NM Court of Appeals decisions during the first half of December 2013

I apologize for the lack of posts recently. Over the past two weeks I’ve been assisting with a trial in Santa Fe. Now that it’s over, I’m glad to be back with you all.

The New Mexico Court of Appeals issued four published opinions during the first half of this month:

1.  Arias v. Phoenix Indemnity Insurance Company (December 5, 2013). In an opinion by Chief Judge Roderick Kennedy, the Court held that where an insured’s rejection of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage was legally defective, the insured was also entitled to have her coverage on two automobiles stacked.

2.  Miller v. Bank of America, N.A. (December 10, 2013). In an opinion by Judge Timothy Garcia, the Court upheld a judgment for breach of fiduciary duty against a bank as trustee for improper management of the trust. The opinion contains an interesting discussion of the various damage remedies that are, and are not, available to beneficiaries in such a case.

3.  Snow v. Warren Power & Machinery, Inc. (December 12, 2013). The plaintiffs in a products liability suit sought to add two new defendants. They filed their motion to amend their complaint one day before the statute of limitations expired, but the trial court did not grant the motion till after it expired. In another opinion by Judge Timothy Garcia, the Court held that the claims against the newly-added defendants were barred by the statute of limitations.

4.  New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions v. Perez (December 12, 2013). In an opinion by Judge Jonathan Sutin, the Court held that the director of the State Personnel Board was a political appointee, and thus not entitled to collect unemployment benefits after her employment was terminated. Judge Michael Bustamante filed a dissenting opinion.


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