Local Judges Hire Family Members to Rule on their Cases
Posted in the Buckhorn Forum
Since: Jul 12
#1 Jul 31, 2012
Our 6th Judicial District (two judges here in Silver City) recently hired one of their daughters-in-law to be their Special Master in family and juvenile law. Abigail Robinson is the new Special Master; J. C. Robinson is her father-in-law.
Judge Quintero says he made the decision, not J. C. Robinson. Quintero then left town for a month to go on vacation. Interestingly, Quintero and Robinson used to own their own law firm and practiced together. Looks like they're still "practicing." Surely, there must be rules again judges hiring their own family to work for them and make decisions on cases. There is.
When making appointments, judges “shall exercise the power of appointment impartially and on the basis of merit.” NM Rule 21.213. Merit means relevant qualifications in law. Attorneys specialize in certain areas of law and could be exposed to malpractice claims if they take on cases in which they are not qualified.
That means Abigail Robinson's experience must have merit because she practiced primarily in family and juvenile law, right? Nope. She worked as Grant County's lawyer and in her total of 8 yrs experience as a lawyer worked in family law only 4 months.
Of the other 3 applicants, 1 had 25 years in family law, 1 had a gazillion years in juvenile/criminal law, and 1 had 12 years' experience in family law.
The same rule says appointments “shall avoid nepotism…” There's no room for interpretation in the word "shall." It's mandatory. Means "you can't do it." Nepotism is defined by the judicial committee who interprets the rule as including relatives “within the third degree of relationship of either the judge or the judge’s spouse or domestic partner, or the spouse or domestic partner of such relative.” Abigail Robinson with within two degrees of relationship.
And, New Mexico judicial ethical canons require they “shall uphold and promote .. integrity..”(21-100; Canon 1). They “shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence” in their integrity (21-102). Again,“shall” is mandatory. By rule, judges cannot erode the public’s confidence through the “appearance of impropriety.” See: http://www.ajs.org/ethics/pdfs/ AppearanceofimproprietyJudicat ure.pdf
Our judges have tainted themselves for any and all decisions they make from here on out. None of them can recuse himself from hearing a case because they're all "family." We can no longer trust any of them.
Then, there’s the economic issue. Because Abigail Robinson isn't supposed to work for J.C. Robinson are related, court administrators are supposed to build what they call a “Chinese Wall” between her work and his. Don't see how that's happening if there's only her father-in-law in the office for a month while Quintero is gone. Also don't see how that's possible given the personal closeness of Quintero and the Robinson family.
If these judges don't fix this problem, advocate attorneys will have appeal points to take to the New Mexico Supreme Court - if a matter is appealable. Many aren't. And, they can't complain because it's commonly know the judges retaliate.
And that means the administration of the court’s cases is now more expensive (that, and I suspect she’s getting paid more than the last special master they appointed). Rule 2-322 says that courts cannot “depart from proper judicial activity” in a way that “interfere[s] with or reflects[s] upon the court system or shake[s] public confidence in the administration of justice and the judiciary.” Rule 2-322. Now my public confidence is completely gone.
#2 Aug 1, 2012
Why should this surprise anyone? First of all, Quintero is one of Bill "Filthy Dirty" Richardson's appointees to the bench. He and Robinson (who was elected by the voters) have become stalwart idiots in their decisions (along with the JOKE for a DA's Office in Silver City). Both these so-called judges should be sent packing at their next election-confirmations. Yes, this is a highly inbred situation, as are so many others in Grant County. Stop this crap both at the ballot box and by putting these morons on notice-- shape up or WE will boot you out. Why does 2% of the local population account for 80% or more of the criminal recidivism in our communities? Simple -- the DA's Office cannot convict anyone of anything nor can they seek and obtain a sentence which involves significant jail/prison time for the repeat offenders. Remember the idiot who burglarized Cliff School and Cliff VFD? Robinson was quoted in the newspapers as saying the offender was a part of the community with family ties there. How the hell does Robinson know this? Truth is the convicted felon (moron extrordinaire) had victimized the community for years (and was in danger of bodily injury by angry residents if seen there) and has a father who is a convicted sex-offender to boot! Robinson should have been censured for making such a public statement about a community he knows nothing about. Once again, a District Judge thinking they know better than the rest of us. Nonsense. As for Abbey Robinson, she seems comptant and did well (apparently) as the retained counsel for Grant County. I do agree, she should not have been considered for the Special Master position, though. This matter is still appealable, though -- contact the NM Attorney General's Office and the NM Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts in Santa Fe and file a complaint.
#3 Jan 7, 2013
JC is terribly corrupt. So corrupt he hires work done and refuses to pay entire bill. Yea..he owes my friend over FIVE THOUSAND dollars. I am not throwing out mean words, The time has come for everyone to know. All you need do is ask a contractor who has worked for JC. Nobody can do anything because he threatens you. Even his wife threatens people if she does not get her way. And now he has let a violent drug addict (Joseph Ortiz) with 13 mostly felony charges free with NO jail time?? Had Ortiz killed an officer on January 6th 2013? Robinson has no business to make ANY decisions here. Nor any part of his friends or family. I would hope our community sees the absolute disregard for safety of our police officers and the people of Grant County and finally do something to get him and his out. With such blatant crooked actions, He is surely laughing at voters.
Jan. 6th police were looking for bullet holes in neighboring houses. Think on this, that could have been ANY one of our homes, even yours. Jc does not care for anything other than lining his pockets.
If you are not thoroughly angry...you are not paying attention.
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