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Second Judicial District Court

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Civil Court Judges

The civil division has ten (10) judges who handle a broad array of cases from debtor/creditor matters to complex commercial, products liability and professional malpractice claims. 

Contract claims, employment disputes, personal injury claims, disputes over money and property, and appeals from decisions by state, county or local government boards and agencies make up just a part of civil decision caseload.  If a case does not involve a jail sentence or the dissolution of a marriage, there’s a good chance it will be litigated in the court’s civil division.

Name: Joshua A. Allison
Division XXIII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Mary Lovato
Phone: 505-841-7529
Name: Denise Barela-Shepherd
Division XVIII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Amy Ballou
Phone: 505-841-7534

Biography: Judge Barela-Shepherd has been a District Court Judge since December 2003. She has the unique experience in presiding over both criminal and civil law cases. She currently presides over civil law cases. She previously presided over all phases of criminal law cases ranging from misdemeanor to 1st-Degree felony offenses.

Judge Barela-Shepherd has served as the Chairman of the District Court Security Committee since 2005, which develops and oversees security issues and concerns involving the Court. She was previously appointed by the NM Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Statewide Court Security Committee. Judge Barela-Shepherd is a long-time standing member of the Bench Bar Media Committee, which serves as a liason between the Judiciary and the Media.

Judge Barela-Shepherd is a native New Mexican. She received her high school diploma from Valley High School, her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Texas Tech University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico.

Name: Beatrice J. Brickhouse – Presiding Civil Court Judge
Division IV
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Bobbi Jo Walker
Phone: 505-841-7517

Biography: Judge Brickhouse began practicing law in New Mexico in 1993, after graduating from the University of Arizona Law College. She was appointed to be a State District Court Judge in January 2009. She is assigned to the Civil Division and hears a wide variety of cases, including personal injury, employment, breach of contract, civil rights, probate and guardianship, and business disputes. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Brickhouse practiced as both a civil and criminal litigator for 16 years in New Mexico.

Judge Brickhouse is a member of the New Mexico State Bar, the Albuquerque Bar Association, and the New Mexico Black Lawyers’ Association. She is also the New Mexico Chair for the National Association of Women Judges, and is on the Board of the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners. She previously served as the Lincoln County Bar Association President and as a Bar Commissioner for the New Mexico State Bar.

She is married, with two children, and resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Name: Clay Campbell
Division XII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Gwen Lindquist
Phone: 505-841-7434

Biography: Judge Clay Campbell practiced law for 15 years, primarily in the area of civil litigation, before becoming a Second Judicial District civil trial judge in March 2005. From October 2005 until January 2011, he served as a Co-Chair of the Second Judicial District Court’s Pro Bono Committee. The Albuquerque Bar Association named Judge Campbell “Judge of the Year” for 2009, and he was recognized in 2010 by the American Board of Trial Advocates for his pro bono activities.

Judge Campbell got his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 1985, and worked as a news reporter for two years before law school. He put himself through college by working on oil rigs in Oklahoma and paid for law school by working construction jobs.

Name: Benjamin Chavez
Division XIX
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Charlene Montoya
Phone: 505-841-7537
Biography: Judge Benjamin Chavez graduated form the University of New Mexico of Law in 1996 and served as a Judge of the Metropolitan Court from 2004 through 2012. He joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2012 where he served as a member of the Criminal Division through December 2018. He now serves as a member of the Civil Division.
Name: Lisa Chavez Ortega
Division XIII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Mychele Romero
Phone: 505-841-7494
Name: Nancy J. Franchini
Division V
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Sue Gonzales
Phone: 505-841-7522
Biography: Judge Franchini joined the Court in 2014 after 17 years as a civil trial attorney practicing throughout New Mexico. Judge Franchini currently serves on the Board of Governing the Recording of Judicial Proceedings and is also assisting in the development of the Elder Court at the Second Judicial District Court.
Name: Victor Lopez
Division XXVII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Theresa Pomerleau
Phone: 505-841-7454
Biography: Judge Lopez was first sworn-in as a District Court Judge in December 2014. He has been licensed to practice for over 31 years. In his practice, he was responsible for a wide variety of civil and administrative law cases. He served as a Workers’ Compensation Judge for six (6) years, as a disciplinary board hearing officer, and recently as a DWI hearing officer. Judge Lopez currently seeks to administer justice fairly and promptly in a wide variety of civil cases for the Second Judicial District Court.
Name: Erin B. O’Connell
Division XVII
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Heather Garcia
Phone: 505-841-7531

Biography:  Judge O’Connell was appointed to the civil bench in February 2019. She is Co-Chair of the Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee, and is Co-Chair of the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. Judge O’Connell is committed to facilitating and expanding access to civil legal services to New Mexicans in need across Bernalillo County and the State.

Judge O’Connell graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She was a law clerk for two years for Justice Charles W. Daniels of the New Mexico Supreme Court. Following her clerkship, and until appointed to the bench, she was in private practice as a trial and appellate lawyer. Judge O’Connell is an active supporter of the Second Judicial District Court’s judicial clerkship program, which affords law students the opportunity to serve as a law clerk with Judge O’Connell and to experience working with all divisions of the Court.

Name: Daniel E. Ramczyk
Division VI
Location: Downtown Court
TCAA: Audra Vigil
Phone: 505-841-7484

Biography: Judge Daniel E. Ramczyk practiced law for twenty years, both in the private and government sectors. He was appointed to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in 2003 and handled both criminal and civil dockets. He served on several of the specialty courts and was appointed the first Chairperson of the Metropolitan Court Rules Committee in 2006 and served until 2012.

He resigned from Metropolitan Court when he was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court in February 2019, Criminal Division.

Judge Ramczyk graduated from the UNM School of Law in 1983 and was admitted to the New Mexico State Bar later that year.