Three Farmington attorneys are interviewing for position

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FARMINGTON — A state commission is set to interview three applicants this week to fill the district judge vacancy in the 11th Judicial District Court.

The 11th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission will meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday at the Farmington District Courthouse at 851 Andrea Drive.

During the public meeting, the commission will evaluate the three applicants to fill Price's former position as the Division 3 district judge for the 11th Judicial District.

Her last day on the bench was Dec. 18. She retired on Dec. 31.

Price was re-elected during the Nov. 4, 2014, election, for a five-year term scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2019.

The three applicants are Adam Bell, Kyle Finch and Sarah Weaver.

The 11th Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission provided copies of the applicant's resumes to the Daily Times.

Bell has operated his own law practice in Farmington since 2009.

He graduated with a Juris Doctorate in May 1998 from the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska and has been practicing law since 2001.

Bell has worked in three judicial district attorney's offices across the state, including the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office in Farmington, as a senior trial prosecutor.

For Bell, he believes he would bring a fair and balanced approach to the position.

If he inherits a court docket like Price's including cases of child abuse and neglect and criminal law, Bell thinks he would be a great fit and would treat people with civility.

He cited his seven years as a prosecutor working in different counties and different courts along with his time working cases for the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.

Finch is a special assistant attorney general for the New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division, a department under the state's Human Services Department.

He graduated with a Juris Doctorate in May 1995 from the University of Utah College of Law in Salt Lake City, Utah and has been practicing law for more than 22 years.

Before joining CSED in June 2014, he had nearly 10 years of experience working as a partner at the Finch and Olson law firm in Farmington.

He said handles the legal work for establishment and enforcement of child support orders at CSED.

While representing the state during hearings, Finch said he remains impartial between the two parents or parties and made recommendations he believes were the correct decision.

Finch added this experience is similar to being a judge does and, with his depth of law experience, would make him a good person for the position.

Weaver said she has been interested in becoming a judge for her whole career.

She is currently a Farmington-based attorney who represents clients in domestic and criminal law along with personal injury.

Weaver graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 1993 from the University of New Mexico College of Law in Albuquerque and has been practicing law for more than 24 years.

She worked with the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office two different times.

In between 1998 and 2000, she was a senior trial prosecutor and a deputy district attorney for nearly two years.

Weaver was a chief deputy district attorney for nearly three years between 2009 and 2011.

She also worked in the Seventh Judicial District Attorney's Office for more than five years.

For Weaver, she believes her varied law experience as a processor along with being a criminal and civil law attorney would help make her a good district judge.

The commission meeting is open to the public and those who wish to make a public comment are requested to be at the opening of the meeting.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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