We Believe In Fighting For Civil Rights
Laura Schauer Ives
Growing up, Laura marveled as her mother, a public defender, stood as the sole obstacle between the individual and the immense force of the state. Laura took to heart the lessons that there is value in being a strong voice for those who might not otherwise be heard and that the state does not always live up to its promise of truth and integrity.
Inspired by her mother's work, Laura decided to attend law school, where she focused her studies on constitutional law, and devoted her legal career to vindicating the rights of New Mexicans who have been victimized by private entities and the state, alike.
As the Legal Director of the ACLU of New Mexico, Laura's work included litigating the constitutionality of the reduction of separation pay for honorable discharges under Don't Ask Don't Tell; the right of same-sex couples to marry in New Mexico; the lawfulness of placing inmates in solitary confinement after they have reported sexual assault; and she settled a case on behalf of a Jane Doe subjected to a series of unnecessary and invasive searches – including a cavity search – for $1,575,000.
Laura has represented the estates of multiple New Mexicans wrongfully killed by police officers throughout the state with her former law partners. Laura's work in the James Boyd case – a homeless, mentally ill camper killed by Albuquerque Police Department officers – focused on APD's failure to supervise the officers, both on scene and through training, to hold accountable everyone responsible for his death, not just the individual officers who shot him. That case settled for $5 million. In the case of a 19-year-old girl gunned down by an Albuquerque Police Department officer, Laura argued that the City of Albuquerque should be sanctioned for its failure to preserve critical lapel camera evidence related to the shooting. The court agreed and sanctioned the city by ruling the shooting was unlawful. The case was settled after that ruling for $5 million.
Laura has also obtained millions of dollars for sexual assault survivors, including a special education student who was inappropriately touched by her teacher, another young student touched by the school janitor, a woman sexually assaulted by her probation officer, and women sexually assaulted in jails and prisons and by police officers. Laura is known in these cases for her empathy for her clients, reminding them and opposing counsel that the only one who should feel shame is the assailant, and the care she takes to ensure her clients do actually move forward and access the care necessary to do so.
Laura represents victims of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, including five female corrections officers who were subjected to an unthinkable, hyper-sexualized workplace by their male counterparts that settled for $2.5 million and a public defender who was sexually assaulted in the workplace.
Laura and Adam started Ives & Flores, P.A., in 2021. The firm recently represented the estate of a woman killed by her ex-partner, a captain in the Silver City Police Department. In that case, Laura and Adam argued successfully in the federal courts that law enforcement treated the victim differently than any other victim of domestic violence because her abuser was a police officer and that law enforcement protected and emboldened her abuser because of his status. The Town of Silver City ultimately had to pay a multi-million-dollar penalty, potentially the largest settlement ever paid by any New Mexico municipality. Ives & Flores also represents victims of human trafficking; the estate of an 88-year-old man who died, in part, from his injuries resulting from the use of a "non-lethal" weapon system in a products liability case; and children sexually assaulted by a camp counselor at an Albuquerque city summer camp.
Laura maintains her work with the ACLU of New Mexico, acting as a frequent cooperating attorney with the organization and sitting on the ACLU New Mexico's Legal and Reproductive Right Panels. She is a regular speaker on constitutional law, civil rights, and the vulnerabilities of lapel camera technology to public and professional audiences.
Laura is a lifelong resident of New Mexico and a mother of two. She graduated in 2000 from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she was on the honor roll and dean's list and a Bonderant Research Scholar.
- University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Honors: Bonderant Research Scholar
- Honors: Dean's List
- Honors: Honor Roll
- Honors: Clinical Honors
- University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- B.A. - 1996
- Minor: English
- Wrongful Death
- Sex Abuse
- Employment Discrimination
- Civil Rights
- American Association for Justice, Member
- New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Member
- Albuquerque Bar Association, Member
- New Mexico Women's Bar Association, Member
- New Mexico, 2000
- U.S. District Court District of New Mexico, 2010
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2011
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2016
- The Decisions We Are (or Are Not) Free to Make, for Now, New Mexico Law Review, 48 N.M. L. Rev. 324, 2018
- Morris v. Brandenburg, 2016-NMSC-027, 376 P.3d 836
- Jaramillo v. Hickson, No. CV 09-634 JCH/WDS, 2014 WL 12796776 (D.N.M.)
- N.F. on behalf of M.F. v. Albuquerque Pub. Sch., No. 14-CV-699 SCY/SMV (D.N.M.)
- Griego v. Oliver, 2014-NMSC-003, 316 P.3d 865
- Thomas v. Kaven, 765 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2014)
- Pahls v. Thomas, 718 F.3d 1210 (10th Cir. 2013)
- State, City of Albuquerque v. Pangaea Cinema LLC, 2013-NMSC-044, 310 P.3d 604
- Doe v. City of Albuquerque, 667 F.3d 1111 (10th Cir. 2012)
- Guardian of Liberty Award, ACLU of New Mexico, 2017
- Guardian of Liberty Award, ACLU of New Mexico, 2016
Classes & Seminars
- “Pornotopia: The Clash Between SOB Zoning and the First Amendment”, New Mexico Municipal Attorneys’ Association, 2010
- “The Implications of Collins v. United States”, American Veterans for Equal Rights, 2011
- “Harassment/First Amendment Session”, Council of School Attorneys, 2012
- “Students’ Rights Overview”, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, 2013
- “Real ID Act: Fact and Fiction”, Oliver Seth Inn of Court, 2013
- “Understanding Media and the 1st Amendment”, Paralegal Division of the New Mexico State Bar Brown Bag CLE, 2013
- “APD and the DOJ: A Pattern of Excessive Force?”, H. Vearle Payne American Inn of Court, 2014
- “Morris v. King: Will the Right to Die Live in New Mexico”, H. Vearle Payne American Inn of Court, 2015
- “Immigration-Related Issues in Litigating Civil Rights Claims”, Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Conference, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2015
- “Medical and Legal Issues at the End of Life”, OASIS, 2016
- Compassion & Choices How We Die: a Forum for Clergy and Health Care Providers, 2016
- “Ethical Considerations in Representing Children in Solitary Confinement”, New Mexico Criminal Defense Association, 2017
- “Body Camera Evidence – Trial and Motions Practice”, New Mexico Criminal Defense Association, 2017
- “State Constitutions/Supreme Court”, New Mexico Law Review Symposium Establishing New Rights: A Look at Aid in Dying, 2017
- “Piercing the ‘Cover-Up’—Holding the Municipality and Police Accountable for Misconduct” , American Association for Justice Summer Conference, 2018
- “Litigating Sexual Assault Cases”, Denver Prisoners’ Advocates Conference, 2018
- “Overview of Litigating Sexual Abuse Cases in Prison and Jails", New Mexico Criminal Defense Association Litigating for Accountability and Freedom, 2018
- National Police Accountability Project Seminar: “Litigating Prison Rape Cases”, 2020
- New Mexico Criminal Defense Association’s Seminar on Cellphones and Digital Evidence: “Spoliation and Lapel Cameras”, 2020
- ACLU of New Mexico, Legal Panelist, 2014 to Present
- ACLU of New Mexico, Reproductive Rights Legal Panelist, 2015 to Present
- End of Life Liberty Project Advisory Committee Advisor
- Frequent ACLU-NM Cooperating Attorney
- ACLU of New Mexico, Legal Director, 2010 to 2014
- Sole Practitioner/Contract Attorney, Attorney, 2002 to 2009
- New Mexico Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 2002 to 2003
- Tinkler & Bennett, Associate Attorney, 2000 to 2002
- Kennedy, Kennedy, & Ives, 2014 to 2021