Category Archives: Opinions and Analysis

NM Supreme Court restricts judges’ use of social media. Did it go too far?

Yesterday the New Mexico Supreme Court issued an opinion in State v. Thomas, reversing a murder conviction because an expert witness for the prosecution testified via Skype, which the Court held violated the Confrontation Clause. But the Court, in an … Continue reading

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Tenth Circuit: Hot dispute over Hatch chile trademark case leads to ruling that documents may be obtained from non-parties without a deposition

It’s an understatement to say that chile peppers are an important part of New Mexico’s cuisine and culture. And, as the Tenth Circuit said last week in El Encanto, Inc. v. Hatch Chile Company, Inc., New Mexico’s “Hatch Valley may … Continue reading

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NM Court of Appeals: Police not immune from loss of consortium claims

In Thompson v. City of Albuquerque, the Court of Appeals has held that the Tort Claims Act does not shield law enforcement officers from loss of consortium claims. The unanimous opinion in this case was written by Judge Michael Bustamante.

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NM Supreme Court: Flat fees for contract public defenders don’t violate right to effective assistance

In the first episode of Better Call Saul‘s first season, Jimmy McGill complains about the $700 paycheck he received for representing three teenagers accused of indecent acts as a New Mexico contract public defender. While that scene was played for … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court: Fraudulent concealment doctrine applies to wrongful death claims

The New Mexico Supreme Court has held that the doctrine of fraudulent concealment can toll the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. The opinion is Estate of Brice v. Toyota Motor Corporation, written by Justice Maes (Justice Nakamura did … Continue reading

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10th Circuit declines to revisit Utah polygamy decision

Today the Tenth Circuit denied a petition for en banc review in Brown v. Buhman, the challenge to Utah’s anti-bigamy statute brought by reality television star Kody Brown and his four “sister wives.” Last month, the Tenth Circuit found that … Continue reading

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NM Supreme Court: State agencies aren’t immune from — USERRA claims by national guard members

In Justice Judith Nakamura’s first opinion, the New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that state agencies are not immune from claims under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (– USERRA), which prohibits discrimination against members … Continue reading

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10th Circuit orders “Sister Wives” polygamy case dismissed as moot

Today, in the controversial case of Brown v. Buhman, the Tenth Circuit held that a challenge to Utah’s anti-bigamy statute brought by reality television star Kody Brown and his four “sister wives” is moot, and vacated the judgment in their … Continue reading

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10th Circuit affirms injunction against ban aimed at jury nullification advocacy outside courthouse

On Friday, the Tenth Circuit has affirmed a preliminary injunction entered against a Colorado state trial court to prevent it from enforcing a rule prohibiting expressive activities in a plaza outside the courthouse. The rule was targeted at advocates of … Continue reading

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10th Circuit reduces $25.5 million punitive award to $1.95 million

Last week, the Tenth Circuit issued its decision in a closely-watched punitive damages case, Lompe v. Sunridge Partners, LLC. The case arose from a lawsuit filed by Amber Lompe, a 20-year old college student in Wyoming, who suffered carbon monoxide … Continue reading

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