March 14, 2014
D.D. Wolohan, Communications and Member Services Program Manager,
Chief Justice Maes Receives State Bar Anniversary Award
Albuquerque, N.M.—State Bar of New Mexico President Erika Anderson presented New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Petra Jimenez Maes with the State Bar Anniversary Award on Feb. 28 at the State Bar’s 128th birthday celebration. She received the award for Supporting New Mexico Courts, an initiative to provide more funding to Courts including five new judgeships, increased funding for drug courts, and revamping retirement funding for judging, all of which passed in the Legislature and were signed by Gov. Susana Martinez.
By assembling Chief Judges from throughout the State, the State Bar, lobbyists, national assistance, key legislators and other interested parties, Chief Justice Maes formed a working group to promote five Court initiatives. She helped form a coalition, a web site, and a video; conducted a Legislative briefing; and worked directly with key policymakers to get the message across: the New Mexico Judiciary is an equal branch of government and needs additional support. Through a unified budget request, Chief Justice Maes requested an increase in the Court’s base budget, five new judges, an increase in judicial compensation, more money for drug courts and a fix to the judicial retirement system. Except for a small decrease to the base budget
for every state agency, all of these initiatives passed the House and Senate though the governor vetoed some of the bills.
Chief Justice Maes continues to be a formidable and highly respected public servant working toward her passion—the pursuit of justice for all through a strong and effective Court system. The Anniversary Award is presented each year at the State Bar’s birthday celebration to an individual or organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the legal profession and improving the relationships between the profession and the public.
The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 9,000 members. Its purposes are to aid the courts in administering justice and preserving the rule of law, and to foster a high standard of integrity and competence within the legal profession.