Nelse Miller


Nelse Miller is a partner in the San Diego and Albuquerque offices of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the General Liability Practice. She has practiced in New Mexico, since 1995, and California, since 2009. Her practice has a dual focus on complex personal injury and real estate/construction litigation. She has tried sixteen cases to verdict, twelve of which resulted in a defense verdict for her client.

Her general liability practice focuses on personal injury, products liability, hospitality liability, and work related accidents. She has expertise in wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, and catastrophic physical injuries. In 2014, she tried a two month jury trial in the Superior Court of San Diego involving four fatalities and four seriously injured individuals. She reduced her client's liability through the prosecution of cross-claims against the State of California's Caltrans Division.

Ms. Miller's real estate litigation practice focuses on professional liability defense of agents, brokers, inspectors and appraisers. She served as legal defense advisor to the New Mexico State Real Estate Commission, in drafting the Administrative Regulations of the Real Estate Commission and as specially endorsed brokers’ insurance defense counsel from 2003-2009. She also served as defense counsel advisor to the New Mexico Board of Realtors Forms Committee, and as Chairperson of the ABA’s Broker and Brokerage Committee.

Her construction defect practices centers on the defense of master planners, developers, and general contractors with a significant focus on common interest association claims, including breach of fiduciary duty. She has litigated claims arising from single-family home developments to condominium towers.

In addition, her professional liability practice has included the defense of attorneys, physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes. The vast majority of her cases include complex multi-defendant risk transfer and allocation, including collateral insurance coverage analysis for additional insurance issues and OCIPs.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • General Liability
  • Construction
  • Medical Malpractice

Additional Experience



New Mexico

U.S District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico


American Bar Association’s Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (since 2003):

  • Supervisory Council Member
  • Chairperson, Committee on Construction and Design
  • Vice-Chairperson, Real Property Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

Professional Presentations

  • California Medical Damages: Variations on Howell, September, 2016
  • ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Symposiums: “What Gets Real Estate Lawyers Sued”; “Hot Topics in Broker Defense”; “Hot Topics in Real Estate Transactions: Short Sales”; “Construction Contract Advice for the Transactional Attorney”; "Spotting Fake Insurance and Other Insurance Traps."
  • Risk management presentations for the New Mexico Board of Realtors and large brokerage firms.


The T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond, Virginia

Juris Doctor, 1995

The University of Virginia

Bachelor of Arts, French Language, 1990

  • Jefferson Scholar
  • Echols Scholar

Published Opinions

  • Gourdi v. Berkelo, 122 N.M. 675, 930 P.2d 812 (1996). 
  • Miller v. Triad Adoption & Counseling Servs., Inc., 133 N.M. 544, 65 P.3d 1099 (Ct. App. 2003).


“Short Sales”, The Practical Real Estate Lawyer

Pro Bono & Philanthropy

National Institute of Trial Advocacy:

  • Faculty member of Trial Skills and Deposition courses for the Southwest Region and the Western Region (San Francisco), 2005 to present.