Martha G. Brown and Deana M. Bennett, attorneys with the USLAW law firm Modrall Sperling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received a favorable decision from the New Mexico Supreme Court in the THI of New Mexico at Vida Encantada, LLC, et al. v. Celia Archuleta, as personal representative for the Estate of Abelina Lucero, deceased, No. 33,618, a case which was certified to the New Mexico Supreme Court from the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. Ms. Brown and Ms. Bennett participated in the case as amicus for the New Mexico Healthcare Association, and urged the court to quash certification. The federal court tendered to the Supreme Court the opportunity to issue a decision on several certified questions of critical importance to the long-term care community and its efforts at enforcement of arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. These questions included whether an authorized agent can commit a resident to arbitrating any disputes which may come up with the nursing home, and whether the wrongful death beneficiaries are bound by such an election in favor of arbitrating disputes. The parties briefed both the procedural issue of whether certification was appropriate, given the existence of controlling New Mexico law and the merits of the case. Ms. Brown and Ms. Bennett argued that controlling precedent of the Court of Appeals concluded that an agent, with authority to admit a resident to a nursing home, has the authority to bind the resident to an arbitration agreement contained within the admission documents. Ms. Brown and Ms. Bennett pointed to the uninterrupted line of New Mexico cases construing the New Mexico Wrongful Death Act as a survival act and as derivative to demonstrate both that controlling New Mexico precedent exits to answer the certified question and that New Mexico precedent confirms that the wrongful death estate is bound, just as the decedent would have been bound. After briefing and oral argument, the New Mexico Supreme Court quashed certification on the basis that there is adequate authority on the issues to guide the federal court, as urged by Ms. Brown and Ms. Bennett. This result provides long-term care clients a strong basis to argue in current and future cases that the Court would not rule for plaintiffs on these issues.