Stratton, Hal

Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Attorney General, New Mexico (Rep.)

Representative, New Mexico House of Representatives

From Capitol Hill to Albuquerque, Hal Stratton is a familiar figure in the halls of government. He has spent over three decades navigating government—as the head of a federal agency, as a state attorney general, as a small business owner and as a successful litigator and government relations advisor.

Hal advises and counsels clients in the areas of mining, oil and gas, natural resources product safety regulation, products liability litigation, state and federal government relations, and multistate and class action litigation with an emphasis on product safety and liability as well as areas affected by state attorneys general. Hal also counsels clients concerning international trade, regulation and product health and safety.

In 1978, Hal was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives at the age of 27 by defeating the House Majority Whip. During his four terms in the New Mexico House he served on a number of committees, including the Judiciary Committee, where he served as chairman; the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, where he served as vice chairman; and the Transportation and Rules Committees. In 1986, he was elected New Mexico’s attorney general—the only Republican to serve in that position since 1930.

While in the private practice of law, Hal has handled and litigated numerous matters involving oil and gas, federal and state grazing lease and condemnation rights, oil and gas tax and royalty valuation, asbestos landfill siting and matters with the Office of Aircraft Safety (now the National Business Center Aviation Management), among others. He has also handled a number of matters involving American Indian tribes.

Hal has served as an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University School of Law where he created a course on state attorneys general and multistate litigation and regulation. He is a Distinguished Military Graduate, served on active duty in the U.S. Army, and is the recipient of a number of awards including the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Legislator of the Year award and recognition as the National Right to Work Committee’s Statesman of the Year.

Previous Experience

Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Attorney General, New Mexico (Rep.)

Representative, New Mexico House of Representatives

Practices & Industries
Oil & Gas/Mining

In addition to his government relations practice, Hal counsels clients and handles litigation on a variety of natural resource issues. Having worked in the oil fields for Union Oil of California, as an associate geologist for Exxon USA in Midland, Texas, and having an academic background in geology (BS, University of Oklahoma), Hal understands the practical and technical issues that natural resources companies face. As a former legislator and AG, he knows the regulatory issues as well. He now provides legal advice, counsel and services to a number of private and independent oil and gas interests.

While in the New Mexico legislature, Hal was a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee where he served as vice chairman and the Radio Active Waste Consultation Committee. He handled and oversaw numerous natural resource issues while serving as New Mexico Attorney General, including successfully arguing the case of Cotton Petroleum v. State of New Mexico in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1988, and negotiating settlements on interstate water law compacts with neighboring states.

As part of a Brownstein team, he assists Intercontinental Potash Corp. with all aspects of developing one of the newest potash mine projects in the country, including guiding the company through the multi-year NEPA and the Endangered Species Act permitting process, and helping the company obtain all necessary federal, state and local permits—including all necessary air and water discharge permits, land use approvals and BLM and State leases. The firm also assists Intercontinental Potash Corp. with acquiring an adequate water supply to operate its water-intensive milling process.

Hal along with other Brownstein attorneys, also counsels Grupos Cementos de Chihuahua, a world-class company that produces, distributes and markets cement, ready-mixed concrete, aggregates, and innovative products related to the construction industries in Mexico and the United States, in all aspects of corporate law as well as regulatory and environmental work.

Indian Law and Gaming Law

Hal has represented New Mexico Indian tribes before the Department of Interior regarding their IGRA gaming compacts and tribal recognition issues as well as other issues. Hal currently represents the Fort Sill Apache Tribe (the legal successor to the Chiricahua and Warm Springs Apaches) who are currently in the process of repatriating to their aboriginal homeland in New Mexico and Arizona and have recently received a reservation proclamation for their reservation at Akela, New Mexico. Hal advises and counsels them in the areas of state and federal Indian and gaming law and provides government relations services. Hal is a registered member of the Cherokee Nation. 

Hal also serves as legal counsel to Zia Park Racetrack and Casino in Hobbs, New Mexico, one of New Mexico’s five horse race tracks and casinos, and their parent company, Penn National Gaming, Inc., in all aspects of horse racing, gaming and government relations.

State Government Relations

Drawing on his experience as a legislator, state attorney general and longtime lobbyist, Hal represents a wide-range of companies in all aspects of state legislative and executive government relations. His clients at the state level currently include:

  • Penn National Gaming, Inc.
  • Zia Park Racetrack and Casino
  • Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua
  • International Potash Corporation USA
  • Comcast Corporation
  • NBC Universal
  • Security Finance Corporation
  • Lovelace Health Systems
  • The Fort Sill Apache Tribe
Representative Matters
  • Represented manufacturers, importers and retailers including the world’s largest corporations and stakeholders of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • Represented Intercontinental Potash Corp. in all aspects of developing one of the largest potash mines in the country. Representation included guiding the company through every aspect of the multi-year NEPA and the Endangered Species Act permitting process and obtaining all necessary federal, state and local permits.

News & Events
Community

American Conservative Union, Expert Policy Fellow

Board of Directors, Rio Grande Foundation

Board of Directors, New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, 2014-2016

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Member, New Mexico State Advisory Committee

Mountain States Legal Foundation, Member, Board of Litigation

City of Albuquerque Redistricting Committee, Member

Washington Legal Foundation, Member, Legal Policy Board

Publications & Presentations
Education
  • J.D., 1976, University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • B.S., 1973, University of Oklahoma
Admissions
  • New Mexico
  • District of Columbia
  • Colorado
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
Recognition
  • American Indian Law Review
  • Legislator of the Year, American Legislative Exchange Council
  • Statesman of the Year, National Right to Work Committee
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