The DWL Group

“Every member of the DWL group brings a particular skill set and experience to the team, but all share in being intelligent, ethical, creative thinkers who are passionate about the law. Our complex cases demand knowledge of existing law, the imagination to puzzle out a path to the desired result, and the tenacity and logistical competencies to achieve it.

I am proud to work with exceptional individuals who, together, are wholly up to the challenge.”      


David Walther, Lawyer

David Walther brings the expertise, temperance and skills honed by over 40 years of practice in Family Law. A seasoned professional, he’s handled hundreds of complex cases, including fifty in which the opinions were officially reported by state and federal courts and he has written two articles cited by the United States Supreme Court. He has perennially received the highest AV rating by Martindale Hubbell, has been listed by Super Lawyers since 2006 and has been cited as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 1986. He is co-author of the Bounds of Advocacy, the book that set the national standard for Domestic Relations Practice.

David is a New Mexico board certified Family Law Specialist who is now devoting his practice to complex cases requiring expert counsel where sophisticated financial, valuation and tax issues are at stake. Clients typically include couples with substantial accumulated assets, entrepreneurs and professionals with practices, and couples in which one (or both) spouses hold trust funds. David’s practice covers most aspects of Family Law including divorce litigation, settlement facilitation, collaborative divorce, pre/post nuptial and separation agreements, cohabitation, complex custody cases (parental relocation, multi-state jurisdiction, etc.) and modifications to spousal and child support agreements. David’s approach is always flexible and responsive to client needs, yet remains grounded in substantive law.

David Walther understands that privacy is an important issue for most high net worth individuals, and even more so for clients whose standing in the community make them particularly vulnerable; and he conducts all cases with discretion.

Marquette University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1961
Marquette University Liberal Arts, 1958

Member American Bar Association, Family Law Section
State Bar of New Mexico, Family Law Section
Fellow American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers
Santa Fe Bar Association
A Rated Martindale Hubbell since 1966
Best Lawyers since 1986
Super Lawyers since 2007


Amber Macias-Mayo, Lawyer

Amber Macias-Mayo wasn’t always destined to be a lawyer:  She earned it.  Amber started learning the law on the ground floor as a legal assistant. She enjoyed it, especially Family Law, and spent the next 19 years working her way from legal assistant to paralegal, through college, then Law School to  Law Clerk and finally, full-fledged  lawyer, admitted to the New Mexico Bar.  At each step, she learned Family Law from a different perspective.  She listened and worked, spending 10 years under the hardest of task masters: David Walther.  Amber knows Family Law inside out, with deep experience in:



  • Analyzing marital assets and complex estate plans;
  • Litigated divorces and settlement facilitation;
  • Preparing and evaluating pre and post nuptial, and separation agreements;
  • Complex custody cases, including those involving multi-state jurisdiction;
  • Spousal and child support agreements, including modifications to existing agreements; and
  • High stakes cases, including substantially contributing to a case regarding International Hague Convention Law.

Macias-Mayo is a home grown New Mexican lawyer and brings to the practice an understanding and a deep appreciation for our state’s culture.  She is active in her community, including volunteering her time to mediate cases for individuals with family law disputes who do not have the benefit of counsel.  She was instrumental in establishing an animal welfare court in Bernalillo County, which began in the summer of 2016.  This court will not only make Bernalillo County a safer environment for domestic animals, but also for children and victims of domestic abuse, as domestic abuse often co-occurs with animal abuse.

Amber provides the same exceptional, discreet services clients expect from David Walther Law and she brings with her compassion, spirit and a fresh perspective.

University of New Mexico School of Law, Juris Doctor
University of New Mexico, Bachelor of Arts & Sciences, Magna Cum Laude 

American Bar Association, Family Law Section
Hispanic National Bar Association
State Bar of New Mexico, Family Law Section
New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
Santa Fe Bar Association, Santa Fe Estate Planning Council
Albuquerque Bar Association

Hispanic National Bar Association, current Region XV Deputy President, 2015-2016
New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, current Board of Directors, 2015-2017
National Latina/o Law Student Association, Director of National Relations, 2014-2015
National Latina/o Law Student Association, Treasurer, 2013-2014
Mexican American Law Student Association, Vice President, 2014-2015
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Treasurer, 2013-2014

Michael Golden, Lawyer, of Counsel

Michael Golden joined David Walther Law to augment DWL’s capacity for Mediation, Settlement Facilitation and Collaborative Divorce in financially complex cases. Michael’s career has spanned all aspects of Family Law in over 40 years of practice, including 31 years at the helm of Moore & Golden and 11 years at Sutin, Thayer & Browne. As an Of Counsel participant, Mr. Golden will concentrate on Alternative Dispute Resolution – the aspect of Family Law which most closely reflects both his abilities as a negotiator and his personal disposition (as witnessed by 35 years as a college and high school soccer referee!).

Mr. Golden is Best Lawyers in America® 2016 Santa Fe Family Law Lawyer of the Year. He has perennially been listed by Best Lawyers® and is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell.

In keeping with his interests, Mr. Golden routinely volunteers for Resolution Day, a settlement facilitation program for unrepresented litigants, and frequently serves as a court-appointed settlement facilitator. Michael has a high success rate in resolving these disputes.

New York University School of Law, Juris Doctor
Johns Hopkins University, Bachelor of Arts

Court Admissions:
State Courts of New Mexico and New York
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth and Second Circuits
United States District Court for the District of New Mexico and for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York

American Bar Association
New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association
New Mexico Collaborative Law Practice Group
Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Plazas at Pecos Trail Homeowners Association, President
Santa Fe Community Orchestra, Principal Clarinetist


Clara Martinez, Finance Manager

Clara brings to David Walther Law 30 years of progressive management experience, the ability to master diverse tasks, and unwavering ethics. During her career, Clara has adapted her skills to both not for profit and commercial enterprises and has earned the respect of her co-workers and employers for her hard work, competence and loyalty.

Clara is an indispensable member of the David Walther Law team who ensures that our office runs smoothly, so that we can concentrate on our clients.



Michele Catanach, Operations Manager

Michele has worked as a paralegal in the Santa Fe legal community since 1985, and as a senior paralegal since 2004. A high-energy, people person, she has handled everything from drafting pleadings and estate management documents to managing an office of 5. At David Walther Law, Michele’s work supports and aids our lawyers, as well as providing an always up-to-date point of contact for clients.

Michele’s experience and professionalism set her apart from other support staff in the profession and make her an asset not only to the attorneys with whom she works, but also to the clients she serves.

margie w border

Margie Rutledge, Paralegal

A professional writer turned paralegal, Margie’s communication skills are a real boon to a profession often mired in legalese. At DWL, Margie now brings her years of experience as a journalist, children”s novelist and language instructor to bear on legal research and writing.

Margie decided to switch careers for stability, but while earning her Post-Graduate Paralegal Studies Certificate, she became fascinated with the Law and how, in the right hands, it could be wielded to affect important change. Upon graduation, Margie sought to start her legal career at an ethical law firm where the work is both compelling and meaningful. For her, DWL fit the bill.

Margie moved to Santa Fe in 2013. She is a dual US/Canadian citizen who previously lived in Toronto and Edmonton. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and a BA in English from the University of Alberta.

tamara with border

Tamara Johnson, Law Clerk

With a police officer as a father, Tamara got to see how caring professionals make a difference in people’s lives. It’s Tamara’s goal to “be the difference” too, and she’s chosen the Law as her fulcrum.

Tamara is a native of Pojoaque, NM. After earning her BA and working towards her Juris Doctor in Wisconsin, she is thrilled to be back in New Mexico for a second summer working as a Law Clerk for David Walther Law.

Tamara’s previous law experience includes:



  • Judicial Extern, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • Intern, United States Attorney”s Office, District of New Mexico

At DWL, Tamara contributes to the research frequently required for the complex case work typically handled by the firm.