AP NEWS

New Mexico high court complains about quality of lawyering

December 5, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is grousing about the quality of legal briefs filed by some lawyers, even in appeals arguing that defendants’ earlier legal representation was subpar.

The Supreme Court commented Thursday in an opinion that acknowledged that appellate representation of a man convicted of child abuse was deficient in some ways but still ruled that he wasn’t denied his constitutional right to appeal.

The justices said it was with “a degree of irony” that they were complaining about the quality of lawyering in a case involving a brief with structural and clarity problems.

The decision said judges should order lawyers to redo briefs that are unclear or “otherwise unprofessional,” and it said judges can impose sanctions on lawyers who don’t meet their obligations.

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This story has been correct that the opinion was issued Thursday.

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