Author Archives: Emil J. Kiehne

NMCA: Albuquerque police are immune from claims that they botched an investigation of the death of prominent lawyer Mary Han

Mary Han was a prominent civil rights lawyer in Albuquerque whose untimely death has attracted both attention and litigation. In this lawsuit, Ms. Han’s daughter, and the personal representative of her estate, sued the City of Albuquerque and some of … Continue reading

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NMCA: Underground water rights may be partially forfeited

A landowner contended that he owned 394.85 acre-feet of underground water rights in the now-abandoned town of Cutter, New Mexico. The evidence at trial showed that a railroad had previously used the water, but that for 34 years the water … Continue reading

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NMCA: Fundamental error to instruct jury on element of crime that has been repealed

In this case, the defendant, Marcos Figueroa, was charged with criminal sexual penetration of a minor for abusing his son and stepson. At trial, the district court granted the State’s request that the jury be instructed that the defendant had … Continue reading

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10th Circuit denies habeas relief in high-profile 1984 Utah murder case

Today, in Lafferty v. Benson, the Tenth Circuit (in an order signed by Judge Briscoe) denied a certificate of appealability in the high-profile murder case of Ron Lafferty, who was convicted of murdering his sister-in-law, Brenda Lafferty, and her fifteen-month-old … Continue reading

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10th Circuit: Sentence of imprisonment is final judgment although restitution issues remain open

Michelle Paup was convicted in a jury trial in federal magistrate court of theft of government property of less than $1,000 for shoplifting at an exchange store on an air force base in Colorado. She appealed to the district court, … Continue reading

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NMCA: Reversing conviction of middle school student who said he was making a “kill list”

A 14-year-old student at Capitan Middle School told another student he was making a “kill list.” Then, when the school’s principal asked whether he had a “hit list,” the student corrected her and said it was a “kill list.” The … Continue reading

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Justices Bacon and Thomson kick off their election campaigns next week

In New Mexico, judges who are appointed to fill a vacancy must run to keep their seats in the next general election. These judicial races are partisan ones. If you are appointed and don’t win, you will be back in … Continue reading

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NMSC: Public Regulation Commission’s approval of PNM’s 2018 renewable energy procurement plan affirmed

Today the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its unanimous opinion in New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers v. New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (opinion by Justice Shannon Bacon). The issue in the case is whether the Public Service Company of New … Continue reading

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Arguments in Florida v. Georgia to be heard in Albuquerque in December

Tenth Circuit Judge Paul Kelly, whom the Supreme Court of the United States appointed as special master in Florida v. Georgia, has entered an order setting oral argument on December 16, 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Pete V. Domenici … Continue reading

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10th Circuit upholds $60M breach of contract verdict in natural gas pricing dispute

Antero Resources Company entered an eight-year contract to sell natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation to South Jersey Gas Company. They agreed that South Jersey would pay a price in accord with a gas price index published by a … Continue reading

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