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Founding Member National College for DUI Defense

The NCDD, Summer Programs at Harvard Law School, was created in 1995. That year, David was the only New Mexico attorney (and one of only 60 nationwide) to be accepted.

Attorney Bio
Curriculum Vitae

Practice Areas

  • Violent Crimes
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Drug Violations
  • Criminal Defense
  • DUI/DWI
  • Search & Seizure Protections
  • Grand Jury Proceedings
  • Federal Crimes
  • Felonies
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Misdemeanor
  • Probation & Parole
  • Sex Offenses
  • Traffic Violations
  • RICO Act
  • Criminal Fraud
  • Litigation Percentage:
    100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certification/Specialties

  • Criminal Law: Trial Specialist, New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, 1990
  • Criminal Trial Advocacy Specialist and Diplomat, National Board of Trial Advocacy, 1986

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico, 1977
  • U.S. District Court District of New Mexico, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1979

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia J.D.
    Honors: Georgetown University Gilbert & Sullivan Society
  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, July, 1995
    Founding Member, National College for DUI Defense, Summer Programs
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, 1974
    B.A.

Representative Cases

  • Salandre v. State of New Mexico, 111 NM 422, 806 P2d 562 (New Mexico Supreme Court 1991)
  • State of New Mexico v. Dean Salazar, 123 NM 778, 945 P2d 996 (New Mexico Supreme Court 1997)
  • United States of America v. Mario Israel Gastelum-Murguia, 62 F.3d 1429 (10th Circuit 1995)

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • DWI Defense, NM Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, October 16, 1998
  • Advanced DWI Training, NM Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, October 15, 1999
  • Strategies in Handling DWI Cases, Lorman Educational Services, June 29, 2001
  • Southwest Conference DUI/DWI Defense Strategies, NM Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, October 11, 2002 - October 12, 2002

Honors and Awards

  • Who's Who in American Law, 1990 - Present
  • Appointed as Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee by Chief U. S. District Court Judge, 1994 - 2001
  • Appointed as Juez Commisionado by Lieutentant Governor, State of New Mexico, 1977 - Present
  • Commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1991 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New Mexico State Bar Association Criminal Law Section, 1988 - 1989
    Member, Board of Directors
  • New Mexico State Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, 1988 - 1989
    Chair, Board of Directors
  • Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee, 1994 - 2001
    Appointed by Chief U. S. District Court Judge
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, 1985 - Present
    Member, National Legal Committee
  • National College for DUI Defense, Summer Programs at Harvard Law School, 1995 - Present
    New Mexico's First Founding Member
  • New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association Mentor Program, 1995 - Present
    Criminal Defense Mentor
  • The District of Columbia Bar Association, 1979 - Present
    Member
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
    Member, Defense Function Committee
  • New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
    Member
  • New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
    Sustaining Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1984 - Present
    Member
  • National Hispanic Bar Association
    Member
  • New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
    Member
  • Georgetown Law Gilbert & Sullivan Society
    Perennial cast member

Past Employment Positions

  • District Attorneys Office, Violent Felonies Division, Assistant District Attorney, 1977 - 1981
  • District Attorneys Office, Violent Felonies Division, Acting Division Chief, 1981
  • Law Office of Martin J. Chavez & Lorenzo Chavez, Associate Attorney, April 5, 1981 - November 1, 1981

Pro Bono Activities

  • New Mexico Equal Access To Justice Campaign, 1995 - Present

Languages

  • Spanish
    Mr. Serna is a native Spanish speaker. Both sides of his family have lived in New Mexico for several generations. Mr. Serna has guided scores of clients from all over the Spanish-speaking world, who speak no English, through even the most difficult of State and Federal criminal litigation. Mr. Serna's paralegal who answers the phones and runs the office while Mr. Serna is in Court, is also completely fluent in the Spanish language. Spanish speaking clients and callers can feel confident that they will receive professional expert answers to their questions in their own native language.

Birth Information

1953, Silver City, New Mexico, United States of America

West Practice Categories

Grand Jury Proceedings, Search & Seizure Protections, Criminal Law, Drug Violations, DUI/DWI, Federal, Felonies, Criminal Fraud, Juvenile Crimes, Misdemeanor, Parole & Probation, RICO Act, Sex Offenses, Traffic Violations, Victims' Rights, White Collar Crimes

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Honors & Distinctions
  • Founding Member National College For DUI Defense
    The National College for DUI Defense, Summer Programs at Harvard Law School, was created in 1995. That year, David was the only New Mexico attorney (and one of only 60 nationwide) to be accepted. David became New Mexico's first Founding Member and has attended ever since. The National College for DUI Defense has become the premier organization for the nation's most elite drunk driving lawyers.


  • Board Certified Criminal Defense Specialist
    Under the New Mexico Rules of Legal Specialization, a lawyer is not allowed to call himself a "specialist" unless he has been officially recognized as such following a rigorous qualifying process.
    Mr. Serna actually both recognized as a Criminal Law Specialist by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specializing, and is Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Boston, Massachusetts as a Diplomate and Criminal Trial Advocate. Mr. Serna has maintained his Board Certification with the New Mexico of Legal Specialization, becoming recertified every five years, since 1990. Mr. Serna has maintained his Board Certification with the National Board of Trial Advocacy, becoming recertified every five years, since 1986.
    The qualifying process to obtain certification includes a day-long written examination, proof that the applicant has tried a certain number of sufficiently complex felony trials to jury verdict, and "peer review", obtaining written opinions from former co-counsel, former opposing counsel, judges, and former clients, regarding the applicant's legal skills and character. For more info visit the websites for the New Mexico State Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
    David has been an active National Legal Committee member of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws since 1985. David maintains a network of fellow NORML lawyers with whom he consults, participates in ongoing projects, and shares wisdom at regular legal seminars dedicated to the cutting edge of drug defense.
  • Criminal Defense Mentor
    Since 1995 David has had the pleasure to serve as a Criminal Defense Mentor for younger or less experienced lawyers under the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association Mentor Program.
  • Appointed by Chief Federal Judge to Federal Committee
    In 1994 the late Juan Burciaga , Chief Judge of the federal U.S.District Court in New Mexico , appointed David to sit on the Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee. David continued to sit on the CJA Panel Committee through 2001, having being reappointed by the successive Chief Judges of the US District Court for the District of New Mexico. The CJA Panel Committee meets to evaluate and recommend to the federal court which attorneys should be allowed to represent indigent defendants.
  • Former Violent Crimes Felony Prosecutor
    After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1977, David returned to his home State of New Mexico. For his first three and a half years as a lawyer, from ages 24 to 27, he was employed as an Albuquerque assistant district attorney, assigned to prosecute violent felonies. He has been merrily defending the accused ever since that time.

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