Our lawyers at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. are honored with a variety of fellowships and awards, but above all, are passionate about serving the community. With backgrounds in anywhere from commercial litigation to academia, our lawyers pride themselves on their ethical and compassionate personal injury defense work in Texas, New Mexico, and North Dakota.

Matthew R. Heape


Matthew was born in New Orleans, LA, and lived in Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas as a child. He spent the majority of his childhood in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he graduated from Calallen High School. He now resides in Lubbock, Texas with his wife and three children.

Matthew attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets. Matthew received a double-major bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Education. Matthew firmly believes that his training and experience in the classroom give him a unique edge in educating the jury about his client’s cases.

Matthew attended law school at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Despite maintaining a full-time job while in law school and competing against students that were not working at all, Matthew maintained high grades and was ultimately invited to serve as a member of the SMU Law Review Association. This is an honor reserved for the highest performing members of the law school class. In his final year, Matthew was chosen to serve as articles editor for the SMU Law Review.

Matthew graduated with honor from SMU Law School in 2013 and immediately joined Faddoul, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway. Since that time, Matthew has handled many cases for the firm, including cases with values in excess of a million dollars. Matthew has also tried numerous cases to verdict, giving him the skills needed to maximize his client’s recoveries. Matthew is proud to represent the injured and to work with some of the most skilled and ethical attorneys in the business.

Manuel H. Hernandez

Manuel grew up in Mexico but received his formal education in the United States. Because he grew up on the border, Manuel is fluent in both English and Spanish–a skill that helps him better serve his clients.


After graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso, Manuel attended the Texas Tech University School of Law where he served as editor of the Texas Tech Administrative Law Journal. He earned a place on the Journal’s Executive Board and was awarded the Texas Tech University School of Law Judge Meade F. Griffin Award. The award is given each year to the student who has “best utilized the law school experience to improve and prepare for service to the profession and to mankind.” Manuel was also selected for a Graduate Fellowship with the Central Intelligence Agency Office of General Counsel in Washington, D.C., clerked for the Honorable William E. Moody of El Paso, Texas, and began his legal career focusing on commercial litigation and personal injury cases in both state and federal courts for a law firm in Houston, Texas before joining FCHC.

Manuel currently lives in the Permian Basin and serves his community on the Board of Directors for the Crisis Center of West Texas. When he is not busy fighting for his clients, Manuel enjoys reading about politics and interesting developments in the law and spending time with his family.

Nikko Harada


Nikko was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her father was a paralegal for a plaintiffs’ personal injury law firm while she was growing up, and she spent many days at the office with her father. Her mother was a teacher. Ms. Harada has been working in the legal field since she was about 15 years old.

Ms. Harada has a Master’s Degree and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 2007. She was awarded the McCulloch Award for Excellence in Constitutional Law and Honors in Clinic. While on law review as a student articles editor, Ms. Harada published an article entitled: “Trans-Literacy Within the Eighth Amendment Jurisprudence: De/Fusing Gender and Sex”, 36 N.M. L. Rev. 627 (Summer 2006). After she graduated summa cum laude, she was a judicial term clerk for the Honorable James O. Browning at the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. She has previously worked in the areas of criminal defense, constitutional law, medical negligence, personal injury, and wrongful death.
Ms. Harada has always passionately advocated for the rights of plaintiffs and worked with plaintiffs’ law firms since her earliest days in the legal community. Ms. Harada worked with FCHC as a contract attorney for years but was pleased to come on board to work full time for the firm.

Meghan Mitchell


Meghan was born in Abilene, Texas and spent the majority of her childhood in Bangs, Texas where her parents both worked as educators. After high school, she attended Midwestern State University, majoring in Theatre Arts. Meghan was highly involved in Midwestern State’s Theatre program, and it was there that she recognized her desire to make positive contributions to society. After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Meghan accepted a position in education. She taught middle and high school English and Theatre Arts for several years before making the decision to pursue her childhood dream of practicing law.

In 2013, Meghan entered law school at Texas Tech University School of Law, where she received numerous honors including top-grade awards in legal writing, family law, and criminal procedure. She was also a member of the Texas Tech Board of Barristers, a student organization focused on courtroom and advocacy skills. In Board of Barristers, Meghan participated in negotiation, mock trial, and moot court competitions. She was selected to represent Texas Tech as a member of several national advocacy teams, including the acclaimed Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition. Meghan was awarded the J. Hadley Edgar Trial Excellence Award for her achievements as a member of Texas Tech’s trial advocacy teams.

Meghan graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2016 and was admitted to practice law in Texas in November of 2016. After making the decision to practice personal injury law, Meghan knew that she wanted to work for a firm that only represented injured victims, which led her to apply and accept a position with Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway.

Carlos E. Sedillo



Carlos is a native New Mexican, born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of Valley High School in 2003, Carlos stayed in Albuquerque for his undergraduate degree and for law school. Carlos graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of New Mexico in 2007. Thereafter, he applied and was accepted to the University Of New Mexico School Of Law, and obtained his law degree in 2011.

After law school, Carlos began his legal career with the Narvaez Law Firm, gaining a wide range of litigation experience including general tort liability, insurance law, and education law. Carlos was with the Narvaez Law Firm for five and a half years, until the opportunity to join Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy, & Conaway. Carlos decided to take his experience to represent and assist people injured or killed in accidents. His practice now includes representing people injured or killed in oilfield accidents, car accident, medical malpractice, and education law.

Carlos is highly involved in the community as a member of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, the New Mexico Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Albuquerque Bar Association. Additionally, Carlos has volunteered his time as a mentor in community outreach programs assisting low-income students.

In January of 2018, Carlos welcomed the birth of his first child, a baby boy named Carlos Leon Sedillo. Carlos and his wife, Monica, are proud new parents and love spending all the time they can with their baby.

Christopher P. Winters

Licensed in New Mexico

Chris Winters was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but moved frequently growing up.  Following high school, Chris attended Brigham Young University and graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  Chris then attended the University of Kansas School of Law and graduated in 2009. During law school, Chris served as an Articles Editor for the Kansas Law Review, worked as a teacher’s assistant in legal research and writing, interned for the Honorable Dale L. Somers of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas, and clerked at a general litigation firm.

After law school, Chris began his legal career at a civil defense firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Chris worked at the same firm for almost ten years and gained valuable experience litigating cases of all sorts, including oilfield injuries, wrongful death, automobile accidents, dram shop liability, workers’ compensation, professional malpractice, coverage disputes, and appeals.

In 2019, Chris jumped at the opportunity to join Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C.  Chris is grateful for the opportunity to represent those who have been injured in an accident or who have experienced the untimely death of a loved one.  Chris has a passion for his job and is dedicated to pursuing justice for the victims of wrongful conduct.

Chris has been married to his wife, Tiffany, since 2004.  Chris and Tiffany have three beautiful children, Bailey, Alyssa, and Mason.  

Carmela Starace

Licensed in Texas | New Mexico

Carmela grew up the youngest in a large Italian family in New York. Her first-generation parents were purveyors providing specialty produce and seafood items to the very best of Manhattan’s restaurants including Tavern on the Green, Delmonico’s, and La Cote Basque. It was a family business – Carmela’s oldest sister and brother drove delivery trucks with their dad, while her mother had the three youngest taking orders over the phone, helping organize invoices, and learning the value of taking good care of customers. Her parents also taught her to take an interest in her local community and public service. Her mother served on the city council for over a decade. They also encouraged Carmela’s love of reading, writing, and performance, allowing her to participate in theater programs across the state. Carmela attended the English Honors program at Florida State University. After graduation, she moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to work as a junior high school English and Social Studies teacher for several years. She left New Mexico to spend two years teaching fourth grade to Haitian refugees in Miami, Florida.

Carmela returned to New Mexico to become a software trainer for ProLaw Software, a Thomson Reuters company. This career path enabled her to travel across the United State to different law firms, spending weeks at each firm and granting her exposure to a multitude of areas of civil law practice. She was training at a law firm in Manhattan in September 2001 and the experience compelled her to apply to law school.

Carmela attended the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review and received the UNMSOL Clinical Honors Award. After law school, she began her legal career at a large civil defense firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she stayed for four years. Thereafter, she opened her own legal consulting firm, providing contract services for civil law firms in New York and New Mexico, including Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. In 2019, Carmela took a break from civil law and served as senior prosecutor for the Eighth Judicial District Office of the District Attorney, prosecuting sexual assault crimes.

Carmela is so proud to have joined Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy and Conaway, in no small part because, having worked with so many civil firms, she recognizes the unbelievable level of quality services every attorney and staff member is committed to providing. She believes in helping people who have been injured and families who have lost loved ones is a privilege and works to use all of her experience, skills, and understanding of the law to do so grateful for the opportunity to help.

Jodee Rankin

Licensed in Texas

Jodee Rankin was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of New Mexico and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communication in 2014. Before her last semester of undergrad, Jodee married her husband, Marshall. A few years later, the two packed up and headed to Lubbock, Texas to complete their educational pursuits at Texas Tech University. Jodee began law school at Texas Tech School of Law in 2017.

During law school, Jodee enjoyed participating in competitions such as Moot Court, Mock Trial, Negotiations, and Client Counseling. This year, she (alongside her partner) won the American Bar Association’s Regional Client Counseling Competition.  She earned top grade awards in Legal Practice I and II, Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law, Civil Practice Clinic, and Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic. Jodee also served as a Legal Practice Teaching Fellow, Professor Research Assistant, and was provided the opportunity to spend a summer working on Supreme Court amicus briefs in Washington, D.C.

 In May of 2018, Jodee began her career with Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., as a law clerk. After just a short time, FCHC became her home. Working between classes, she continued as a law clerk throughout law school, learning from FCHC’s experienced and accomplished attorneys and staff members along the way.

Jodee graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law in May of this year. She gave birth to her daughter, London, in July and passed the bar exam in September. Jodee Rankin is proud to be the newest Associate Attorney at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., and she is grateful for the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of fighting for victims of injustices.