News Release


Release: Contact:

Christine Morganti
(505) 797-6028

New Commissioners Take Office at State Bar

Albuquerque, N.M.—The State Bar of New Mexico Board of Bar Commissioners welcomed new board members Jan. 28 when Chief Judge Ted Baca from the Second Judicial District Court administered the oath of office to new commissioners. Elected by the general membership of the State Bar, the 22-member governing board develops policies, procedures and regulations; monitors financial performance, programs and services; and serves as advocates for the State Bar. Newly elected commissioners are listed below.

First Bar Commissioner District (representing Bernalillo County)
Martha Chicoski has a wide range of litigation experience in both civil and criminal law. In August 2010, she founded Chicoski Law Firm, LLC. Previous experience includes Orraj, Anderson & Obrey-Espinoza, Public Safety Division of the Albuquerque City Attorney’s Office, Robles, Rael & Anaya PC, and Walz and Associates. Chicoski is immediate past chair of the Young Lawyers Division and currently serves as treasurer of the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association. She received a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and a B.A. from George Washington University. She is admitted to practice in New Mexico and Massachusetts as well as before the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. She enjoys spending free time running, skiing, and attempting to train her dogs, Doug Flutie and Ty Webb.

Third Bar Commissioner District (representing Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval
and Santa Fe counties)
Deborah Armstrong is co-owner of Delta Consulting Group and executive director of New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool. She is a former cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department, serving four years under Governor Bill Richardson. She was also ALTSD director of Elder Rights and taught legal-medical ethics as a university adjunct faculty. Armstrong currently serves on the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Licensing Board and chairs the State Legislature’s Health Reform Working Group. She attended the University of Michigan (B.A., 1975) and the UNM School of Law (J.D., 2001), receiving the Judge Oliver Seth Scholarship for legal ethics, the Health Law Scholar Award and honors in clinical law. Armstrong has 35 years’ experience in healthcare, administration and regulatory compliance in both public and private sectors and is a licensed physical therapist.

Fourth Bar Commissioner District (Representing Colfax, Guadalupe,
Harding, Mora, San Miguel, Taos and Union Counties)
Brigitte Lotze graduated from Alamogordo High School, ended an 11-year career in banking to return to UNM (J.D., 1980), opened her law office in Taos in 1981, and has maintained a private practice there. The Brigitte Lotze Law Office accepts personal injury, complex litigation and family law cases. Lotze is the president of the newly re-established Taos County Bar Association and was the former organization’s president in the mid-90s. She is serving her second year as a member of the board of directors of the State Bar Senior Lawyers Division. She has served on the board of directors of the State Bar Family Law Section and as chair in 1993-94. Lotze is a member of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, AAJ and the ABA.

Senior Lawyers Division Delegate
John P. (Jack) Burton is a full-time director and shareholder of the Rodey Law Firm, having joined the firm upon his graduation from law school in1968. His practice includes transactions and dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration and litigation) in all types of business and property matters. Burton has been active in the Senior Lawyers Division and several sections of the State Bar, including the Business Law Section, and the Commercial Litigation Section, serving as chair. He was named Business Lawyer of the Year in 2004 by the State Bar Business Law Section. He attended Louisiana Tech University (B.S., magna cum laude, 65) and Harvard Law School (LLB, 68). He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in five categories and in Southwest Super Lawyers, has the highest rating in Martindale-Hubbell, and is a member of the Lawdragon 3000. He and his wife Anne live in Santa Fe.

Young Lawyers Division Chair
Ernestina Cruz is a partner at the Narvaez Law Firm, P.A. in Albuquerque. Her practice primarily focuses on civil litigation, employment law, civil rights, and education law. Cruz attended UNM (B.A, 1996; J.D., 2001) and a M.A. from the University of Notre Dame (M.A., 1998). She serves on various boards, including the Board of Bar Examiners, the Employment and Labor Law Section, and Committee on Women and the Legal Profession. In 2009, she served as an ABA/YLD scholar and currently serves as the ABA/YLD liaison to the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section. In 2008, she was recognized by the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association as the “Young Lawyer of the Year” and in 2010 was recognized as one of the top Hispanic attorneys under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Paralegal Division Liaison
Kay L. Homan is a certified paralegal at Cuddy & McCarthy LLP working in the areas of probate, estate planning, tax, corporate, real estate, quiet title, litigation document control, systems development and legislation. She is a charter member of the Paralegal Division and was chair in 2004. She is currently serving on the State Bar Law Practice Management Committee and Membership Services Committee and the BBC UPL Task Force. She served on the BBC in 2004 and 2009.

The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 8500 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.