Gov appoints Smith district court judge

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A Los Lunas attorney has been selected by Gov. Susana Martinez to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of District Court Judge William Sanchez.

Martinez selected Allen Smith, 55, of Los Lunas, who is a partner with the Smith & Payne, P.C. law firm in Los Lunas. He graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1988 from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

"I'm certainly honored by her faith in me and for her willingness to give me this opportunity," Smith said of the governor's appointment. "It was a pleasure meeting with her and I'm just grateful for the opportunity to serve."

Smith starts his new position as the Family Court Division judge on Monday, April 28, which leaves him about two weeks to wrap up his practice.

Smith was a deputy district attorney for the Sixth Judicial District Attorney's office in Silver City from 1995 to 2005, and was in private practice from 1986 to 1995.

In his application, Smith said he's tried two civil jury trails, none within the last two years, but has tried more than 25 criminal jury trials, but also none within the last two years.

He said in the 10 years he served as a criminal prosecutor, he appeared before the magistrate court weekly to dispose of dockets of up to 14 cases per day.

"I am applying for this judicial position because I can make a difference in peoples' lives," Smith wrote in his application. "… It is my experience that good judges know how to listen so that all parties and lawyers know that they have been heard. I believe I possess that ability."

Smith, along with Jarales attorney Paul Trujillo, is running for the District Court Division III position on the Republican Party side of the ticket in the June Primary Election. Walter Hart, an assistant attorney general, and Los Lunas attorney Joshua Sanchez, are running for the Democratic Party nod.

The Primary Election will be held Tuesday, June 3, and the General Election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 4.

"Allen Smith brings a broad range of legal experience to the 13th Judicial District," Gov. Susana Martinez said in a press release. "His background as a prosecutor as well as an attorney in private practice will served the people of Valencia County well."


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.