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Kurt B. Gilbert


Kurt Gilbert focuses his practice on civil litigation and the defense of catastrophic product liability, ski area/recreation/sport operator litigation, toxic tort, professional liability, and negligence matters throughout New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. He has represents businesses and clients as plaintiffs and has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements on their behalf. Some of Mr. Gilbert’s verdicts and accomplishments as trial counsel are set forth below. Having tried cases throughout state and federal courts over the past twenty-five years, Mr. Gilbert is an experienced trial lawyer with the proven ability to prepare and try complex and high stakes cases before judges and juries. Mr. Gilbert’s trial experience, combined with his work ethic and approach to the lawyer-client relationship assists him in advising clients on important issues including trial strategy and preparation. Known for his pragmatic and strategic counsel and advice, Mr. Gilbert routinely advises clients regarding a broad array of legal issues to minimize and contain their legal risks, as well as to combat and defend litigation against his clients.

A native New Mexican and Albuquerque Academy graduate, Mr. Gilbert received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University before returning to home to attend University of New Mexico School of Law and pursue a litigation career. A lifelong skier, mountain biker, and outdoorsman, Mr. Gilbert pairs his personal and professional interests by representing ski areas and recreational facility/premises operators in personal injury litigation filed against them.

Mr. Gilbert is a member of the Association of Ski Area Defense Attorneys, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the Litigation Counsel of America. Mr. Gilbert achieved Martindale Hubbel “AV” rating in 2005 and has routinely been honored as a Super Lawyer. Recognized for years by Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Gilbert was awarded “Lawyer of the Year” for defense litigation in 2023.

Mr. Gilbert and his wife of twenty-six years, Elicia Montoya, are proud parents to their nineteen-year old son, a college freshman in California, and sixteen year-old daughter, and patient herders of three rambunctious but well intentioned dogs. When he’s not working, Mr. Gilbert spends his time enjoying outdoor activities with his family, running and mountain biking, playing tennis, watching movies, reading history books, playing guitar badly, and wondering why the Chicago Bears cannot get over the hump.

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation

  • Commercial Litigation

  • Trucking Litigation

  • Medical Malpractice Defense

  • Product Liability

  • Toxic Substance Exposure

  • Intellectual Property


Professional Experience

Past Employment

  • Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, Santa Fe & Albuquerque, NM

    • Director & Shareholder: 2005 – February 2020

    • Litigation Associate: 2002 – 2004

  • Atkinson & Thal, Albuquerque, NM

    • Litigation Associate: 1999 – 2002

Honors and Awards

  • Southwest Super Lawyer 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, 2019

  • Best Lawyers in America 2017-Present

  • A-V Rated – Martindale-Hubbell

Community Activities

  • Board of Trustees, St. Michael’s High School, member, vice-president

  • First Judicial District Bar Association, President, Treasurer, and Secretary

  • Equal Access to Justice, member

  • Phi Alpha Delta, member



  • University of New Mexico School of Law

    • J.D. – 1999

    • Honor Roll Recipient, 1996-1999

    • Natural Resources Certificate Received May 1999

    • Natural Resources Law Award (1999)

    • Natural Resource Journal, Editor 1998 – 1999, Staff Member 1997-1998

  •  Northwestern University

    • B.A. – 1994

    • Major: Philosophy and Urban Studies


Professional Associations and Memberships

Bar Admissions

  • New Mexico

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Member of the International Association of Defense Counsel

  • Member of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys (ASDA)

  • Member of the Litigation Counsel of America


Publications and Presentations

Published Works

  • Co-editor of the New Mexico chapter of Aspen Publishing Company’s Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty State Compendium

  • Co-author of Unfair Trade Practices: A Compendium of State Law, DRI Defense Library Series (2005)


  • Continuing Legal Education seminars and lectures on professionalism, trial practice, medical malpractice litigation, and medical record security.


Representative matters

  • Successfully resolved on behalf of plaintiffs multi-party action arising involving catastrophic injuries arising from tragic workplace event.

  • Obtained summary judgment on multi-party action for negligent infliction of emotional distress in matter stemming from unseated passenger incident on ski area chairlift.

  • Achieved defense verdict in bench trial on breach of contract/insurance bad faith action against insurer challenging pandemic-related coverage exclusion.

  • Successfully defended litigation attempting hostile takeover of closely held LLC.

  • Obtained judgment for my client of $19.5 million following bench trial in commercial case involving claims for defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, and conspiracy against the takeover proponents, resulting in awarded to my client following a bench trial.

  • Secured pre-trial “no pay” dismissal of ski area defendant in catastrophic injury case that resulted in approximately $40 million judgment against remaining co-defendants.

  • Defeated TRO/Preliminary Injunction and prevailed upon motion to dismiss in complex commercial litigation involving shareholder dispute and claims of fraud, self-dealing, conspiracy, and related business torts against managers of construction materials company.

  • Achieved “no pay” dismissal on behalf of plumbing and pipe supply contractor sued in multiple asbestos exposure actions.

  • Secured dismissal of action under the New Mexico Ski Safety Act involving life-threatening injuries to skier who collided with metal terrain park frame equipment.

  • Obtained summary judgment in action under New Mexico Ski Safety Act alleging catastrophic injuries resulted from allegedly improper trail closure marking.

  • Successfully represented wrongful death claim against ski area operator alleged to have served alcohol to minor prior to fatal one-vehicle automobile accident.

  • Obtained defense verdict in multi-party product liability action involving allegations of asbestos exposure and product defect against product manufacturer client;

  • Obtained defense verdict for common carrier in multi-party trucking pile-up collision action for wrongful death;

  • Obtained defense verdict in arbitration of contract dispute stemming from boxing promotion and event;

  • Obtained judgment for liability and punitive damages for commercial realty company in breach of contract and unjust enrichment case;

  • Obtained summary judgment on issue of causation on behalf of multiple clients sued in wrongful death action alleging exposure to asbestos;

  • Obtained favorable verdict for significantly less than final demand in personal injury action involving Fortune 500 laboratory services corporation;

  • Obtained defense verdict in trial involving allegations of breach of contract and fraud against municipal entity relating to development of infrastructure for hospital and trauma center premises;

  • Successfully resolved after three weeks of trial in a dram shop liability case involving permanent quadriplegia injuries and allegations of alcohol over-service and trespasser or employee assault;

  • Successfully resolved during trial case involving alleged malpractice in the performance of a gallbladder removal surgery;

  • Obtained in breach obtained $11 million jury award in litigation involving condemnation of mid-sized water utility company; obtaining defense verdict for client in copyright and unfair competition litigation against real estate developer;

  • Obtained revocation of bankruptcy discharge against judgment debtor found liable for fraud and RICCO violations;

  • Obtained directed verdict in products liability lawsuit alleging defective design and manufacturer or automobile;

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of automobile parts dealer in trademark infringement litigation;

  • Successfully represented a New Mexico municipality in multiple-party litigation concerning infrastructure development adjacent to a community hospital, prevailing on claims for breach of contract and damages;

  • Obtained defense verdict in trial involving allegations of product automotive product defect.

Kurt B. Gilbert

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