(505) 842-5864 staff@chestnutlaw.com
Chestnut Law Offices, P. A. attorneys and staff come from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds.  We work to provide personalized attention, cultural sensitivity and professional services to each client.

Attorneys

PETER C. CHESTNUT
 

Peter Chestnnut

pcc@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Peter C. Chestnut, owner-attorney, has been practicing law since 1975. Mr. Chestnut received his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He serves as general counsel for several Pueblos, starting over 25 years ago.

Noteworthy:

  • Tribal Courts in New Mexico; 2001 Co-Editor
  • Tribal Courts Handbook 1991 Edition
  • Indian Law Section, State Bar of N.M., Past Chair & Board Member

Education:

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1975
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, 1967-1968
  • Harvard College, A.B., with honors, 1967

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships:

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Numerous Pueblo Courts
  • State Bar of New Mexico – Sections on Indian Law and Natural Resources
  • American Bar Association, Sections on Natural Resources and Law Practice Management
  • New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
  • Albuquerque Bar Association
  • Indian Bar Association of New Mexico
ANN BERKLEY RODGERS
abr@chestnutlaw.com Phone: 505-842-5864 Fax: 505-843-9249

abr@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Ann Berkley Rodgers, owner-attorney, joined Chestnut Law Offices in 1989. Ms. Rodgers received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) in 1983. Prior to joining Chestnut Law Offices, Ms. Rodgers clerked for Chief Judge Santiago E. Campos, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico from November 1987 to August 1989. Prior to 1989, she was a Research Professor at UNMSOL working in water law, and Research Attorney for the Northern Pueblos Tributary Water Rights Association.

Ms. Rodgers has over thirty years of legal experience in Pueblo Indian water rights and has participated as an active attorney in several Pueblo water rights adjudications, including New Mexico ex rel. State Engineer v. Aamodt, State of New Mexico ex rel. State Engineer v. Abbott, and State of New Mexico, ex rel. State Engineer v. Kerr McGee, et. al.  In land matters, Ms. Rodgers has supervised the movement of numerous tribal land acquisitions into trust status.

Another component of her practices is the protection and repatriation of cultural resources.  Together with Peter Chestnut, Ms. Rodgers litigated one of the first NAGPRA cases for the Pueblo of San Ildefonso.  Ms. Rodgers has been actively involved in the repatriation of cultural items from auctions houses and galleries in the United States and abroad.  She was the lead attorney for the five Tribes that secured the placement of Mt. Taylor Traditional Cultural Property on the New Mexico List of Cultural Properties, and was involved in the successful defense of Zuni Salt Lake from proposed mining activity.

Education:

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D., 1983
  • University of New Mexico, B.U.S., University Studies, 1980

 

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships:

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Claims Court
  • Numerous Pueblo Courts

 

Noteworthy:

  • Former Co-Editor of Journal of Indian Law Section of the NM Bar
  • Equal Access to Justice Legal Services Funding Campaign Committee, 1993-1996
  • New Mexico Indian Pueblo Legal Services Board, Director 1991-1995
  • Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals Judge, 1990 – 2000
AARON M. SIMS

 ams@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505 842-5864
Fax: 505 843-9249

Aaron M. Sims (Pueblo of Acoma), owner-attorney, joined the Chestnut Law Offices in August 2014. Mr. Sims obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico – School of Law with an Indian Law Certificate. Mr. Sims holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College. He is a member of the State Bar of New Mexico and the Federal District Court.

Before law school Mr. Sims was a project coordinator for the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School (SFIS), a culturally and community-based Native American policy think tank. Mr. Sims continues to serve as a consultant and faculty member for the SFIS Leadership Institute’s Summer Policy Academy, a nationally recognized summer youth program educating Native American students on contemporary challenges and federal policies affecting tribal communities.

At the Chestnut Law Offices, Mr. Sims’ practice focuses primarily on Pueblo tribal governmental representation and cultural resource protection. He has extensive experience working to protect and repatriate sensitive items of cultural patrimony at auction in both domestic and international sales. He also has worked extensively with clients to protect cultural resources and traditional cultural properties in various federal undertakings.

 

Education

  • University of New Mexico – School of Law, J.D., Indian Law Certificate, 2014.
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., Government & Native American Studies 2009.

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships

  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court of New Mexico
  • State Bar of New Mexico, Sections on Indian Law and Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law.

Noteworthy

  • Former Project Coordinator, The Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School, 2009-2011.
  • Former Professional Articles Editor, Tribal Law Journal, University of New Mexico – School of Law.
  • National NALSA 1L of the Year Award.
  • Arturo L. Jaramillo Summer Law Clerk Program finalist.
  • Faculty Member, The Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School – Summery Policy Academy.
  • New Mexico State Bar – Indian Law Section, Board of Directors, 2017-2019
  • American Indian Law Center, Inc., Board of Directors, 2019-Present
EVA SEIDELMAN

 es@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Eva Seidelman joined the Chestnut Law Offices, P.A. as a Law Clerk in September 2018. Ms. Seidelman received her Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of the District of Columbia – David A. Clarke School of Law in 2013. Ms. Seidelman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, with a Politics Major, from Oberlin College. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

 

Education

  • University of the District of Columbia – David A. Clarke School of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 2013.
  • Oberlin College, B.A., Politics, 2006.

Professional Licenses, Certifications & Memberships

  • State Bar of the District of Columbia
  • State Bar of Maryland (inactive)

Noteworthy

  • Cooperative Catalyst of New Mexico, Senior Legal Consultant, 2018 – present
  • Staff Attorney, Housing Cooperative Preservation Initiative, Neighborhood Legal Services Program of Washington, D.C., 2016 – 2018
  • Clinical Fellow/Instructor, Community Development Law Clinic, University of the District of Columbia – School of Law, 2014 – 2014
  • Researcher/Program Coordinator, Public Citizen, 2013 – 2014
  • Former Student Journal Editor/Editorial Board, UDC-DCSL Law Review, University of the District of Columbia – School of Law
  • Olender Foundation’s Earl H. Davis Award
  • Dean’s Book Award
  • Ella Baker Civil Rights Scholarship awardee
  • Beech Street Merit Scholarship awardee

 

Support Staff

MELANIE GARCIA

 staff@chestnutlaw.com
Phone: 505-842-5864
Fax: 505-843-9249

Melanie Garcia, Paralegal, has worked at Chestnut Law Offices for over ten years. She has an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies. Melanie is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and lives with her family at San Felipe Pueblo.