Attorney at Law
2740 Rio Grande NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico
505-255-9300 (W)         (505) 243-7947 (F)


William Riordan entered the University of New Mexico in 1961, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in 1965 and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1968.


Mr. Riordan was admitted to practice law by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit in 1968. Mr. Riordan increased the province of his practice by being admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court in 1971 and the Tax Court of the United States in 1972.


Mr. Riordan began his legal career in 1968, as a Legal Aid Attorney with the Legal Aid Society where he represented litigants who qualified for indigent legal services in divorces, bankruptcies, defense of collection matters and property damage suits. From 1969 thru 1971, Mr. Riordan served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bernalillo County supervising the presentation of matters to the county grand jury and prosecuting criminal matters ranging from burglary to murder. Mr. Riordan also served as an Assistant Attorney General, representing the State of New Mexico in criminal appeals and prosecuted civil actions in the District Court under the consumer protection statutes.

After leaving the District Attorney's Office, Mr. Riordan was in private practice handling civil matters including real estate law, commercial law, personal injury and trial litigation from 1972 to 1978, when he was selected by the Second Judicial District Judiciary to serve as the Children's Court Judge. As the Children's Court Judge Mr. Riordan presided over jury and non-jury trials for allegations of delinquent conduct by persons under the age of 18 from 1978 to 1980. Mr. Riordan also reviewed procedures of, established policy for, and exercised general supervisory control over the Juvenile Probation Department and presided over trials involving allegations of child neglect and abuse.

In 1980, Mr. Riordan was elected to the New Mexico Supreme Court. As one of five Justices of the New Mexico Supreme Court, Mr. Riordan spent much of his time writing opinions to be published, authoring decisions which were not to be published and supervising two law clerks and a secretary who assisted with these activities. A significant portion of Mr. Riordan's activities from 1981 to 1986 involved participating in oral arguments, conferences, and exercising supervisory control over the lower courts in the state, the Board of Bar Commissioners, the Board of Bar Examiners, the various rules committees established by the Supreme Court, and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Serving as a Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court provided Mr. Riordan an unparalleled opportunity to preside over oral arguments for cases before the Court and over petitions for extraordinary relief such as prohibition, mandamus, hearings requesting habeas corpus, certiorari, and superintending control, as well as proceedings involving lawyer discipline. In 1986, Mr. Riordan was elected by the remaining Justices of the court to serve as Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court.

As Chief Justice Mr. Riordan managed the day-to-day administration of the Supreme Court in addition to handling a full appellate caseload. Mr. Riordan also served as spokesman for the Court, representing the judicial branch of government to the public, appearing before legislative committees, in communication with the State Bar of New Mexico, President of the New Mexico Compilation Commission which is responsible for the publication of New Mexico's statutes and court decisions.

Under Mr. Riordan's direction as Chief Justice, the Court undertook and completed a number of projects including the adoption of a new Code of Professional Responsibility, establishing an attorney's specialization program, implementing a mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) for the State Bar, reorganization of the State Bar's Board of Bar Commissioners, recodification of all Supreme Court rules which included completely rewriting the Rules of Appellate Procedure.

During January, February and March, 1987, Mr. Riordan took time to serve as Acting Secretary of Corrections for New Mexico in response to a request from the Governor. The New Mexico Corrections Department consisted of eleven separate correctional institutions, employing over 2,000 personnel with an annual budget of $70 million dollars. In this position Mr. Riordan presented the Corrections Department's legislation interests to the legislature, lobbied for the Corrections Department budget and oversaw a nationwide search for a new Secretary of Corrections.

From 1987 to 1993 Mr. Riordan returned to private practice appearing in most of the District Courts in the State of New Mexico, the Court of Appeals, the State Supreme Court and to a lesser degree the Metropolitan Court and various Magistrate Courts in New Mexico, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. From 1987 to 1990, Mr. Riordan served as the first Independent Counsel for the City of Albuquerque under contract.

As Independent Counsel, Mr. Riordan was responsible for reviewing internal affairs investigations into allegations of misconduct by members of the Albuquerque Police Department and making non-binding recommendations to the Chief of Police as to appropriate discipline. Another unique element of Mr. Riordan's practice from 1987 - 1992 and 1994 - 2001, was his representation of numerous state and local government agencies in State and Federal Court, under contract with New Mexico Risk Management, a Division of the General Services Department, in tort, contract and civil rights actions.

Since 1992, Mr. Riordan has developed a dynamic mediation \ arbitration practice handling over 2000 cases, many of which have been referred by various District Court Judges.


1989 Member of Second Judicial District Court Nomination Committee
The nominating committee is charged by the Constitution with recommending to the Governor the names of attorneys to be appointed as District Judge.
1988 - 1989 Vice-Chairman of Children and Youth Commission
By appointment of the Governor, I served on the Children and Youth Commission. This commission was created by statute to provide recommendations to the Governor and Legislature as to the creation of the cabinet level Children and Youth Authority Department of State Government.
1986 Chairman, Transition Team for the New Mexico Corrections Department
At the request of Governor-elect Garrey Carruthers, the transition team evaluated the performance of the Corrections Department and other Corrections-related agencies including both Adult and Juvenile Parole Boards, New Mexico Crime Stoppers Commission and the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparations Commission.
1984 - 1985 Chairman of Supreme Court Committee for Revision of the Judicial Conduct Code (Appointed by Supreme Court)
The Committee was charged with reviewing New Mexico's Code of Judicial Conduct and making recommendations for changes in the code which is adopted by the Supreme Court to govern the actions of Judges. Extensive revisions were recommended and the new code was adopted, effective October 1, 1985.
1983 - 1985 New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission (Appointed by Supreme Court)
The Judicial Standards Commission in New Mexico is created by constitution and is composed of nine members appointed by the Governor, the Board of Bar Commissioners and the Supreme Court. It has the duty and authority to investigate violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct by any Judge in New Mexico. In appropriate cases, a recommendation for discipline is made to the State Supreme Court for final action.
1978 - 1986 Committee on Children's Court Rules (Appointed by Supreme Court)
The Committee drafts proposed procedural rules governing proceedings in Children's Court which are presented to the Supreme Court for consideration.
1976 - 1986 Committee on Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions and Rules of Criminal Procedure (Appointed by Supreme Court)
The Committee drafts proposed Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions and procedural rules for criminal cases which are presented to the Supreme Court for consideration.
1981 Jail Standards Advisory Committee (Appointed by Governor)
The Jail Standards Advisory Committee reviewed the drafts of jail standards to be used in New Mexico and made recommendations for approval and/or changes.
1978 - 1980 Governor's Juvenile Detention Renovation Advisory Committee (Appointed by Governor)
The Governor's Juvenile Detention Renovation Advisory Committee reviewed and approved grants from a four million dollar fund appropriated by the state legislature for the renovation of juvenile detention homes in order to meet required standards.
1978 - 1980 Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Home Advisory Committee (Appointed by County Commission)
The Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Home Advisory Committee met regularly with the administration of the detention home to review and recommend policy for the institution.
1978 - 1979 Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (Appointed by Supreme Court)
The Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee advised the Supreme Court on matters affecting Children's Court and recommended actions by the Court involving the area of Children's Court operations.
1978 Metropolitan Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (Appointed by Governor)
The Metropolitan Criminal Justice Coordinating Council reviewed and approved funding proposals for community assistance programs for the Bernalillo County area.
1975 President of Albuquerque Hearing Speech Center - A United Way Agency
The Albuquerque Hearing and Speech Center provides services for indigent residents of Bernalillo County who have speech or hearing problems.


New Mexico Licensed Real Estate Broker


Conference of Chief Justices (1986)

American Bar Association

State Bar of New Mexico

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (1976-80)