New Mexico Legal Overview
The highest court in New Mexico is the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico, comprised of a Chief Justice and four associate justices. The intermediate Court of Appeals has ten presiding judges who form three-member panels to hear appeals. All judges are elected for eight year terms. The District Courts are the main trial courts with general jurisdiction. There are 89 District Court judges elected for six year terms presiding over courts in 13 judicial districts. New Mexico also has a Magistrate Court, Probate Court and Municipal Court with limited jurisdiction over misdemeanors, traffic violations and DUI matters.
Top metro New Mexico areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment was abolished by New Mexico in 2009. Landmark cases originating in the New Mexico courts have produced judgments regarding the powers granted to federal agencies. In Entergy Corp. v. EPA (2009), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the EPA on a question of whether the agency had violated the Clean Water Act by requiring a cost benefit analysis for selection of technology that would minimize environmental impact. In Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal (2006), the court stopped the federal government from seizing sacramental tea imported into New Mexico by a Brazilian Church.
2. A former of the Public Regulation Commission's Insurance Authority in New Mexico has pressed chargers against her former boss, claiming that he was drunk on the job and sexually harassed her.
3. A lawyer in New Mexico has said that a jail guard that is being accused of raping three female prisoners cannot be terminated from his job.
Trending New Mexico Legal Topics: The State Bar of New Mexico was first established as a voluntary organization in 1886. It became an agency of the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico in March 1925. The State Bar was formally incorporated as a private organization in 1978. Membership of the State Bar of New Mexico is compulsory for all of the 5,300 odd attorneys licensed to practice law in New Mexico. The organization now has nearly 8,900 members and is based in Albuquerque, NM. Bar exams are administered by the Board of Bar Examiners, a separate agency of the Supreme Court.