Public Lawyer of the Year Award

Since 1996, the Public Law Section has presented the annual Public Lawyer Award to lawyers who have had distinguished careers in public service and who are not likely to be recognized for their contributions. Each spring, a selection committee solicits and reviews nominations for the Award. The committee accepts nominations from the public and may also consider nominees from previous years.

Submitting a Nomination

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a colleague for the Public Lawyer of the Year Award. Here are a few tips to consider while preparing your nomination:

  • Be sure to submit the application by the deadline: 5 p.m. on April 5, 2019. Late submissions cannot be considered.
  • Nominations should be submitted to Geraldine Garduno at Geraldine.Garduno@state.nm.us.
  • Specificity helps when you are writing up the description of the attorney's work, public service, advocacy, dedication, and excellence. Please mention the criteria listed below.
  • Letters of support for the nomination from those who have worked with the attorney are always helpful.

Award Criteria

The following are factors that will be considered in making this award. An applicant need not meet all of these criteria. The work or service recognized by the award must have occurred in New Mexico. A candidate must be admitted to practice law in New Mexico but does not have to be a member of the Public Law Section to be eligible.

  1. Significant length of service in government, which does not have to be continuous, or for one specific employer or for work as an attorney.
  2. Excellence as an attorney/advisor and/or advocate.
  3. Training or education of the public or bar concerning public issues; mentorship for junior attorneys in the public sector.
  4. Role model for other public lawyers.
  5. Involvement in one particularly difficult or important case or negotiation that significantly advanced a governmental policy or purpose.
  6. Service to social welfare organizations, charitable institutions or nonprofit entities connected with the practice or enhancement of an area of public law.
  7. Advocacy of or work on issues or legislation of importance in the public sector, such as open meetings and public records, public procurement and administrative procedures.
  8. A lawyer who is not likely to be recognized for his or her outstanding work as a public lawyer.
  9. A lawyer whose personal character and dedication to public law and public service furthers the integrity and repute of the legal profession.

2019 Public Lawyer of the Year: Cydney Beadles


(Left to right) State Bar President Jerry Dixon, Justice Barbara Vigil, Professor Emeritus Alfred Mathewson, Public Law Section Board Member Erin McSherry, Othmer Scholarship Recipient Denali Wilson, Public Lawyer of the Year Cydney Beadles and Public Law Section Board Members Geraldine Garduno, Jonas Armstrong, Nathan Eckberg, Joseph Dworak, and Cristella Valdez.
Cydney Beadles is the 2019 Public Lawyer of the Year.  She has been a lawyer for almost 30 years, and has served the public for almost 23 years.  Cydney started with the New Mexico Public Utility Commission in 1996, became Chief Staff Counsel in 1998, and continued this work with the Public Regulation Commission upon its creation in 1999.  She served as a managing attorney, took on the duties of the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity officer for two years, and as Legal Division Director for three years.   She specializes in economic regulation of public utilities, including implementation of energy and natural resources policies.  She contributed to the professional growth of lawyers interested in government practice through the State Bar’s Bridge-the-Gap mentorship program and Public Law Section.  She has assisted the New Mexico State University faculty with the rate case procedures session of their semi-annual regulatory training by NMSU’s Center for Public Utilities.

Past Award Recipients

2018 - Anthony C. Porter is a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Human Services Department's Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) in Las Cruces where he has practiced for the past 20 years. His years of dedication have helped stabilize the lives of thousands of children. He has spent countless hours of his own time to fill the void in the division while also training and mentoring new attorneys. Mr. Porter is widely known by his colleagues and the judiciary for his knowledge and consistent dedication to his work and for his integrity, professionalism, and preparedness while managing an extreme caseload - having appeared in over 10,000 child support hearings in his 20 years with HSD.

2017 - Carolyn A. Wolf was selected based on her long distinguished legal career in both the public sector and in private practice, her volunteer work following retirement, and her encyclopedic knowledge of both New Mexico state statutes and case law. She serves as a valuable resource to fellow attorneys and has taught a number of continuing legal education programs.

2016 - Elizabeth "Betsy" A. Glenn
's distinguished career has included roles at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department, where she served as both a staff attorney and Chief Legal Counsel.  The majority of Betsy’s exemplary career was dedicated to the work of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, where she played key roles and advised numerous Attorneys General in decision-making and authored numerous Attorney General’s Opinions, for which she is well known. 

2015 - Joey D. Moya
is the Chief Counsel and Chief Clerk of the Court for the New Mexico Supreme Court. Moya has made significant contributions to the judiciary, reflecting his dedication and commitment to public service and his desire to truly make a difference in the lives of the people that the judiciary serves.

2014 - Albert J. Lama
has spent most of his 25-year career in the New Mexico Attorney General's Office in senior positions, including Director of the Civil Division and his current position of Chief Deputy Attorney General.

2013 - Clifford Rees
has dedicated his career to legal services and state government, especially in advancing the state’s public health and procurement law. Since retirement, Rees has continued his involvement in public health, emergency preparedness, and production of ground-breaking laws.

2012 - Pamelya Herndon is the executive director of the Southwest Women's Law Center, and was recognized for her long career in public service and her dedication to public law and the people of New Mexico.

2011 - Tracy Hughes was honored in recognition of her long and dedicated service to the State of New Mexico, particularly at the New Mexico Environment Department; her reputation for excellence; her professionalism; and her mentorship of new attorneys.

2010 - Paula Tackett was honored for her long career in public service that began in 1982 when she joined the Legislative Council Service. She has come to be known as the institutional memory of the legislature and has spent countless hours mentoring attorneys as well as educating law students and the public to enhance open access and knowledge of the legislative process.

2009 - Gerald McBride was honored for his many years of dedicated service to the state’s most vulnerable adults through his work at the Adult Protective Services Division of the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services and its predecessors. McBride protected and improved countless lives and inspired those who worked alongside him.

2008 - Clark de Schweinitz was recognized for his long and dedicated service to low-income residents of northern New Mexico as an attorney with the Santa Fe office of New Mexico Legal Aid. He was also recognized for his leadership role in the community, and his years of public service working to improve the lives of New Mexico residents.

2007 - Stuart M. Bluestone
Chief Deputy Attorney General Stuart M. Bluestone was recognized for a career dedicated to public service. He served in four attorney general's administrations and was the top deputy in the AG's office for the vast majority of that time. In that capacity, he was critically involved in numerous legal and administrative decisions affecting the state. Additionally, he assisted in training several attorneys, many of whom subsequently served in important public service positions. Aside from his work at the AG’s office, Bluestone worked for several years as an attorney with the legislative council service, ultimately as deputy director. He also served as chair of the board of directors of New Mexico Legal Aid.

2006 - Frank D. Weissbarth
Frank Weissbarth was recognized for his dedicated service as an Assistant Attorney General specializing in the areas of consumer protection and subdivision law.

2005 - Paul L. Biderman
Paul Biderman was recognized for his dedication to public service and public interest law through his service as legal services attorney, as a government lawyer, as a consumer advocate, as cabinet secretary and finally as a leader at the UNM School of Law Institute of Public Law.

2004 - Robert M. White
Bob White was recognized for his leadership and expertise in the areas of local government law and land use law. White has served as the long-time Albuquerque City Attorney, as an Albuquerque City Councilor and as a leader of state and national municipal attorney organizations.

2003 - Peter T. White
Peter White was recognized for his years of dedicated service as General Counsel for the State Engineer along with his service to community groups concerning water rights after his retirement.

2002 - Jerry Richardson
Jerry Richardson was recognized for his service as chief hearing officer for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. In addition to deciding administrative protests in tax matters, Richardson was responsible for oversight of license revocation hearings under the New Mexico Implied Consent Act. In addition to his long career as a public lawyer, Richardson played an active role in the community. He was a founding member of the Friends of the Palace, a support group for the Palace of the Governors Museum. Richardson was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, serving as chair from 1994-1996. He also spent 10 years on the Public Employees Retirement Board and was chair of the board from 1992-1995.

2001 - Mary McInerny
Mary McInerny was recognized for her distinguished career in the public sector including service at the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, as the Financial Institutions Division Director, as a member of the Public Utility Commission and as County Attorney and County Administrator for Los Alamos County.

2000 - Nick Estes

Nick Estes was recognized for his dedicated and distinguished service as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Albuquerque City Attorney's Office and as University Counsel for the University of New Mexico.

1999 - Marty Daly
Marty Daly was recognized for her distinguished career as a public lawyer, serving as an Assistant District Attorney, the Appellate Public Defender and as an Assistant Attorney General.

1998 - Douglas Meiklejohn

Doug Meiklejohn was recognized both as the pioneering founder of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and for his dedicated service at the New Mexico Attorney General's Office.

1997 - Frank Katz
Frank Katz was recognized for his leadership as the long-serving General Counsel at the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department. Katz also served as a Deputy Attorney General.

1996 - Florenceruth Brown
Florenceruth Brown was recognized for her leadership and service as General Counsel for the New Mexico Health and Environment Department, and for her pioneering role as a female attorney in northern New Mexico.