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.
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.
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.