Category Archives: Opinions and Analysis

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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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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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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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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10th Circuit: Prisoner who was victim of unprovoked assault by Denver sheriff’s deputy failed to allege Section 1983 municipal liability claim

Anthony Waller, a criminal defendant, was at a hearing in a courtroom inside the Denver city jail. He politely and calmly addressed the judge about his disagreement with the State’s case against him. Suddenly, a deputy sheriff spun Mr. Waller … Continue reading

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10th Circuit: Albuquerque city clerk and lawyers are immune from suit by failed mayoral candidate

Stella Padilla wanted to run for mayor of Albuquerque in 2018, but the city clerk, Natalie Howard, rejected her nominating petition. Padilla filed a suit in state district court asking for declaratory judgment that her petition was proper. During the … Continue reading

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NMCA: Wrongfully enjoined defendant cannot recover damages in the absence of an injunction bond

Norman Gaume filed a lawsuit claiming that the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission had violated the Open Meetings Act, and asked for an injunction against a committee created by the Commission from taking any further action on certain matters related … Continue reading

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NMCA: Employer’s mistaken belief that worker was disabled supported discrimination claim

In Goodman v. OS Restaurant Services, LLC (opinion by Judge Hanisee), the Court of Appeals has held that sufficient evidence supported a jury’s verdict that an employer mistakenly “regarded” the plaintiff worker as disabled, and discriminated against him because of … Continue reading

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NMCA: Judgments Are Forever

The Cadle Company acquired a 1987 state-court judgment against the defendant, and filed suit on the judgment in 2002 and 2009, acquiring new judgments against the defendant each time. In 2016, the Cadle Company filed a suit on the 2009 … Continue reading

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10th Circuit revives lawsuit challenging Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Yesterday the Tenth Circuit added another chapter to the long-running saga of Kerr v. Hickenlooper, a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Colorado voters adopted TABOR via an initiative process in the early 1990s. TABOR requires voter approval … Continue reading

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