According to this report by Steve Ramirez in the Las Cruces Sun-News, one of the giants of the New Mexico legal community, former Justice Dan Sosa, Jr., passed away on Saturday in Las Cruces.
Justice Sosa was born in humble circumstances in Las Cruces, and I remember him describing how, as a boy, he used to shine the shoes of lawyers on the courthouse steps. He flew combat missions during World War II, and after attending law school, became a successful lawyer and prosecutor. In the 1960s, he helped to found the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
He capped this brilliant career by serving on the New Mexico Supreme Court from 1975 to 1991.
You can learn more about him by watching this interview, conducted as part of the State Bar’s Oral History Project. I believe a biography is also in the works, which I look forward to reading.
My condolences to Justice Sosa’s family and friends. Recquiescat in pace.