After four decades of hard work at Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A., Tim Sheehan has decided to retire. Tim brought the firm to prominence in construction law practice where he represented a broad array of clients from all aspects of the construction industry. His leadership in the field was recognized in his election to the American College of Construction Lawyers. Tim also spent many years on of the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Industry Arbitration Panel for large and complex construction cases. Tim shared his knowledge freely with colleagues in the legal profession and as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Civil Engineering, where he taught construction law. He authored the treatise Construction Law in New Mexico, which remains in print. There really isn’t much Tim hasn’t accomplished in his professional career, all with the class, style, humor and grace that is Tim Sheehan.
In addition to his legal accomplishments and his involvement in his community, Tim leaves us a legacy of genuinely caring about his current and former colleagues and the thousands of friends he has made during a lifetime in Albuquerque. Sheehan & Sheehan P.A. will always be a reflection of the firm Tim and his father built together. We, as his Sheehan Family, will continue to strive to help others and provide quality, thoughtful representation to our clients.
When asked about his fondest memory of working with Tim, Kim Posich of New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty stated,
“Tim Sheehan is a man who believes that the legal system should work for everyone; that outcomes should not be tilted toward those who can afford the best attorneys, that everyone, including the poor, should have vigorous representation in government . . . Tim’s active involvement in legal services and the work of the Center on Law and Poverty impacted the lives of tens of thousands of New Mexicans over the years, by improving their access to justice.”
David Gorman, Shareholder/Director at Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A., and long-time colleague of Tim offered:
“Tim’s optimism and encouragement always stood out for me. When I first came to Albuquerque looking for a job as a construction lawyer, everyone else told me how bad things were. Tim told me that things were picking up and that he would find something for me to do. I started at Sheehan 23 years ago and never looked back. Tim also taught me the important lesson that being genuinely yourself with clients, courts and opposing counsel makes you both happier and a better lawyer.”
When the same was asked of Tom Horan, a long-time friend and colleague of Tim, and retired Of Counsel member of Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A., Tom stated,
“Tim is a great listener and compassionate. He goes a long way to help his friends. He has grown the law firm from his dad, himself, and a legal secretary in a small office, to a large, modern law firm – but he did not leave behind the caring and compassion for the employees and lawyers who he views as family . . . Tim has a great wit, great smile, keen sense of humor, and an active eye for art. He is also blessed to have Scottie as his partner.”
Briggs Cheney, a long-time friend and colleague of Tim, and Of Counsel member of Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A. shared his memory,
“I met Tim a lot of years ago now. We were both young lawyers with lots to learn. I was not with the firm and we were both separately representing the same client who, it was alleged, had managed to turn a hospital in Taos into an Olympic sized swimming pool. We made many trips together to Taos during that case and got to know each other very well.
We were young “as lawyers” at that point in time and both a little scared about the defense of this case, but we found strength in our shared fears which created a life-long bond and later led to my joining Sheehan & Sheehan more than 21 years ago now.
At that time in Taos, there was a wonderful bakery which was right across the street from The Kachina Lodge. It has been gone a long time now, but that bakery had the best “sticky buns.” Each trip to Taos included a sticky bun.
We got our “heads handed to us” in that case, but we lost together which only made that bond stronger. In our defense, it was a case that was pretty hard to win, but we both learned through the experience. Even after all those years, if I say to Tim, “sticky buns” he will smile as do I as I say the words.
We lost that case, but I gained a life-long friend. One of the joys in my life. “Job well done, Tim. You deserve a sticky bun.””
In 1983 – yes, he’s that old and so am I – Tim was my opposing counsel in a contract case that we argued in the NM Supreme Court. See, Smith v Tinley, 100 N.M. 663 (1984). That Tim thrashed me does not make the case memorable – what does is that I misread the time set for oral argument and got to my office early on the morning of the argument so I could prepare, thinking it was set for 1:30 – I pulled out the file only to see that the case was on the morning docket. Frantic, I called the Court Clerk who calmly told me that it was fine, drive carefully and we’ll see you when you get here. When I got to the courthouse, the Supreme Court hearing room was empty, except for Tim who was idling away his time waiting for me. The Court reconvened, neither the Court nor Tim embarrassed me by mentioning my terrible mistake, but all concerned were very gracious about it. Since then, I have always known Tim to be a gentleman but that was my first opportunity to witness it. Best wishes to you, Tim, and to Scottie, on your transition together to the future!
Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A. Team Member
I have always appreciated the opportunity to clerk for the Sheehan firm, and Tim’s management style is a model for me today, over 20 years later. I will never forget one time where two attorneys marched me to Tim’s office to work out priorities for my schedule. He patiently heard them both out, with a slightly bemused expression on his face. When the arguments ended, and all looked at Tim expectantly for his decision, he turned to me and said: “It must be nice to have a full dance card.” I’m not sure why that struck me as funny, but I chuckle about it to this day. All the best to you, Tim!
Amanda M. García, Firm Administrator/Marketing Manager, Sheehan & Sheehan, P.A.
Tim has impacted my life in so many positive ways. Early in my career I was Tim’s legal assistant. Working directly with him was one of the best things that ever happened to me. He taught me so many things about the law; but most importantly, he taught me about life in general. He taught me to smile and be happy every day. He taught me to appreciate everyone around me, and tell them often that I appreciate them. He taught me what it is to be a friend. I will always remember when it was payday, he would walk around to every person to give us our check, he would thank us for being a part of the Sheehan Family, and he would say “we are not us without you!” He has a way of making you feel so special and unique. Tim, I will forever be grateful to you for your brilliance; you truly are one-of-a-kind!
Colleague and Friend
Tim, thanks for all your dedication to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe when you served as Chair of the Finance Council. Your wisdom, knowledge, and leadership was always on target and I learned a lot from you. You had a keen sense of what to do and advise on. Thanks for being a friend to me. We miss the Christmas Finance Council dinners where Esperanza and I enjoyed visiting with you and Scottie. God Bless and have fun.
Susan C. Little
Tim gave me my first full-time job as an attorney when I moved to Albuquerque. He was the best mentor, and taught me so much – about law and about people. I am ever grateful to him and for him. Best wishes Tim!