JPEC Commissioners

The JPEC is made of up 15 individuals – 7 lawyers and 8 non-lawyers – who are appointed to staggered terms by the Supreme Court of New Mexico.  Commission members are selected from nominations by the Governor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore, House Minority Leader, Senate Minority Leader and President of the State Bar.

Members are appointed to represent divergent professions, backgrounds and geographical areas of the state.

Members go through an approval process and agree to donate a significant amount of time to evaluate judges midway through their terms in office as well as when they are standing for retention.

Denise Torres

Denise Torres

Chair
Las Cruces
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2008

Denise Torres is a sole practitioner in the Law Firm of Denise Torres, LLC, specializing in providing clients with mediation, legal representation and advice on all aspects of personal injury in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area and throughout the state. She was admitted to the New Mexico Bar in 1993 and began her legal career with Angel Saenz. She became partner of the legal firm of Saenz & Torres, which limited its practice to personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice. She served in that position for nearly 20 years until leaving to start her own firm in 2013.  

A native New Mexican from Truth or Consequences, Torres was a Presidential Scholar and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico Anderson Schools of Management in 1989. As a National Hispanic Scholar, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico in 1993, graduating with honors in clinical law.  

Torres was president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors in 2008-2009. She was selected for the 2011 and 2013 editions of Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers and holds a AV rating. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America annually from 2005-2015 as well as a Southwest Super Lawyer annually from 2007-2014.  In addition, she serves as an instructor for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

 

Lee Hunt

Lee Hunt

Vice Chair
Santa Fe
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2018

Lee Hunt founded Hunt & Marshall, LLC, a legal firm specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury and wrongful death, in Santa Fe in 2014.

He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kentucky School of Law in 2000, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class. He served as Symposium Editor of the Kentucky Law Journal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Business from Western Kentucky University.

An avid triathlete, Hunt was a Division 1 Soccer Team captain for three years while earning his undergraduate degree and was named Student Athlete of the Year and Academic All-American in 1997. He completed the world-renowned Hawaii Ironman in 2011 and 2016.

Hunt was editor of The New Mexico Trial Lawyer Journal from 2010-2013 and is active in the New Mexico Trial Lawyers. He is an Elder in Christ Church Santa Fe.

 

Anna M. Aragon

Anna M. Aragon

Commissioner
Las Vegas
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2022

Anna M. Aragon is a native of New Mexico and has had her own law practice since 1984, specializing in criminal defense and family law. She began her career in child support enforcement and later worked for two years in the District Attorney's Office. She has served as a lecturer in law with the University of New Mexico's Misdemeanor Defense Program. She previously served on the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission from 2012-2013. Aragon earned her law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She is an avid skier, golfer and scuba diver.

 

Phillip Francisco

Phillip Francisco

Commissioner
Farmington
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2023

Phillip Francisco is a veteran law enforcement officer who has more than 24 years of experience. He currently serves as Chief of Police in Bloomfield, New Mexico, with prior experience as Chief of Police of the Navajo Nation Police Department. He has also served as a police officer and field training officer with the Farmington (New Mexico) Police Department; a patrol officer, supervisor and DWI Traffic Unit officer with the San Juan County Sheriff's Department; and a patrol officer with the City of Aztec Police Department.

Francisco was a specialist and team leader in the U.S. Army, where he was posted at Fort Hood, Texas, and Camp Carol, Korea. In addition, he served in the U.S. Army National Guard as a Platoon Leader 2nd Lieutenant/ Military Police Officer.

Francisco earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Police Science from San Juan College. He has completed training and certifications at the FBI National Academy, the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services and the New Mexico Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Bureau.

He previously served as Vice Chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Indian Country Section, Chair of the Navajo Nation Peace Officer Standards Training and received the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Hero Award in 2006.

 

Gregory Gaudette

Gregory Gaudette

Commissioner
Los Lunas
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2024

Gregory Gaudette has owned his own legal practice in Los Lunas for 25 years and specializes in criminal defense. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1986 and the New Mexico Bar in 1991. Prior to opening his own practice, Gaudette served in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) for nine years, stationed in Korea, at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and in Washington, D.C. He served in the Air Force Reserves and the New Mexico Air National Guard for more than 18 years.

Gaudette holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Boston University School of Law and earned a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Stetson University College of Law in Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with dual majors in history and political science from the University of Richmond in Virginia.

He has been a member of the Rotary Club of Los Lunas for 23 years.

 

Nate Gentry

Nate Gentry

Commissioner
Albuquerque
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2018

Nate Gentry was first elected to the New Mexico Legislature in 2010, was elected Republican Whip in 2012, Majority Floor Leader in 2014, and Republican Floor Leader in 2016.

Prior to serving in the New Mexico Legislature, Gentry served as counsel to the United States Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 2004-2007, focusing on water, lands and oil and gas issues.

Gentry earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He is currently an attorney in private practice in Albuquerque.

 

Delmus L. Gillis II

Delmus L. Gillis II

Commissioner
Clovis
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2021

Rev. Delmus L. Gillis II is Senior Pastor at the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Clovis. He was raised in Clinton, South Carolina. After graduating from Clinton High School in 1991, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Oklahoma, Texas, Japan and New Mexico.

He is a decorated veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm; Operation Northern Watch in Incirlik, Turkey; Operation Southern Watch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Operation Allied Force in Kosovo; and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He retired from the military in 2014 after 23 years of active duty service.

Prior to his current position at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Pastor Gillis served in ministry at the New Hope Baptist Church, Chickasha, Oklahoma; the Kadena Gospel Fellowship, Okinawa, Japan; and St. John Baptist Church in Clovis.

He holds Associate's Degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and Wayland Baptist University. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Wayland Baptist University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Rev. Gillis is a board member of the National Baptist Convention (NBC) USA, Inc.; Western Region Coordinator for the NBC Board of Evangelism; President of the United Ministerial Fellowship of Clovis; and President of the Jerusalem District Congress of Christian Education of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist State Convention.

 

Laura Howell

Laura Howell

Commissioner
Silver City
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2013

Laura Howell is a visual communicator focused in marketing strategy development/implementation in healthcare organizations and small business development. Her firm is based in Silver City and serves a number of national clients.

Howell is a past recipient of the Grant County Business Woman of the Year Award, past president of Rotary Club of Silver City, and past co-director of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program at St. Vincent de Paul. She currently serves on the Community Legislative Action Committee to the Grant County Prospectors and is a member of the Southwest Green Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she has served as an adjunct professor for Western New Mexico University in graphic design and marketing.

Howell holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in advertising design from University of Oklahoma and a Master of Communications degree from Pratt Institute, New York City.

 

Alan M. Malott

Alan M. Malott

Commissioner
Albuquerque
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2024

The Honorable Alan M. Malott, a retired district court judge, has practiced law for nearly 45 years in New Mexico. He served as a District Court Judge in the 2nd Judicial District from 2009-2018 and was honored as "Judge of the Year" in 2013 by the Albuquerque Bar Association. While on the bench, he presided over more than 1,400 active civil cases at a time. He was appointed a mediator by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe case, which had more than 400 claimants.

In his legal career, Judge Malott has focused on civil trial practice including insurance, personal injury, real estate, zoning and worker’s compensation. He currently specializes in alternative dispute resolution throughout New Mexico and was inducted into The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals in 2023. Throughout his legal career, Judge Malott has held an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubble, the top peer review rating used to recognize lawyers for their legal ability and ethical standards.

Judge Malott earned his Juris Doctor (JD) degree from the University of New Mexico and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University.

He is a frequent lecturer for the State Bar of New Mexico and the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association and authored a weekly column, "Judge for Yourself," in the Albuquerque Journal for six years.

 

Patricia L. Quintana

Patricia L. Quintana

Commissioner
Taos
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2014

Patricia L. Quintana is a native of Taos, New Mexico, and the owner/operator of Rancho La Fina Lamb and Wool and De La Tierra Consulting. She holds a master's degree in Agriculture from New Mexico State University (NMSU); a bachelor's degree in Animal Science from NMSU; and was an Executive Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 2005. Quintana’s career has focused on advocacy for the conservation of agricultural communities throughout the world as well as linking agriculture to economic development and making wise land use decisions.

Quintana has served as a consultant to the New Mexico Legislature and the Navajo Nation. Under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Winrock International, she has provided agricultural consulting in varied locales around the globe, including the Republic of Mali in West Africa, the Republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Krygyzstan, Mexico, Ecuador, and many others.

Her previous experience includes positions as Executive Director of the Taos Land Trust, Director of Government Relations for NMSU and Special Assistant to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. She has also shared her knowledge and experience as a founder, board member or commissioner for countless organizations, and was honored as one of the Remarkable Women of Taos in addition to receiving recognition from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of women and being named New Mexico State Employee of the Year by the Coalition of New Mexico and Arizona Counties.

 

Richard Reese

Richard Reese

Commissioner
Albuquerque
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2014

Richard Reese was born and raised in Albuquerque. For the past 11 years he and his wife have owned and operated Blue Ristra, Inc., a specialized promotional product company.

Reese has worked for various companies owned by the Robert O. Anderson family of Roswell for 20 years, serving in management positions in industries including oil and gas, restaurants, real estate and ranching. He has served on the board of directors of United Way of Chaves County, is a former director of the Albuquerque Rotary Club and a current member of the board of directors for the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education.

Reese earned a Master of Management degree from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico in 1983 and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from New Mexico State University.

 

Anita Sanchez

Anita Sanchez

Commissioner
Rio Rancho
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2015

Born and raised in Santa Fe, Anita Sanchez is currently a partner with the law firm of Sanchez & Piñon, a Rio Rancho, New Mexico firm specializing in personal injury law.

She attended the University of New Mexico, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1999. She then went on to earn her juris doctor from the University of New Mexico’s School of Law.

Sanchez has practiced on both sides of civil personal injury law, representing both insurance companies and businesses. Sanchez has tried cases in front of New Mexico’s state and federal courts and is highly regarded in both ethical and professional standards among her peers, earning an "AV-Preeminent" rating from Martindale-Hubbel.

 

Scott Sandlin

Scott Sandlin

Commissioner
Albuquerque
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2017

Scott Sandlin retired in 2016 from a 40-year career as a newspaper reporter in New Mexico.

For nearly three decades, she wrote about courts and judicial affairs for The Albuquerque Journal.

Sandlin studied at the Centro Andino, a University of New Mexico program in Quito, Ecuador, and graduated from UNM with a degree in journalism and Spanish.

She interned at the Santa Fe New Mexican, spent a decade as a reporter and editor writing about the Navajo Nation and politics at the Farmington Daily Times, covered environmental issues and politics for the Albuquerque Tribune and wrote about legal issues for the weekly New Mexico Lawyer, before joining the Journal.

She has served on boards of the New Mexico League of Women Voters and Albuquerque Press Women.

 

Jeannie Watson

Jeannie Watson

Commissioner
Carlsbad
JPEC MEMBER SINCE 2020

Jeannie Watson worked in legal administration for many years in Carlsbad and Las Vegas, Nevada, before beginning her current career as a sales and marketing executive in the long-term care industry. Her experience includes working with lawyers involved in criminal defense, business and general law. She also worked closely with the juvenile public defender's office in Carlsbad. In the private sector, she founded and served as principal of a real estate development company in Las Vegas prior to returning to her hometown in New Mexico.

Watson is a former member of the New Mexico Legal Secretary Association, volunteers on the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Retirement Council and is active in the nonprofit organization, Creative Housing Solutions, and the Giving Tuesday global generosity campaign.

 

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