Laura Schauer Ives

There is nothing more grotesque than people with power taking advantage of people without power—and there is inherent value, beauty, and importance in standing up next to these people and telling their story.

Laura Louise Schauer Ives

Partner
Location:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phone:
505-431-2167
Fax:
(505) 244-1406
Email:

Growing up, Laura marveled as her mother, a public defender, stood as the sole obstacle between the individual and the immense force of the state. Laura took to heart the lessons that there is value in being a strong voice for those who might not otherwise be heard and that the state does not always live up to its promise of truth and integrity.

Inspired by her mother's work, Laura decided to attend law school, where she focused her studies on constitutional law and devoted her legal career to vindicating the rights of New Mexicans who have been victimized by private entities and the state, alike.

As the legal director of the ACLU of New Mexico, Laura's work included litigating the constitutionality of the reduction of separation pay for honorable discharges under Don't Ask Don't Tell; the right of same sex couples to marry in New Mexico; the lawfulness of placing inmates in solitary confinement after they have reported sexual assault; and she settled a case on behalf of a Jane Doe subjected to a series of unnecessary and invasive searches — including a cavity search — for $1.575 million.

At Kennedy, Kennedy & Ives, Laura and her partners, Joe and Shannon, have represented the estates of multiple New Mexicans wrongfully killed by police officers throughout the state. Laura's work in the James Boyd case — a homeless, mentally ill camper killed by Albuquerque Police Department officers — focused on APD's failure to supervise the officers, both on scene and through training, to hold accountable everyone responsible for his death, not just the individual officers who shot him. That case settled for $5 million. In the case of a 19-year-old girl gunned down by an Albuquerque Police Department officer, Laura argued that the city of Albuquerque should be sanctioned for its failure to preserve critical lapel camera evidence related to the shooting. The court agreed and sanctioned the city by ruling the shooting was unlawful. The case settled after that ruling for $5 million.

Laura has also obtained millions of dollars for sexual assault survivors, including a special education student who was inappropriately touched by her teacher, another young student touched by the school janitor, a woman sexually assaulted by her probation officer, and women sexually assaulted in jails and prisons and by police officers. Laura is known in these cases for her empathy for her clients, reminding them and opposing counsel that the only one who should feel shame is the assailant, and the care she takes to ensure her clients do actually move forward and access the care necessary to do so.

Laura represents victims of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, including five female corrections officers who were subjected to an unthinkable, hyper-sexualized workplace by their male counterparts that settled for $2.5 million.

Among others, Laura currently represents the estate of a woman killed by her ex-partner, a captain in the Silver City Police Department. In that case, Laura has argued that law enforcement treated her differently than any other victim of domestic violence because her abuser was a police officer and that law enforcement protected and emboldened her abuser because of his status. Laura also represents victims of human trafficking and an 88-year-old man who died, in part, from his injuries resulting from the use of a "nonlethal" weapon system in a products liability case. 

Laura maintains her work with the ACLU of New Mexico, acting as a frequent cooperating attorney with the organization and sitting on the ACLU New Mexico's Legal and Reproductive Right Panels. She is an advisor to the End of Life Liberty Project and a regular speaker on constitutional law, civil rights and the vulnerabilities of lapel camera technology to public and professional audiences.

Laura is a lifelong resident of New Mexico and mother of two. She graduated in 2000 from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she was on the honor roll and dean's list and a Bonderant Research Scholar.

Areas of Practice

  • Civil Rights Law
  • Sex Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Constitutional Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Wrongful Death

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico, 2000
  • U.S. District Court District of New Mexico, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2011
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2016

Education

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico - 2000
    • Honors: Bonderant Research Scholar
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Honor Roll
    • Honors: Clinical Honors
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
    • B.A. - 1996
    • Major: English

Published Works

  • The Decisions We Are (or Are Not) Free to Make, for Now, New Mexico Law Review, 48 N.M. L. Rev. 324, 2018

Classes/Seminars

  • “Pornotopia: The Clash Between SOB Zoning and the First Amendment”, New Mexico Municipal Attorneys’ Association
  • “The Implications of Collins v. United States”, American Veterans for Equal Rights
  • “Harassment/First Amendment Session”, Council of School Attorneys
  • “Students’ Rights Overview”, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
  • “Real ID Act: Fact and Fiction”, Oliver Seth Inn of Court
  • “Understanding Media and the 1st Amendment”, Paralegal Division of the New Mexico State Bar Brown Bag CLE
  • “APD and the DOJ: A Pattern of Excessive Force?”, H. Vearle Payne American Inn of Court
  • “Morris v. King: Will the Right to Die Live in New Mexico”, H. Vearle Payne American Inn of Court
  • “Immigration-Related Issues in Litigating Civil Rights Claims”, Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • “Medical and Legal Issues at the End of Life”, OASIS
  • Compassion & Choices How We Die: a Forum for Clergy and Health Care Providers
  • “Ethical Considerations in Representing Children in Solitary Confinement”, New Mexico Criminal Defense Association
  • “Body Camera Evidence – Trial and Motions Practice”, New Mexico Criminal Defense Association
  • “State Constitutions/Supreme Court”, New Mexico Law Review Symposium Establishing New Rights: A Look at Aid in Dying
  • “Piercing the ‘Cover-Up’—Holding the Municipality and Police Accountable for Misconduct” , American Association for Justice Summer Conference
  • “Litigating Sexual Assault Cases”, Denver Prisoners’ Advocates Conference
  • “Overview of Litigating Sexual Abuse Cases in Prison and Jails", New Mexico Criminal Defense Association Litigating for Accountability and Freedom

Past Employment Positions

  • ACLU of New Mexico, Legal Director, 2010 - 2014
  • Sole Practioner/Contract Attorney, Attorney, 2003 - 2009
  • New Mexico Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 2002 - 2003
  • Tinkler & Bennett, Associate Attorney, 2000 - 2002

Honors and Awards

  • Guardian of Liberty Award, ACLU of New Mexico
  • Guardian of Liberty Award, ACLU of New Mexico

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Albuquerque Bar Association, Member
  • New Mexico Women's Bar Association, Member

Pro Bono Activities

  • ACLU of New Mexico, Legal Panelist, 2014 - Present
  • ACLU of New Mexico, Reproductive Rights Legal Panelist, 2015 - Present
  • End of Life Liberty Project Advisory Committee Advisor
  • Frequent ACLU-NM Cooperating Attorney

Languages

  • English (Primary)

Representative Cases

  • Morris v. Brandenburg, 2016-NMSC-027, 376 P.3d 836
  • Jaramillo v. Hickson, No. CV 09-634 JCH/WDS, 2014 WL 12796776 (D.N.M.)
  • N.F. on behalf of M.F. v. Albuquerque Pub. Sch., No. 14-CV-699 SCY/SMV (D.N.M.)
  • Griego v. Oliver, 2014-NMSC-003, 316 P.3d 865
  • Thomas v. Kaven, 765 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2014)
  • Pahls v. Thomas, 718 F.3d 1210 (10th Cir. 2013)
  • State, City of Albuquerque v. Pangaea Cinema LLC, 2013-NMSC-044, 310 P.3d 604
  • Doe v. City of Albuquerque, 667 F.3d 1111 (10th Cir. 2012)