Zachary L. McCormick

Direct: 505.848.1895
Main: 505.848.1800
Fax: 505.848.9710
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Zachary McCormick's practice encompasses a wide range of civil litigation and transactional advice, including antitrust, state taxation (gross receipts and property taxes), education law, and appeals (both judicial and administrative.) He has represented private individuals, corporations, school districts, and cities and counties in New Mexico. Mr. McCormick began his career at Modrall Sperling in 1977.

In addition to his legal career, Mr. McCormick has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Oklahoma State University. He has worked as a petroleum geologist and taught a wide variety of courses in physical and cultural geography at Oklahoma State University, Ohio University, and the University of New Mexico. He also served as a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers Task Committee on Shared Use of Transboundary Water Resources, which developed a set of model water-sharing agreements.


  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, J.D., 1977, summa cum laude
  • Oklahoma State University, Ph.D. in Environmental Science, 1994
  • University of New Mexico, M.A. in Geography, 1987
  • University of New Mexico, B.A. in History, 1973

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court

Practice Areas


Zachary McCormick has been involved in a variety of commercial litigation matters, as well as administrative and public law matters.

  • Successfully challenged an approximately $30 million dollars assessment for coal severance surtaxes of a period of years. 
  • Successful action, by writ of prohibition, to overturn an election result which would have resulted in an amendment to the New Mexico constitution expanding certain school boards to nine members.  The case turned on whether or not the proposed amendment amounted to "logrolling" in violation of the New Mexico Constitution.
  • Brought an action on behalf of a New Mexico municipality concerning the erroneous application of the property tax yield control mechanism because the municipality was not being permitted to receive all of the property tax revenues it should have been receiving.  The case was settled in favor of the municipality.
  • Successfully defended an action against a school district in which a contractor sought in excess of one hundred thousand dollars in additional compensation.  Instead, the district obtained judgment on a counterclaim for several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Successfully litigated the right for facilities governed under the Continuing Care Act to be exempt from property tax.
  • Advised clients in various industries on the application of New Mexico's Gross Receipts Tax system and potential deductions and exemptions from gross receipts tax.


  • State Bar of New Mexico, Corporation, Banking and Business Law Section, former Chair




  • "Same Sex Marriage: What Do Employers Need to Know?" Co-authored with Megan T. Muirhead and Anna E. Indahl, January 2014
  • "Federal-State Balance in Interstate Compacts."  In W. H. Espey, Jr. and P.G. Coombs (eds.), Water Resources Engineering: Proceedings of the First International Conference, Sponsored by the Water Resources Engineering Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, San Antonio, Texas, August 14-18, 1995. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, 1995, pp. 1336-1340.
  • "International Water Allocation Agreements – Some Lessons from Interstate Compacts in the Western United States," with O. Paul Matthews.  In American Water Resources Association International Symposium, Honolulu, June 25-28, 1995:  Water Resources and Environmental Hazards:  Emphasis on Hydrologic and Cultural Insight in the Pacific Rim. 
  • "A Review of Western Water Sharing Agreements," with O. Paul Matthews.  In M. F. Domenica (ed.), Integrated Water Resources Planning for the 21st Century:  Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 7-11, 1995, sponsored by the Water Resources Planning and Management Division, American Society of Civil Engineers.  ASCE, New York, 1995, pp. 225-228. 
  • "Institutional Barriers to Water Marketing in the West," Water Resources Bulletin 30(6): 953-961, November/December 1994. 
  • "Interstate Compacts in the United States – Some Suggestions," Water Resources Bulletin 30(3):385-396, May/June 1994. 
  • Book Review, "UNDERSTANDING ENVIRONMENTAL ADMINISTRATION AND LAW (2d. ed)," by Susan J. Buck.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association 33(1): 224-225, February, 1997.  
  • Contributor to New Mexico Appellate Manual (1st Edition), 1978.


  • "Ecosystems and Water Management: A New Boundary Question, " Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Fort Worth, 1997. 
  • "Protecting State and Federal Interests in Western Interstate Water Compacts," Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Charlotte, 1996. 
  • "Rivers and Borders: Interstate Water Allocation in the American West," Colloquium presentation at Ohio University, October, 1995. 
  • "Federal-State Balance in Interstate Compacts," First International Conference, Water Resources, sponsored by the Water Resources Engineering Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, San Antonio, August, 1995. 
  • "Institutional Barriers to Water Marketing in the Western United States," Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, 1995. 
  • "Endangered Species and Interstate Compacts; or, Minnows may Create a Whale of a Problem," Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 1994. 
  • "International Groundwater:  Still on the Frontier of International Law," Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 1993. 
  • "The Nature and Possibilities of Modification of Interstate Compacts," Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, San Diego, 1992.


  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished Peer Review Rated

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