Ms. Shaheen focuses her work primarily in the areas of oil and gas, water, environment, property, and complex litigation, including class actions.  In these practice areas, Ms. Shaheen has experience in matters relating to natural resource permitting and compliance, real property, contracts and contract disputes, royalty payments, and title issues.  She represents clients before state agencies, at the district court level, and in the appellate courts.  She regularly represents clients before the Oil Conservation Division, the Office of the State Engineer, and the State Land Office.  Ms. Shaheen assists clients in growing and protecting their business interests, by providing support for transactions and development and vigorous advocacy in litigation and resolution of disputes.


Representative Matters


  • Representing a land developer before the Office of the State Engineer in a protested application to appropriate water.
  • Representing clients in various purchases and sales of water rights and land with appurtenant water rights.
  • Representing clients in applications to change the place and purpose of use and point of diversion of water rights before the Office of the State Engineer.
  • Evaluating the existence and nature of water rights and advising clients regarding the manner in which such rights can be protected.
  • Representing client in negotiating and drafting a contract with a state agency to offset groundwater pumping impacts on the Rio Grande.
  • Representing clients in drafting and getting Office of the State Engineer approval of return flow plans.
  • Representing clients in obtaining permits from the Office of the State Engineer.
  • Representing mutual domestic water association in obtaining relief from developer who constructed sub-standard water system.
  • Drafting briefs and other papers in interstate water cases.

Oil and Gas:

  • Litigating royalty payment class actions.
  • Litigating title disputes between operators and between operators and mineral owners.
  • Representing mineral owners before the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division.
  • Evaluating status of mineral rights ownership and advised clients regarding leasing of same.

Property and Real Estate:

  • Representing client regarding title dispute on appeal.
  • Drafting purchase and sale agreements for unique land transactions.
  • Resolving title issues.
  • Litigating easement claim between municipality and developer.
  • Counseling home owners regarding right of access over tribal property.
  • Drafting easements and easement agreements for conservation and road easements.
  • Facilitating settlement of water contamination claims by obtaining restrictive covenants from land owners, inter alia.
  • Representing client in reaching settlement with State Land Office after denial of access easement.


  • Representing client with radioactive materials license in enforcement action.
  • Advising client regarding public water system and compliance with drinking water regulations.

Complex Litigation:

  • Defending class actions concerning royalty payments.
  • Defending oil and gas client in numerous simultaneous collection actions.
  • Defending electric cooperative in employee personal injury “Delgado” claim with numerous defendants.
  • Representing defendant in asbestos lawsuit with more than 50 defendants.
  • Representing defendant in class action for bad faith insurance practices.

Representative Cases/Transactions:

Chavez v. N.M. Public Education Department, 621 F.3d 1275 (10th Cir. 2010) (on briefs) (obtained reversal of district court’s ruling that agency had violated the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act)

City of Rio Rancho v. AMREP Southwest, Inc., 2011-NMSC-037, 150 N.M. 428, 60 P.3d 414 (represented municipality in obtaining reversal of district court’s summary judgment)

Gomez v. Chavarria, 2009-NMCA-035, 146 N.M. 46, 206 P.3d 157 (on briefs) (successfully represented insurance company in appeal of district court’s determination that the statute of limitations had run)

Representative Clients:

  • Chevron Mining Inc.
  • State of New Mexico, RMD
  • Colgate Production, LLC
  • Qwest Corp.
  • Lumen Technologies Service Group, LLC
  • Dugan Production Corp.
  • General Electric Co.
  • Overflow Energy
  • Titus Oil & Gas LLC
  • Flat Creek Resources, LLC
  • Strata Production Co.


University of New Mexico School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2005

University of North Texas
Bachelor of Music, 1979

Natural Resources Journal, University of New Mexico School of Law, citations & processing co-editor

Professional Memberships and Activities

State Bar of New Mexico, Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law Section
State Bar of New Mexico, Public Law Section
First Judicial District Access to Justice Committee
American Bar Association, Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
First Judicial District Bar Association (past President)
New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association
Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law
Oliver Seth American Inn of Court, Barrister

Bar Admissions

New Mexico
U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


Co-author, with Gary Kilpatric, of  A New Day in New Mexico for Third Party Bad Faith Claims, FORC Quarterly Journal of Insurance Law Regulation, Vol. XV, ed. VII, (Sept. 1, 2004)

Natural Resources Journal, University of New Mexico School of Law, citations and processing Co-Editor


Understanding Mineral Rights and Surface Issues, CLE/CE/PDH, Santa Fe, New Mexico (June 18, 2009)


Law Clerk to the Honorable Celia Foy Castillo, New Mexico Court of Appeals

Thesis Honors, University of New Mexico School of Law, Weighing and Balancing Social and Economic Considerations of Siting Landfills to Address Environmental Justice Concerns