James P. Houghton

James P. Houghton


Modrall Sperling

Recognized since 2008

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Practice Areas

Construction Law

Litigation - Construction

Real Estate Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Litigation - Construction
Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Construction Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2018 - Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Construction Law
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Jim Houghton has more than 40 years’ experience practicing law in New Mexico. He joined Modrall Sperling in 1973 and was elected shareholder in 1979. He serves as Chair of the Construction and Design Industry Service Group. His practice encompasses transactions, litigation and alternative dispute resolution in the areas of real estate, construction and design law, commercial leasing, and land use (including development, zoning, and subdivision). Best Lawyers in America® has recognized Jim three times as “Lawyer of the Year” in Albuquerque, in 2013 and 2020 for Construction Law, and in 2018 for Litigation-Construction.

Jim has had mediator training through the Attorney-Mediators Institute and advanced arbitration training through the American Arbitration Association. He has handled arbitrations through the Second Judicial District Court-Appointed Arbitration program.

Construction/Design Professionals

Jim is a member of the Real Property Sections of the State Bar New Mexico and the American Bar Association (ABA), as well as a member of the ABA Construction Forum Committee. He is past Co-Chair of the Design and Construction Contracts Committee (G-3) of the ABA Real Property Section. He is recognized in "Best Lawyers in America®" in the area of Construction Law. He is an active member in the Associated Builders and Contractors trade organization.

Real Estate

Jim authored Basic Real Estate Law in New Mexico . He has been a member of the New Mexico Chapter of NAIOP and has presented programs to the local BOMA (Building Office Manager Ass'n.) chapter on leasing/property management issues. He has drafted commercial leasing and management systems for office buildings and shopping centers and numerous ground leases. He handles disputes in various aspects of real estate law, especially in the area of commercial lease disputes, and buy and sell agreements. He has handled hundreds of transactions for buyers, sellers, and developers of real estate and has also represented title companies. He is recognized in Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Real Estate.

Contact & Links

Location

  • 500 Fourth Street, NW, Suite 1000
    P.O. Box 2168
    Albuquerque, NM 87103

Education

  • Indiana University, B.S. in Economics and Political Science, graduated 1970
  • University of Virginia , J.D., graduated 1973

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico, State Bar of New Mexico

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association Construction Forum Committee - member
  • American Bar Association, Real Property Section, Design and Construction Contracts Committee - member
  • Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. - member
  • State Bar of New Mexico, Real Property Section - member

Modrall Sperling
Headquarters: Albuquerque, New Mexico

32 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

2 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge
Full Firm Profile

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2022 - Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Construction Law Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2018 - Litigation - Construction Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Construction Law

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Litigation - Construction, Albuquerque (2022)
  • Construction Law, Albuquerque (2020)
  • Litigation - Construction, Albuquerque (2018)
  • Construction Law, Albuquerque (2013)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Construction Law
  • Litigation - Construction
  • Real Estate Law

Special Focus

  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Architects and Engineers
  • Commercial
  • Commercial Development
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Disputes
  • Contract Review and Negotiation
  • Contractors
  • Design
  • Development
  • Land Use
  • Office Buildings
  • Real Estate
  • Real Property Law
  • Residential
  • Residential Development
  • Shopping Center Transactions
  • Subdivision
  • Surety
  • Title Matters
  • Transactions
  • Zoning

Awards:

  • Best Lawyers in America┬« in Construction Law, Litigation-Construction and Real Estate Law, 2008-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV┬« Preeminent, Peer Review Rated
  • Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation-Construction - Albuquerque, 2018
  • Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in Construction Law - Albuquerque, 2013, 2020

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"James Houghton is an experienced, knowledgeable and patient attorney. He has the right combination of grit and empathy. He will thoroughly prepare a client for what lies ahead and coach him or her along the rough spots. His vast experience is reassuring and his advice is sound. I would trust him with any legal issue our business might have."

- Michael Salmon (Action Air Conditioning, Inc.)

"Jim Houghton is one of the most knowledgeable construction law attorneys I have ever met. He has an excellent reputation within the legal community. I have never known Jim to miss a deadline in the 30 years I have known him. He is an excellent communicator and is very well prepared for arbitrations and trials."

- Dan Gear (Harrison Contracting), Albuquerque, NM

"I have come to see Jim Houghton of the Modrall Sperling firm as a reliable ally and friend in business."

- Andy Lee (Andy Lee General Contractor, LLC), Albuquerque, NM

"I have come to consider Jim Houghton at Modrall Sperling to be a true ally in my efforts to lead and protect my company. His counsel has been very important and his involvement in our business has been a significant asset."

- Andy Lee (Andy Lee General Contractor, LLC), Albuquerque, NM

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