santa Fe, NM

Elizabeth Newlin Taylor, Esq.
Taylor & McCaleb PA / Corrales, NM

Peter Thomas White, Esq.
Attorney at Law / Santa Fe, NM

Christopher Lindeen, Esq. , Deputy General Counsel
Office of the State Engineer / Santa Fe, NM

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Martha C. Franks, Martha C. Franks, Program Co-Chair is a partner at Abramowitz, Franks & Olsen LLC. Previously, she was with the Office of the New Mexico State Engineer, and the Office of the Solicitor of the United States, advising the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on water questions. She entered private practice in 2000, and practices water law exclusively.

Jay F. Stein, Jay F. Stein, Program Co-Chair, is a founding member of Stein & Brockmann, P.A. (formerly Simms & Stein, P.A.). He is a New Mexico Board Certified Specialist in Water Law and his practice is limited to water law. He works in administrative, district court, and appellate proceedings in state and federal courts, primarily in New Mexico.

James C. Brockmann, moderator, partner, Stein & Brockmann, P.A., is a Certified Water Law Specialist and his firm represents many of the major municipalities in New Mexico, national and international corporations, homeowners, subdivisions, developers, farmers and ranchers.

Samantha R. Barncastle, Barncastle Law Firm, focuses on civil litigation, water law and water rights, and property and contract issues. Clients include farmers, ranchers, local businesses, small municipalities, and public and private water systems.

Greg B. Gates is Senior Technologist Resource Systems Management for CH2M HILL. He is currently working with Denver Water on their IRP. He has been involved in a number of major water projects in the west including the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Project, the Albuquerque Water Resources Management Strategy development and implementation, and the USACE lower Rio Grande Salinity Study.

Mike A. Hamman, P.E., Chief Executive Officer/Chief Engineer, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, is experienced in engineering and water resources management with extensive knowledge of New Mexico water resource development projects and issues. Previously, he was the Area Manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Christopher Lindeen is the Deputy General Counsel for the Office of the State Engineer.

Ghassan Musharrafieh, Ph.D., P.E., is Chief of the Hydrology Bureau, where he performs a wide range of activities in support of the Office of the State Engineer, including collecting hydrologic data, creating water resource models, assisting in policy development and planning and providing expert testimony for litigation.

Brett J. Olsen is a partner at Abramowitz Franks & Olsen LLC. He represents public sector clients in water rights and other natural resources matters, constitutional litigation and real estate transactions. Since 2008, he has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of New Mexico and the State Engineer in stream system adjudications, constitutional cases and other litigation pertaining to water rights.

David Romero is President and Hydrologist for Balleau Groundwater Inc.

John M. Stomp, III, P.E., Chief Operating Officer, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, is responsible for managing the operations of the water and wastewater utility. Previously, he was the Water Resources Manager and the Project Manager for the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Project.

Elizabeth Newlin Taylor is a principal of Taylor & McCaleb PA. She focuses on New Mexico water and natural resource law and has assisted private clients in the evaluation, establishment and transfer of water rights, and public clients in the development of institutional water plans and negotiation of contracts with the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

Christopher Vigil is a Staff Attorney, Water Rights Adjudications, for the New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts, where he focuses on water law and federal Indian Law.

Peter Thomas White, Attorney at Law. Previously, he was a staff attorney for the New Mexico State Engineer for 27 years including 13 years as General Counsel. He worked on the adjudication of Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache, and non-Pueblo water rights in the upper Rio Grande basin. He was counsel of record for the State of New Mexico in Supreme Court litigation on the Pecos River and Canadian River Compacts.


Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.50 NM MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


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La Fonda Santa Fe Hotel

100 E. San Francisco Street in Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 982-5511

The seminar will be held at the La Fonda Santa Fe Hotel at 100 E. San Francisco Street in Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call the hotel directly at (505) 982-5511 for reservations at the special negotiated rate of $229 and mention that you are attending a Law Seminars International seminar. Rooms are on a first come, first served basis.
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