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A Closer Look – Gene Gallegos, J.D.

Gene Gallegos, J.D.
Member, Board of Directors, STC.UNM
President, Gallegos Law Firm P. C.J. E. (Gene) Gallegos, Esq (web).

In this article, we are featuring a founding member of the STC.UNM Board of Directors.  Gene Gallegos was on the very first STC board, created in 1993 by the UNM Regents when the STC program was incorporated. Mr. Gallegos was also a UNM Regent at the time, and, in fact, the six other Regents joined him as the inaugural STC Board of Directors.

Mr. Gallegos again served on the STC board from 2009-2014 as the Regent member and currently serves as a non-UNM member.  He has also served on the STC Nominations Committee and now sits on the STC Endowment Fund Committee where he advises the organization on investment matters.

Mr. Gallegos is President of the Gallegos Law Firm, P. C. He received two degrees from the University of New Mexico: a B.A. in government and psychology in 1956 and a J.D. in 1960. In 1963, he entered into private practice after serving as an Assistant U. S. Attorney and Assistant Attorney General of New Mexico. He was a senior shareholder in the Santa Fe law firm of Jones, Gallegos, Snead & Wertheim since the firm’s professional incorporation in 1975. In 1987 he left the Jones firm to start the Gallegos Law Firm. Mr. Gallegos is also President of Pro NM Energy Inc., a small independent oil- and gas-producing company which focuses its business in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. In January 2009, Governor Richardson appointed Mr. Gallegos to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents where he served until 2014; he previously served on the Board of Regents from 1991-1996.

Mr. Gallegos has achieved widespread recognition for his expertise in commercial and antitrust litigation and class-action litigation, with particular emphasis on complex natural gas matters. He is recognized by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in the area of Natural Resources—Oil and Gas Law. One of his most notable class action antitrust lawsuits involved natural gas contracting, pricing and production in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. Mr. Gallegos represented over 300,000 residential gas consumers in New Mexico as well as state institutions and agencies who had suffered gas overcharges. The lawsuit, alleging price fixing in violation of the antitrust laws against multiple defendants, was successfully litigated and settled for over $160 million.

Mr. Gallegos is a member of The American Law Institute and is a member of the Antitrust Section and Private Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. He was a director and past chairman of the State Bar Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section; a former member of the State Bar Committee on Specialization and the Board of Bar Examiners; and was a faculty member of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers. He has been a presenter on trial practice class actions and oil and gas litigation at CLE seminars. Mr. Gallegos has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” each year since the publication started in 1987, under the category of Business Litigation and Oil and Gas Law.  He is licensed to practice in New Mexico state and federal courts, the U. S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and various other federal district courts.

Why is it important for a university to have a technology-transfer organization such as STC?

“UNM is a research institution.  Brilliant faculty are continually searching for answers to humanity’s problems, particularly in the world of medicine and science.  STC is the essential vehicle for moving their discoveries into real world applications.  It provides a means to reward their genius, financially and reputationally.  While a member of the Board of Regents, I have served on the boards of various university-affiliated organizations.  Without question, service on the STC board was the most interesting and enjoyable. The guest presentations by faculty and entrepreneurs are always sources of amazement to me.”

How do you see the evolution of STC?  What is your big picture view?

“Turning technology transfer into a pay-for-itself endeavor for the university, the inventors and STC is a long-range proposition. But with its expert leadership and motivated staff, STC is ahead of the usual timeline for reaching that marker of success.  And it serves the critical role of helping build and retain business and employment in New Mexico.”