Sandra Morgan Little is Shareholder and Co-Founder of Little, Gilman-Tepper, & Batley Family Law Firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sandra has been recognized for over 10 years in Best Lawyers in America; Listed in Southwest Super Lawyers from 2007-2013; New Mexico Business Weekly's "Best of the Bar" for family law in 2010. As a trained Collaborative Attorney, Sandra is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Albuquerque Collaborative Practice Group and the Rio Grande Collaborative Practice Group. Sandra is also Past Chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is a Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers. She has written numerous books and articles in the area of Family Law. Ms. Little lectures frequently, both nationally and locally.
About Sandra Little
Admitted: 1978, New Mexico
Professional Webpage: www.lgtfamilylaw.com/biographies/sandra-morgan-little/
Honors and Awards:
- "Pathways to Leadership" Recognition, ABA Commission, Women in the Profession, 1999
- Chair's Cup, Meritorious Service Exceeding what's Expected of Our Leadership, ABA Family Law Section, 1998
- Certificate of Outstanding Service, ABA Family Law Section, 1988, 1989, 1992, & 1996
- Outstanding Contribution to the Bar Award, State Bar of New Mexico, 1985
- Best of the Bar Award in Family Law by New Mexico Business Weekly, 2010
- Listed in Southwest Super Superlawyers, 2007-2013
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 1887, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, & 2013
- Outstanding Contribution to the Bar Award, State Bar of New Mexico, 1985
- Outstanding Contribution to the Bar Award, State Bar of New Mexico, 1995
- Special Recognition, American Bar Association Family Law Section, 1995
- Southwest Super Lawyers, 2007-2013
- New Mexico Business Weekly's "Best of the Bar", 2010
- The Best Lawyer in Family Law in New Mexico, 2010
- Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers, 1999
- Named Best Family Lawyer for New Mexico, The Best Lawyers in America 2009
- Selected as Outstanding Young Woman of America, 1985
- AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell
- Martindale Hubbell's Preeminent Firms
- Martindale Hubbell's Preeminent Women Law Firms
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Chair, Work Group Same Sex Marriage/Non-Marital Unions, Family Law Sec., ABA, 2004
- Co-Chair, Arbitration Implementation Committee, AAML, 2002-2003
- Member, Focus on Forever Committee, AAML, 1998-1999
- Member, Law Practice Management Section, Commission on Domestic Violence, ABA
- Member & Chair, Various Committees, Family Law Section, ABA, 1991-2012
- Member & Chair, Various Committees, Young Lawyers Division, ABA, 1984-1989
- Hearing Review Officer, Supreme Court State of NM Disciplinary Board, 1995-Present
- Vice/Co-Chair, Bench & Bar Relations Committ., NM State Bar Association, 1990-1995
- Board Member, CLE Chair, Young Lawyers Div., NM State Bar Association, 1983-1986
- Board Member, Senior Lawyers Division, NM State Bar Association, 2012-Present
- Dispute Resolution Section, , Commission on Domestic Violence, ABA
- Member, Albuquerque Collaborative Practice Group, 2006-Present
- Member, New Mexico Collaborative Practice Group, 2006-Present
- Member, International Association of Collaborative Practitioners, 2006-Present
- Member, New Mexico Women's Bar Association, 1993-Present
- Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, 1993-Present
- Member, Albuquerque Bar Association, 1978-Present
- Diplomat, American College of Family Trial Lawyers, 1999-Present
- Collaborative Committee, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2010-2013
- Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1984-Present
- Senior Lawyer Division, Commission on Domestic Violence, American Bar Association
- Member, Commission on Domestic Violence, American Bar Association, 1997-2000
- Council Member, Family Law Section, American Bar Association, 1986-2001
- Chair, Family Law Section, American Bar Association, 1999-2000
- Judicial Selection Committee, New Mexico State Bar Association, 1987-1989
- Board of Bar Commissioners, New Mexico State Bar Association, 1984-1985
- President, Young Lawyers Division, New Mexico State Bar Association, 1984-1985
- Chair Elect, Senior Lawyers DIvision, New Mexico State Bar Association, 2012-2013
- Various Committees, New Mexico State Bar Association, 1983-Present
- Chair, New Mexico State Bar Association, Family Law Section, 1986-87
Pro bono/Community Service:
- Board Member - Children's Grief Center of New Mexico
Scholarly Lectures and Writings:
- Sandra is a prolific writer and speaker, who has lectured to thousands of attorneys across the country on various family law topics that include retirement, valuation, tax reform, using experts and pensions. Sandra is a frequent lecturer at the American Bar Association's Family Law Section where she has been a member since 1986. She has served in various capacities on numerous ABA committees. Her work has been published in well-respected publications such as The Family Advocate, Barrister, The Complete Lawyer, Fairshare, Matthew Bender, and the ABA Journal.
- Contributor, 101+ Practical Solutions for the Family Lawyer, ABA, 1996
- Divorce and Domestic Relations Litigation: Financial Adviser's Guide, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003
- "Busy Season for Untying Knots", ABA Journal, January 1998
- Child Custody and Visitation: Law and Practice, Matthew Bender, 1998
- Contributor, The Joy of Settlement, The Family Lawyer's Guide to Effective Negotiations and Settlement Strategies, American Bar Association, 1997
- "Helping Long-Distance Parents Stay In Touch", Fairshare, June 1997
- "A Move in the Right Direction", Family Advocate, Fall 1997
- "Lining Up an Expert Witness", Family Advocate, Spring 1995
- "Requested Rulings-Give the Judge a Guide", The Complete Lawyer, Fall 1991
- "Counsel by Clergy: Is it Privileged", Family Advocate, Summer 1987
- "Winning a Rehabilitative Alimony Plan for Your Client", Barrister, Summer 1989
- Barrister, Family Law Practice Notes Editor, 1988-1989
- Consultant, Marital Property Log, W.T. Rogers & Company (Madison, WI), 1987
- New Mexico Editor, Community Law Journal, 1982-1990
Verdicts and Settlements:
- Berry v. Meadows, 103 N.M. 761, 713 P.2d 1017 (Ct. App. 1986). Case of first impression determining unvested and unmatured retirement benefits were property to be divided upon dissolution. Determined if retired pay was not divided upon dissolution of marriage, future retirement benefits could be divided.
- Koppenhaver v. Koppenhaver, 101 N.M. 106, 678 P2d (1180) (Ct. App.) Cert.den. 101 N.M. 11, 677 P2d 624 (1984). First case in United States to allow an agreement stating military retirement pay was separate property to be reopened following passage of Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act.
- Britton v. Britton, 100 N.M. 424, 671 P2d 1135 (1983). Case of first impression determining statute of limitations applied to child support payments and burden on payor to modify child support order or liable for all ordered payments.
- Hagan v. Hardwick, 95 N.M. 517, 624, P2d 126 (1981). Interpreted what statutory residency requirement to obtain dissolution of marriage.
- Buckner v. Buckner, 95 N.M. 337, 622, P.2d, 242 (1981). Case of first impression determining trial court could not deny dissolution of marriage if statutory grounds are proven.
- Norris v. Saueressig, 104 N.M. 85, 717 P.2d 61 (Aff'd.), 104 N.M. 76, 717 P.2d 52 (1986). Determined retirement benefits could not be divided if the state of law at the time of dissolution did not recognize retirement as property to be divided upon divorce.
- Pacheco v. Quintana, 105 N.M. 139, 730 P.2d 1 (Ct. App. 1987). Determined retirement benefits not divided upon dissolution could be divided but "catch all" phrase in Marital Settlement Agreement covered retirement benefits even though right to receive them was unknown.
- Little, Gilman-Tepper, & Batley Law Firm
Little, Gilman-Tepper & Batley has established a reputation as a leader in family law, both locally and nationally. Attorneys at the firm are experienced in complicated matrimonial issues and represent high asset and high profile cases in New Mexico. The Firm specializes in complex family matters involving a full range of domestic relations law, dissolution of marriage, separation, division and valuation of property, support, custody, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
By writing and speaking the attorneys make sure they are involved in the cutting edge practice of Family Law. The attorneys are active statewide and nationally with prestigious Family Law organizations and have served in a leadership capacity in many of them.
In addition to being successful and experienced litigators, each attorney is trained and actively participates in collaborative law, a resolution method designed to find a mutually acceptable settlement for all parties without going to court. Through this process, disputes are solved respectfully under the advice of a team of collaborative professionals, allowing family members to heal and maintain positive relationships.
Little, Gilman-Tepper established their law firm in 1993. Roberta S. Batley, Partner, joined in 2003 and became a shareholder in 2007. Tiffany Oliver Leigh, Associate Attorney, joined in 2004 and Jennifer M. DeGraauw, Associate Attorney, joined in 2011. “No two divorces are the same and no two days are the same”, say Sandra Morgan Little, Partner and Co-Founder. “We all deal with many interesting legal issues. What remains the same is that we interact with people who are at a very difficult time in their lives, and we give each client the individual attention they need to help them successfully move on to the next stage of their life.”
Little, Gilman-Tepper, & Batley, believe the key to success is hard work, being aware of clients’ goals for the divorces and tailoring representation within the law to meet those goals.
- 1978 University of New Mexico School of Law
- 1978 University of New Mexico Juris Doctor
- 1975 New Mexico State University, Bachelor of Business Administration