Southwest Regional Convention

Taos, New Mexico February 23, 2002








On Saturday, February, 23, 2001, the Soutwest Region of the National Lawyers Guild will hold its annual convention in Taos, at the Stewart House Bed and Breakfast, (505) 776-2557, on the way to the Ski Basin.  Come early or stay late, and ski! 

KIT GAGE, FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., DIRECTOR OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION AND NATIONAL COMMITTEE AGIANST REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION (NCARL), will be our keynote speaker.  Kit Gage is also National Coordinator of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom (NCPPF), in Washington, D.C.  The NCPPF is a coalition defending the rights of political association and due process for immigrants and citizens.  It has worked particularly on the use of secret evidence in deportation proceedings.

Kit Gage will summarize the salient points of the USA PATRIOT Act, the military tribunals, detentions, "voluntary" interview, and gutting attorney general guidelines. Also, she will talk some about the organizational responses and activism seeking to educate people and reverse this course. 

There will be three panels presenting--one on energy, one on  and one on farm workers and pesticides.

Energy Panel
with Mark Sardella, P.E. of the Southwest Energy Institute
and  Bill Althouse of Enviroactive
(see bios below)

The Enron bankruptcy hearings have shed some light on the influence that energy industry giants wield over lawmakers in our country, but is this just the tip of the iceberg? The energy panel will probe the history, depth, and implications of corrupt activity by energy industry giants, and will discuss emerging legal and technical strategies for bringing about reform. New information on mortality rates from power plant pollution have renewed interest in class-action lawsuits against coal, and ill-intentioned attempts to make energy markets "competitive" are opening up new opportunities for lucrative antitrust lawsuits. Favoritism for the nuclear energy industry, especially limitation of liability for nuclear power plant owners, will be discussed in detail. Finally, the panel will address just how decentralizing energy could be as a tool for fostering social justice. 

by Sean Mcallister from Colorado and Jennifer Moore of UNM Law School

How has the war on Afghanistan effected the people and their ability to survive?  Is the war even legal?  Since 9/11 the vast majority of people, politicians, and media have argued that unilateral US military action is the only pragmatic response to terrorism. There has been little, if any, discussion of alternatives to war based on existing or emerging international legal regimes.  Jennifer Moore, Professor at UNM Law School, will address the humanitarian impact of the war on Afghanistan and the international law of war.  Sean McAllister, the co-chair of the Colorado NLG, will discuss the current options under international law for responding to terrorist actions. His talk will focus on the utility of the United Nations and various international treaties and tribunals, including the World Court and the International Criminal Court. This discussion will also include the problems with many traditional progressive alternatives, such as economic sanctions which have created additional attrocities in Cuba and Iraq. 


with Kimi Jackson of Colorado

While farm workers labor in our fields and orchards, they are exposed to more toxic pesticides than any other group of people. Pesticide residues on the plants and soil enter the workers’ skin during the harvest. And tragically, every year farm workers are directly sprayed by crop dusters. Farm worker children are especially vulnerable to pesticide poisoning.  Symptoms range from skin irritation to cancer that appears many years later to death, in the most serious cases. Usually, these poisonings go undiagnosed and untreated. Kimi will speak about farm workers’ rights related to pesticides and some non-traditional legal means that she has used in representing workers who are hesitant to speak out due to fear of retaliation.



Earlybird NLG Members:  $75.00, including lunch

Students:  $30,00, including accommodations and lunch

Registration fee is $90.00 for National Lawyers Guild members who are current with national dues, and $190.00 for non-members.  Earlybird special:  Register by February 8, and knock off $15.00 from the registration fee. 

The registration fee for law students is $30.00. 

Your registration fee will cover the cost of the conference, a party on Friday night and lunch on Saturday.  The registration fee for students also includes accommodations Friday and Saturday night.  Directions to the party will be sent to you upon your registration.

To register, send your name, address and telephone number to Pia Gallegos, 116 14th St. S.W., Albuquerque, NM  87104.  Make your check for the registration payable to Southwest Region National Lawyers Guild.  

To update your membership with the Guild, you may send your dues, payable to the National Lawyers Guild, along with your registration.  Membership includes subcription to the Guild Notes and the Guild Practicioner, a legal journal.  Membership supports the post-9/11 cutting-edge work being done by the Guild for the anonymous detainees, the Arab community and civil rights.  The sliding scale dues schedule is below. 

No one will be turned away for inability to pay.  Please indicate any hardship.



The conference will be held at the Stewart House, a bed & breakfast about a half hour from the ski basin.  Call them at (505) 776-2557.  The Stewart House is offering a 15% discount to all Conference attendees.  Before the discount, rooms range from $65 to $125.00.  Prices include a generous breakfast.  There is a hot tub for guest use.  Visit their website at

If the Stewart House becomes full, the Cottonwood Inn, close by, offers elegant rooms for $95.00 to $175.00.  If more than two rooms are booked, the Cottonwood Inn will offer a 10% discount to conference attendees.  The price includes a full breakfast and snacks.  There is a hot tub on the premises.  The Cottonwood Inn website is and their telephone number is 1-800-324-7120.  You can register online.



Mark Sardella, Professional Engineer, is the co-founder of the Southwest Energy Institute, an energy policy research organization working to facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy industry. As a director of the Institute, he has advised governmental and private organizations on energy policy matters, including New Mexico's Legislature, Public Regulation Commission, and State Energy Office, as well as the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners, Santa Fe City Council, the New Mexico Solar Energy Industries Association, and others.   Sardella is the owner of Energy Services Engineering, a Santa Fe based firm that helps businesses reduce the cost and environmental impact of their energy usage.

Bill Althouse has worked in the alternative energy field since 1976, when he designed and built one of the first off-grid homes in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Since that time he has founded regional, national, and international energy businesses, all of which focused on clean energy technologies. His newest company is Enviroactive, an Albuquerque-based energy company that guarantees reductions in energy bills to its clients. Mr. Althouse is a seasoned public speaker on matters of energy policy, and an active voice in countless battles before the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and the State Legislature.

Jennifer Moore has served on the faculty of the University of New Mexico School of Law since 1995, where her courses include international refugee law and comparative human rights. She is co-author of Refugee Law and Policy, the first U.S. casebook on refugee law. She has also written several articles on international and domestic refugee protection, including "Simple Justice: Humanitarian Law as a Defense Against Deportation" (Harvard Human Rights Journal, Spring, 1991). In 1991, Jennifer Moore was recruited by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and served initially as Associate Protection Officer, working primarily with Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees (1991-93). From 1993-95, she served as Associate Legal Officer for the UNHCR Branch Office in Washington, D.C., where she focussed on the special protection needs of refugee women and children.

Kimi Jackson is the director of the Casillas Pesticide Action Project, a Colorado Legal Services initiative designed to prevent employers from illegally exposing farm workers to toxic pesticides. The project is funded by the National Association for Public Interest Law.



New member attorneys and legal workers:                 $50.00

Renewing attorneys and legal workers:


Under $20,000                                                              $45.00

$20 - 25,000                                                                  $75.00

$25 - 30,000                                                                  $100.00

$30 - 40,000                                                                  $165.00

$40 - 50,000                                                                  $220.00

$50 - 65,000                                                                  $275.00

$65 - 75,000                                                                  $325.00

$75 - 100,000                                                                $375.00

$100,000 +                                                                    $500.00