Professionals

Michelle A. Hernandez

Direct: 505.848.1813
Main: 505.848.1800
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Fax: 505.848.9710
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Email: michelle.hernandez@modrall.com

Overview

Michelle Hernandez is a member of the firm's Litigation Department and has more than 15 years of extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation including: products liability, professional liability, asbestos litigation, construction defect, bad faith litigation, insurance coverage, and construction disputes.  She has represented numerous product manufacturers in state and federal courts in New Mexico, defending claims involving both industrial and consumer products.  She also works on appellate matters.  Significantly, she was a member of the appellate team that successfully overturned a $53 million nursing home verdict, which at the time had been New Mexico's largest personal injury verdict. 

Michelle has also represented clients in a broad range of commercial matters, including real estate and contract disputes as well as will contests.  She has also represented public entities such as law enforcement agencies and public schools in a variety of matters including employment matters and personal injury claims. 

She is among only a handful of New Mexico attorneys recognized as Board Certified Health Law Specialists and has represented healthcare providers including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, nurses and physicians in both litigation and regulatory matters. 

Her vast experience and counsel has helped clients strategically navigate difficult litigation and complex commercial matters by providing them with early strategic thinking and efficient litigation management. 

Michelle has achieved an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ratings for professional ethics and legal ability by her peers and is included in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers 2014. She is among those listed in Southwest Super Lawyers®.

Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she has family throughout Northern New Mexico.  Prior to joining Modrall Sperling, Michelle served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Joseph F. Baca, Senior Justice for the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Education

  • University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., 1997, Awarded Pioneering Women in the Law Scholarship, 1995
  • University of New Mexico, B.A. in Political Science,magna cum laude, 1994, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico 1997
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit 1999

Practice Areas

Recognition

Experience

Representative Cases

  • Successful appeal for nursing home, the New Mexico Court of Appeals overturned what had been New Mexico's largest personal injury verdict of $53.2 Million ($3.2 in compensatory, and $50 Million in punitive) in a case involving a woman who died in a nursing home.  The Court of Appeals decision was appealed to the Supreme Court and the case settled after the Court granted a writ of certiorari.  Member of the Modrall Sperling defense team representing ManorCare.  See Keith v. ManorCare, Inc., 147 N.M. 452, 224 P.3d 1257 (2009).

  • See Fritzsche v. Albuquerque Municipal School Dist., 194 F.Supp. 1194 (D. N.M. 2002).

  • See Santa Fe Techs. v. Argus Networks, 131 N.M. 772, 42 P.3d 1221 (Ct. App. 2001).

  • See Teran v. Consol. Freightways Corp. of Delaware, Cir. No. 00-229 RLP/WWD, Doc No. 53 (D. N.M. 2000).

Representative Clients

  • ManorCare
  • Sunrise Senior Living
  • Mountain States Mutual Casualty

Activities

Professional Activities

  • Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2013-present
  • State Bar of New Mexico, 1997-present; Committee on Women and the Legal Profession, 2013-present; co-chair 2014 
  • New Mexico Commission on Professionalism, Executive Committee, 2012
  • Member, New Mexico Supreme Court Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure, 2011-present
  • American Bar Association, Member, Minority Trial Lawyer Committee, 2009-present
  • New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, President, 2012; Board of Directors, 2007-present
  • New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry, Member, 2007-2011; Board of Directors, 2009-2011; Vice-Chair, Legal Reform Committee, 2011; Chair, Legal Reform Committee, 2010
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, Member 1997-present; Deputy Regional Vice-President, 2008-2009; Annual Convention Steering Committee and CLE Coordinator, 2009
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member 2005-present; National Membership Committee, 2011-present
  • New Mexico Bar Association, 1997-present
  • Leadership Albuquerque, Member, 2004-2005
  • University of New Mexico Alumni Association, Awards Committee, 2003-present
  • H. Vearle Payne American Inns of Court, 2000-2003

Firm Committees

  • Chair, Healthcare Industry Group, 2007-2012
  • Technology Committee, 2006-present

Discourse

Articles

Presentations

  • "Litigation Risk," New Mexico Healthcare Association, 2011 Leadership Symposium
  • "Women in the Courtroom," Panel Moderator, New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, 2010
  • "Dealing with the Difficult Expert," Litigation Counsel of America, Spring Conference, 2010
  • "Depositions," New Mexico Healthcare Association Annual Meeting, 2009
  • "Privileges, Standards, and Record Keeping," Case Management Society of America, Rio Grande Chapter, Annual Meeting, 2009
  • "School Law in New Mexico," Lorman Presentation, 2003
  • "Student Handbook and School Rules," Lorman Presentation, 2002

Honors

  • New Mexico Board Certified Health Law Specialist, 2010-present
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2010-present
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2007-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2014
  • New Mexico Business Weekly, 40 Under Forty, 2011
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® (derived from a lawyer survey), 2014
  • Who's Who in American Law, 2007