Category Archives: Opinions and Analysis

NMCA: Corpus delicti rule satisfied by circumstantial evidence

The Court of Appeals, in State v. Platero, has overturned a trial court order dismissing a vehicular homicide charge before trial because the State did not plan to offer any expert testimony that the rollover car crash at issue killed … Continue reading

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NMSC: Tort Claims Act waives sovereign immunity for loss of consortium claims

Today the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its decision in Thompson v. City of Albuquerque, holding that the Tort Claims Act waives the state government’s sovereign immunity for loss of consortium claims. The case was brought by the minor children … Continue reading

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NMCA: Expert failed to establish prima facie case that pharmacy satisfied standard of care

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a decision (Oakey v. May Maple Pharmacy, Inc.) that should be required reading for all lawyers involved in professional negligence cases. The lawsuit alleged that a pharmacy was negligent for … Continue reading

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Tenth Circuit upholds New Mexico’s challenge to DOI Indian gaming regulations

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires states to negotiate in good faith with Indian tribes who seek to establish a gaming compact with the state, and sets forth procedures for the negotiation process, including mediation. Ultimately, if the parties are … Continue reading

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10th Circuit rejects Osage tribal members’ claim that trust accounting should have covered longer time period

In Fletcher v. United States, the Tenth Circuit (in an opinion by Judge Paul Kelly) rejected claims by members of the Osage Tribe of Oklahoma that the district court improperly limited the government’s obligation to perform an accounting of revenues … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court: Texas doctor’s sovereign immunity will be upheld in medical malpractice case

Yesterday, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its decision in the closely-watched case of Montaño v. Frezza. The case arose out of medical treatment that a New Mexico resident, Kimberly Montaño, received from a physician at Texas Tech University Hospital … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court: Probation term does not expire if defendant absconds

When a term of probation expires, it means the defendant has satisfied all criminal liability, and is entitled to a certificate from a court saying so. See NMSA 1978, sec. 31-20-8. The term of probation is tolled, however, if the … Continue reading

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Tenth Circuit upholds lawyer’s conviction for tax evasion

Today the Tenth Circuit upheld a Kansas lawyer’s conviction for tax evasion, rejecting his arguments that insufficient evidence was presented to prove an “affirmative act” designed to conceal or mislead, and insufficient evidence to prove willfulness. Here the defendant named … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court: Whistleblowers can’t sue state officials in their personal capacities

Former New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera allegedly fired two employees of her office in 2010 for speaking with the FBI, which was investigating her conduct. The employees sued Herrera under the New Mexico Whistleblower Protection Act. Last year, … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court rejects right to assisted suicide

The New Mexico Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion (written by Justice Chavez) in Morris v. Brandenburg rejecting the claim that the New Mexico Constitution creates a right to assisted suicide. Because the plaintiffs based their claim solely on … Continue reading

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