Disbarred judge says he will not resign

A disbarred New Mexico Judge is refusing to step down after being disbarred.

Corrales Municipal Judge Luis Quintana was disbarred on July 1st by the New Mexico supreme court. The disbarment was for failing to turn over a settlement check to a client from a workers compensation case. The complaint was filed by Maria Ramos, one of the Judge’s former clients. A committee found that he used the money to pay debts that he owed to other clients instead of paying Ms. Ramos. The Judge contends that his disbarment has nothing to do with his job, therefore he has no intention of resigning.

Judge Quintana told the Albuquerque Journal that the case that resulted in the courts decision to disbar him happened before he was elected. Because of this, Quintana states that he is fully able to carry out his term, which ends in 2016. Despite his claims, the Judge is facing pressure to resign.

“People like myself who are lawyers or retired lawyers are quite alarmed, not only that it happened, but that it’s taken several months for it to become public knowledge…”, says Mayor Phil Gasteyer.  Mayor Gasteyer raised the issue of the disbarred Judge at a recent meeting of the village council. Since Quintana was elected to his position as Judge, he cannot be forced to vacate it. The Mayor plans to ask Judge Quintana for his resignation.

In response to the controversy Quintana stated, “Are people going to be disappointed? Sure. I’m disappointed, too. I’m disappointed because I didn’t serve Ms. Ramos as great as I should have, you know. But that was one instance in 30 years.”


Article via ABAJournal, 7 October 2015

Photo: Judges Desk Partial Desat via Matthew Paulson[Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]