Thursday, August 30, 2012

Judge Alisa Hadfield's Commitment to Families and Children in New Mexico

Guest blog by Shannon Enright-Smith.

Images head shotMost of us thankfully have never and will never appear before a Judge in the Family Court Domestic Violence Division, but we should not be distracted from electing the right person for the job.

We have all known, worked with or been acquaintances with someone who has gone through Family Court and have been impacted by the outcome whether it was a divorce, a custody battle or domestic violence situation. None of us are immune.

The Right Judge for the Job

Judge Alisa Hadfield is currently a Family Court Judge in the Second Judicial District Court presiding over the Domestic Violence Division. She was appointed to the bench on December 8, 2010 by Governor Richardson after being selected by a Judicial Nominating Commission. By State law, Judges must stand for election in one partisan contest after appointment. Judge Hadfield is the best qualified candidate for this specialized position and needs your vote this November.

Judge Hadfield began her career in the area of criminal law, first as a prosecutor and then as an assistant public defender, assigned to Children's Court representing minors. She later expanded her practice into the area of family law as a private practitioner. Her experience in these practice areas contributed to her successful service as a Domestic Violence Special Commissioner prior to her appointment as a judge.

What Most Voters Never to Get to Experience or Know about a Judge

I came to know Judge Hadfield in her capacity as a Domestic Violence Special Commissioner when I was Executive Director of Resources, Inc., the largest domestic violence and legal advocacy program in the State of New Mexico. The advocates and I worked on very difficult family violence and family law cases and were continuously impressed by Judge Hadfield’s leadership ability, vast knowledge of law and procedure, sensitivity and professionalism. In her capacity as Special Commissioner, Judge Hadfield was exposed to the most violent and difficult parts of our society and yet remained fresh and enthusiastic in her work. As you know, crime victimization does not discriminate. Domestic violence is NOT a partisan issue. I have seen Judge Hadfield work with some of the most difficult personalities in their most difficult times. She has worked with diverse cultures, and gained a respect and sensitivity to the unique problems that they face. Judge Hadfield exhibits an ability to work in a situation where she is surrounded by raw emotion which she can then mold into reason resulting in a decision that is appropriate for the best interests of children.

Since Judge Hadfield’s appointment to the bench, I have had the opportunity through my private practice to learn of her rulings in over a dozen cases and I continue to be impressed, especially with her decisions in custody matters where children are profoundly impacted. I do believe that what Judge Hadfield offers the citizens of Bernalillo County is a stable forward-looking jurist. She is well intentioned and has a judicial philosophy well-grounded in the law and tempered with compassion for the rights of the individual and the well-being of children.

Judge Hadfield’s Commitment to Families and Children in New Mexico

“Having a strong background in family law in general, coupled with my work and experience in the area of domestic violence and services related to that issue, makes me uniquely qualified for this position. As a judge, I offer the bench my strong sense of personal integrity, my proven history of commitment to service, and my experience exercising judicial responsibilities in a knowledgeable, fair and impartial manner. My balanced experience and strong sense of justice make me well-suited for the district court bench.” Judge Alisa Hadfield

August 30, 2012 at 08:39 AM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Children and Families | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Year of the Women 2012? Happy Women's Equality Day!

Womens dayHAPPY WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY!!

92 years ago today August 26th Women got the right to vote. After ratification eight days earlier, the Nineteenth Amendment was formally added to the U.S. Constitution today in 1920. In commemoration of this important event, in 1971, August 26th was declared Women’s Equality Day.

And here in NM on August 26th, 2012 we can report that two woman won two hotly contested primary races for a District Judgeship, and for a NM Supreme Court Judgeship. 

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Martin Luther King

Christina Argyres is Selected as Democratic Nominee for District 2 Judicial Court Judge

Christina Argyres was selected Saturday, by the State Central Committee’s Bernalillo Committee members, as the Democratic candidate for 2nd Judicial District Court Judge Division 2.

Christina Argyes ran against Frank Sedillo, Jeff Rein, Jennifer Romero, and Edward Benavidez and won in the second round of voting against Frank Sedillo.

Official vote count: Christina Argyres – 84 – 67.2% Frank Sedillo – 41 – 32.8% Of 125 total votes cast

State Central Committee Selects Barbara Vigil as Democratic Nominee for New Mexico Supreme Court Vacancy

The Democratic Party of New Mexico’s State Central Committee selected Barbara Vigil as the Democratic nominee for the New Mexico Supreme Court vacancy Saturday, August 25, at a Special State Central Committee meeting.

Barbara Vigil ran against John Kelly, Cate Stetson, Michelle Hernandez, and Victor Lopez and won in the second round of voting against John Kelly.

“The Democratic Party of New Mexico is united behind Barbara Vigil and we will work tirelessly to hold the seat,” said DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales.

Justice Patricio Serna vacated the position August 23rd after announcing his retirement. Serna served as a New Mexico Supreme Court Justice for nearly 16 years.

Official vote count from second ballot: Barbara Vigil - 197 - 52.53% John Kelly - 178 - 47.47% out of 375 ballots cast.

August 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Democratic Party, Women's Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Chief Judge Barbara Vigil Democratic Nominee for NM Supreme Court

Barbara vigilPhoto to the right was on Michael Padilla's fb page. Thank you Michael Padilla.

On Saturday August 25, 2012, the Democratic Party of New Mexico nominated Chief Judge Barbara J. Vigil as its nominee to the NM Supreme Court for the November 6 General Election ballot at a Special State Central Committee meeting. This Supreme Court position is to replace retiring Justice Patricio M. Serna, who retired on August 24.

“Justice Serna has honorably served New Mexico as a Justice of the Supreme Court for 16 years,” said Judge Vigil. “I hope to continue his legacy of admirable leadership by serving in the important and honorable position.”

Justice Serna’s retirement was effective midnight August 24. The Governor will appoint a replacement to his seat. However, voters will ultimately choose the person for the position in the General Election which is November 6. The winner of the election in November will fill the remainder of Serna’s term which runs through 2016.

“Having served on the First Judicial District Court for 12 years, currently as Chief Judge, the State Central Committee today recognized me as the most qualified candidate for this position,” said Vigil. “I have presided over thousands of court cases and have over 27 years of extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors. I look forward to traveling the state over the next two months to earn the support of the voters in November.”

Judge Barbara J. Vigil is the Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico. The First Judicial District encompasses the counties of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties in northern New Mexico. Judge Vigil is respected across the state of New Mexico as being a fair, dedicated and experienced Judge.

Judge Vigil has served as District Court Judge for over 12 years and has presided over thousands of cases in the areas of complex civil litigation, family and domestic relations matters, child abuse and neglect cases, juvenile delinquency cases, criminal proceedings and appeals of administrative decisions.

While serving as District Court Judge, Judge Vigil also served 10 years as a Children’s Court Judge. Judge Vigil was instrumental in the creation of Juvenile Justice Boards in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. These boards served as a vehicle for the receipt of state and federal funds for many social programs serving at-risk youth.

As a licensed lawyer for over 27 years, Judge Vigil has served on many community and legal boards and commissions, including the New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Board and the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association.

Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Vigil owned her own law office, handling a cross spectrum of cases for individuals and institutions. As a Judge and lawyer for nearly three decades, Judge Vigil has extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors in virtually every aspect of the law. This includes legal representation of both Plaintiffs and Defendants in state and federal courts.

Judge Vigil earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from New Mexico State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Vigil was raised in Santa Fe, NM, and has resided in New Mexico her entire life.

August 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dem State Central Committee and Dem NM Supreme Court Candidate Decision

Welcome to Abq. Democratic State Central Committee (SCC) members!

You all have a very important decision to make this weekend. On Saturday the Dem SCC is tasked with voting for one of five candidates that would be the best democratic candidate to run against the republican candidate for NM Supreme Court on Nov. 6th.

Below are short videos of each candidate summarizing their experience and why they should be the choice for the Demcoratic nominee for NM Supreme Court Judge.

Michelle Hernandez below:

Chief Judge Barbara Vigil below:

Cate Stetson below:

Victor Lopez Below:

John Kelly below:

August 23, 2012 at 11:20 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democratic Party | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

NM State Supreme Court Candidates at Bernalillo Co Dem Forum - Part 3 - Closing Arguments

On Thursday August 16, 2012, the Bernalillo County Democratic Party hosted a candidate forum for the 5 individuals vying to be the democratic nominee for the newest New Mexico Supreme Court Justice.

This is Part 3 a continuation of previous post Part 1 and then previous post Part 2.

Part 3 here encompasses the closing statements from each candidate. Listen closely.

Chief Judge Barbara Vigil closing statement below: 

Cate Stetson closing statement below:

Victor Lopez closing statement below:

John Kelly closing statement below:

Michelle Hernandez closing statement below:

August 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

NM State Supreme Court Candidates at Bernalillo Co Dem Forum - Part 2

On Thursday August 16, 2012, the Bernalillo County Democratic Party hosted a candidate forum for the 5 individuals vying to be the democratic nominee for the newest New Mexico Supreme Court Justice.

This is Part 2 a continuation of a previous post.

Question 3: What do you think is the most important responsiblity of the NM State Supreme Court justice and how do you plan to fullfill this responsibility?

Michelle Hernandez response to question 3 below:

John Kelly response to question 3 below:

Victor Lopez response to question 3 below:

Cate Stetson response to question 3 below:

Chief Judge Vigil response to question 3 below:

Question 4: What is your position on campaign finance reform?

Chief Judge Vigil response to question 4 below:

 

Cate Stetson response to question 4 below:

Victor Lopez response to question 4 below:

John Kelly response to question 4 below:

Michelle Hernandez response to question 4 below:

Question 5: What is your experience as a lawyer or a Judge prepares you to be the next Supreme Court Justice?

Michelle Hernandez response to question 5 below:

John Kelly response to question 4 below:

Victor Lopez response to question 5 below:

Cate Stetson response to question 5 below:

Chief Judge Vigil response to question 5 below:

August 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NM State Supreme Court Candidates at Bernalillo Co Dem Forum - Part 1

On Thursday August 16, 2012, the Bernalillo County Democratic Party hosted a candidate forum for the 5 individuals vying to be the democratic nominee for the newest New Mexico Supreme Court Justice.

In mid June 2012 Supreme Court Justice Patricio Serna announced he is retiring from the state's highest court after serving 16 years. There are currently five Justices serving on the NM Supreme Court. The existing court is comprised of one woman and 4 men. Both political parties have until Sept. 11 to nominate a candidate to be on the November 6 election ballot.

It is the Democratic State Central Committee consisting of slightly over 400 members who will be deciding on who will be on the ballot in November. The democratic candidates to replace Justice Serna are all superb.

Following are abbreviated synopsis of the 5 candidates. Listen to the videos for detailed information.

  • Michelle Hernandez is an attorney and worked as a judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court. Michelle currently practices law and is a shareholder at the Modrell Sperling Law firm read her bio here.
  • John Kelly is a former US Attorney during Clinton administration. John has a diverse legal background, he also practices law and is a shareholder at the Modrell Sperling Law firm read his bio here.
  • Victor Lopez is currently a Workers Compensation Administration Judge. Victor has 28yrs experience in law and you can read more about him here.
  • Cate Stetson has her own practice Stetson Law Offices, she pracitices all types of law to help the underclass. She has been very active in the democratic party for years and in a number of ways.
  • Judge Barbara Vigil is currently Chief Judge of New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court. Judge Vigil first became a judge in 2000 and was retained in 2008.

At the forum there were five questions asked as well as an opening and closing statement. Below is part 1 of the coverage - including opening statements and questions 1 and 2.

Opening Statements each 2 min: 

Intro Michelle Hernandez below:

Intro John Kelly Below: 

Intro Victor Lopez below:

Intro Cate Stetson below:

Intro Judge Barbara Vigil below:

Question 1:  Do you believe that the Judicial nominating process is a good way for selecting judges? If so why and why not?

Q1 Michelle Hernandez below:

Q1 John Kelly below:

Q1 Victor Lopez below:

Q1 Cate Stetson below:

Q1 Judge Barbara Vigil below:

Question 2: What limits do you believe exist on the power of the judiciary and on the NM Supreme court justices?

Q2 Judge Vigil below:

Q2 Cate Stetson below:

Q2 Victor Lopez below:

Q2 John Kelly below:

Q2 Michelle Hernandez below:

 

August 18, 2012 at 07:27 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Michelle Hernandez for Supreme Court

Hernandez, Michelle color seated (W1591431) Image1
Lifelong Democrat Michelle Hernandez Announces Bid for Supreme Court

Native New Mexican Michelle Hernandez will seek election to the New Mexico Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Patricio Serna.

Michelle grew up in Taos, Gallup and Albuquerque. Living under modest circumstances, she learned the value of hard work and a great education. She has deep family roots throughout New Mexico.

Michelle graduated from the University of New Mexico, magna cum laude, attended the University of California Los Angeles law school, and received a scholarship in recognition for pioneering women in the law.

Following law school, Michelle served as a judicial clerk for the Supreme Court and Justice Joseph F. Baca where she assisted in numerous opinions. Justice Baca and Michelle became lifelong friends, and he has endorsed her candidacy. As a law clerk, she worked on several landmark decisions including the Johnson case, where the Court held former Governor Gary Johnson in contempt of court for unlawfully forcing poor people off public assistance.

In endorsing Michelle, Justice Baca said, "I have known Michelle Hernandez since she was my law clerk in 1997. I am proud to call her my good friend. She is uniquely qualified to serve on our Supreme Court. She works hard, listens to people and is a brilliant lawyer. She cares deeply about her community and will make an excellent Supreme Court Justice."

After working at the Supreme Court, Michelle began a career at the prestigious Modrall Sperling Law firm where she gained valuable experience as an appellate and trial attorney. She has become a nationally recognized expert in complex health care law matters. She also represented women seeking to escape abusive relationships.

Michelle believes her hands-on experience at the Supreme Court, combined with her many years in private practice make her an excellent candidate for New Mexico's highest court. "The Supreme Court needs Justices who have been in the trenches representing clients, and who have been involved in drafting opinions. I bring a unique combination of both to the job."

Michelle is active in her community, having worked on democratic campaigns, as a Member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and as a founding director of Emerge New Mexico.

On August 25, the New Mexico Democratic Party State Central Committee will select a candidate for Supreme Court, who will appear on the November ballot opposite whomever Governor Martinez appoints to fill the vacancy. Michelle draws on her humble beginnings and her hard working family as inspiration.

"I was born in Albuquerque, but my family is from Taos, which is where I started school. Growing up my father worked as a high school teacher, laid adobes in the summer and later managed fast food restaurants. After living in a trailer in Gallup for a short time, we moved back to Albuquerque, and I graduated from Del Norte High School. My mother returned to work outside the house after I graduated and retired from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union as a secretary about four years ago. I will never forget my responsibility to remember those who are working their way out of poverty like my parents did."

At UNM, Michelle served as a recruiter for the Minority Recruitment and Retention Office. She served on the local advance team for the Clinton Gore Campaign for several events.

Michelle was active at UCLA as member of the La Raza Law Students Association. She advocated for the admission of Latino law students and worked against the discriminatory California ballot propositions of the mid-1990s.

Michelle was inspired to run by Justice Baca's and Justice Serna's humble beginnings, love of New Mexico and enormous achievements. She looks to Justice Petra Maes as a trailblazer and the first Latina Justice of the Supreme Court.

Please visit http://www.hernandezforsupremecourt.com/ for more information or to contact Michelle Hernandez email HernandezforSupremeCourt@gmail.com.

July 10, 2012 at 09:00 AM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races, Democrat, Justice | Permalink | Comments (4)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Judicial Court Judge Barbara Vigil Candidate for New Mexico Supreme Court Justice

Vigil_OfficialPhotoFollowing is a post regarding Judge Vigil a candidate for NM Supreme Court. This is a special State Central Committee Democratic election which will take place sometime in July or August. A date has not been set per the DPNM. 

Judge Barbara J. Vigil Chief Judge - First Judicial District New Mexico

Judge Barbara J. Vigil is the Chief Judge of the First Judicial District Court in New Mexico. The First Judicial District encompasses the counties of Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties in northern New Mexico. Judge Vigil is respected across the state of New Mexico as being a fair, dedicated and experienced Judge. Judge Vigil is running for the position of New Mexico Supreme Court Justice, to fill the position of retiring Justice Patricio M. Serna.

Judge Vigil has served as District Court Judge for over 12 years and has presided over thousands of cases in the areas of complex civil litigation, family and domestic relations matters, child abuse and neglect cases, juvenile delinquency cases, criminal proceedings and appeals of administrative decisions.

While serving as District Court Judge, Judge Vigil also served 10 years as a Children’s Court Judge. Judge Vigil was instrumental in the creation of Juvenile Justice Boards in Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. These boards served as a vehicle for the receipt of state and federal funds for many social programs serving at-risk youth.

As a licensed lawyer for over 27 years, Judge Vigil has served on many community and legal boards and commissions, including the New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Board and the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association.

Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Vigil owned her own law office, handling a cross spectrum of cases for individuals and institutions. As a Judge and lawyer for nearly three decades, Judge Vigil has extensive legal experience in both the public and private sectors in virtually every aspect of the law. This includes legal representation of both Plaintiffs and Defendants in state and federal courts.

Judge Vigil earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from New Mexico State University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Vigil was raised in Santa Fe, NM, and has resided in New Mexico her entire life.

Education:

  • University of New Mexico School of Law - Juris Doctorate, 1985
  • New Mexico State University - Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting,1981
  • Saint Catherine’s Indian School, 1977

Proven Track Record:

  • New Mexico Drug Court Advisory Board, 2003-2005
  • New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, 1993-2000
  • American Red Cross, 1992-1998
  • Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Board Member, 2000-2007
  • Santa Fe Small Business Development, Board Member,1992-1994

June 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NM Hispanic Bar Association Endorses Judge Alisa Hadfield for District Court Judge

The New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association endorsed the judicial candidacy of Alisa Hadfield for District Court Judge on May 17, 2012.

Judge Hadfield is running to keep her seat as a Family Court/Domestic Violence District Judge in Division 21 of the 2nd Judicial District for Bernalillo County. Under New Mexico Law, judges must run in one opposed election following their appointment, after which they stand for retention elections.

Judge Hadfield was appointed to the Family Court/Domestic Violence bench by Governor Richardson in 2010 after being recommended by the non-partisan Judicial Nominating Commission. From 2004 to 2010 she served as a Domestic Violence Special Commissioner, and is the former Director of the Family Assessment Intervention Resources (“FAIR”) Program, a collaboration with the Courts and University of New Mexico Psychology Department that assisted families experiencing domestic violence. From 1996 to 2004, Judge Hadfield was in private practice where she specialized in family law. She also served as a prosecutor and a public defender. Judge Hadfield is a graduate of the Hofstra University Law School.

“I am honored to be endorsed by the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association,” said Judge Hadfield, adding “For the past twenty years I have been working with families facing many significant challenges including divorce and domestic violence. Promoting safety and the best interest of children is critical. This is my passion and I’m honored to serve my community in this capacity.”

The NM Hispanic Bar Association is the state-wide association for Hispanic attorneys, and is currently composed of approximately 300 members. The Association’s mission is to promote the education and development of Hispanic legal professionals, and it currently works to fulfill this mission through judicial endorsements, community mentorship programs, and continuing legal education programs. For more information on the NM Hispanic Bar Association and its initiatives, visit http://nmhba.blogspot.com.

May 29, 2012 at 03:08 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Bernalillo County, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, May 04, 2012

5/10: Fundraising Reception for Judge Briana Zamora

Judge zamora Fundraising Reception for JUDGE BRIANA ZAMORA

WHEN:   Thursday, May 10, 2012, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Carter & Valle Law Firm;  8012 Pennsylvania Circle NE, Albq.

ALL CONTRIBUTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED
If you are unable to attend our reception, please contribute to Judge Briana Zamora’s campaign online at: www.electjudgezamora.com

ABOUT JUDGE BRIANA ZAMORA: Judge Zamora is running for Bernalillo County District Court Judge, Criminal Division. She currently serves as a Metropolitan Court Judge in the Criminal Division. Judge Zamora is a native New Mexican who was appointed as a Metropolitan Court Judge in December of 2008. She has presided over thousands of cases in the Criminal Division of the Metropolitan Court including DWI and domestic violence cases. Judge Zamora is a licensed attorney and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Prior to law school, she attended New Mexico State University and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree. Judge Zamora’s extensive experience includes working as a trial attorney, litigating criminal and civil cases for both the public and private sector. Judge Zamora lives with her husband and daughters in Albuquerque.

May 4, 2012 at 06:56 AM in 2012 Judicial Races, Candidates & Races | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3/31: Bernalillo County Family Court Judge Alisa Hadfield

Bernalillo County Family Court Judge Alisa Hadfield isn’t just hanging around, waiting for election day.

Hadfield, who has been a Family Court Judge for almost one and half years, is gearing up for her first election this November with the release of a campaign video that highlights her rock climbing chops. The video, released today on her Facebook site: “Committee-Keep Judge Hadfield” and on YouTube, features interviews with the judge and dramatic footage of her scaling “the Arch” at Stone Age Climbing Gym. The Arch is one of the most technically difficult rock climbing features at the gym and has the climber clinging to artificial hand and foot holds, three stories above the gym floor – with a safety belay, of course.

Judge Hadfield explains that rock climbing is a stress outlet for the busy family court where she presides over often difficult divorce, child custody and domestic violence cases. “Rock climbing requires intense and absolute concentration, which I actually think carries over to the court room. Keeping track of hundreds of cases, involving hundreds of families and children requires focus and concentration.”

Judge Hadfield has been an avid climber since her days as a prosecutor and later as a public defender. She also had a private practice in family law before being recommended for the bench by the non-partisan Judicial Selection Commission and appointed by the Governor in 2010. She has climbed some of New Mexico’s more difficult routes, although her full time job as a Judge has limited her climbing time.

Judge Hadfield will be showing off her rock climbing skills during her upcoming campaign event at Stone Age Climbing Gym 4201 Yale Blvd. NE Suite 1, on March 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm. (Download attached flier)

The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fveJoRsyqMA&feature=youtu.be.

March 21, 2012 at 01:34 PM in 2012 Judicial Races, Children and Families | Permalink | Comments (0)