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New Mexico’s Confusing Judicial Selection Process

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LWVCNM invites you to attend our November 14, 2019 luncheon meeting to hear about how New Mexico came up with our crazy, confusing judicial selection process.

The Chair of New Mexico’s Judicial Nominating Commissions and the Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, Sergio Pareja, will provide an overview of the New Mexico. He also will review the three bills related to judicial selection that were introduced in the last legislative session, SJR 12, SJR 15, and SJR 19.

Sergio Pareja

Sergio Pareja is the Dean of UNM School of Law. Prior to joining the UNM law faculty, he practiced tax and estate planning in Colorado and Indiana. Dean Pareja commonly teaches courses in the areas of tax and estate planning. In 2013, Pareja was honored by the University of New Mexico with a university-wide Out-standing Teacher of the Year award. Dean Pareja also is New Mexico’s first ever Academic Fellow to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

In his role as Dean of the law school, Dean Pareja serves as Chair of all Judicial Nominating Commissions in New Mexico.

Pareja’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on issues with the current judicial selection system, ideas for reforming the system, and possible insight into what we might expect to see in the next legislative session. The panel will consist of Dean Pareja, New Mexico Court of Appeals Chief Judge Monica Zamora, and New Mexico State Bar President Jerry Dixon.

M. Monica Zamora

M. Monica Zamora joined the New Mexico Court of Appeals in December 2012. She was elected to serve as Chief Judge of the Court in January 2019. Judge Zamora previously served as a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial District Court, assigned to the Children’s Court Division and served as its presiding judge for over five years. Prior to her appointment to the District Court bench in November 2005, Judge Zamora was in private practice for over 18 years.

Jerry Dixon

Jerry Dixon is a shareholder at Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A. and has practiced law for 38 years in the areas of professional malpractice defense, licensing, commercial and con-struction litigation and real estate. He is currently the President of the State Bar of New Mexico. He is a frequent speaker to professionals on ethics, professional liability and risk management issues. Jerry was President of the Albuquerque Bar Association in 1994. He has participated in the New Mexico high school mock trial program since 1988. Jerry was named Outstanding Attorney of the Year by the Albuquerque Bar Association in 2014 and received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from Texas Tech University School of Law.

Please make your reservation for the lunch by Monday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. by calling the League office at 884-8441 and leaving a voice message or by emailing us at lunch@lwvcnm.org. The cost of the lunch, which begins at 11:45 at Embassy Suites, is $22. You do not have to purchase a meal if you wish to hear the speakers.