H. John Underwood Law Firm


H. John Underwood

CONTACT BY PHONE: 575-258-9090
E-MAIL: attorneys@hjulaw.com

  • Municipal Law
  • Business Transactions
  • Real Estate Development
  • Zoning and Land Use
  • Subdivision Law
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Liquor License Transactions
  • Water Rights Transactions
  • Government Affairs
  • Administrative and Regulatory Law (Insurance, Transportation, Liquor Regulation)


John has represented a number of large real estate developers in all aspects of the development process, from the purchase of the real estate, the purchase and transfer of water rights, and obtaining the necessary subdivision approvals from state and local governments. He has extensive experience representing clients before local public bodies as well as before the executive and legislative branches of state government. He has successfully lobbied for the passage or defeat of numerous pieces of legislation and has a reputation for being able to work with all sides. His practice also includes representing clients before regulatory and administrative agencies of state government. Further, he has an active litigation practice in the area of real estate and business disputes.

John has been named a Best Lawyer in America for Government Affairs since 2008.


Admitted to the State Bar of New Mexico, 1973
Practiced in Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1973-1981
Practicing attorney in Ruidoso, New Mexico since 1981


Bachelor of Arts degree, University of New Mexico, 1970
Juris Doctor Degree, Creighton University School of Law, 1973


New Mexico Bar Association
Past President, Lincoln County Bar Association
Past President, Dona Ana County Bar Association
Past Vice-President, New Mexico Municipal Lawyers’ Association


Elected, Ruidoso City Council, 1985
Elected, New Mexico State House of Representatives, 1990-1994
Former board member, New Mexico Children’s Foundation
Rotary Club International
Board of Directors, Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors, New Mexico First, 2010-2012



Margie Morales

Margie Morales is a lifelong resident of Lincoln County, New Mexico.  She graduated from Ruidoso High School in 1969.  She worked at Ruidoso State Bank for ten (10) years from 1976 to 1986.  She went to work for an attorney, as a legal assistant, after leaving the bank in 1986 and has worked for attorneys for the last twenty-seven (27) years.  She served on the City Council for the City of Ruidoso Downs for sixteen (16) years.  She has served as member of the Ruidoso Schools Blue Ribbon Committee, RSVP Board Member, Scenic Byways Committee and the Board of Trustees for Lincoln County Medical Center.  She has worked for H. JOHN UNDERWOOD, LTD., for twenty (20) long, long years.

  Margie Morales


Sammy, The Office Dog

Margie Morales

Sammy’s legal career began when his buddy, Max went to the great dog park in the sky and he was very lonely at home by himself.  Since John began bringing Sammy to the office, he has prospered and has become the Official Greeter.  He loves to sit in your lap and tell you everything is going to be “ok”.  He does have a keen nose and can usually “sniff out” the legal issues of any ongoing case, and for that reason he is referred to as the brains of the operation.  However, he does have a tendency to sleep on the job so that keeps the rest of us on our toes.  Sammy invites you to stop by anytime and give him a treat.



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