Matthew L. Garcia

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Civil Rights Attorney in Albuquerque, NM

Matthew L. Garcia, Attorney at Law, LLC
 | 500 Tijeras Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-899-1030
Fax: 505-899-1051
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019
Selected to Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013
Licensed Since: 2006
Practice Areas:
  • Civil Rights (60%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (10%)
Attorney Profile

Matthew L. Garcia is a partner in Garcia Ives Nowara, a full-service law firm located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He represents clients throughout the state in a litigation practice that encompasses a variety of matters, including civil rights cases, personal injury litigation, antitrust violations, employment issues, white collar criminal defense and whistleblower actions.

A recipient of a master's degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Mr. Garcia continued his studies on a Fulbright Scholarship at the Helsinki School of Economics before attending the University of New Mexico School of Law and being awarded his Juris Doctor. While in law school, he served as lead articles editor for the Natural Resources Journal. After graduation from law school, Mr. Garcia handled a wide range of civil litigation matters as an associate at a highly regarded Albuquerque law firm before forming what is now Garcia Ives Nowara in 2008.

The author of an article on discovery procedures in civil rights cases that was published in the New Mexico Law Review in 2012, Mr. Garcia continues to add to his background and experience through his frequent association with fellow attorneys. He is a member of the board of directors of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, and he serves on the Rules of Evidence Committee of the New Mexico Supreme Court and is co-legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico. Admitted to practice in New Mexico, Mr. Garcia is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Civil Rights (60%)

Personal Injury - General (30%)

Employment Litigation (10%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 2 years

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019 Rising Stars: 2012 - 2013

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About Matthew Garcia

Admitted: 2006, New Mexico

Professional Webpage:


  • Julia Raymond McCulloch Memorial Award for Constitutional Law - Awarded to a law student for excellence in constitutional law, Julia Raymond McCulloch Memorial Award for Constitutional Law, University of New Mexico Law School, 2005
  • W.E. and Hazel J. Bondurant Merit Scholarship - Awarded to incoming law students, W.E. and Hazel J. Bondurant Merit Scholarship, University of New Mexico Law School, 2002
  • Fulbright Scholar - Awarded for post-graduate study at the Helsinki School of Economics., Fulbright Scholar, Fulbright International Eductation Program, 1999

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • New Mexico Disciplinary Board Hearing Officer
  • New Mexico
  • Member, New Mexico Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • Board of Editors for The New Mexico Trial Lawyers' Journal
  • U.S. District Court for New Mexico

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member of the Second Judicial District Volunteer Attorney Pool

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Iqbal is Not A Game-Changer for Discovery in Civil Rights Cases - In 2009, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Although the Court’s decision in Iqbal addressed only the narrow issue of the proper means for assessing the sufficiency of a complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, many defendants, and some federal district courts, view Iqbal as a game-changer on discovery in cases in which a defendant has filed a motion for qualified immunity. Courts commonly misinterpret dicta in Iqbal as requiring a stay of all discovery upon the filing of a motion for qualified immunity by any defendant. Defendants now routinely argue that once any individual defendant files a motion for qualified immunity, all discovery is stayed against all defendants, pending the outcome of the qualified immunity motion filed by the one defendant. Nowhere in its opinion did the Court indicate that it was undoing long-established precedent that an assertion of qualified immunity shields public officials only from that discovery which is disruptive or overreaching. Rather, the Court’s discussion was limited solely to rejecting Iqbal’s contention that the construction of Rule 8 should be tempered in light of the limited discovery afforded by the lower courts. The misinterpretation of the Court’s holding in Iqbal is problematic because it effectively strips trial courts of their traditional authority to regulate discovery. Given their close proximity to the facts and issues presented, district courts must be able to retain — and exercise — their discretionary control over the discovery process in a case-by-case manner. Otherwise, courts’ efficiency is undermined, contrary to legislative command and long-established judicial practices. The best practice — and one which considers both the interests of the public official in avoiding the burdens of litigation as well as the plaintiff’s right to prosecute her case — is for the trial court to “take a peek” at the dispositive motion raising qualified immunity, and focus discovery accordingly, if necessary. This approach leaves intact the trial courts’ discretionary power to manage their own dockets., Author, Iqbal is Not A Game-Changer for Discovery in Civil Rights Cases, New Mexico Law Review, 2012

Representative Clients:

  • Ruby v. Sandia Corp., 699 F. Supp. 2d 1247, 1278 (D.N.M. 2010)
  • Thomas v. Kaven, 765 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2014)
  • Flores v. Herrera, 2016-NMSC-033, 384 P.3d 1070
  • Johnson v. Vigil-Giron, 2006-NMSC-51, 140 N.M. 667
  • Flores v. Herrera, 2015-NMCA-072, 352 P.3d 695
  • Jordan v. Allstate Insurance Company, 2010-NMSC-51, 149 N.M. 162
  • Aguayo v. AMCO Ins. Co., 59 F. Supp. 3d 1225 (D.N.M. 2014)

Educational Background:

  • Helsinki School of Economics in Finland, Fulbright Scholarship  , 1999
  • Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Master Degree in Public Policy Concentration in Regulation and Industry Analysis Course work includes: Advanced Economics, Advanced Statistics, and Policy Analysis  , 2003
  • University of New Mexico, B.A., in Economics, Magna Cum Laude, Scholastic Honors  , 1999
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  • “Matthew is one of the persosn who will be a leader of the profession”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

Office Location for Matthew L. Garcia

500 Tijeras Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: 505-899-1030

Fax: 505-899-1051

Matthew L. Garcia:

Last Updated: 11/9/2018

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