Even as a kid, I guess I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up. I loved movies like The Paper Chase, And Justice for All, The Verdict, and of course, To Kill a Mockingbird. These movies appealed to me because they were all about noble heroes who fought for justice; putting everything on the line to help good people fight the system.
I started college with the ultimate goal of going to law school. I finished up my undergraduate degree in 1988 at the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts in History and immediately started law school at UNM the very next semester. I graduated from UNM Law in May of 1991 and passed the New Mexico Bar that summer.
My first “real job” was in Socorro, New Mexico, where I started as a law clerk for the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The great appeal of starting my career in Socorro was that I could handle a wide variety of cases right off the bat, including felonies. In a bigger city I would have had to spend several years handling misdemeanor cases before ever getting a chance to work on a felony case. Yet there I was, one day after being sworn in to the New Mexico Bar, solely responsible for hearings on two very serious felony cases including a child sex abuse case.
In 1993 I was asked by District Attorney Ron Lopez to take over the branch office in Truth or Consequences. Two years out of law school and I was running an office and responsible for every case charged in Sierra County. I learned a lot during my time in TorC and it was in that small town that I really found my voice as an advocate.
In 1996 I left the DA’s Office and struck out on my own as a contract public defender. It was rewarding work and I loved the fact that I was fighting for “the little guy.” I took a large number of cases to trial – and won. Working for real people, helping them solve their legal problems, was everything I wanted in a law career. There was just one problem: travel.
The nature of my contract had me on the road several times a week, driving from Truth or Consequences to Socorro, Deming, Silver City, Alamogordo and Las Cruces; sometimes appearing in court in 4 different towns on one day. Personally I enjoyed the variety of interaction with judges, prosecutors and other folks all over Southern New Mexico, but I had two little kids at home and the time away from them meant I was missing out on a lot. In 1998 when District Attorney Susana Martinez asked me to join her staff in Las Cruces, I knew it was an offer I couldn’t pass up.
I worked for Susana from 1998 until January of 2007. During my time in the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office I handled just about every kind of case imaginable, from DWIs to First Degree Murder. I was promoted to Deputy District Attorney and supervised a large number of prosecutors during my time there. I ran the Drug Unit for a while (never really enjoyed that) and also started up the Grand Jury Unit, where I was responsible for screening and charging over 1400 felony cases in a year. My proudest achievement as a prosecutor was obtaining a conviction in the trial of Clark Perry – a man responsible for the brutal murder of Nick Nellos, a promising architect and father of two. I knew after that trial that I had achieved all I was ever going to accomplish as a prosecutor and I decided to follow my lifelong calling of fighting for people caught up in the criminal justice system.
I started The Lahann Law Firm on January 1, 2007, with a mission of being the best criminal defense attorney in Southern New Mexico. I’ve enjoyed a great deal of success as a criminal defense attorney and nothing thrills me more than winning legal battles on behalf of my clients. I can’t win every case, but I think my clients know that I’ve done everything I can to help them through the most difficult time in their lives.
Most of my clients come to me because they have been referred to me by former clients, or by police officers and prosecutors. I’m proud of my reputation and I work hard to keep it up. I was both humbled and honored recently when I was notified by the Las Cruces Sun-News that I had won their Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Attorney” in Las Cruces for 2012. It is a terrific honor but I don’t see it as “mission-accomplished.” There’s still a lot of work to be done helping good people fight their criminal charges; I think my best days are still ahead of me.
I know everyone deserves the best attorney they can get; I will continue to fight every day to make sure that my clients get my very best effort.
Licensed since 1991
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|NM||Authorized to practice law||1991||11/26/2012|
|Award Name||Grantor||Date Granted|
|Top 100 Trial Lawyers||The National Trial Lawyers||2014|
|Best Attorney - 2012||Las Cruces Sun-News Readers' Choice Award||2013|
|Owner||The Lahann Law Firm||2007 - Present|
|Deputy District Attorney||Third Judicial District Attorney's Office||1998 - 2006|
|Owner||Jeff Lahann, Attorney at Law||1996 - 1998|
|Senior Trial Prosecutor||Seventh Judicial District Attorney's Office||1991 - 1996|
|Association Name||Position Name||Duration|
|National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||N/A||2007 - Present|
|New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||N/A||2007 - Present|
|State v. Boyse, 265 P.3d 1285 (2011)||Convictions reversed.|
|State v. Ybarra, 237 P.3d 117 (2010)||The Court of Appeals upheld the suppression of the breath test results.|
|University of New Mexico School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1991|
|"Expanding Your Trial Skills"||Cross-Examination of Alleged Sexual Assault Victims||2010|
|"Annual DWI Defense CLE"||Motions Practice in DWI Cases||2009|
|"Admissibility of Fingerprint Analysis Evidence Under Daubert."||"Admissibility of Fingerprint Analysis Evidence Under Daubert"||2003|