Congratulations to the 2021 NMDLA Lawyer of the Year
Award Winners!


Outstanding Civil Defense Lawyer 




James H. Johansen
Butt Thornton & Baehr PC

James H. Johansen is a shareholder with Butt Thornton & Baehr PC and former DRI New Mexico State Representative and past President of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association.  Jim was a member of the Board of Directors of the NMDLA from 1994 to 2010. He also served as President of the firm from 2002 through 2006 and was selected as a Southwest Super Lawyer in 2015 and 2019 and rated AV®Preeminent™, the highest possible rating by Martindale-Hubbell®,   Jim frequently lectures on insurance coverage issues. 


Young Lawyer of the Year 




Brandon M. Meyers
McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC

Mr. Meyers is an Associate at McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC’s Albuquerque office. His practice focuses on defense of product manufacturers, energy companies, and insurers in cases nationwide involving fires, explosions, and catastrophic personal injuries. He is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Defense News and the Vice Chair of the Scaffolding Cranes & Aerial Devices subcommittee of DRI’s Product Liability Committee. He also serves as a member of the Governing Board for Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School.

Mr. Meyers received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from The University of New Mexico before attending law school at University of Alabama School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctorate in 2017. While in law school, he served as the Executive Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession, a member of the Campbell Moot Court Board, and the Vice President of the Student Bar Association.

Read the complete list of past awards recipients.