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State Bar of New Mexico Annual Awards

2023 Annual Awards


2023 Annual Awards Recipients

Congratulations to our winners! You, your careers and your hard work are invaluable to and highly appreciated by the legal community. We are honored to recognize you and proud to add you to the prestigious history of recipients!

Award Winners & Descriptions

Distinguished Bar Service Award: Non-Lawyer - Mary Galvez

Recognizes non-lawyers who have provided valuable service and contributions to the legal profession over a significant period of time.

A Nationally Certified Master Guardian (NMG), Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Certified Manager of Care (CMC), Mary has been providing guardianship and care management services in New Mexico for over 20 years. She has extensive professional experience serving the elderly and disabled population in New Mexico. She owns and operates Guardianship and Care Management Services LLC, a local agency which serves as Guardian, Court Visitor, Care Manager, and Healthcare Power of Attorney. Mary is also a trained mediator. Mary serves on the board of the New Mexico Guardianship Association. She is the New Mexico Affiliate Representative to the National Guardianship Association and also serves as a Board Trustee for the Center for Guardianship Certification. She is a member of the New Mexico Supreme Court WINGS Committee and previously served on the Ad-Hoc Rules and Guardianship Rules and Forms Committee. Mary co-chairs the Guardianship Discussion Group, a monthly education program for guardians in New Mexico. 

Excellence in Well Being - Joy Applewhite

Many individuals have made significant contributions to the improvement of legal professional wellbeing to include destigmatizing mental health, strengthening resiliency and creating a synergic approach to work and life. This award was created to recognize an individual or organization that has made an outstanding positive contribution to the New Mexico legal community’s well-being.

Joy Applewhite is an Assistant Public Defender with the Law Offices of the Public Defender in the Hobbs office. Joy joined LOPD in August 2021 after earning her law degree at American University Washington College of Law in May 2021. Since her childhood, helping others has been a core belief for Joy. In her adult years, Joy realized the importance of taking care of oneself to ensure her cup was full to help others. As a public defender, the necessity to practice wellness amplified in light of vicarious trauma and heavy caseloads. In response, Joy has created a wellness room in the Hobbs office for wellness breaks. Joy also serves on the LOPD Wellness Committee that focuses on providing various defender wellness resources and creating peer support groups for the LOPD community. In challenging times, Joy reminds herself to take it one day at a time because this too shall pass.

Judge Sarah M. Singleton Distinguished Service Award - David J. Stout

Recognizes attorneys who have provided valuable service and contributions to the legal profession, the State Bar of New Mexico and the public over a significant period of time.

David Stout is a proud 1982 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. As a young lawyer he was fortunate to have worked with lawyers who set a high bar for both the practice of law and professional service, lawyers who believed it was important to give back to the profession and to the wider community. Over the years Stout has been consistently inspired by the dedication and service of other lawyers and more recently by younger lawyers and law students. He is continually amazed by their tireless efforts and personal sacrifice, all with a goal to make our profession, our community, and our society better for all. The inspiration they provide is a reminder why, no matter how we may be feeling at any given moment – angry, frustrated, or just plain tired - it is always a great day to be a lawyer.


Justice Pamela B. Minzner Professionalism Award - Justice Edward L. Chavez

Recognizes attorneys and/or judges who, over long and distinguished legal careers, have by their ethical and personal conduct exemplified for their fellow attorneys the epitome of professionalism.

Justice Edward L. Chávez, a native New Mexican, is a product of the New Mexico public school system. He graduated from Santa Fe High School, Eastern New Mexico University, and received his Juris Doctorate from UNM in 1981. He served on the New Mexico Supreme Court from March 7, 2003, until his retirement on March 9, 2018. He was Chief Justice from January 2007 through early April 2010. In addition to being the Supreme Court liaison to several other committees, boards, and commissions, he was the Court’s representative on the Disciplinary Board, Board of Bar Examiners, Language Access Advisory Committee, Lawyer Succession and Transition Committee, Client Protection Fund, Commission on Professionalism, and the Code of Judicial Conduct Committee. He participated in the Judicial Wellness committee and has done volunteer work for Roadrunner Foodbank and all three branches of government since his retirement.

Outstanding Legal Organization Award - Judicial Branch IT Staff

Throughout the pandemic the judicial branch’s information technology staff worked tirelessly and creatively to expand and maintain critical services. Statewide Judicial Information Division (JID) staff, and IT staff based in courts around the state all played critical roles, expanding video hearing capabilities, setting up remote work access and tools for all judges and employees statewide, supporting electronic access to courts for the public, and maintaining networks to ensure no state court closed its doors. These IT professionals also assisted in updating court websites, creating email filing capabilities for the general public, updating legal forms, and streamlined phone systems to better serve the public during the pandemic. Despite supply chain challenges and the scarcity of new equipment, the IT staff maintained critical existing services and added essential components to function in the new, virtual environment. These measures were so effective that many continue to this day.

Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award - Shasta N. Inman

Awarded to attorneys who have, during the formative stages of their legal careers by their ethical and personal conduct, exemplified for their fellow attorneys the epitome of professionalism by demonstrating a commitment to clients’ causes and to public service, enhancing the image of the legal profession.

Shasta N. Inman (she/her) is a solo attorney in Albuquerque, practicing across central New Mexico in child welfare and adult guardianship matters and serving as court-appointed guardian ad litem in family law cases (including contested custody, kinship guardianships, and grandparent visitation). Outside of her “day job,” Shasta has previously been active in the State Bar’s Children’s Law & Elder Law Sections, and she served as Chair of the SBNM Young Lawyers Division in 2021. Her chair year culminated in the Western States Regional Summit co-sponsored by the American Bar Association YLD, bringing together over 60 young lawyers from NM and surrounding states for an in-person conference (without any known COVID-19 transmissions!). On the national stage, Shasta is the NM young lawyer representative to the ABA’s House of Delegates, and she served this year as ABA YLD Assembly Speaker (the Chief Policy Officer of the Division).

Robert H. LaFollette Pro Bono Award - Ella Joan Fenoglio

Presented to an attorney who has made an exemplary contribution of time and effort, without compensation, to provide legal assistance over his or her career to people who could not afford the assistance of an attorney.

Ella Joan Fenoglio was born in Indianapolis with parents who were active in church committees, school activities, Boy and Girl Scouts and even the neighborhood volunteer fire department. She majored in Spanish in college and increased her fluency as an exchange student in Bogota, Colombia. She received a Masters in Community Organization from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. Ella Joan then moved to Albuquerque, being attracted to the UNM School of Law, known for its clinical program and people-oriented curriculum. She has indeed been able to use her Spanish all these years as a lawyer, partnering with the NM Immigration Law Center, ABQ Faithworks and the Social Justice Committee of La Mesa Presbyterian Church. She volunteers with the Albuquerque Friends Meeting (Quakers) in their work with the homeless and unhoused. Ella Joan is honored to be chosen for this award and accepts on behalf of the many lawyers in New Mexico who give so much to their communities.

Seth D. Montgomery Distinguished Judicial Service Award - Chief Magistrate Judge Emeritus Lorenzo F. Garcia

Recognizes judges who have distinguished themselves through long and exemplary service on the bench and who have significantly advanced the administration of justice or improved the relations between the bench and the bar.

Lorenzo F. Garcia commenced his judicial career as a state trial judge in 1978. He served two terms and, thereafter, was elevated to the Court of Appeals. He has extensive service on the Supreme Court as a Designated Justice. In l992 he was appointed to the U.S. District Court and shortly thereafter, became Chief Magistrate Judge, a position he held for 25 years. He currently serves on a national recall panel assisting federal judicial districts throughout the country as Chief Magistrate Judge Emeritus. Garcia is a graduate of UNM where he served on the Law Review and National Resources Journal. He practiced law as a partner, with the prestigious Jones, Snead law firm, and was previously honored by the State Bar as the State’s Outstanding Attorney. He was named Outstanding Judge by the Albuquerque Bar Association, and Outstanding Federal Jurist by the American Board of Trial Advocates. The School of Law honored Judge Garcia with its Distinguished Achievement Award and included him in the list of 60 judges and attorneys, who in the last 60 years made the greatest contributions to the law, law school and state.

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2022 Annual Awards Winners

2022 Annual Awards Recipients

2022 Annual Awards Presentation

Annual Awards Previous Recipients

List of Previous Annual Awards Recipients