This week’s NM Court of Appeals Opinions

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has issued several interesting opinions this week. I hope to have time to discuss some of them next week, but here is a list so that you can decide which ones to take home for your weekend leisure reading:

Lu v. Education Trust Board of New Mexico. The Court, in an opinion by Judge Vanzi, that the State is not entitled to sovereign immunity in a lawsuit alleging that the State mismanaged college savings funds.  Jim Scarantino has this report about the decision at the New Mexico Watchdog.

Frederick v. Sun 1031, LLCHolding, in an opinion by Judge Wechsler, that a trial court erred by not dismissing an inadequately pled third-party complaint, and also erred by granting a motion to compel arbitration.

State v. LeonThe Court heard an appeal from a probation revocation despite the fact that it was untimely filed, and affirmed.  The majority opinion was written by Judge Vanzi, with a special concurrence by Judge Garcia.

State v. Sotelo.  Upholding a defendant’s convictions for kidnapping, battery on a household member, and witness intimidation.  Judge Bustamante wrote the opinion.

State of N.M. ex rel. Office of the State Engineer v. United States.  In an opinion by Judge Fry, the Court held that a trial court did not give proper deference to a special master’s findings and conclusions in a water rights dispute.

M.R. v. SereniCare Funeral Home, L.L.C.  Holding that New Mexico lacked personal jurisdiction over a Utah funeral home that allegedly placed a deceased man’s brain in a bag and handed it to his relatives.  The opinion is by Judge Fry, with a dissent by Judge Garcia.  This case has attracted national attention due to its gruesome facts – e.g. this story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gomez v. Jones-Wilson.  Holding that a plaintiff did not give his attorney authority to settle a claim.  The opinion is by Judge Fry.

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